Search engine result pages, or SERP for short, are the pages displayed on the search engine after a user enters a query. Having high SERP rankings can boost your SEO, and your website can be located at the top of these result pages. In today’s article, we’ve decided to take a look at why you might be seeing a significant drop in your SERPs and how you can fix that.
You lost your backlinks
Over the years, it is proven that backlink quality matters. Backlinks are links that connect two websites. For example, Google ranks you by your backlink because if some website includes your backlink, it means that you are a trustworthy source.
SERP rankings can be increased if your backlinks are up to date, so make sure to keep checking upon them. Make sure to avoid expiring backlinks and to keep the quality up to the standards. If you have low-quality backlinks, Google can blacklist your website, even though it exists, and the content can be reached through the website. To improve your backlinks, make sure to arrange plain URLs, write top-notch content, and encourage others to include your backlink.
Your site was issued a manual penalty
A manual penalty is usually given when something on your site disagrees with Google’s webmaster guideline. The reason for that can vary, and it doesn’t have to mean that it is your fault. One of the most common reasons is that you may have been hacked. This can also happen if your site contains unnatural backlinks, user-generated spam, cloaking, etc.
If you come across this problem, the detection is easy. The first thing you would have to do is go to Google Search Control, expand the “Security and Manual Actions” tab and then click on Manual Actions. After doing this, you should be issued with a manual action, and whatever that action is, it will appear with given further instructions on how to fix the problem and recover your site.
Google released an algorithm update
From time to time, Google updates its algorithms to improve the overall performance of the search engine. You need to follow Google’s updates to keep track of their algorithms. Algorithm updates can significantly bring your rankings down. To keep up with any changes in the algorithms, follow the search engine news.
To avoid ranking droppings because of updates, make sure that you don’t include links to any spamming websites, and always use trustworthy sources for your content. It is really hard to determine whether your rank dropping happened because of an algorithmic update, but if you keep track of your rankings and keep up with Google’s policies, you should be fine.
You got outranked by a competitor
Another possibility that can explain why your rankings have lowered can be that the competitor’s rankings are expanding. When something like this happens, Google notices that content and pushes it higher. There are various reasons for this situation. Some of them are that the competing content has better quality, more backlinks, better satisfies the researchers’ needs, is modern and up to date, includes a video or a picture, etc.
Every problem has a solution, and so does this one. To recover from this, there are a lot of helpful ways. Maybe you should start by updating your content, adding something extra and convenient for the users. Another tip when facing this problem is tracking your competitors and seeing specifically what you have to implement to get back your rankings.
Your UX is substandard
One of the most important factors when creating a growing website is the UX. It stands for User Experience, and it defines how a user will experience your website or how a user expects a page to work. There are numerous steps that you can take to improve the UX of your website, which will boost up your SERP rankings.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your website is responsive and that it can be opened from a mobile device. Nowadays, our users are mostly using their phones, so they need to be able to reach the website from everywhere. Secondly, you need to speed up the loading time of your application and avoid long requests that can freeze up the page. Keep your design simple but comforting while avoiding annoying popups.
Your technical SEO needs
The technical side of SEO can also improve your SERP ratings. Having a proper technical SEO can help you optimize your website and can help you dive deeper into the analytics of your content. This covers the technical side of your websites, such as unit tests, better website navigation, or improved speed.
Good technical SEO includes fast websites and an easy crawl path for the SEO robots that index your page, Robots.txt file, and good metadata. Avoid including duplicate content on your site because it might confuse the crawlers. Make sure that your website is secure and that you are using HTTPS for your requests. Last but not least, check your backlinks and make sure that they aren’t leading your users to dead or spamming websites.
Search trends have changed
Moving on, we need to cover search trends and what they are because they are quite important when it comes to keeping a good SERP ranking. Trending searches are the most popular searches that occurred during the day or the most popular SEO keywords that were used.
To follow the changes of the trending searches, go to Google Trends. They offer you the analytics of the most popular searches throughout the world. Suppose you optimize your content, especially your new content, to point towards these search trends. In that case, you can experience big improvements in your SERP rankings. Search trends are helpful when you are trying to determine what your keywords should be for your new daily content.
Your pages have NoIndextags
The next factor on the list is the NoIndex tag. The NoIndex tag has the job of stopping the search engines from crawling and indexing your website, which means that your website won’t even show up on the search engine’s result page.
With that being said, you need to go through your application and search for any NoIndex tags. This is especially important for the most valuable parts of your website. NoIndex is eventually treated as NoFollow, which will stop the search engines from crawling the links on your website. Lastly, if you are using the Robots.txt file, check for any NoIndex tags there too.
Your content needs improvement
As we said before, the content of your website is the key factor for the search engines and your users. With this said, your content must be up-to-date and modern so users can continue using your site. If your site is outdated, your rankings can be expected to drop because the content doesn’t attract shares and links anymore.
To fix this, you should be more parallel with trends, update your site frequently, so it doesn’t lose user interest. Avoid including huge data that will only slow down your website and, therefore, chase away your users. There is not much to talk about on this topic, except to keep your site up to date with creative content and something that would be convenient for the users.
Your site has undergone changes
Every change and update to your website can result in rank droppings. This can include changing the design, using a more secure approach for requests like HTTPS, changing the URLs in your website, or even changing the content of your website.
For example, if you change the URL on one of your pages, Google will record it as a new page, which will mess up your ratings because you will be starting from zero. To avoid this, make sure to use 301 redirects that point the new URL to the old one. If you are changing the content of your website, the ranking can drop because of changes to important keywords.
Maintaining a website that uses SEO can be difficult, especially if you don’t know how it works behind the scenes. Every uncertainty or bad content on your website can hurt your SERP ratings.
There are various causes for a sudden drop in your SERP rankings. It is essential to know how the SEO and SERP work to maintain a healthy website that fulfills numerous SEO requirements. It is also important to follow the updates given by search engines and to keep your website up to date at all times. Hopefully, these 10 steps that we’ve explained will help you keep your SERP rankings high.