18 Reasons Why Your Blog is Losing Rank in Google

Recently I visited Google Webmaster Forums (the category Crawling, indexing & ranking ) and spent some time reading all the various posts of people who lost rank and traffic to their blogs, with many cases of sites that have been completely banned by Google, for various reasons.

With all the recent updates of the algorithm ( the last one is called Penguin), there was a real massacre in the web.

Google has started with Panda Update a fight, trying to remove the webspam from their results (SERPs), increasing the experience of the users, willing to reward the webmasters that use White Hat SEO, which try to write high quality content, satisfying the search queries of Google users.

If you have been banned from Google, you may request to be included again, but not before you make all the changes to your site, respecting the rules (checking the Google Official Blog may help you).

So both if your site has disappeared from Google or has lost several positions in Google results, you can check in the list below if you find something that will help you.

 

Reasons Your Website Has Lost Ranking in SERPs

 

1 . The content of your website is updated rarely : publish high quality and original content with a scheduled time.

2 . The site does not receive incoming link : check how you can build good backlinks.

3 . The site receives incoming links, but from poor quality websites : use the free tool “Open Site Explorer” , check and manage the links to your blog.

4 . The site has participated in the buying and selling links method : contact the webmaster of the websites where your link is listed and ask to remove it. The problem is also defined as “unnatural linking”.

5 .Your site has external links that point to web sites of poor quality : pay attention to what you link at in your content and if you find it useful, use the “NoFollow” Tag.

6 . The website contains too much advertising, mainly concentrated in the upper part of your pages, at the expense of content : do NOT put ads above the fold. If your site is penalized, you will lose rankings and traffic, so if you do not have visitors, no chance of clicks or views on your ads. Probably it is better to enhance the content, not the ads.

7 . The website contains duplicate content : perhaps one or more sites are also stealing your content. And we all know, Google still has trouble figuring out who is the thief and who is the victim. Use Copyscape and then report the copier to Google. See also other tools to check if your content is copied.

8 . Google is doing a test or changed its algorithm : check what is the update related and make in your site the changes needed.

9 . Google Dance : it is the process by which Google monthly updates its archive pages, recalculating the number of links that each page receives from other (backlinks) and the value of PageRank of each of them. The Google Dance takes a few days. For a long period has always occurred at the end of each month, but its activation does not follow precise rhythms and therefore may be subject to advance or delay.

10 . You website is too slow to load: be sure to install a Cache Plugin, if you use WordPress, so it can cache pages and deliver them without accessing the database, making your site much faster. And if you host your site, avoid hosting services that cause any delays. I use HostGator .

 

Help written in red on keyboard

18 Reasons Why Your Blog is Losing Rank in Google – Click to Tweet

11 . The visitors that arrive on your pages, almost immediately click the button “Back” browser : this is a sign that your content may not have quality content. Focus on write something useful and interesting for your readers.

12 . There are too many incoming links pointing to your homepage only : vary both the page and anchor text for your incoming links.

13 . The footer of your homepage of the website contains too many links : be sure to insert in your footer useful information, like your Bio, your social media profiles, your popular posts, your recent articles or an opt-in, for istance for your mailing list.

14 . Your competing websites have improved and you have lost positions : check your competition sites and see how you can improve your blog.

15 . Your web site was temporarily inaccessible for various times in the last period : check your hosting services.

16 . Your blog has a malware : check any communication from Google in your Webmaster tools and try to clean your websites. In this time, the visitors will have a warning that the site can be harmful, so probably they do not want to visit it. After you have cleaned your properties, inform Google that will check again your site and eventually remove the alert.

17 . You have too many spelling, grammar and syntax mistakes in your content : be sure to write a correct english (or the language that you use). After writing a post, read it again. Then one more time.

18 . Too many keywords used in your site : the concept of “keyword stuffing” is closely related to keyword density. In fact,the definition identifies the practice of the tricks such as the placement of keywords hidden in CSS or immersed in the fund the page.  Be sure to stay inside a reasonable percentage of keywords used.

 

In few words, you want to have a site that respect all the guideline published by Google Official Blog, that show you How to Build a High Quality Site.

It is important that you check all the statistical analysis tool available, such as Google Analytics or Google Webmaster Tools, so you can find out any traffic collapse in the days of a Google algorithm update, and make any related improvements.

I suggest you also to take a look to Google Webmaster Profile on YouTube : there are many useful videos, from which you may learn a lot.

Often, a deterioration in the Google SERP is not synonymous of a penalty.

It could be a temporary event. But if not, it is worth analyzing the list of suggestions above and trying to figure out if something went wrong.

Additional information can be found at Google Webmaster Guidelines : read the “Best practices to help Google find, crawl, and index your site“.

Surely there are many other factors that can lead to a downgrading of a site in the Google SERP.

 

In your opinion, what are the most common mistakes or more dangerous behaviour of a blogger ?

What is your experience? Have you gained or lost ranking in Google lately?

About Erik Emanuelli

Hi! I am Erik Emanuelli : entrepreneur, traveler and blogger. You can follow me on Twitter, add me on Facebook or circle me on Google.

Comments

  1. Kate Brown Wilson says:

    This is really true many blog site are loosing rank in Google, specially if the owner deals with Black hat SEO, because they keep on spreading too many links, I think that nowadays Google don’t notice backlinking. Google prefer contents or article.

    • Hello Kate,

      hidden text and links, doorway pages, cloaking, keyword stuffing, desert scraping, are all Black Hat SEO.

      Especially now, with Panda and Penguin Google Updates, I would not use either one of these techniques.

      • Hello Erik, Hello Kate,

        I didn’t agree, that Google prefers content – you must have links, a lot of links (and good content of course) :)
        What’s more, in my opinion you must be “Gray HAT SEO” to get huge traffic to your site. That means you must mix some “black” methods with some “white” methods. Of course hidden text and links, doorway pages, cloaking, and desert scraping isn’t helpful.
        But what does it mean “keyword stuffing”? How many percent is “good” and how many percent is “bad”? It’s not so easy…

        BTW, Erik – great check list. Especially point 16th should be checked by every site owner.
        BR, Chris

        • I find that Google will give now and more in future, big importance to content, and social media impact of a specific URL, then the only backlinks.

          Regarding your question, about the best keyword density for a web page to rank well for a given term, searching on the internet there are many different point of view and many percentages, that go from 2% to 12%.

          Check this link to see opinions from BIG of the sector :

          http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/keyword-density-seo-myth/

      • Micheal says:

        Nice post Erik,
        These are the reasons we are losing google page rank and serp position. Back links takes major role in getting good google page rank,so we should check back links every day.Thanks for share this great steps with us.

  2. Rather than just the contents or the articles, Google is focusing more on the quality of the content that you deliver. Links are still important because they’re still sources of traffic no matter what attribute the link has — nofollow or dofollow.

    • I think it is good a combination of NoFollow and Dofollow incoming links, both for traffic and SEO reasons.

      Am I right, Gerald?

  3. Erik Super Points :)
    I am fully agree with your all points Specially Selling Links and Incoming Links.
    We should concentrate on Link building but not with Poor quality it should be higher or equal rank with our site.
    Thanks for those all points. All newbie blogger should read this 20 points.
    I am going to share this :)

    • Link Bait is so intriguing, it is the concept of writing quality and interesting content for your readers.

      If you master Link Bait, you can forget all the SEO duties of your site.

      Glad you liked the article, Amit ! :-)

  4. Paul Barstow says:

    Hi Erik

    I am a new blogger (about three months) and your tips are great I have noticed just recently that my Webmaster ranking is going down from a peak of 600 page impressions down to 50 or so today, I think looking at this post that its a combination of links or lack of them and age.

    The site has only been live for 3 months so I am not sure what to think. Most of my traffic comes in via social media, this is great but I think social media traffic has a high bounce rate or maybe my content is not good I hope not but maybe. I would love some feedback off of you more experienced bloggers here.

    Thanks again for the useful content.

    Paul

    • Hi Paul,

      regarding your question about your site, I can think about “Google Honeymoon Period”.

      This phenomenon is like a momentary boost that Google gives to new blogs, ie imagine it as a small award given to new sites in order to present to the readers.

      Shortly after, Google updates the data in its possession about the new site, also collects data about user interaction, like how many people have clicked or how many have been abandoned the site and it can now calculate a score about your URL.

      Sometimes after this phase of settlement, some sites lost positions, some others earn ranks.

      Another guess can be that you simply have been penalized after the last updates of Google.

      Check Google Analytics, so you may see any traffic collapse in the days of a Google algorithm update, and think about the related improvements.

      What do you think?

      • Paul Barstow says:

        Hi

        The drop occurred on or around the 19th April and Penguin came out on the 24th so I don’t think its that, I have set up a new menu system based on Categories, but some of my posts are in multiple menus, could this be classed as Duplicate content, That would explain things but I am not sure.

        With Reference to the Honeymoon, I think I have been through that a couple of months ago. I have noticed that I have dropped on the Keywords I have been ranking in, I might post on the google forums and ask them.

        Unfortunatly I only get a few organic clikcs a day but there has been a drop at the same time. Can Menus be viewed as Duplicate text?

        Thanks for the comments I appreciate the help.

        Paul

        • Hello Paul,

          the 19th April there was Google Panda’s 3.5 version.
          Check this link :
          http://www.seroundtable.com/google-panda-35-15065.html

          There is also a list of all the Past Panda Updates.

          Regarding the menu and categories, that could be counted as “diluition” of the content, not duplicated, as it is yours.
          However organize your site in a way to make every page with unique content, even within your properties.

          What do you think?

          • Paul Barstow says:

            Hi Thanks for the google Panda 3.5 update was not aware of that, I am not sure how I can be classed as breaking the rules as I use the content to drive the traffic, SEO Youst tool usually says my keywords are understuffed 2-5 inclusions in a 500 word post.

            I do have some sites that are linking to me multiple times, these are usually via a twitter feed on the site, could this be classed as Link building in a bad way, I also use blogglue and this has geberated 150-200 links on some sites where I am the only partner, they are not my sites however could this be seen as similar?

            Thats all I can think of.

            Thanks for your guidance

  5. This is a great list you have compiled. People can refer to this and see what they are doing wrong so they can stop doing it and concentrate instead on what they ought to be doing to improve their ranking.

  6. Good luck with your website, thanks for the great information… surely passing this link on :)

  7. Google is focusing more on the quality of the content that you deliver. Thanks for sharing these post with us.

    • Hi Ella,

      I think the days of easy climbing in search engines is over.

      Write quality content is not everyone’s cup.

      Thanks for the comment.

  8. From my own experience, I can say that having a diversified list of backlinks helps a lot, but the secret is to build them on a continuous basis. My favorite methods to build links is article marketing and guest posting.

    • Hi Jack,

      link building is a part of a blogger marketing.

      And do it in a “natural way” is a duty, respecting the Google guidelines.

  9. My sites weren’t affected by the Penguin, there is a lot of misconception about duplicate content and I think you do an amazing job in this article.

    • Hi Karla,

      grats for not being affected by Penguin,
      this means you are doing a great job.

      Thanks for your comment,
      I appreciate it.

  10. Hi Erik, As a site in the top 100K of Alexa’s 30 million, you can authoritively write about SEO.

    Webmasters [myself included] live and die by our search engine ranking. So, it is awesome to have the criteria laid out in front of us like you have done. Thanks for the checklist.

    • Hi David,

      if I can give another suggestion, in general, it is not put all your eggs in one basket.

      It is true that organic google traffic is essential for any webmasters, but it is also true that we need to work on the referral traffic : there are many interesting sites related to the topic of your site, which attract substantial traffic over time.

  11. There’s some interesting things on your list, some I agree with, some I don’t. I have to admit that I’m someone that hates trolling for links so I know that’s not my issue. I also know I write fairly well so I know that’s not my issue either. I write often as well. In some ways these updates just seem so arbitrary that it’s hard to put a finger on anything. I hate sites that are well niched that fell, and others that gained traffic.

    I also wonder about this thing saying some of us link to low quality sites. I know that I have no qualms about writing a comment on a blog without rank if the content encourages me to say something, and I wonder if that penalizes me. If it does, then that’s horrible and I’ll just deal with it because I know how it felt when my blogs were new and I wasn’t getting any comments.

    • Hi Mitch,
      in which points don’t you agree with me?

      As mentioned in your comment,
      I would like to know the precise way to determine if a site is high or low quality, and if you can be penalized in backlinking from these sites.

      Indeed, the parameters in this regard given by Matt Cutts, can be very subjective, and do not have an objective method to evalutate the quality of a site.

      I appreciate your comment, Mitch.

      • In general I disagree with 6, 7, 12, and 17, especially 17. I disagree with #6 because some of the largest websites in the world have ads that pop out at you as soon as you get there, especially above the fold, yet they never get penalized. I disagree with #7 because there are tons of news pages that have the same exact news story written the same exact way, but those sites never get penalized. I disagree with #12 because, well, that’s the idea of trying to get incoming links in the first place, especially if you’re a business and not a blog. And I disagree with #17 because I see some of the worst writing in the world online yet many of those sites are highly ranked as well.

        You asked. :-)

  12. Hi Erik,
    we actually did have 2 outages over the last fortnight as a result of a hacker. I certainly felt the pinch of reduced traffic in the days after. I came across this post after looking for a estimated time frame for this kind of penalty. I have noted a gradual increase over the last week. Whats your guess as to a time frame to return to 100% after 2 complete days of being offline?

    • Well, Alec, this is a question only Google Engineers can answer you precisely. ;-)
      I am sure if you post in Google Webmaster Forums, they are able to give you exact data.
      But if you want my opinion, I think that after Google crawled again your site and see that you are back online again, after the 2 days your site was hacked, within 2-3 weeks you should see your usual traffic.

  13. Cool post!
    I want to add a solution for grammar errors. My solution is hiring good writer. If you have no money to spend on hiring then you should consider using Microsoft Word before posting it to blog. The post after review by MW is friendly to almost people even if it has a few of grammar errors. Give it a try and thanks to BillGate :)

  14. Informative post Erik,
    I learn many things from this post but i wondered about many websites and blogs with out back links(more then 500) how they are getting google page rank 2 or 3.Thanks for share this post with us.

  15. Hi Erik,

    This is a fantastically useful post – I think I abide by most of these rules, but need to check my incoming links and also see if my content’s being copied – thanks very much for the helpful links.

    I don’t currently use a caching plugin because another techie expert warned me they can sometimes cause problems and aren’t necessary unless your site’s getting tons of traffic. Last time I checked my site’s load times were ok, but it’s something I’ll no doubt have to revisit in future – when I’m over-run with traffic :)

    I’m delighted to have found your site because the techie side of things isn’t my strong point, but you seem to explain things very well.

    Thank you!

    Sue

    • Erik Emanuelli says:

      Hi Sue,
      I am so glad you liked this article! :-)

      Quality content is indeed very important while blogging, but there are some technical stuff you need to learn and some SEO rules you need to apply everytime you create new posts.

      I am so happy to see you here and I really appreciated your comment.
      Thanks for your visit! :-D

  16. Yasir Khan says:

    I definitely agree with this sentence “The content of your website is updated rarely” is one of the reasons why your site is losing rank because it is what the customers are always looking for so you must cater their needs in order to get good rankings and sales.

  17. All of them are heartbreaking. Its a good list to tick off when accessing the problems with one’s site. Thank you. All links should not be directed to one page, good point.

  18. My website is losing rank, too. I have tried to find out the reason for that and I have just recognized that it is because of the speed. It is rather slow, so I guess the audience do not want to wait. I will upgrade it.

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