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4 Reasons Why Sites May Lose Google Rankings (And What You Can Do About It)

Is your website seeing less traffic and are your search rankings trending downward? 

Well, there could be a reason for the downward trend. This article won’t just focus on why your site may be losing those rankings, but also on how you can get your rankings back to a good, productive state. 

When your site experiences a ranking loss, you may start wondering if you’ve made a mistake, We are here to tell you that it is not the end of the world. While this drop is not ideal and can be disheartening, there is hope and a foundation you can build upon to get your rankings back up to where they were before. 

Even if your rankings are where you want them to be, you should also be aware of what you can do when your rankings might drop, which they can, so you can gain insight into what you can do. 

Since Google is a huge source of traffic, ranking well in the&

1. Rankings can be Unpredictable 

Rankings can be unpredictable-- one day you can be ranking well and other days you are left wondering why there was a sudden drop in your Google rankings. 

According to Google’s John Mueller, the web can be a dynamic environment where a variety of changes are taking place all the time. So while your site may be ranking well for a good amount of time, that does not solidify that your site will continue to appear high in search results in the near future. Something to keep in mind is to understand how a site is ranked, and the steps taken when a search engine such as Google is analyzing your site, so you can bounce back from a drop or likely improve your search results. 

There are a handful of steps a search engine takes to get to the destination of how your site ranks.

  1. The first step is classifying the query coming in, which gives the search engine the information needed to determine what context to assign to the query. 
  2. Then, in the second step of assigning context to the query, the search engine takes into account any relevant information they have on the user entering the query. 
  3. The third step is the search engine determines which signals are important considering the query itself. Next, the fourth step is layout in the sense that the search engine lays out and finds out what possible formats apply to a query intent, then generates a search engine result page that fits closely to the query itself. 
  4. The final, fifth step is ranking, which involves various elements on the page itself to be pulled up in search results and to match with the query. 

With that being said, there are a variety of factors that go into how a site and a page are ranked, so that is why rankings can be unpredictable. 


But wait-- what about if you see a drop in your rankings and are left scrambling and wondering what you should do next?

Well, let’s dive into what you can do to get your rankings back on track. 

First, you will want to dive into and break down what may have caused the drop in rankings. 

Next, you will want to see if you are having link problems on your site, such as seeing whether some links aren’t working or if you are losing links to competitors. 

While these are just a couple of factors that could cause a drop in your Google rankings, you should see and tap into the factors that could be causing your rankings to drop, or even a fluctuation, from time to time. 

Something to keep in mind is that Google Rankings are unpredictable, so no matter what you do, there may be fluctuations in your rankings. Taking these steps can help improve or keep your rankings where you want them to be. 


2. The Internet, Google Algorithms, and People Change 

Mostly everything on the web is continuously changing. Some links on your site may disappear and some of your competitors may gain links. Likewise, an old site fades away, a new site appears. Many of these things affect how relevant web pages are to search queries, and in turn make your rankings fluctuate as the tides of the Internet comes and goes. 

Google makes adjustments to their algorithms to have a better understanding of indexed web pages. A common mistake some people make after an algorithm update is to look inward at their site to find what they may be doing wrong, when it could be just how Google is now crawling or ranking sites based on what users are looking for. 

Furthermore, some may even think Google is “targeting” a certain type of a site more than theirs. But, at the root of its algorithm, it is looking to see what it can do to satisfy users and gain better insight into users and their interactions with web pages. 

Ultimately, Google is always trying to improve their strategies and results for the users of their platform, so that is why they are continuously making algorithm changes. But in order for you to avoid being crippled by Google’s algorithm updates, you should consider using an effective cross-channel marketing and traffic strategy that includes social media and other avenues to get your brand messaging across to your intended audience. 


Just like how rankings can change, how people search can change over time too. 

For instance, if a type of product becomes less popular, then traffic to the sites that sell those products will tend to wither as a result. It is crucial to keep on top of user trends so you can gain a better insight into what users are looking for when it comes to searching in your industry space. 

Google tends to make changes to their algorithm and rankings based on user behavior. When it comes down to it, Google places high value on experience when it comes to ranking your site. So if your Click-through Rate (CTR) has dropped, you may want to further dive into whether one of your site pages is either taking too long to load, or even if you changed a page title recently. 

These are only a handful of the reasons your site rankings may be fluctuating, so when your site rankings go down, you may want to consider that the Internet, algorithm and people changing are among the myriad of factors that go into how your site ranks among others. 


3. Getting Outranked by A Competitor 

Getting outranked by a competitor can happen to anyone. But to bounce back from a downfall in rankings, you can constantly monitor and analyze your competitors’ sites and social profiles to better understand what they are doing, and how you can employ some of their strategies. 

You can prevent your site from being outranked by your competitors  by tracking your main competitors and breaking down their linking building, marketing, and content strategies, which can help you predict their next moves. Which, in turn, can help you gain insight into what your next steps should be. 

If your competitors are consistently growing, it may mean they are doing something right or different from you, so understand and adapt your strategies accordingly. Try to be very versatile and creative with your content marketing strategies if you want to stand out from the rest. 


4. Tracking The Wrong Rankings 

If your site has been online for many years, you may still be using the same keywords, and if you are, those keywords may no longer be relevant to search queries. 

Look at the keywords and keyword phrases you are using and see if you are using more old or generic keywords, or if you are just tracking the wrong rankings and need to update your strategy

Something to keep in mind is how people search, since many people will search with a query that is a variety of the same question. After searching for what they want, they may still be unable to find the answer to their question or solution to their problem. 

Rather than relying on just a few keywords, you should use a variety of long tail keywords (verging on complete sentences) with natural language, since those queries are now common for search engines.

Your site may be losing out or fluctuating since you are tracking the wrong factors that go into your rankings. With that being said, you should look at what your competitors may be doing, as well as looking at how you can update your strategy based on your findings. 


Always Keep Up With Updating 

A common quality many successful, well ranking sites share are they are always keeping up with search engine changes. 

Many factors that go into a site ranking well, such as  technical performance, user experience improvements, user behavior research, and building a close relationship with site users. 

Writing fresh, useful content and keeping an eye on your audience and the trends related to what they are doing are both crucial to your success. Keep in mind, though, that there is no definitive way you can guarantee your site will rank at the top of Google’s search results. Research and best practices will help you succeed, but there are never any 100% guarantees in search engine visibility. 

While you look into improving and maintaining your rankings, you may uncover new avenues, swerve around fluctuations in traffic, and keep your rankings going on the road to your search ranking destination.

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