Are your noticing sudden ranking drop of your target keywords in the Search Engine result page?

Well, it is a quite common issue in SEO. Keywords rankings in the search engine result page can fall for various reasons.

As a professional SEO company, we will help you to identify what is potentially done wrongly, which led to the dramatic fall of your SEO rankings.

So, let’s roll.

Here are some important points that we will discuss in the blog post to help you understand the various factors for the downfall and how we can fix them.

Is Your Website Hacked/ Penalized?

Have you seen a message like below with your URL in the Google SERP- “This site may be hacked.”

site-may-be-hacked

If so, the hacker might have changed some of the existing web-pages on the site or added new spam pages to your website. This is the reason that Google started treating your website as a spammy website and thus your rankings have dropped.

To fix this issue, you can follow the steps as discussed below:

  • Scan & fix these security issues on your website. You can use online tools such as https://app.webinspector.com/
  • Resolve/fix the issues as identified in the scan report.
  • Request a ‘website review’ to Google once the website is cleaned and secured.
  • Wait for few days and if Google is satisfied with the fix (i.e. your website is clean), the message will be automatically removed from Google SERP.

Check for the Google Algorithm Updates

The ranking may have dropped due to the recent updates in Google algorithm. Google rolls out new algorithm updates quite regularly. These algorithm updates contain the new rules (or factors) which decide the ranking of any websites. In recent history, Google has rolled out two major updates namely Google Panda & Google Penguin.

These updates affect the websites having duplicate content or backlinks from the website which Google consider as spam (or has backlinks from link farms). So if you have added new web pages (or changed the content of existing pages) or has built new backlinks; check for the uniqueness of content or spam score of backlinks, and if positive remove those immediately. Once done, make a list of those links to disavow (through Google Webmaster console) and submit the website to Google for reconsideration.

How to check if my website is penalized by Google?

You can check if your website is penalized or not at https://ismywebsitepenalized.com/. Just type your domain name & wait for the result.

How to check duplicate content

You can check the content plagiarism of your web page using the following tool:  https://smallseotools.com/plagiarism-checker/

Check broken links or 404 errors for your website

Have you recently redesigned your website, renamed the page URLs or changed the URLs to make them SEO friendly?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may have forgotten to put redirection from old URLs, which were ranking well in the Google SERP, to corresponding new URLs. As a result, when the Google crawler is trying to access old indexed pages, it is encountering ‘404 page not found’ error.

So you must put redirection to tell Google crawler for the URL changes.

crawl-error

To get the list of all links showing ‘404 page not found’ error, log in to Google Webmaster console for your website.

Explore the traffic through Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a very useful tool provided by Google to monitor your website’s traffic. If you see any decline in the sessions or page views in the Google analytics or the average session duration is low; these are the indicators that something is not right with your website.

In such cases, you need to dig deeper into your Google analytics data. You must figure out that date from when the traffic started falling down.

Check Google algorithm update(s) rolled out around that given date. If found, then your website may be in violation of Google guidelines.

You can check more online for the particular update and rollback any website changes you have made.

Once done, submit the website to Google via webmaster console for reconsideration.

Review the User behavior in Google Analytics

Occasionally you should study the user traffic trends from the Google Analytics. You must check the pattern of user’s browsing behavior once the user has landed on your website.

Which are the top landing pages of your website? What is the bounce rate of the landing pages? How much time do users spend on those landing pages?

As a general rule of thumb, a bounce rate of 30%-40% is good. Does your bounce rate match that range?

If yes, then your website is doing good. If not, then you must optimize your website to reduce the bounce rate & other parameters.

You can also check the behavior of your website’s landing pages in Google Analytics -check the bounce rate, Avg. time duration, the number of sessions, and try to optimize accordingly.

Below is an example snapshot of Google analytics showing the different parameters.

Final Thoughts

A drop in ranking can let your business down. So, you should find out the cause of a ranking drop and take the appropriate action to reverse the damage. We, hope that by following the above guidelines, you can diagnose and fix the issue of ranking drop & eventually improve it. However, if you need professional help, reach out to our professional SEO team for help.