10 Reasons Why Your Rankings May Drop Down
Traffic from search engines is vital for many businesses. It has so much value because it is highly targeted, especially if you or your SEO company increases your rankings for popular, targeted keywords. Though what happens if for some reason your rankings start to go down? You should think of it right now because if it happens, then even 2 days without search engine rankings may bring a significant loss in your sales.
In order to warn yourself of a problem I recommend you to learn the main 10 reasons of possible rankings drop. Or if your rankings have already dropped then this info can help you put your site back on the wheels.
10 Main Reasons of Rankings Drop
1. The Google Honeymoon Ended
Google Honeymoon is the term for the phenomenon where a new site enjoys high rankings for a short period of time before falling to its more realistic ranking.
2. Google Sandbox Effect Started
You may enjoy those nice rankings due to the honeymoon or another phenomenon temporarily, but afterwards you are dropped in the sandbox which is like a punishment for new sites just for being new and unproven. In this case you should stick to low competition keywords, creating great content, and looking for high authority incoming links to prove your value to Google to get you out of the sandbox sooner than later.
Have you already been affected? Learn more about how to get out of Google sandbox.
3. Algorithm Updates/Link Juice Lost
Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms which dictate where pages rank for keywords in the search engine results pages in order to keep things fresh and ensure that the best content is kept at the top. Even if your site isn’t being directly affected by an algorithm update, sites which you get a lot of your links from could be. This can diminish the amount of link juice which you have overnight, so your ranking will likely drop with it.
In June we have tracked our statistics in order to test how 2.2 Google Panda Update affected our clients. What we saw made us proud of ourselves: 92.6% of our clients didn’t experience any ranking drop due to the Panda Updates. And 78% of those who lost their rankings, managed to bring them back within a month and even increase them with the help of our link building service. This is a very good statistics that shows that all the job, that we performed in order to improve our service for the last 6 months, has paid off.
If your site is the victim of malware and Google detects malware on any of your pages, it will notify and warn any potential visitors in the SERPs who click on your page before they actually get to your site. Very few people will proceed after seeing such a warning (would you?), so this can account for a HUGE drop in traffic and can dissuade not just the casual internet user, but other webmasters who would potentially link to you or even those who have already linked to you, to break those links. This obviously can have an adverse effect not only on your traffic, but your rankings in a relatively short period of time.
5. Server Issues
If Google cannot access your server because of issues with your host or on your end, this can cause a problem if left unfixed after a period of a few days.
6. Robot.txt File Problems
Make sure you don’t have any bonehead mistakes in your robot.txt which may be prohibiting search engine crawlers from gaining access to certain pages of your site. Make sure you’re only blocking the URLs you don’t want crawled with that file.
Your site could have been penalized without your even realizing it if you broke Google’s rules. Steer clear of black hat SEO techniques to ensure that you are not penalized.
8. Broken Links
Broken links can cause serious problems, especially if it’s a prominent internal link on your site. It can be time consuming/impossible to check each of your links manually, so I use a free Broken Link Checker.
9. Duplicate Content
Search engines like Google hate duplicate content. This is especially true when it happens on the same site, but it can be an issue on different websites, as well. Not only does this irk Google, but when it finds duplicate content in two or more locations online, Google has to determine which is the true original content, and it may not always be your site that gets the credit, regardless of whether you put that content on your site first or not; so this can have adverse effects on your rankings in a couple of ways.
Why not do a free search on CopyScape to see if anyone has copied your content without your permission.
10. The Google Dance
The Google Dance refers to the phenomenon of pages randomly jumping around different spots in the SERPs, sometimes drastically. Of all these reasons, this one is the least able to be explained clearly and rationally. Typically, if the Google dance is the culprit for your rankings drop, the good news is that you’ll regain your higher rankings shortly. It’s just a random shuffling and fluctuation of listings which usually doesn’t last long.