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The Reasons and Resolutions for Google Ranking Drop

The Reasons and Resolutions for Google Ranking Drop

Checking the website rank and traffic using Google Analytics might be a daily habit of many webmasters. It is fine to find that your ranking is climbing uninterruptedly or is just staying the same level as yesterday. However, you may also find that your website ranking has suddenly dropped, and the dropping situation is lasting for a few days. When this happens, you’d better stay calm, analyzing what is wrong to deal with the bad scenario.

In fact, almost all the websites may encounter the situation of Google ranking drop. It is caused by multiple reasons, each of which simply results in different dropping levels. In the following, we have gathered some common reasons, along with how to fix them to bring your website ranking back to normal.

Google Algorithm Is Updated

In fact, the ranking algorithm of Google search engine is updated hundreds of times every year, being able to adapt to the constant evolution happened on the internet. If your website is not compliant with the newly updated algorithm, your site ranking must be negatively influenced.

Google Algorithm

Dropping Level – It depends. If your site has a lot of conflicts against the ranking algorithm, you may receive a large ranking drop. Besides, some of the Google updates are minor in impact, while others are disruptive, causing significant decreasing of many website ranking. These serious updates all have animal-related names – Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird.


  • Optimize the quality of website content – Once Google Panda is updated, your website might be dropped in ranking if you have some low-quality contents. To address this issue, the only way you can do is to improve the quality of your old posts, and publish well-written posts since then.
  • Reduce the utilization of backlinks – Many webmasters simply carry out the Black Hat SEO techniques by overusing backlinks. If you are one of them, Google Penguin may penalize your website by lowering the ranking. Therefore, you have to reduce the number of backlinks, only leaving some quality links with the most natural anchor text.
  • Adopt long-tail keywords – Google Hummingbird pays much attention to the searching queries. Therefore, you’d better convert your rigid keywords to some organic ones. With the latest updates, the long-tail keywords are preferred by the search engine.

Your Website Is Penalized By Google

It is unavoidable that your website might be penalized by Google, resulting in an immense drop in ranking and traffic. This might happen when your Black Hat SEO practices are detected by this search engine or your website has much contradiction against Google algorithm.

Dropping Level – Your website ranking can be decreased largely overnight. The drop level is usually harsh.


In fact, there are two kinds of Google penalties – the manual penalty and the algorithmic one. The former one is carried out by a Google employee while the latter one is done automatically with the changing of Google algorithm.

No matter which penalty you are facing, you have to figure out what is going wrong, and then fix the issue accordingly. Generally, you ranking might be recovered a few days later if you are penalized manually. As for the algorithmic penalty, the recovery takes months.

To identify the penalty reasons, you can make use of the Google Webmaster Tools. Here, you need to check the Site Messages and Manual Actions, from which you can find all the issues that Google robot has detected on your site.

Google Webmaster Tools Manual Actions

Your Backlinks Are Under The Wrong Situation

Google regards the backlinks as the indicator of your website popularity and quality. Therefore, it always gives a high ranking to websites that have a moderate number of backlinks directing from some high-quality sites.

If your backlinks are under some wrong situations, your site ranking is likely to be affected.

Dropping Level – The dropping may not be harsh, but may continue for a long time until the issue is fixed.


  • Utilize a backlinks checker to figure out whether you have broken backlinks, especially when you have moved or redirected some links on your site.
  • Check whether you have dozens of spamming links. For instance, you have backlinks from some low-quality or irrelevant websites. Or, you have overused a generic keyword as the anchor text for many of your backlinks.

You Are Surpassed By Competitors

The outranking by your online competitors may also lead to a ranking drop on your website. This is not your fault, but you still need to carry out some practices to prevent this kind of situation.

Dropping Level – Usually, this may lead to a slight drop.


You’d better have a constant monitoring on your competitors, keeping an eye on their strategies for content optimization, website marketing and link building. If their ranking and traffic are growing steadily, you can adopt their strategies accordingly to earn a better online rank.

Set Up A Wrong Configuration For Noindex

Sometimes, you may need to modify your robots.txt file, leaving some errors that you fail to realize. This file is located at the root of your website, telling Google that which parts of your site can be crawled by robots and which parts cannot. Therefore, if your website rank is dropped suddenly, you can check whether you have done something wrong with this file, asking search engines to ignore your site, or to ignore some of your valuable webpages.

robots.txt file

Dropping Level – You may get a significant drop, and your website may disappear from the search engine result pages.


This is simple. You only need to edit your robots.txt file and revert it to the original coding. However, if you want searching spiders to crawl your site again and to bring you traffic, you need to be patient and wait for a few days.

Your Site Remains Unchanging

Google dislikes the static websites or some sites that are not updated for a long time. Therefore, if you haven’t added fresh contents for days, it is common to find that your rank is dropping.

Dropping Level – You may get a slight but lasting ranking drop.


For this, you only have one option – update your website and add new contents.

You Have Duplicate Contents

Google Panda has updated to focus on the checking of duplicate contents. Many websites are the victims of this changing, suffering a great drop on website ranking. Therefore, if your articles are copied or entirely paraphrased from your competitors, you must have encountered a large Google ranking drop since last year.

Dropping Level – You must get a sharp drop.


  • Remove or rewrite your duplicate contents.
  • Figure out your posts that have the keyword-stuffing issue and replace the repeated keywords with some synonyms.
  • Avoid displaying the whole blog posts on your archive pages.

Special Tips

To be honest, the website ranking is a hard-earning thing. After all, Google needs to take times to crawl, index and analyze your website. Therefore, if you have done everything used to deal with the ranking drop, you may still fail to get a good result within months. In this case, you need to be patient to wait your website for passing the SEO audit.

In the meanwhile, you can carry out some social marketing or promotional practices for a better presentation on the web.


Susan Rose is a freelance writer who has a deep knowledge about WordPress. She loves everything related to website building since the freshman year at Christopher Newport University, and loves to share her experience with people all over all the world. In the daily life, Susan loves detective novels as it can train her logical thinking and creativity.