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“Why did my website drop in Google rankings?” is a very common question we hear from new clients.

From a business owner’s perspective, Google’s ranking algorithms may look completely unpredictable.

Did you do something wrong? Did your competitors suddenly step up their SEO game? Should you even care?

This article will show you exactly what to do if you find out that your website has suddenly dropped in search engine rankings.

Why Did My Website Drop In Google | Handmade SEO

Why Did My Website Drop in Google? | Handmade SEO

Should I Be Worried That My Website Rankings Dropped?

Yes.

If your website is not one of the top search result positions for your chosen keywords, it may as well not exist.

Research shows that the No.1 position in Google search results gets 32.5% of all traffic.

The second position gets 17.6%.

The third gets 11.4%, and things only go downhill from there.

The best way to prevent a drop in website rankings is to track and monitor them consistently.

However, if you have already experienced a drop in website rankings, here is how to identify and fix the underlying cause of the problem.

Why Did My Website Drop in Google?

1. Google penalty

How to recognize it:

If your search engine rankings have dropped by 10-20 positions overnight, it may be due to a Google penalty.

A Google penalty is the most likely explanation if your site suddenly no longer ranks highly for two or more of your chosen keywords.

Check your rankings in other search engines: if you are still ranking highly in Bing and Yahoo, your ranking drop is likely due to a Google penalty.

How to fix it:

Check your Google Webmaster Tools account for messages and more information about the penalty.

Keep in mind that there are two types of penalties you could encounter: automatic and manual.

Automatic, or algorithmic, penalties mean that Google’s bots have detected some red flags on your website and automatically lowered your rankings.

A manual penalty means that a Google employee has reviewed your site and concluded that you have violated Google’s terms of use.

This often happens if you have been using black-hat SEO tactics like keyword stuffing.

If your drop in rankings was due to an automatic penalty, try to solve the issue based on the information available in the Webmaster Tools.

If it was a manual penalty, you will need to submit a reconsideration request to Google after you have fixed the underlying issue.

2. Competitors are outranking you

How to recognize it:

This will usually look like a slight drop in rankings.

You will notice one competitor’s site has outranked you while the rest of your competitors’ positions have remained the same.

This can also happen over a longer period of time. If your competitors’ rankings have been slowly going up, chances are, they have been paying very close attention to their search engine optimization strategy.

How to fix it:

Analyzing your main competitors’ content and link-building strategies will help you predict their next move and adapt your own strategies accordingly.

3. On-page SEO issues

How to recognize it:

This can look like a big drop or growth slump.

If your rankings are starting to slowly fall behind other sites, even though you are creating and sharing high-quality content, on-page SEO issues may be the cause.

How to fix it:

Check your site for broken links, HTML issues, and other on-page SEO problems.

We also have a great guide to on-page and off-page SEO if you would like to learn more about preventing these types of issues from occurring.

4. Losing high-quality backlinks

How to recognize it:

This can look like a slight drop in rankings or a big drop. You will also see sudden spikes in link velocity if a lot of inbound links start disappearing from your link profile.

How to fix it:

Check your lost links for the past 90 days to see which ones caused the problem.

If webmasters intentionally removed your links, Google would have seen it as a huge red flag and automatically lowered your website ranking.

5. The new website “honeymoon” is over

How to recognize it:

Sometimes new websites will be ranked higher in search results as Google tests them.

If your new website seemed to be ranking well for a while, then experienced a sudden drop in rankings, you can conclude that the honeymoon period is over.

How to fix it:

Since the honeymoon period is over, it may be necessary to pay a little more attention to search engine optimization to make your website rank highly in Google.

Regularly creating and sharing high-quality content is a great way to start!

You should also make sure your title and meta tags are SEO-optimized and follow other SEO best practices.

6. Recent Google algorithm update

How to recognize it:

If you’ve checked for the first five causes and nothing seems amiss, a recent Google algorithm update may be the cause.

Updates to Google’s algorithms can cause both slight and huge ranking drops almost overnight.

How to fix it:

Check SEO news sites for any news about Google algorithm updates.

If there has been one, read the new rules and requirements, and work on fixing the issues that got your site demoted.

How Handmade SEO Can Help

Here at Handmade SEO, we don’t just grow traffic.

We carefully track and monitor the performance of your website so that you never have to wake up to a sudden drop in rankings again.

We also offer a free Digital Marketing Assessment to our readers.

If you would like to see how you can improve your marketing strategies and outrank your competitors, check it out now!

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