27 possible reasons why you dropped in Google (the search results)!
by Josien - 15 Nov, 2020
From time to time I receive the question: “Why did I drop in the Google search results ranking?” Fortunately only a few times from my own customers, but regularly from other entrepreneurs. There is often a very clear reason for this. Yet it can be due to many factors. In this article, you will find 27 possible reasons that have caused your website to (sometimes) drop in the search results of Google or another search engine such as Bing.
I have divided them into 3 different categories for you:
- What is your SEO Score?
- On-site factors that caused your website to drop in Google results.
- On-page factors that caused your site to drop in rankings in the major search engines.
- Off-page factors that make your website rank lower than your competition!
On-site factors that caused your website to drop in Google results:
- No-index tag is set. This could be because your website builder made an update in which he or she forgot to remove the no-index tag;
- Robot.txt file blocks important pages causing the search engine to devalue those pages;
- Content is not shown on the mobile version of your website;
- The website speed has decreased so that it is no longer user-friendly;
- The website does not work properly on all devices;
- SSL certificate is no longer valid;
- Old (301) redirects are not set up correctly (anymore);
- Canonical tags have been modified, causing duplicate content to confuse search engines;
- Crawl budget is not being used optimally so that pages no longer get the value they deserve;
- Links no longer work properly on the website (there are links to old pages on the site);
- Structured Data is set incorrectly;
- Your website has been offline so Google no longer includes your site in the search results.
On-page factors that caused your site to drop in rankings in the major search engines:
- The text has been modified so that certain search terms no longer appear in the text (yes, it sounds bad. But search engines still look at whether certain terms come back on a page);
- Content is no longer indexable. For example due to changes in the design;
- Meta titles have been adjusted so that the CTR (click-through ratio) has been reduced and nobody clicks on the search results anymore;
- The website structure has been adjusted so that the page that was once important is no longer on a premium spot;
- The anchor texts of the internal links have been adjusted and provide a different message;
- Internal links have disappeared from the content so that the link value is no longer properly distributed over the different pages;
Off-page factors that make your website lower than your competition!
- Backlinks to your site that once represented value have been removed;
- The website that contained a link to your site has unfortunately been taken offline by the owner;
- A link that once pointed to a good page on your site now lands on a 404 page (a page that no longer exists);
- (Old) domains that were redirected to your site have expired and no longer pass on online value;
- Due to an update from Google, your website is now less valued than that of the competition;
- A competitor is very active with his SEO and has overtaken you, so you are now lower than this website;
- Because the local search results are now shown above the normal results, you may stand. lower.
- Because there are now 4 Google Ads at the top of the page (if you include those of course ;-).
- The anchor text of the links to your site (the page in question) has been changed.
When you ask yourself “why did I drop in the search results?” there really is no simple answer. Anything is possible, but it is important to find out what caused the drop. If you know the cause, you can also reverse it! If you can’t figure this out yourself or if you just don’t know where to start? Let me help you ;-). As an SEO Specialist I am happy to help you!