Keyword rankings may spaz out and go mad for weeks or days at one time. Whenever this happened, you are going to be defeated by the competitor. It may look like a great thing to go from rank 23 to rank 5 in a single day, but that type of fluctuation works in either direction, you may lose rank too. If you are SEO expert and work for the long-term strategy; they consider effect gradually and improve general trends, perhaps maybe not daily rankings.
The chunk of not feeling awful about such ranking fluctuations is knowing just why they happen, what reasons them and what you could be able to complete on that.
So let’s get into the matter and understand why website rankings can drop and how you can overcome them:
- Natural Google Fluctuations
The low you come in search rankings, the greater volatility there’ll soon be. Whenever you are at number 1, you alter some. You may possibly drop to put three or two and return up into at least one in one day or 2. It may have a substantial influence on traffic, nevertheless, you are largely stable from the top few results for the particular keywords.
Whenever you are down in the teens, you are at the peak of this bell curve. Now you own a whole good deal more rivalry within several points of one’s circumstance, therefore slight fluctuations have a far bigger impact. Since Google corrects elements of this algorithm and also you also fix elements of your website – even simply publishing content that is new you alter around. It’s completely normal and there is not anything you really can do about any of this beyond improving your website naturally.
- Google Algorithm Changes
Google is updating its algorithms virtually always. A whole good deal of the significant updates throughout the past couple of years, such as Panda, Penguin, Fred, Hummingbird, etc., are ways Google implements machine adaptation and learning within their own algorithm.
They make manual adjustments and alterations nearly every day, the machine learning is continually making small pruning adjustments, and also larger updates have been pushed every couple of weeks. Moz monitors updates, however even they’re only revealing major changes which affect a large variety of queries. The minor changes and alteration that happen every single day do not qualify. Again, that is very natural, and there is not anything you really can do on it.
- Rule out the chance that you were hacked
Unfortunately, site hacking is a really active line of business. Once they’re “inside,” hackers often infest websites with malicious code and spammy content and links. This is very harmful to your rankings, so it’s important to rule out that you were hacked. It’s actually not likely your website was hacked, but if it has been, you need to know about it ASAP so that you can take measures to regain control of your website and restore it to its original condition.
Google scans websites for malicious code and activity. If they find websites are hacked they’ll inform you about this through Google Search Console. While Google doesn’t have access to your source code, it takes literally 10 seconds to check Google Search Console to see whether they know about a hack so we recommend always checking this.
Log on to Google Search Console and navigate to the Security Issues section. This is what it looks like if everything is OK
- Sudden Trends
A sudden surge in popularity for a given topic can make rankings shuffle around quite a bit. A low-volume keyword might seem somewhat stable, but a surge of traffic gives Google a bunch of new data they can use to figure out which sites users really prefer. This could be a brand hitting the news, a topic becoming important, or something as fickle as the internet just picking up and running with some site they think is funny.
Trends are unpredictable and can’t really be planned around. The best you can do is capitalize on them when they happen and hopefully settle at a better position when all is said and done. Ride the wave to victory, as they say.
- Competitor making their move
In SEO, there’s always a fierce battle raging for the top positions. Your competition is constantly trying to pass you, thereby pushing your listings down in the search results. While it’s rare that the competition takes you over for a large number of search queries in a short amount of time, competition can play a role in your ranking drop.
Imagine this scenario: during a recent release, a set of 301 redirects was accidentally removed. URLs that carried a lot of authority now served “404 – Page not Found” pages instead, rendering that authority useless. At that same time, your competition stepped up their game. Together, this has a big impact and your website rankings drop across the board.
Investigate and discover who you lost your rankings too. In step 2 you made a list of search queries that your positions dropped for; now dig in and see who benefited from this. After you’ve done so, try to find out how they managed to beat you. Examples: they have better content, they have more links, their pages load faster, they have no ads, etc.
Gather your findings, and make a plan to win back those rankings.
- New Content Added
Every time you publish a piece of content, it triggers a complex network of machinery to spring into action. Google indexes that piece of content and figures out where it should be ranked and for what keywords.
This affects how the rest of your site is ranked as well. Good content can position itself well, as well as boost the rest of your site. Bad content can drag the whole site down. Every new piece of content changes the math that determines where your site is ranked. And, since Google search is all about the relationships between related sites, every piece of content published in your niche changes every other site in your niche. If someone else rises above you, you drop down, right? Always strive to publish the best quality content possible.
- Lost backlinks that packed a punch and Disavowed backlinks that carried some value
Links from other websites, called “backlinks”, are the most important factor in SEO. They can make or break your website’s findability, so when backlinks are lost this really has a big impact on your rankings.
Check whether you’ve lost any backlinks, using an application such as Ahrefs, Majestic, Backlinkwatch or SEMRush. Please note that there’s always some delay before these applications pick up lost (or new) links, so take that into account.
Moving forward, it’s recommended that you monitor your backlinks with the above tools so you get alerts when backlinks are lost. You can then reach out to the linking websites to see if you can get the backlinks restored.
People disavow spammy backlinks that they don’t want to be associated with, but in most cases, this isn’t necessary anymore to prevent getting a penalty nowadays. Spammy backlinks don’t really contribute anything, but they also don’t hurt unless there’s malicious intent (such as for example buying 100,000 blog comments).
The most important reason why many SEOs don’t disavow backlinks anymore is that even the spammy backlinks sometimes help your SEO. Disavowing those backlinks may have a negative impact on your SEO performance, so be careful about this.
Everywhere you look on the Internet, you’ll find that the smartest website owners are one step ahead, being precautions on how they build and market their sites. Skipping the temptation of quickly jumping to the first position through shady SEO strategies, and by keeping up with the current updates are by far the best things you can do to protect and grow your visibility in the search engines. To make a quick recap, this article isn’t meant only for those of you who had their rankings destroyed, but it’s also for those lucky webmasters that didn’t have any problems with the Google algorithm or the Web spam team. The most surprising tactic that seems to be fruitful in this volatile SEO world is to always be informed.