A well-optimized site will inevitably have a higher ranking on the google search results. To achieve such rankings, you must consider factors such as search engine algorithmic changes. However, you may be surprised at some point, finding your highly ranked site has dropped.
A ranking crash is a scenario that no website owner would wish for since when it occurs, it is associated with several drawbacks. The major drawback is the reduction of website traffic that has adverse effects. If the website does not reach a significant number of people, then its effectiveness has greatly reduced.
Developing a website to the point of achieving high rankings on Google is not an easy task. It requires great efforts, while dropping is as easy as it can happen in an overnight. One moment the rankings are high, and then after a short while it has dropped drastically. The first action after you realizes the drop would be to try and get the rankings back. Regaining the rankings then requires you first to establish the source of the hitch after that take the necessary action(s).
This article shall provide some of the ways to aid you in analyzing and identifying the cause of the drop. After identification, then you can go ahead and try to fix the issue.
There’s hardly anything more disappointing for a website owner than a sudden drop in traffic. However, it’s definitely something that most, if not all, have experienced. So does this mean that it’s the end of your site? Absolutely not. By taking an in-depth look at your website or consulting with your SEO services agency, you can determine the factors that may be causing issues. Below is a list of the most common problems that Singapore business owners tend to overlook.
Here Are Some Common Causes
1. Inaccurate Data
If you’ve noticed a recent drop in your search engine traffic, then take a look at your data. Is it accurate? More importantly, are you missing certain pieces of it? This is especially the case when it comes to devices and page types. Luckily, these missing pieces are usually pretty easy to find as well as prevent. If all else fails, you can always use Excel to measure your drop in traffic against the average search engine traffic fluctuations. Calculating the average deviation will give you an idea of whether or not this change is normal.
So you’ve just discovered that all of your data is accurate and that the dip in traffic is abnormal. It’s now time to consider the possibility that your website may have been manually penalised. To find out for sure, go to the Google Search Console. After logging in to your account, select ‘Search Traffic’ and then ‘Manual actions’. If you’ve been penalised, you’ll notice a red card along with a notification that explains the reason for the penalty and how your website has been affected.
There are several reasons that you may have been penalised. For instance, your website may have been hacked. This could happen to anyone and it’s definitely fixable. So visit Google’s comprehensive list to find out what steps you should take in order to get everything back on track.
Your site could contain duplicate content. Since content is a key part of ranking, it’s extremely important that you remove all of the duplicate and thin content. Google tends to favour websites that have a lot of original content. So make sure to use Copyscape before posting.
Your website may contain user-generated spam. This usually comes in the form of irrelevant links and suspicious content. So comb through your website and get rid of these elements. You should also identify and block spammers.
Perhaps your website has a lot of redirects. One of the best ways to frustrate potential customers is to make it so that certain pages cannot be found or direct them to other websites. To find out if you have too many or suspicious redirects, visit WebSite Auditor and enter your website’s URL. After your website has been completely crawled, go to the dashboard, and visit the 301 redirect, 302 redirect or meta refresh Pages, so that you can get an idea of what needs to be changed.
Your website may also contain malicious links. If you have a lot of toxic backlinks, it could result in off-page violations. And that’s why it’s a good idea to perform regular audits. SEO SpyGlass can be a very useful tool in this regard. Start by creating a project and then select ‘SEO PowerSuite Link Explorer.’ You should also use Google Search Console so that you can fully analyse these links. Lastly, select the Penalty risk tab and then the Penalty Risk column so that you can sort through them. Pay close attention to values that are higher than 50%. When you find malicious links disavow them and select Export.
After taking care of your penalties, go back to your Google Search Console and submit a request for Google to reconsider. Go to ‘Manual Actions’ and then select ‘Request a review.’ You should receive a response within 2 weeks.
3. Updates to Google’s Algorithm
Unfortunately, when Google makes changes to their algorithm, they don’t usually tell everyone. And that’s why it’s best to remain up to date with search engine news. These outlets will let you know about all of the major updates so that you can make the necessary improvements.
There are also times in which an algorithm change will only affect certain sites. So make sure that you manually monitor the SERPs. A great tool for this is Rank Tracker. Login to your account and select ‘SERP Analysis’ and then ‘Record SERP data’. Once your top 30 search results have been recorded, select ‘SERP History table.’ The Fluctuation Graph will show you just how the SERP is changing for every keywords and those that you have chosen separately.
The best thing about this is that it gives you the ability to go back and forth between your target search engine. Just remember to adjust your date ranges so that you get the most accurate and timely information. And if you want to keep Penguin and Panda off of your website altogether, crawl your site and check your link profile on a regular basis.
4. Website Changes
In some cases, the problem could simply be due to your own updates, redesigns, or websites migrations. Log back into Google Search Console and select ‘Crawl; and then ‘Crawl Errors.’ Look at the graph and see if you notice any changes that occurred after you renovate your website.
If you spot something, download your broken URLs in csv format and then crawl with WebSite Auditor. Then enter the URLs into the search bar of the Pages dashboard. Select ‘Links to page’ and this will show you where the broken links are located so that you can fix them. If this doesn’t work, then you could always visit the Site Audit dashboard, located in the Site Structure module–though this may take time.
5. Missing Links
Most Singapore website owners will agree that backlinks are like gold. But what many may not realise is that it’s possible to lose some of these backlinks, which can be particularly devastating if they come from high-quality websites. The good news is, this issue can be fixed with the SEO SpyGlass tool.
Log in to SEO SpyGlass and make sure that your Backlink Progress graph is going up. Then switch to the Backlinks dashboard, choose all your links, select ‘Update Backlinks,’ then select ‘Backlink Page Info.’
After the tool has analysed your backlink pages and searched for links to your site, view the Links Back column. This will give you the current statuses of your links. See if you can spot those with missing links statuses. If you do, get in touch with the owner of the site and politely ask if you could get the link back. Keep in mind that if you want to prevent traffic drops, you should make it a habit to monitor your backlinks. A monthly audit should do the trick.
It’s said that the best place to hide something is on the second page of Google. If you have just experienced a dip in traffic, then it may be because your competitors have outranked you. In order to better understand how they were able to outrank you, log in to Rank Tracker and select ‘SERP History.’ Visit the Rank Tracking dashboard, select ‘SERP Analysis’ tab and then ‘Record SERP data.’ This is one of the best ways to spy on the competition. And the best part is, every time you perform a check Rank Tracker saves all the SERP. You can also automate these checks by selecting ‘Preferences tab,’ then ‘Scheduler’ and clicking the “plus” button. You can then make a few preference adjustments from there.
7. SEM Traffic Trumps SEO’s
SEO focuses on organic traffic and SEM focuses on paid traffic. When you compare the two, there is no doubt that SEM traffic will win every time. This is because paid ads are positioned at the top of the search results. So you need to take a look at your PPC campaigns.
First, compare your organic keywords to those that are apart of your PPC campaigns. If you find duplicate keywords, then pause those that come from your PPC campaign. There is no need to pay for traffic that you could get free of charge. Also, you should consider how much your competitors are bidding on your keywords. Perhaps they increased them, which means that you could increase your bid as well–that is, if they are of value to you.
8. Mobile-First Indexing
If your site isn’t mobile friendly, then it’s going to have a phenomenal impact on how much traffic you receive. Over the last few years, Google has made it clear that one of the most important ranking factors is if your website accommodates mobile users. Those who don’t have a mobile-friendly version of their website will lose a lot of traffic. So it stands to reason that if your competitors recently optimised their site for mobile devices they would get a big boost in traffic–perhaps leaving your website in the dirt. If you want to get a better idea of where your drop in traffic is coming from, use Google Analytics to filter your traffic by device.
9. SERP Changes
Last but certainly not least, you may be experiencing a dip in traffic due to changes in the SERP in Google.com.sg. For example, in order to make search more convenient for users, questions are now being answered directly in Google’s search results. This happens infrequently, it could still have a big impact on your queries. This is another great instance in which Rank Tracker could be used so that you could see exactly what has changed.
As you can see, there are several things that could be causing a loss of traffic. However, there are also several things that you can do to turn this situation around. With the use of a few tools and a little investigation, you can get your traffic back to its original state and maybe even better.
What Can You Do About It
Use Google Search Console (GSC)
One of the best analysis tools developed by Google is the Google Search Console. It helps you monitor the performance of your website, identify various hitches and offer solutions in a bid to troubleshoot the possible problems. Therefore, if you are hit by a drop in your site rankings, the first most effective way you should consider is getting the search console into action.
The tool comprises of several sections to help break down the analysis into smaller comprehensible bits. The first section is the overview; it analyses the general performance of the website. With the broad understanding of the rate of performance, you can proceed to other analysis sections thoughtfully.
The other section is the coverage which aids in detecting any errors that might have occurred in the webpage. Such errors could be resulting from the web server or omission of index metatag. These errors sometimes lead to penalties from google, and if that is so, this section will let you know. A penalty might lead to a significant drop with more than ten positions in the ranking. Coverage will display the reasons for the drop as well as the cause of the penalty if any imposed.
Some slight drops might be caused by broken or lost links as well. At this point, the URL inspection comes into action. It helps to analyze the entire web page, go through included links and the content, to identify any issues with them.
The tool has a security section as well which helps in identifying any malicious infection in the website. These include malware and virus that might have gained entry into your site.
While developing your website, you might have made a mistake in the inclusion of the schema markup that ought to help increase the visibility in the search results. Manual Actions section enables you to figure that out; thence you can take necessary actions.
The Google Search Console service is efficient for identifying apparent issues and will notify you about any of them via email. However, sometimes the tool might detect no problem, but your site remains under-ranked. Failure to identify such does not denote an absence of an issue as it might be serious, beyond GSC’s recognition. Therefore, applying other techniques might be perfect for you.
Evaluate the quality of your content
The internet is full of websites, and they are all competing to gain high ranks in Google. Therefore, if a site emerges with high-quality content that surpasses the quality level of your website’s content, then definitely they will outdo you. Furthermore, the Google algorithm is continuously experiencing modifications necessitating improvement in the quality of page content. Drop in this case occurs gradually rather than drastically, as more and more webpages continually beat you in the rankings.
Anytime your rankings drop, it is time to now analyze your content. Formerly, Google had not considered the size of the content on websites as a measure of productivity. A page could even dominate in the search results despite having few words count. That could not be the case currently as pages with substantial content tend to lead in the rankings. However, other than increasing word count, you should also ensure the relevance of your content as that would matter more than the count itself.
Optimization of the content is also essential to gain an advantage in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Identify the current up-to-date keywords as well as the structure of content to increase the chances of attaining a high ranking.
Identify the chances of hackers’ invasion
Most hackers are thought to only attack systems storing databases. Well, that could be correct in some way, but the fact that your site contains no data does not limit invasion from hackers. As much as a hacker would aim at data comprising pages, they like to play around with their malware tools. It means that your website could also be at risk.
At times, a hacker might only be interested in the dispersion of virus to several systems and your website could offer a perfect avenue. A hacker will replace your links with their which will redirect users to their threatening sites. Therefore, leaving your website vulnerable might be detrimental as hackers are looking for the most accessible means to reach systems like computers. It is essential to ensure safety by protecting your site by regularly scanning for viruses and deleting them if they are present.
Sometimes hackers will develop fake websites mimicking yours. In such a case, users who try to access the site might be the vector used to obtain information about your website. The hacker will then have it, and after alterations, you end up getting beaten in the ranking levels. Once you recognize such an act, you can send a reconsideration request to Google where they will analyze and act upon your issue.
Look for Nofollow and Noindex meta tags
Noindex and Nofollow reduce the visibility of a website in the google search results. It affects the SEO ratings, and since it occurs due to errors during the development and coding of the site, it mostly affects a new website. Once you have created a new website and ensure that all other factors are in perfect order, but you still realize afterward that the ranking of the site is not rising, then you can check for possible Noindex or Nofollow in the development code.
Hosts such as WordPress have provided an analysis tool to help you review various settings such as the index and page level settings. This tool also analyzes any plugins installed to determine whether they might have blocked the site’s visibility.
You might also consider checking for errors in the robot exclusion protocol since a wrong format might inhibit search engine visibility.
Check the Inbound links
As much as inbound links cause an increase in the rankings, they might also be the cause of your sites drop. First of all, if the link is lost or degraded, that might lead to a rank crash since links are essential in SEO ratings. On the other hand, a link might violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines through manual action.
If you find that there is a loss of links, you can try to solve the issue by creating more inbound links. Besides, if the available links caused the drop by the violation, you should remove them from your site and consider getting some fresh ones.
Achieving the best results for your site compels you to have gone an extra mile. You should consider strategies that help you troubleshoot any issue that occurs in your site. Ensure that you strictly adhere to the trending techniques and eventually, you will conquer the internet. With a website that has high rankings thereby attracting a high level of traffic, it means that your tactics are successful. We hope that the information we have provided will boost your website’s rankings in a case when it trips.