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5 Types of Google Ranking Drops & How to Recover from Them

When an online user types something in the Google search bar, the search engine provides the user with relevant and the most authentic results. The main objective of Google is returning the best answers to the users’ queries. Google uses over 200 ranking factors in its algorithm to give Page Rank scores to all websites. Google ranking has become an important factor of digital marketing success for businesses because every business wants to be available to the users at the top of the search results. 

Most people go to the top position search results for answers to their problems. This is the reason why businesses want to be at the top of Google searches. But, a sudden ranking drop happens all the time. The important thing is to understand what causes this ranking drop and how you can fix it. 

Here are the different types of ranking drops and how you can recover from them: 

1. Manual Action Penalty 

Manual action penalty is a common reason why websites get a ranking drop on Google. A Google penalty ensures either the website gets a ranking drop or removes it (or a webpage) completely from the index. This is because Google penalizes websites manually for spam or unnatural backlinks. It is not like Google algorithm changes; rather, you get a manual action notification from Google Search Console which explains why a penalty was imposed. Your website can be penalized due to keyword stuffing, substandard content, spam, unnatural backlinks or due to hacked websites. 


To avoid getting a manual action penalty, keep track of your links with tools that detect unnatural links. If you’ve already got a ranking drop due to manual action, you should pull your links and check them to find out spam and unnatural links. After identifying those links, request webmasters to remove those links. For links that are not removed, you can use the disavow tool for them to tell Google that you do not want Google to count that link in the SEO of your site. 

2. Updates to an Algorithm

Every year, Google’s algorithm gets more than 500 updates and changes. These algorithm updates can affect the ranking of your website. The rank of your website could drop anywhere from a few spots to a few dozen spots depending on major or minor changes in the Google algorithm. Google does not notify you before the updates so it is important that you check the SEO news sites if you notice a sudden ranking drop. 


Once you have found out that your ranking drop is due to algorithm update, you need to make some efforts to fix it. You need to understand and abide by Google’s quality guidelines which can help you prepare for any updates and changes in the algorithm. Additionally, with the help of competitor analysis, you can recover from the ranking drop and comply by the updates. 

3. Outranking by a Competitor

If your competitor outranks you, you get a slight drop in ranking. You can identify that you have been outranked by a competitor if your competitor site takes your ranking while other sites remain in the same ranking or positions. To keep a check on this type of ranking drops, you should keep a check on your competitors’ sites to understand their activities. This can give you insight into what they are doing right and how you can leverage their tactics to your advantage. 


Since there is often a slight drop in ranking when your competitor takes over your spot, it is relatively easier to recover from this kind of rank drop. The obvious solution is to beat your competitor in the ranking. There are three things that you can analyze to learn from this fall. First off, check the backlink profile of your competitor to compare it with yours. Secondly, get a social media audit to understand if your social media marketing efforts are lacking in any way. This is important because of your online reputation and online presence affect how Google assumes your relevancy and effectiveness. Last, of all, analyze your competitor and your content marketing to ensure you outsmart your competitor in that. You can also hire a website design agency in London to help you optimize the authenticity of your web content. 

4. Losing Links on Website

The links to your website affect the ranking of your website. Google keeps a check on the links to your website to analyze the relevance and authenticity of your website. If your website loses a high-quality link, you can have a ranking drop. The ranking drop from lost links can be minor or significant. You will have to check your link profile to know if you have lost inbound links. Next, you will have to check if these links were removed by the webmasters. If they were removed by the webmasters, it means that they were unnatural links and Google would have penalized you for it in future.


The only way to recover from the ranking drop caused by the loss of links to the website is to check your existing links individually on Google Search Console. Keep a track of all your links and replace the unnatural links. Also, remove the unnatural links to prevent Google from counting them in SEO of your website. 

5. Page Speed

Page speed is one of the important factors that determine the ranking of your website. A slow-loading page is frustrating for the user and chances are the user moves to a different search result for their query. People want a page to load within three seconds and pages that take longer than this time to load are assumed to have a bad user experience by Google. This is the reason why slow loading pages cause ranking drop and high bounce rates.


The recovery from this type of ranking drop is easy because you only have to fix the page speed. There are some steps that you can take to increase the loading speed of your page like reducing redirects, increasing server response time, and optimizing and compressing images on the website, etc. 

Maintaining the Google ranking of your website can be tricky but recovering from a ranking drop can be even more challenging. It is important to keep a check on the important factors of ranking and follow Google’s quality guidelines to optimize the relevance of your website online. 

If you are looking for SEO agency in London to improve your website ranking, get in touch with us!!!

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