NIXsolutions: Google on Handling Sudden Keyword Ranking Drops

Gary Illyes, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, recently shared his insights on how to deal with sudden drops in keyword rankings. In a Twitter thread, Illyes emphasized the importance of understanding the root cause of the issue and taking appropriate steps to address it.

In this article, we’ll dive into Illyes’ advice and explore how website owners can prevent sudden drops in keyword rankings.


Causes of Sudden Keyword Ranking Drops:

Illyes identified several factors that could cause sudden drops in keyword rankings, including:

  • Algorithm updates: Google frequently updates its algorithms to improve search results. These updates can sometimes result in significant changes in rankings for certain keywords.
  • Technical issues: Problems with a website’s server or coding can cause it to drop in rankings. Issues like broken links, slow page speed, and mobile usability can also negatively impact a site’s rankings.
  • Manual actions: If Google finds that a website violates its guidelines, it may impose a manual action that can result in a ranking drop.
  • Content changes: Changing the content on a website, such as removing or adding pages, can sometimes cause fluctuations in rankings.

Steps to Address Sudden Keyword Ranking Drops:

If you notice a sudden drop in your website’s keyword rankings, Illyes recommends taking the following steps:

  1. Check for algorithm updates: Check if there have been any recent algorithm updates that may have affected your website’s rankings.
  2. Look for technical issues: Use tools like Google Search Console to identify any technical issues that may be impacting your site’s performance.
  3. Review manual actions: Check if your site has been hit with a manual action and take steps to address it.
  4. Reassess your content: Review any changes you’ve made to your website’s content and determine if they could be negatively impacting your rankings.

Preventing Future Keyword Ranking Drops:

Illyes also offered advice on how website owners can prevent sudden drops in keyword rankings:

  • Stay up to date with algorithm updates: Monitor Google’s official channels for news on algorithm updates and adjust your website accordingly.
  • Conduct regular technical audits: Regularly check your website for technical issues that could impact your rankings.
  • Follow Google’s guidelines: Ensure that your website follows Google’s guidelines to avoid any potential manual actions.
  • Create high-quality content: Focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that provides value to your audience.

Sudden drops in keyword rankings can be frustrating, but by following Illyes’ advice, website owners can better understand the root cause of the issue and take appropriate steps to address it, concludes NIXsolutions. Additionally, by taking steps to prevent future drops in rankings, website owners can ensure their website stays competitive in search results.