Have you ever wondered why your website’s position on Google’s search results seems to be in constant flux? You’re not alone. Many business owners and digital marketers like yourself face the same challenge. The dynamic nature of Google’s search algorithms means your site’s ranking is always flexible.
If you are experiencing a sudden decrease in Google rankings, consider making significant changes to your website. Reaching a rank position in Google SERP is an achievement, but holding that position for a long time can be tricky.
Maintaining a rank position is hard for some Google algorithm changes happening frequently. According to Search Engine Land, in 2018, Google changed its search algorithm 3,200 times. Practically, each month, they made 266 changes to the search system!
So, why does your Google ranking keep changing? It’s a question that involves delving into the intricate world of search engine optimization. From algorithm updates to user behavior changes, each aspect significantly determines where your site lands on the SERP.
Let’s discuss what’s causing the rank to decrease and how you can use different methods to keep your rank position consistent.
- Is Your Location Important for Google Rankings?
- 12 Reasons for Rank Decline in 2024
- Your Site’s Impacted from Recent Algorithm Updates
- Mobile Usability Has Declined
- Increased Competition for Keywords
- Poor User Experience
- Loss of Valuable Backlinks
- Technical SEO Issues Can Hinder Your Website Rankings
- Content Quality Matters a lot
- Keyword Irrelevancy on Current Trending Topics
- “Negative SEO” can Impact Website Rankings
- Changes in Your Target Audience’s Search Behavior
- Your Website’s Loading Speed is Slowing Down
- Lack of Regular Content Updates
- How do You Fix Content Rank Loss in the SERP?
Is Your Location Important for Google Rankings?
Yep, your location is indeed essential for Google rankings. When you search, Google aims to provide the most relevant results based on your location.
It is particularly true for searches with local intent, like looking for a nearby restaurant or a service in your area. Your business’s visibility in local search results can significantly impact its online presence.
Understanding local SEO is crucial for your website. If your business serves a specific area, localizing your SEO efforts can significantly enhance your visibility to potential customers in that region.
This includes optimizing your Google My Business profile, getting listed in local directories, and ensuring your website mentions local keywords and location-specific information. These steps help Google understand where you are and whom you serve, making your site more likely to appear in searches by people nearby.
However, local SEO might only be as crucial if your business is more globally oriented or location-specific. In this case, your focus should be more on general SEO practices. But remember, even for global companies, understanding the nuances of location can play a role in how different regions perceive and interact with your site.
So, while your location is essential for Google rankings, the extent of its importance varies based on the nature of your business and your target audience.
12 Reasons for Google Rank Decline in 2024
Rank positions can have multiple changes in a single day around different times. The same content that ranked 2nd in the morning might rank 7th in the evening, and it might drop out of the top 10 contents at night. The whole ranking system is quite unpredictable! There are many reasons this rank decline can often happen.
i. Your Site’s Impacted from Recent Algorithm Updates
Google’s algorithm updates are designed to improve the user experience by delivering more relevant, high-quality search results. These updates can dramatically affect your site’s ranking, especially if your site doesn’t align with the new criteria.
For example, if Google introduces an update favoring websites with excellent mobile responsiveness and your site is not mobile-friendly, you might see a significant drop in your rankings. To mitigate this, staying informed about Google’s changes and continually adapting your SEO strategy to align with these updates are crucial.
ii. Mobile Usability Has Declined
In today’s digital era, mobile usability is more important than ever. Many searches are conducted on mobile devices, and Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites in its rankings. If your website doesn’t display well on mobile devices, with issues like text too small to read or links too close together, users will likely have a poor experience.
It can lead to lower engagement, higher bounce rates, and, ultimately, a decline in your Google ranking. Regular testing and updating your site’s mobile responsiveness are essential.
iii. Increased Competition for Keywords
The digital landscape is increasingly competitive. As more content gets published, the competition for ranking on the first page of Google, especially for popular keywords, intensifies. If your competitors optimize their content more effectively or target the exact keywords with higher-quality content, they might outrank you.
If they publish more comprehensive, up-to-date content and engage better with their audience, their site could gain higher visibility and authority, affecting your ranking negatively.
iv. Poor User Experience
User experience (UX) plays a pivotal role in SEO. Google favors websites that provide a smooth, intuitive user experience. It includes easy navigation, fast loading times, and engaging content.
If your site is challenging to navigate, has intrusive pop-ups, or loads slowly, it creates a frustrating experience for users. This can increase your site’s bounce rate, signaling to Google that your website might not offer valuable content, harming your ranking.
v. Loss of Valuable Backlinks
Backlinks are a critical component of SEO. They act as endorsements from other websites, indicating to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy.
Losing high-quality backlinks, especially from reputable, authoritative websites, can significantly impact your site’s authority and rankings.
For instance, if a major industry leader or news outlet removes their link to your site, it can decrease your site’s perceived trustworthiness and authority in Google’s eyes.
vi. Technical SEO Issues can Hinder Your Website Rankings
Technical SEO encompasses the behind-the-scenes aspects of your website that help search engines crawl and index your site effectively. Issues like broken links, incorrect use of canonical tags, poor site structure, and crawl errors can hinder how search engines perceive your site.
These technical issues can prevent search engines from accessing and understanding your content, leading to lower rankings. Regular audits and fixes are necessary to ensure your site remains accessible and friendly to search engine algorithms.
vii. Content Quality Matters a lot
Content is the cornerstone of your online presence. Google’s algorithms are increasingly sophisticated in evaluating the quality of content. They look for originality, relevance, accuracy, and depth.
If your content is thin, outdated, or doesn’t provide value to your audience, it’s unlikely to rank well. Conversely, high-quality, informative content that addresses your audience’s needs and queries can significantly boost your ranking.
Regularly reviewing and updating your content to ensure it remains relevant and valuable is crucial.
viii. Keyword Irrelevancy on Current Trending Topics
Keywords are integral to SEO, but their relevance can change over time. If your content is focused on outdated topics or keywords no longer being searched for, it will lose effectiveness. It’s essential to keep track of trending topics and keywords in your industry and update your content accordingly.
For example, suppose you’re in the tech industry and your content is centered around obsolete technology. In that case, it’s time to update your content to reflect current trends and technologies your audience is interested in.
ix. “Negative SEO” can Impact Website Rankings
Negative SEO refers to malicious practices aimed at harming a competitor’s search rankings. These can include building spammy backlinks, copying your content, or hacking your site. Such actions can damage your site’s reputation and rankings.
Monitoring your backlink profile regularly and disavowing suspicious or harmful links is essential. Also, ensuring your website’s security can protect against hacking and content theft.
x. Changes in Your Target Audience’s Search Behavior
How people search can evolve, influenced by cultural shifts, new technologies, and changes in consumer behavior. If your content strategy doesn’t evolve with these changes, your website may lose relevance and authority.
For instance, during the pandemic, many businesses noticed a shift in the types of products and information their customers were searching for. Adapting your content to these changing behaviors is crucial to maintaining and improving your Google ranking.
xi. Your Website’s Loading Speed is Slowing Down
If you’ve noticed your website taking longer to load, this could be a key reason why your Google ranking is changing. In today’s fast-paced digital world, speed is crucial. Users expect web pages to load quickly, and if they don’t, they will likely leave the site. This affects user satisfaction and impacts how Google views your website.
Search engines favor sites that provide a good user experience, and fast loading times are a big part. So, if your site is slowing down, it might be time to look into optimizing images, streamlining code, or upgrading your hosting solution to improve loading times.
xii. Lack of Regular Content Updates
Regularly updating your website with relevant content is vital for maintaining and improving your Google rankings. If you’re not consistently adding new content or updating existing content, your site could be perceived as stagnant or outdated. This is especially true if your competitors are actively updating their sites with current and engaging material.
Think of your website like a garden; it needs regular care and new growth to stay vibrant. Frequently updating your site with high-quality content keeps your audience engaged and signals to Google that your site is a relevant and valuable resource.
How do You Fix Content Rank Loss in the SERP?
With these tricks, you can easily fix your low-ranking content and maintain a higher rank for an extended period. Also, these fixes can increase the authority of your website.
> Perform a Quick Site Audit
To understand why your Google ranking might change, perform a quick site audit. This process involves checking your website for common SEO issues, like broken links, incorrect metadata, or indexing problems. A site audit helps you identify and address these issues, ensuring your website adheres to the best SEO practices and standards.
> Avoid Content Duplication
Duplicate content on your website can negatively impact your rankings. Google values unique and original content, so if it detects similar or identical content across multiple pages of your site, it may lower your ranking. Having two blog posts on your site that are very similar, consider merging them into a single and more comprehensive post. Always strive to provide unique, valuable content that stands out.
> Restore or Fix a Hacked Website
If your website has been hacked, it can seriously affect your Google rankings. Hackers may inject malicious content, create spammy links, or redirect your visitors to other sites. This can harm your site’s reputation and search engine rankings. If you suspect your website has been compromised, it’s crucial to take immediate action to clean it up and secure it. Restoring your site from a clean backup and updating all security measures can help regain your standing in SERPs.
> No-follow Fishy Links
Sometimes, your website might unintentionally be linked to dubious or low-quality sites. These links can harm your site’s credibility in the eyes of search engines. To mitigate this, use the ‘nofollow’ attribute on these links. This tells search engines not to pass on your site’s credibility to these linked websites.
> Remove any Spam Elements from Your Website
Any form of spam on your website, like spam comments in blog posts or user-generated spam content, can harm your Google rankings. Search engines seek to provide users with valuable, spam-free search results. Regularly monitor your website and remove any spammy content. Your blog might receive many spam comments with links to irrelevant or low-quality sites; cleaning these up is essential to maintain your site’s reputation and ranking.
Why is your content not ranking higher on Google?
Your content might not be ranking higher on Google due to several factors. These could include not aligning with the latest SEO practices, poor keyword optimization, lack of engaging and high-quality material, or insufficient backlinks. Additionally, technical issues like slow loading speeds, mobile unfriendliness, or crawl errors on your site can significantly impact your rankings. Regular updates and optimizations are key to staying relevant and visible in search results.
How frequently does Google change rankings?
Google’s rankings are in constant flux, changing frequently, sometimes even daily. This is due to various factors, including regular algorithm updates, the introduction of new content by website owners, and evolving user search behaviors and patterns. The dynamic nature of Google’s ranking system reflects its ongoing efforts to provide its users with the most relevant, up-to-date, and high-quality search results.
What is the Google algorithm for SEO?
Google’s algorithm for SEO is a sophisticated and multifaceted system designed to rank websites. It considers a wide array of factors, such as the quality and relevance of content, user experience, backlinks from other credible sites, mobile optimization, and keyword relevance. This algorithm is constantly evolving, with Google regularly updating it to better cater to user needs and preferences, ensuring that the most relevant and high-quality websites rank highest in search results.
How many links does it take to rank your website on the first page of Google?
The exact number of links required to rank a website on the first page of Google can be 40-50. Still, it varies greatly depending on the competitiveness of the keywords and the industry.
Your focus should always be on the quality rather than the quantity of links. A handful of high-quality, relevant backlinks from authoritative sites can far more effectively boost your rankings than a larger number of low-quality, irrelevant links. Strategic link-building, aligned with producing high-quality content, is essential for achieving and maintaining high rankings.
What's the March 2023 Broad Core Update of Google
Like previous updates, the March 2023 Broad Core Update from Google was designed to improve the search engine’s understanding and ranking of content, aiming to deliver more relevant, high-quality search results. These core updates often lead to changes in how websites are evaluated and ranked, necessitating that SEO professionals and website owners adapt their strategies accordingly.
The Chances of Retaining Your Previous Content Rank Positions are up to 90%
You’re probably wondering, “Why Does My Google Ranking Keep Changing?” Well, here’s some good news. If you play your cards right, there’s a high chance, up to 90%, of retaining and improving your previous content rank positions.
Beating other websites in ranking involves being in tune with Google’s algorithm updates and refining your strategy accordingly. Regularly auditing your site, optimizing content, and keeping up with SEO best practices are more than just routine maintenance; they’re your roadmap to staying ahead of the curve.
So, consistency and adaptability are your best friends in the SEO world. Keep refining, keep learning, and stay agile. With the right strategy, you can achieve a higher ranking for your website and maintain it.