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What steps can I take to Diagnose a Drop in Ranking?

Post inspired from Matt Cutts Video,

Ranking drop not to panic. It fluctuates all the time. Here’s a checklist you can use to diagnose why your rankings might have dropped.

Below the Steps to Investigate to Diagnose a Drop in Ranking:

  • Use the site command to see if you are entirely removed from Google or just partially.
  • Look at the webmaster tools and check messages. Maybe you have violated guidelines. Check here if you have broken links. If vast amounts of pages are not found, Google will deem the site low quality, and your rankings will suffer. Also, check if your sitemap is still being submitted.
  • Visit forums to see if just my site is affected or others are affected too. It could be an algorithmic change.
  • Check to see if you’re listed in other engines to see if the problem is with me, e.g., robots.txt
  • Fetch as Googlebot to see if someone has added a rel canonical no index etc.
  • Maybe the search engines can’t crawl your site after adding complicated Ajax, for example, or a recent change has meant your site takes much longer to load. This will affect rankings.
  • Cloaking or having hidden text.
  • Check if you have duplicated your content elsewhere e.g. duplicate meta, two sites, doorway pages.
  • Gaining too many reciprocal links, paid links, links in bad neighborhoods, and too many links hosted on the same IP address.
  • Reconsideration request so you can see if Google has taken action on your site.

At last, I suggest you be cool, and you need to be methodical in what steps can you take to Diagnose a Drop in Ranking your site?

Follow this checklist and find out what may be going on for fixing the problem.


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