What to check if your Google rank drops

You should constantly be monitoring your position in the Google results for key search terms. This is one of the many free, unrelated services which we provide to our Google AdWords management clients. If you do this as a matter of course, as we do, you’ll often see sudden changes in position which are quite inexplicable. When those changes are drops, you’ll want to try to rectify the situation. This is what we look for.

1. Changes in Link Profile
A page’s Google ranking is significantly affected by the number and quality of external links to the page, and to the website. If the number suddenly falls (perhaps an important external site closes, or changes), then it’ll have a negative impact on the page’s position in the Google results. You should keep a periodic record of the links to your site: BMON clients can email us to request such a list at any time.

2. Lost Redirections
When your current website was created, we hope that the old pages were redirected to the new ones. It’s a critical exercise, which poor web designers overlook. These redirections can carry on transferring traffic from external sites for years. However, it’s not uncommon for website owners to stop the redirections after a while, and this can be a mistake, ‘breaking’ some important external links.

3. Manual Penalties
If you get one of these from Google or Bing, you’ll get a message in Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools. Not got these running? You really should.

4. Changes to the site
It’s surprising how often we discover somebody’s made a fundamental change to the content or even the template of the site without the website manager knowing. These aren’t always good.

5. Server and speed issues
We check this continuously for our clients. For some websites, the site goes offline so often – without them knowing – that the search engines start to give up. For others, the sites are getting steadily slower, and eventually the search engines decide to penalise them for this.

Sadly, it’s often the case that a fall in search engine ranking is simply inexplicable. But then again, there are rises which also occur without reason too. Sometimes we just have to shrug our shoulders and carry on doing our best.

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