5 Possible Reasons Your Site Ranking Dropped

arrow going downSearch engines are the most valuable and targeted sources of traffic. Companies get help from search engine marketing firms to optimize their website so they can rank higher on Google, Yahoo!, and Bing’s results pages. Businesses on the top spots have better chances of reaching more customers, selling more products, and ultimately increasing sales. This is why, when their rankings drop, they panic.

There are many reasons a website’s search engine ranking plummet. Here are some of them:

Change in Google Algorithm

Google constantly updates its algorithm to improve the quality of search engine results and to identify the sites that still use “black hat” SEO techniques. In 2013, the search engine made changes almost 20 times, releasing Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird. When Google updates its algorithm, your site may experience a sudden or gradual drop in rankings. You need to improve it to catch up on the changes and maintain your high rankings.

Loss of Significant Link

Your ranking may drop when one or more significant link on your website was deleted, moved to a new page, or also experienced a decrease in PageRank. Many websites obtain most of their link strength only from a few numbers of links. This is why the loss of even one of them impacts the ranking greatly. A good search engine marketing company will help you develop strategies for better link building.

Malware Attack

Malware can’t make your ranking drop, but the effect is just as bad. Google will warn users who will click on your website if it detects malware on your pages. As only a few will proceed past a malware warning, and your site’s traffic may suffer. You can check Google’s guideline on repairing a hacked site to remove the virus and restore your website.


Google penalizes sites that violate its guidelines and use black hat SEO techniques. The most causes of penalties include excessive link exchanges, multiple domain names, hidden text on the website, and low quality and duplicate content. The search engine also punishes sites that cross-link to domain farms and sell links.

Server Problems

Your website’s ranking may drop if Google has difficulty accessing your site. You may also have problems if it’s too slow to respond. Search engines tolerate sites for a short period, especially during maintenance. But if the problem continues over many days, it can impact your rankings.

Proper link building, creating unique and quality content, and following the latest guidelines are the keys to maintaining and improving your site’s ranking on search engines.

About the Author

James Maxwell, a Media Buyer at a media buying agency in New York. He was a former media ethics professor at a university in Los Angeles.