Has your website plummeted down Google's search engine rankings recently? If so, you might think it's cause for panic. After all, if your site ranked well in the first place your business is probably dependent on the hits your site receives via Google.
Well, luckily for you Jayson DeMers, an SEO expert and Forbes contributor, reminds us that most ranking drops are just “temporary and easily reversible”.
DeMers says that if your site's search engine rank does drop a few places, the best thing to do is to try and troubleshoot exactly why its happened. The idea is to “uncover and understand the true culprit” so that you can set about repairing the issue, he says.
He advises that the first thing to do is to make sure there is no issue with your website, which means accessing it from various devices (PC, smartphone, tablet) and from different platforms (Windows, Android etc). If you come across any 503 or 404 errors, that's a sign that Google believes your site is unavailable or that pages have disappeared.
The next step is to see if there's any problem with the indexing of your website. If so, this could prevent Google from correctly cataloging it. You can check this by logging unto the Google Search Console, then click Google Index > Index Status. There, you'll see exactly how many pages on your site are being indexed, as well as a comparison with what pages were indexed in previous weeks.
According to DeMers, if you see a significant drop, it's because Google has stopped indexing some sections of your website, which can lead to a fall in its search engine ranking. As to why this might have happened, DeMers says it's either due to you removing pages from the site without creating a redirect for them, or else a change to Google's search algorithm. Alternatively, it could be that Google has flagged some kind of problem.
Then again it may be that there's nothing wrong with your website, but your opposition has upped its game. You'll need too study those websites that rank above you to see if they're making an effort to surpass you or not. If so, you may need a new SEO strategy of your own.