11 Reasons Why Your Search Rankings Are Dropping

Let’s take a look at rankings and the role they play in the SEO game. There is no doubt that they factor greatly into the overall success of your business. Rankings direct traffic to your site which leads to emails, phone calls and ultimately sales.


It can be a frightening experience when your very first business initiative plummets without any reasonable explanation. You were the king of the hill, holding court over search engines and sales figures alike.  Now all of a sudden the flow has stopped and you’re left wondering what went wrong. You can sit and meticulously obsess about the specifics but if you want to know how to fix things then you’ve got to follow the path already taken.

The mountain you are attempting to climb has already had visitors before. All you need to do is follow a few simple tips and you can take the trail already marked and avoid unnecessary pitfalls.

While rankings are not the only tool with which to measure your SEO they are a good place to start.  There IS a reasonable explanation why your site has fallen and I’m going to lay it all out for you here today. If you want to know the 12 most important reasons that your rankings drop then follow me!

Tracking Wrong Rankings

New technology is allowing users to speak their queries into search engines and the trend is towards full sentences. This is spilling over to typing queries as well as natural language is taking hold of the market. If you’re only tracking a few keywords in your rankings, then perhaps you need to broaden your horizons and go with the natural flow. Expanding your tracking efforts to reflect user’s habits is very important in the development of your business and your SEO will reflect how well you pay attention. Here’s a tip: take a look at your keyword strategy and update it to incorporate current phrases and new up and coming keywords.

Fluctuations Happen

Don’t fret too much about your SEO report and Google Rankings. It’s important to pay them mind as it applies to your company’s general well-being. However, the specific results can vary greatly depending on the computer, location and time. It’s normal for Google rankings to fluctuate. Other variables come into play as well which can impact your overall picture. If you’re having trouble understanding discrepancies in your rankings, then you may just need to chock it up to the Google Dance and let other more important parts of your business occupy your time and attention.

New Website

A new design is much like planting a seed in the garden. It takes time for it to grow, sprout and eventually blossom. You need to expect that the launch of a new design will lead to a clear drop in your rankings. Your readers are accustomed to looking out for a particular logo or branding design that allows them to identify your service. What you’ll be fighting against is a hesitation in giving up what’s old and familiar but after 1-2 months you’ll slowly see them come around and even go so far as to appreciate your new design over the previous one.

You may wish to put a proper 301 redirect plan into effect to minimize any significant drop in rankings and ensure that your site is well-optimized prior to launch. The main thing to keep in mind is that keeping things fresh and new takes courage and you need to expect that things will drop before they really take off. The lull before the storm so to speak!

A New Design On Your Website

Patience will get you through many a crisis and you must learn to take the dips and falls with ease. They are merely bumps along the road. Make it a priority to heavily invest in best practices SEO. This will protect you when your first web design crashes or your redesign effort plummets in the rankings after holding a coveted spot for several weeks. Failure is just as much a part of the journey as success.  Broadening your perspective and keeping the long run in mind means taking a hit or two here and there. Your creativity and ingenuity may list you as number one but if you suddenly take a fall and drop a rung or two, keep your cool and let it roll off your shoulders. It’s just a momentary loss and recovery simply means reaching for the next bar and pulling yourself back up towards the top.

Very Low Quality Links

As a strategy to secure traffic and subsequent subscriptions, companies fell mercy to a unique niche business that offered to create multiple links for bottom basement prices. The market was flooded by low quality links that often led to dead space and the term “search engine spamming “was born.

In an effort to rectify the situation, search engines such as Google continually update their systems in a hope to discourage this practice. Google mandates that you must “make every effort to clean up unnatural links pointing to your site”.  Where this is not feasible then you have the option of disavowing the links you deem unfit.

Lost Good Links

Losing high quality links often has a direct impact on your rankings. Your job is to gain back yardage by refocusing your efforts towards building and attracting high caliber links to your site. Here’s where amazing content can certainly come into play.  You may even think to use a series of helpful tips. As long as your reader find values value in what you have to offer then you’ll be sure to have their attention. By honing in on quality as it pertains to content, you begin to build a solid platform by which you inspire confidence and credibility within your readership.

Hosting Can Affect Rankings

You get what you pay for! When you invest in a reputable company to host your content you are making a deposit into your future. A server that understands the meaning of quality and is not overwhelmed with the demands of 5000 other websites is what you want working for you. The user experience directly impacts how well you rank amongst search engines. Browsers appreciate those sites that allow for easy navigation with quick page load times. Keep this in mind when making all important choice of which platform to host your material. Quality does come at a cost so invest in your business and allow yourself to ride the wave to success!


Competition stops for now man or website as the case may be. SEO is an integral part of your business and must be seen as a continued investment in your overall success.  There is only one first prize. Due to constant updates and revisions websites are continually vying for that sacred spot at the top of the heap. Competition pushes us all to excel and dig deeper but it also means that your site will never be fully optimized without the continued input of SEO experts and professionals.

Google Update

It’s best to follow the rules! Google is constantly updating their server to improve the overall user experience. With this often comes new protocols that require compliance. Those that don’t adhere to the new system mandates will not be supported by Google and parish at the hands of negative rankings.

In order to avoid such a fate, be sure to follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines and comply with white hat SEO tactics. If you keep best practices in the forefront, steady traffic will be your reward for now and three years into the future.

The Google Honeymoon Ended

It’s not uncommon for a relatively new site to experience quick popularity combined with very high rankings. Like many things, reality begins to set in overtime and the honeymoon period draws to a close. It can be disconcerting when you experience a high such as this only to be followed by a drastic fall that leaves you in awe. However, this is to be expected and it’s just simply a natural part of the process. Where you land is most probably a more realistic reflection of your ranking capability. Not to say you won’t advance but just that this is your real base camp with which to begin your trek up the side of the mountain.

Google Sandbox Effect Started

New sites are constantly rising and falling.  While staying on the top is exhilarating, being allocated to the proverbial sandbox can make you feel like you’ve been sent back to kindergarten and need to relearn the basics. And perhaps that’s exactly what needs to happen. When you’ve been through the storm and have experienced firsthand the “Google Sandbox Effect” it’s time to re-evaluate your strategy. Put your efforts into creating great content and looking for high authority incoming links. It’s a good idea to start slowly with low competition keywords and give Google the opportunity to witness your transformation for themselves.  Everyone eventually leaves kindergarten and the sandbox just a temporary stomping ground!

Now I hope you have learned a little bit about what not to do! The above mentioned mistakes are extremely common however this is only a short list to give you an idea as to where to begin. The rest is up to you! Please share your thoughts and ideas below. We want to know where you’ve gone wrong and help us make the journey easier for those that continue to walk in our footsteps!