Everyone who strives for the highest positions in search engines sometimes experiences the inevitable—the hard-earned rankings suddenly drop.
There are many different reasons why this happens, both internal and external. The cause often reflects changes done to the website or an update to the website’s content that doesn’t turn out well.
There can also be other factors, such as a search engine’s algorithm update, SERP layout changes, technical issues, or even a Google penalty. Besides, the market is constantly evolving with users changing their preferences and competitors making striking moves.
But, at the end of the day, ranking is only one of the many parts of SEO.
We can see a great example of ranking being almost insignificant in the current outbreak of the new coronavirus that has reshaped the users' behavior to an extent no one had foreseen.
One of the many victims of Covid-19 has been the whole travel industry. Once the pandemic hit the world, people rather barricaded themselves at home and worried more about their well being than their past-time activities on a tropical island.
Although the ranking of travel-related keywords didn’t change much during the time, people stopped searching for them and the organic traffic went down in a landslide. Simultaneously, health and safety-related search queries increase in volumes.
This means that a drop in rankings doesn’t mean the end of the world and there are more elements we should monitor as well.
However, an experienced SEO should always remain prepared for any eventuality. Having a process in place for investigating the possible reason for the drop is highly recommended, so is monitoring and tracking changes to your website’s content and technical foundation. After all, without that information, you’re in the dark.
Once you realize that your rankings have dropped, you should follow these 13 steps.
- Don’t panic
- Double Check if your Google Rankings really dropped
- Scope the impact of the drop
- Analyze recent changes to the website
- Look for possible technical issues
- Check if there wasn't a Google algorithm update recently
- Or if there wasn’t an update to SERP
- Reconsider disavowing backlinks
- Look for possible Google Manual Action
- Analyze if your website hasn’t been hacked
- Look at possible changes in search intent and behavior
- Look for any moves made by your competitors
- Look for lost backlinks
Need more answers on ranking drops? Read our extensive guide.