The main goal of SEO is to enhance visibility and secure a higher rank on Search Engines. However, there are quite a number of instances where a website might perform very well and then the ranking suddenly plummets. Indeed, this is extremely discouraging. A lot of effort goes in the process of increasing page rank and a sudden drop is definitely a cause for concern. The thought that you will have to start it all over again is disturbing. However, it might not be required at all! In most instances, you can actually fix the problem and successfully achieve the lost rank with a little effort. In this blog, we will look at effective ways that can help you to overcome the issue of declining page rank of a website that was otherwise performing well.
Assess The Drop:
The foremost step is to determine the exact cause of the drop in ranking. For this, you need to fetch data about your page rank. Firstly, try to figure out the intensity of the drop. You can use tools like serps.com to gather empirical data about the present ranking of your page.
In serps.com, enter the keyword and URL that have witnessed a drop in ranking. You also have the option of segregating the data for desktop and mobile.
This helps you to get more clarity. The tool will provide you with a data about the present ranking and you need to compare it with the previous one to determine the exact cause. Make sure that the present rank is lower than the previous one. You also need to check the amount of traffic that has come to your page in the last few days. If there is a drop here, your ranking has actually declined.
There are myriad reasons why your ranking might have suffered. Let us look at each to gather better understanding.
You May Have Been Penalised:
In most cases, a decline in ranking is often linked to a penalty. Most people are under the impression that their website does not have any flaw that might lead it to be penalized. However, the reality is far from this. There are innumerable reasons why a particular website might be penalized.
Make sure to read the search engine guidelines list to figure out the reasons why your website might have been penalized. If you are able to identify the problem, try fixing it as it might yield positive results. Google’s Algorithms is a complex process and is updated frequently. Numerous factors are taken into account while determining the rank of a page. This makes it necessary for you to understand the causes that might lead to a penalty.
Algorithmic Penalty: This occurs naturally following an update to Google’s algorithm. It is difficult to exactly figure out the cause of this form of penalty as there are no messages sent to the GWT.
Manual Penalty: This form of penalty is used by Google in instances when a website is engaged in spammy techniques and is breaching the guidelines laid down by Google.
Manual penalties are received from Google’s webspam team in case of a suspicious activity. The primary cause might be unnatural links or a spam report filed against your page. In the event of a manual penalty, you will receive notification on the Google webmaster tool.
Algorithmic penalties are extremely difficult to track as there are no ways to determine whether you have received one. The only way of knowing that you have received an algorithmic penalty is to understand how Google algorithm works.
You can check Google’s list of algorithm to figure out the causes of decline. You might be able to figure out the cause and notice that there is something that you are doing that an algorithm does not like. A new algorithm might also be the reason for a penalty. In such a situation, you need to research the particular algorithm and understand why it is penalising.
An easy way to keep track of new penalties is by following Gary Illyes, John Mueller, and Google Webmasters on Twitter. You can get quite a number of useful tips from Gary and John and you can even interact with them directly.
Once you successfully figure out the cause of the penalty, all you need to do is to fix it. There are various reasons why you might have been penalized and this article will focus on a few of the major ones.
It is essential to have a strong link profile to secure a better rank for your page. Links are the keys that can enable you to improve your search position. A weak link is often correlated to a poor rank. Sites may have numerous link problems and in most cases, people are unaware of them. For this reason, weak links are often considered as the silent killers of SEO.
To sort link issues, you need to first conduct a link audit of your site. You can make us of backlink analysis tool like SEMrush Backlink Checker. This tool will help you to find the bad links.
After you find out the bad links, you can get in touch with the concerned websites and ask them to remove the links. If this does not work, you can alternatively employ the Google’s disavow tool.
In most cases, backlink audit does help to determine bad links. But there is a problem associated with this. Link problems might not always be obvious. After the link audit, your link profile might appear fine but still may have issues.
The fact that you can lose both inbound and outbound links is something that is often overlooked. Let us look at some of the reasons why you might end up losing inbound links. If you redesign, re-launch and re-brand your website on a frequent basis, you might lose some links. This is to do with smooth website transitioning and deleting old posts might result in losing related links. This entire process may weaken the internal linking structure and negatively impact your SEO goals.
Even if you lose one link, it implies eliminating a section of your internal linking network. This means that you have to find a solution to fix the link as you end up having lesser content on your site to link to. This is one reason why you should avoid deleting content from your website. The better alternative is to update it.
Besides this, there is another reason why you might lose an internal link. This is caused by a faulty redirect. This is often the case with 301 redirects. The fact that 301 is referred to as a permanent redirect, often makes people assume that the redirect will always work. However, this is not the case.
If you are creating a new website, you can easily transition from the old to the new one without any issues. However, if you revamp your website on a frequent basis, there might be issues as the redirects from the older website might not be transferred to the new one. Besides, if you have a new domain and the older one expires, it might lead to a significant decline in traffic as the 301’s will not work. In other words, if you come across a bad 301, you need to fix it.
First and foremost, you need to figure out the target links that your 301’s are trying to reach. If the links are not functioning, you need to remove them. Another alternative is to either have the old content back or develop a new content to ensure that the link remains on your page. This is especially helpful if the page attracts a lot of traffic. In other words, you need to keep your visitors in mind and do what best serves their need. Besides, it is necessary to check for broken links. The tool deadlinechecker.com can be used for this purpose. This tool will enable you to figure out URLs that are not functioning properly.
As far as outbound links are concerned, if you come across a link that is no longer working, make sure to replace them with some other authority sites. You also need to track the backlinks that you have lost. You can find the sites that dropped your link and politely request them to re-link again. In most cases, you will be able to get it back. However, if you are unable to do so, try developing a stronger backlink strategy to build more links to your website.
Refine Your Website:
If everything else fails, you need to focus on ways to improve your website. This includes enhancing aspects like design, user experience and speed. Each of these components is essential for the effective functioning of a website. Let us look at each of the components:
Mobile-first design is an essential component of a website design. It is necessary to keep your mobile users in mind and design your website accordingly. Make sure that you have mobile optimised and responsive sites. There is another major reason why you need to emphasize on this aspect. Websites that are not considered mobile friendly by Google are penalised.
You need to develop a mobile friendly design that offers a smooth experience to your visitors. Similarly, desktop users need to have a great experience with the website design. If the user experience in either of these is bad, you will end up losing visitors.
Speed: Both users and search engines prefer pages that have a higher page load speed.
This implies that if your website speed is less, you might lose traffic. Enhancing the speed of your website is a long term strategy. You need to track the speed of your website and ensure that everything is working smoothly. You can test the speed of your website with the help of the tool Pingdom’s free tester.
There are various factors that can cause the speed of your website to slow down. The best technique that can help is by keeping your website as lightweight as possible. If you have made changes on your website, make sure that your website is not burdened with unnecessary codes. Extra pages on your website can also be a reason for slow speed. Remove anything that is unnecessary from your site. This will help you to enhance the speed of your page.
A sudden decline in the page rank might be alarming; however, you need not panic. It is a common issue that is faced by almost everyone at some point in time. With the right strategy and approach, you can successfully regain the lost rank and succeed in securing a high position for your page.