seo-nerd® – digital success
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My Google rankings dropped

What can I do now?
reading time: 4 minutes
Ausweg aus dem Dunkel: Was tun bei Rankingverlusten einer Website?

Not every person who looks after a website is necessarily a SEO expert, too. And there are still those who think, webmastering can be done along the way. Nevertheless, when rankings drop and page views go down drastically, you have to act. Even if everyone is running around like headless chickens, it’s better to keep calm and try to get the picture of what happened. The seo-nerd will tell you how to wield such emergencies.

Don’t Panic! Emergency measures after your ranking went down

It is most likely one of the following four reasons you might make out for causing your troubles.

  1. Technical problems might tackle your search engine results.
  2. Hackers captured your site and Google found out about it, marking your page in their SERPs.
  3. Google personally awarded your site with a penalty e.g. because of webspam.
  4. Google updated its search algorithm in a way that knocked your rankings down.

First and foremost, you should make sure that your system is in best shape and up-to-date. Check your system for any conflict that might have arisen from your latest CMS or database updates. There are some technical issues that are liable for punishment by Google, if certain standards are not met. If you are not quire sure if you got all their latest requirements right, you might check out our nerd-page for technical on-page optimization. Point 1 to 3 can (hopefully) be dealt with relatively quickly. After getting rid of the technical issues, you can file a Reconsideration Request with Google to revalue your page again. To be honest, being hacked is the worst possible reason for ranking losses. If your site has fallen prey to hackers, Google can track those alterations and mark your page as “not trustworthy” in their search result pages. In most cases they will even give you notice of the hack via Search Console. After eliminating any malicious code and cleaning up your system, you can file a Reconsideration Request with them, to release your site from its lot. When they reconsidered, your page will show up in the SERPs clean and fresh.

Your site statistics can give you information on how deep in trouble you really are

If you can rule out technical reasons and did not hear anything from Google directly, you should start investigating your losses. Are they just “normal” temporary undulations or can you discover some unprecedented downward trend in your page visits? To get on with your analysis, you can choose from a variety of free SEO tools, e.g. Sistrix or Google Analytics. Maybe you’ll discover that your site has not been that low in the course of the last – let’s say – twelve weeks. It may well be that it has been hit by a Google Update, then. Bad as that may seem, it doesn’t mean your ranking is ruined for good (or bad). Google is constantly testing new content in their top ranking positions to get a better view on user reaction. Quite possibly those contents will vanish after some days, if Google decides they were not worth it.

Maybe you lack the nerve to sit and wait on the situation to clear up all by itself. Feel free to plunge into deep analysis of the problem. Although your site itself dropped in ranking, it may well be that some of your subpages are still performing quite well or even better with their keywords. You should consider a detailed keyword analysis. Your Short Head Keywords are those with large volume and big competition. Those are prone to short-lived and considerable undulations. Long-Tail Keywords are a different matter, because the interdependency with your competitors is much lower. Take a good look at your Long-Tail Keywords: If you even took losses there, you might need to hurry up for a remedy.

Shortcut to the solution: SEO-Blogs

Instead of crunching your bounce rates’, visits’ and page views’ numbers day and night, you can fall back on what the experts have to say about the current situation in SEO-land. We all know that Google is far from sharing information about their daily work, but namely Google employee Gary Illyess can sometimes be roped into giving up some bites on possible updates via Twitter to bloggers and experts.

When information “leaked” this way or another about what exactly happened with the latest update, seo-nerd and all the other experts start scouring for target groups. Those can only be found out by directly comparing website performances over a long period of time. The bigger the database of websites, the quicker you can uncover the update’s mode of action. Now the solution strategy is close at hand. It really pays out to check some of the biggest SEO magazines like MOZ, Stone Temple, Searchengineland or to keep up with our own seo-nerd news section, so you don’t miss any big changes in the Google algorithm. It might only take a few hours from the first impressions of what happened until appropriate countermeasures are introduced. You can start with adapting your website accordingly

When in doubt, ask the seo-nerd!

If you just came across some strange drops in your page statistics, come and have a look at our overview of Google update history since the year 2000. You might find some nice tip or the other on how to get your site up and campaigning again after a Google ranking drop. Or you can just contact us directly. We would like to hear from you!