How to troubleshoot a sudden drop in organic rankings?

Losing organic ranking could one of the worst nightmares for a blogger. It not only takes you into a tizzy but triggers a sense of insecurity about how to make the things right. Here are a few find and fix SEO tips that may help you to recover your rankings.

One fine morning you wake up and see that your blog/website is no longer a part of top SERP rankings. What follows next is panic, confusion and a sense of uncertainty. There could be endless culprits, with Google core updates hitting your mind first. So, to avoid messing up with the things here are a few techniques that you can follow to troubleshoot your dropping organic rankings.

• Manual Penalties
Manual Google search penalties are imposed by the human reviewers working at Google. When your blog or website does not comply with webmaster quality guidelines set by Google, these penalties are imposed. Some of the reasons could be:

 If your blog contains user-generated spam
 Your website/blog is hacked
 Cloaking
 Thin content
 Unnatural backlinks

Check out Google’s manual to deal with this.

How to know that Google has penalised you?

On noticing a big drop in your rankings, the first step you need to follow is to check your Google Search Console account. Go to Security and Manual Actions> Manual Actions. If you have been penalised, you will receive a notification from Google along with the reason.

Google Search Console

·        Sudden influx of incoming links

Link building is an inevitable part of the SEO process but unnatural, spammy and bad quality links result in negative SEO. This negative SEO gets heavily penalized by Google when found. In fact, a sudden influx of fresh backlinks (spammy and unnatural) pointing to your website may result in a tentative decline in your SERP rankings.

So, it is always advised to connect with a professional digital marketing consultant for an SEO and technical audit periodically.

Read More: Top 10 Free Blog Promotion Websites to Skyrocket Your Traffic and Leads

·        Google Algorithm Update

Google Algorithm update is one of the most common and first intuition when it comes to the loss of organic rankings. Google core updates hit your blog/website in two ways. First, it may be fresh updates rolled all together. And the second can be the revision of the existing algorithms.  The best way is to stay updated and stay tuned with official SEO news platforms and communities.

The new update may be niche related so it may or may not affect your site. Read the update and check what all things have been revised and do the fixing accordingly. Don’t take these updates as a nightmare rather fix them and help the users enjoy the best possible user experience.

·        Losing high-quality backlinks

Google loves it when high-quality backlinks are gained; at the same the rankings get harmed if the good-quality backlinks are lost. If the backlinks are temporarily unavailable or are removed, it adversely affects the domain authority of the website and triggers a ranking drop.

So, keep analysing your backlinks regularly for sustainable rankings and results. You can also consult a professional digital marketing expert to perform a competitive analysis to make your overall SEO strategy impactful.

·        Site changes

By making any changes to the website whether redesigning, migrating to another CMS or moving to HTTPS, it is obvious that rankings will be messed. A small misjudgement may turn your SEO performance vulnerable.  So, after you have made your changes, open Google Search Console and navigate to Index > Coverage. Watch out for warnings or errors. Study the reports and fix the necessary issues.

While migrating the domain, ensure 301-redirects to retain the SEO juice to its maximum. Keep tracking the Manual Actions section in Google Search Console for any penalties and fix them.

Read More: How to Update Your Old Blog Posts for Improving SEO?

·        Mobile-first Indexing

Google and other search engines are keen on making the digital landscape mobile-friendly. We all know that Google prefers a mobile version of the website over the desktop one. That doesn’t mean that having a desktop website is worthless.

It all matters when your competitor comes up with a mobile-friendly version of their website. This is one of the most critical examples when you lose your ranking to your competitor. Google Analytics turns out to be your saviour and mentor in this situation.

·        Server and loading issues

Server issues can inevitably put your hard work in vain. So, whenever you see a drop in rankings check server logs to trace unexpected errors. When empty mark-up gets crawled by bots, rankings receive a major setback because of a broken caching. Use the ‘fetch and render’ function at Google Search Console and see what was received at Google end when a request for a page was made.

Also, check the page load speed. It may happen that your loading speed got impacted when you made some major structural changes in your web template.

Read More: 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Website Speed WordPress

·        Online Trends

Search Engine Optimization is not a one-time activity, rather it is an ongoing activity that delivers best when performed in the longer run. Digital trends keep on evolving and something that works today may not work tomorrow or in future. Search results heavily depend on search intent and online queries.

A sudden surge in queries on some topic may shift your content to page two. Keep a watch on online trends and web your content around the latest results and queries of your audience.

So, next time if you see a sudden drop in the rankings, don’t panic.  Just make sure to troubleshoot the things at your end first. If things go out of your control, approach best digital marketing expert for an adept solution.

If you feel to add something, please feel free to contact me. Stay tuned with us for more blogging and SEO hacks.