Google Rankings Suddenly Dropped: Recovery Guide

One fine day, you wake up to a sudden drop in your google ranking and that’s surely, going to give you a panic attack! But worry not! Here we are going to share some diagnosis as well as recovery tips on how to tackle a sudden drop in Google ranking!

Content changes

As we know, the web crawlers rely on the content within the search queries and match it with the internal keywords of your site, to generate the search results. Hence any important changes made to the site can bring a bigger impact.

Title tag: Check out for changes in the title tag, because small changes in the title tag can sum up to a bigger game changer.

Meta tags: Click through rate for your search results can be heavily impacted by changes made in meta tags. So check it!

Headings: Give properly formatted headings.

Body Content: If there are noticeable changes made to the title, meta tags, and headings, then you should surely lookout for changes in the body content too.  To track these changes automatically, you can rely on WordPress. Else, you can check out Google’s cached version of your page with a cache: query or by checking the Wayback machine.

Algorithm update.

Google Algorithmic Updates are commonly sighted reasons for drop in Google rankings. However it’s not an instantaneous effect, the site ranking will go down within several weeks. Since 2018, it’s found that Google made 3200 changes to their algorithms.

SEO experts across the globe remain vigilant for even a small update in Google, and rely on a toolset to alert them.

Reports of a Google update can be spotted at the earliest at Barry Schwartz’s Was There A Google Update?

To analyse ranking volatility over a span of time check out the tools below:

Advanced Web Rankings




Technical issues

If there exists any technical issues related to crawling and indexing of your site at the end of Google, it can heavily impact your ranking.

Look out for crawl anomalies which can create a denial of information that was requested in prior. Have a look for crawl anomalies at Index Coverage Report .

Decreased crawl activity from Google and an increase in 4xx and 5xx status codes can be found from the log files which store information from visitors and crawlers to notify you about Google ranking drop.

Blocking Googlebot

At one point in time, the system administrator decided to block all traffic from bots, what may happen?

Now the solution is:

  • Define your user-agent as Googlebot. 
  • Collect the exact user-agent strings. 

If you find that Google’s IPs are blocked, then follow these steps:

  • Employ the Test live URL option in Google Search Console. Enter a URL there, and click the TEST LIVE URL button in the top right. If that process fails, Google’s IPs may be blocked. 
  • Use the Rich Snippet tester to request a URL on your site. If that fails too,Google may  be blocked on an IP-level!

Load time

Have the load times significantly increased for pages? It may affect your ranking and result in a  drop.

  • Check out your crawl stats in the old Google Search Console.
  • Analyse the page load time in Google Analytics (Behavior > Site Speed > Overview)
  • Run and analyse it through
  • Revisions made by competitors
    • Check out if they won featured snippets for a set of targeted queries?
    • Have better content?
    • More and better links?
    • Pages load faster? Overall better user experience?
  • SERP lay-out changes  

Changes in algorithms are not the sole reason for your Google ranking drop. Changes made to the Search Engine Result Page layout can also bring down your rankings.

Try to mimic browser behaviour and check out what SERP has in store for you in return to your queries.

Different forms of Manual penalties exist. The most dreadful being a complete deindexing of your website — which usually only dooms on websites that are clearly trying to fool Google’s system.

A serious SEO issue in your website that’s technical in nature can result in a mental penalty which leads to deindexing of your website.

Check out these recovery hacks brought to you by Weft Technologies to bring up the google ranking and stop panicking!