SERP Rankings Drop? Recovery Steps for Your Site

Illustration of search engine results page, magnifying glass, and laptop.

Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are a search engine’s response to a user’s search query. SERPs can include organic search results, featured snippets, paid ads, image and video results.

Any time someone searches by typing in a search query or saying a search phrase via Siri/Alexa, the result that they get is known as a SERP.

Rankings continually fluctuate on Google and other search engines, but when SERP rankings drop, companies have to step up and figure out why.

These practical recovery steps for your site can help you figure out the impact of the rankings drop on your page and take steps to fix it.

Did Your Rankings Actually Drop?

Before you jump to action, take the time to look at the analytics and determine whether or not your rankings actually dropped.

Make sure that you’re looking at a reliable data source and verify using your personal analytics (Google Search Console or tracked search performance via a reliable application like our SEOToolSet®).

If you determine that your rankings have dropped, then it’s time to take action.

Website Changes

Have you made a bunch of changes to your website recently? Whenever you migrate lots of pages, roll out a new design or redesign a page or the entire site, or add a whole new silo, such as a product store, you might see a drop in rankings.

These fluctuations can be natural and expected, but it’s worth making sure that the drop is solely related to these changes and not related to issues from the changes, such as poor internal link structure or technical errors.

Fix it: Start by asking each department whether or not they have made any changes to the site. If any changes were made, check for any technical errors or inconsistencies, make sure the internal link structure is sound, and review the content changes. Once these are all cleared, give it some time and your rankings should reverse.

Technical Struggles

Google and other search engines crawl your website in order to index it. If there are technical issues that make it difficult for the search engines to crawl your site, you can see your rankings plummet.

Fix it: There are a couple of ways we recommend looking for technical struggles. Double-check that your site is still being crawled and indexed normally with Google and any other search engines where you want to rank. Check the log file analysis. Do you notice anything different there? And lastly, test load times.

Latest Google Algorithm

Google frequently updates its algorithm and makes changes to the way websites perform in its search engine. If your rankings have fallen, it’s important to take a look at the latest Google algorithm and make sure that your site fits into the newest iteration.

Google changes the calculations for what holds weight and is considered important on websites. Multiple updates, from product review updates to core updates and helpful content updates, can occur in a single year.

Fix it: Read and review the latest Google update. You can keep track with our Up-to-Date History of Google Algorithm Updates. Notice what Google values and what they have subsequently devalued. Make the necessary changes on your site to reflect alignment with the Google update.

Competitors

Maybe your competitors have changed? Emerging competitors are bound to challenge your SERP rankings. If you have new competition, it’s time to check them out.

Figure out why they are beating you in the search rankings. Do you need better content? A better user experience? Maybe more accurate and enticing featured snippets? Once you know the answer, take action.

Fix it: Take a look at your competitors. Why are they beating you in the search results? This is not an easy fix. Take the time to pursue the data and analyze it. Once you know the reason “why,” make the necessary changes on your site.

Taking practical steps to fix your SERP rankings will help your website regain its visibility, ensuring your content reaches its intended audience and drives substantial organic traffic. Keep ROI high by making sure your site continues to rank high in search results.

Struggling to improve your website’s visibility? Our SEO experts can help you take actionable steps to boost your SERP rankings and organic traffic. Contact us.

FAQ: How can I recover from SERP rankings drop and improve my site’s visibility?

If your website rankings are plummeting on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), fret not. As an expert in the realm of SEO, I understand the complexities that come with these fluctuations. Let’s delve into strategies that can help recover your site’s rankings and bolster its visibility.

Understanding SERP Dynamics

SERPs vary based on user intent. To rebound effectively, discern different search terms reflecting buyer intent, such as “best,” “buy,” or “reviews.”

Analyzing Ranking Fluctuations

Comprehend the reasons behind ranking drops. Utilize tools like Google Search Console to analyze traffic changes, enabling you to pinpoint issues affecting your visibility.

Optimizing On-Page Elements

Refine meta descriptions, titles and content to align with your primary keyword. Ensure clarity, relevance and conciseness for improved user engagement.

Revamping Website Content

Refresh and augment existing content to reflect current trends, incorporate valuable insights and maintain relevance to captivate your audience’s interest.

Leveraging Technical SEO

Address technical glitches impacting crawlability and indexing. Employ schema markup, optimize site speed and fix broken links to enhance performance.

Embracing Mobile Responsiveness

As mobile usage soars, prioritize a responsive design. Optimize your website for mobile devices to cater to a broader audience and improve user experience.

Competitor Analysis

Conduct a thorough analysis of competitors’ strategies. Identify their strengths and weaknesses to adapt and strengthen your own.

Consistent Monitoring and Adaptation

Regularly monitor analytics, identify patterns and adapt your strategies accordingly. SEO is an ongoing process requiring constant adaptation and evolution.

Step-by-Step Procedure: Recovering from SERP Rankings Drop and Enhancing Site Visibility

  1. Define Buyer Intent Keywords: Understand user intent behind searches.
  2. Analyze Ranking Fluctuations: Utilize tools for comprehensive analysis.
  3. On-Page Optimization: Enhance meta elements and content relevance.
  4. Content Revamping: Update and refine existing content.
  5. Technical SEO Audit: Address technical issues hindering site performance.
  6. Mobile Optimization: Ensure mobile-friendly design and functionality.
  7. Competitor Analysis: Evaluate competitor strategies for insights.
  8. Continuous Monitoring: Adapt strategies based on ongoing analytics.

This structured approach ensures a methodical recovery from the drop in SERP rankings and sustained improvement in site visibility, delivering valuable insights and boosting overall SEO performance.

Remember, navigating through ranking fluctuations demands patience, persistence and a consistent commitment to refining your website’s SEO strategies.

Bruce Clay is founder and president of Bruce Clay Inc., a global digital marketing firm providing search engine optimization, pay-per-click, social media marketing, SEO-friendly web architecture, and SEO tools and education. Connect with him on LinkedIn or through the BruceClay.com website.

See Bruce's author page for links to connect on social media.

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7 Replies to “SERP Rankings Drop? Recovery Steps for Your Site”

This article is very interesting and informative. thanks for sharing this article.

I have been getting a lot of useful and informative material from your blog.

Thanks for sharing this informative blog! It provides a comprehensive overview of the steps to take when experiencing a drop in SERP rankings, from analyzing website changes to addressing technical issues and adapting to Google’s algorithm updates.

There are several Google algorithm updates that may cause rankings drop.

The thing I hear most often in SEO is patience. We are patient to rank, so restoring rankings is also improving rankings. On the other hand, it is about improving the website’s problems. This is clearly a good thing, for the perfection and development of the website. Thank you to the author for the easy-to-understand, concise and truly effective instructions

I’ve had a couple of sites driop in ranking October and November of 2023. Improving page speed metrics seems to be helping with the recovery. WP-Rocket it a godsend for wordpress.

It is really very helpful for us and I have gathered some important information from this blog.

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