Why Do Organic Rankings Suddenly Drop

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There are a number of reasons that a website’s organic rankings can change drastically on a whim.

It’s important to keep in mind how these changes affect online visibility and to take steps in order to maintain or improve rankings.

If your rankings have suddenly dropped and you’re not quite sure why read on to learn about some of the reasons this could have happened.

Poor Quality SEO Providers

The main culprit of rapid ranking drops is caused by using low quality SEO providers.

In the SEO industry, there are a lot of scammers that usually copy others’ success stories and try to present themselves as “the best”.

The main goal for all these low-quality providers is to get your money and then leave you without any support. It’s been done time and time again. 

Bad-quality SEOs typically focus on one aspect of their approach, say blog commenting, and can be entirely left behind when Google releases an algorithm update.

As an effect, Google can detect unnatural links or backlinks to your website and the ranking drop is started.

Unnatural Links

It’s not simply Google updates that cause rankings to drop, there are other factors at play as well. Scenarios, where there are unnatural links or too many backlinks, have shown to cause a sudden drop in organic rankings.

“Unnatural links are a type of link that, when found, can result in your website being penalized by Google.”

These types of backlinks are generated through unnatural means such as blog commenting, forum posting, or even buying links.

In order for your website to succeed you need to be able to generate high-quality backlinks that will help boost your rankings within the search engine.

Site Redesign

When you redesign your website, you’re essentially changing the code that makes it up.

Changing the code and making alterations to the site can have some significant effects on rankings. These redesigns can cause certain aspects of a site to become inaccessible with Googlebot which can lead to a sudden drop in organic ranking.

This is due to the fact that Google’s “spiders” are unable to crawl through these pages because they’re blocked or they return errors when attempting to index them.

In order to avoid such drastic drops in ranking, careful planning should be put into place before doing any site-wide update or change.

organic rank drop

Some of the effects caused by site redesign include:

  • Page Speed: Google now takes page speed into consideration when it comes to your site rankings. Due to this, Google can now block you from ranking higher if users are having trouble loading up your pages within a certain amount of time. Slow load times can cause people not to stay on your sites as long or go elsewhere, which in turn hurts your rankings for those keywords.
  • Broken Links: Broken links are one of the most common reasons that cause a sudden drop in rankings. Broken or missing out on links can be detected by Google’s bots and can even affect your overall ranking if you have backlinks pointing to those pages. It’s important to keep track of all your links at all times so this doesn’t happen and if it does you can quickly fix it to avoid any penalties.
  • Information Architecture Changes:  Information architecture can be a major factor in terms of causing drops in rankings. Typically, this happens when you do a site-wide change and all the internal links are redirected or when you’re changing the structure of your site. This might also happen if you change pages that appear on Google’s first page and now they don’t anymore. Internal linking is crucial for your site; the more internal links you have, the stronger your rankings will be. 

Preventing Sudden Drops in Rankings

So, how do you prevent the loss of organic rankings? Basically, it comes down to the old adage: you get what you pay for.

Paying for top-quality SEO is the best way to avoid any complications affecting your rankings.

By consulting with a professional SEO strategist and using only ethical strategies, you will avoid most of these common issues associated with ranking problems.

You can also check your Google Search Console.  If you’ve lost a lot of rankings for no apparent reason, or the drop is very quick, then you should check your Google Search Console.

This will provide you with information regarding the rankings of your site and any recent changes you may not have been aware of.

The reasons for a sudden drop in organic rankings are many and varied. From poor quality SEO providers to unnatural links or site redesigns, these factors can all have an impact on your ranking status.

If you notice these changes to your ranking, be sure to look into what caused the problem and how you can best correct it to get back on top!

About the author...
Stuart Brown
Stuart Brown
Stuart is the co-founder of Launch Experts. With 20 years of experience in the marketing industry, his primary focus is to break away from the traditional marketing agency model, ensuring clients get a positive return on investment from their marketing campaigns.