Khám phá cách khôi phục thứ hạng Google giảm đột ngột – Hướng dẫn [2023]

Detecting and Recovering from a Drop in Google Rankings

A sudden drop in your Google rankings can occur due to various factors, including changes in content, algorithm updates, technical issues, improvements made by competitors, changes in SERP layout, or even a Google penalty. To help you quickly diagnose the issue and recover your rankings, we have created a handy checklist.

Imagine this scenario: your rankings have suddenly plummeted, perhaps dropping dozens of positions or even disappearing from the top 100. Naturally, you start to panic. But don’t fret just yet. Drops in Google rankings are a common occurrence in the world of SEO.

The good news is that most of the time, there’s nothing to be overly concerned about. It could be a temporary glitch in your rank tracking application or Google tweaking its ranking algorithm. Give it another day and often things will return to normal.

However, if your rankings don’t bounce back or you simply want to make sure everything is in order, follow the steps below and download our checklist. This will help you determine whether your website is experiencing SEO issues or if Google just needs a bit more time.

When your rankings suddenly drop, the key is not to panic. It’s crucial to have a list of things to check in place, so that you do the right things for the right reasons and don’t start pushing buttons at random that could make matters worse. Always keep in mind that Google doesn’t care about your website, they only care about their users (and their own bottom line). Follow the user, and rankings will come.

Step 1: Confirm the Ranking Drop

First, make sure that your rankings have indeed dropped and it’s not an issue with your rank tracking tool. Check the website and Twitter account of your rank tracker for any known issues. Sometimes, when Google makes changes to its search engine result pages, rank trackers need to update their software and may report inaccurate rankings.

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To verify the ranking drop, check your web analytics suite and Google Search Console. Look for any significant declines in clicks and impressions. This will confirm that your rankings have indeed dropped.

Example:

Verify using analytics, Google Search Console and other tools

Once you have confirmed the ranking drop, proceed to the next step to assess the impact of the drop.

Step 2: Assess the Impact of the Ranking Drop

The search queries and pages affected by the ranking drop can provide valuable insights into the underlying issue. Use your rank tracking application, web analytics data, Google Search Console, and Bing Webmaster Tools data to identify the scope of the ranking drop’s impact.

Create a list of search queries that experienced a ranking drop. For each query, note the cluster it belongs to, the old ranking, the new ranking, the difference, the URL that was ranking, the content type that was ranking, and any relevant comments. This will help you identify patterns and determine which sections of your website were most affected.

Example:

Step 2: Scope the ranking drop's impact

Additionally, if you are using Google Analytics 4, you can analyze the impact of the ranking drop by comparing engagement metrics for different timeframes, regions, or other patterns you identified during the assessment.

Step 3: Evaluate Recent Website Changes

Significant changes to your website, such as content updates, a redesign, or changes to your internal link structure, can often cause ranking drops. It’s essential to investigate if any recent changes may have triggered the drop.

Start by asking your team or agency if there were any high-impact changes made to the website. Check your project management software and code repository for any relevant activity.

Next, examine your SEO monitoring tool to track technical and content changes. Ensure that search engines are still crawling and indexing your website correctly. Check for changes in HTTP status codes, canonical URLs, meta robots tags, robots.txt, hreflang definitions, and other technical elements that may impact your rankings.

Example:

Technical changes

If you’ve made content changes, analyze the impact on your rankings. Look for any alterations in title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and body content. Changes in these elements can significantly affect your rankings.

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Example:

Content changes

If you find any technical or content changes that may be responsible for the ranking drop, investigate further to determine their impact. If not, proceed to the next step.

Step 4: Investigate Technical Issues

Technical issues can have a direct impact on your rankings. Conduct a log file analysis to identify any crawl or indexing issues. Check for any blocking of Googlebot or changes in load times that may affect your rankings.

Review your server logs and analyze HTTP status codes, canonical URLs, meta robots tags, and other technical elements. Ensure that search engines can access and crawl your website properly.

Example:

When rankings drop, crawl rate for specific pages or the whole domains goes down. Analyzing log files is a great way to verify it’s a devaluation or some other sort of thing. You also get a better understanding when exactly rankings might have dropped and can correlate it to updates or changes on your site.

Step 5: Check for Google Algorithm Updates

Google algorithm updates can significantly impact rankings. Research if the ranking drop coincides with a known Google update. While smaller updates are not always publicly announced, SEO specialists closely monitor fluctuations and try to identify possible updates.

Check resources like Barry Schwartz’s “Was There A Google Update” to see if there have been reports of recent updates. You can also use tools like Advanced Web Ranking, RankRanger, Algoroo, and AccuRanker to monitor ranking volatility over time.

Remember, ranking drops due to algorithm updates may not happen instantly. Google needs time to process and recalculate data sets. Keep this in mind as you analyze the impact of algorithm updates on your rankings.

Step 6: Consider Google SERP Updates

Google can change its search engine result page (SERP) layout by introducing new elements that affect your snippet’s visibility and click-through rate. Monitor the SERP for your targeted queries and assess if any changes have occurred that could impact your rankings.

Take note of featured snippets and other elements that may attract more attention than your snippet. These changes can influence your organic traffic and rankings.

Step 7: Evaluate Disavowed Backlinks

Sometimes, disavowing spammy backlinks can unintentionally harm your rankings. Evaluate whether you have disavowed any valuable backlinks that could have contributed positively to your SEO performance. Disavowing spammy backlinks is not always necessary unless there is clear malicious intent.

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Step 8: Check for Google Manual Actions

If you have exhausted all other possibilities and still cannot determine the cause of the ranking drop, check if you have received a manual action from Google. Manual actions occur when a human reviewer at Google identifies issues with your website that violate Google’s spam policies.

Check Google Search Console for any manual actions or notifications related to your website. If you have received a manual action, take the necessary steps to resolve the issue and request a reconsideration.

Step 9: Rule Out Website Hacking

Although rare, website hacking can impact your rankings by introducing malicious code and spammy content. Check if your website has been hacked by reviewing Google Search Console’s security issues section. If Google detects any security issues, they will notify you through the Search Console.

If your website has been hacked, take immediate action to regain control of your website and restore it to its original state.

Step 10: Consider Changes in Search Intent and Behavior

Google’s understanding of search intent may change over time, affecting the relevance of websites for specific queries. Keep an eye on shifts in search behavior, especially during significant events like the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes in search behavior can impact rankings and the demand for certain products and services.

Step 11: Monitor Competitors’ Activities

Your competitors may be making strategic moves to improve their rankings, which could impact your own rankings. Assess if competitors have gained featured snippets, improved content quality, acquired more high-quality backlinks, enhanced user experience, or made other significant improvements.

Gather insights from your findings and develop a plan to regain your rankings and outperform your competition.

Step 12: Evaluate Lost Backlinks

Backlinks remain a crucial ranking factor, and losing valuable backlinks can have a significant impact on your rankings. Use tools like Ahrefs, Majestic, Monitor Backlinks, or Kerboo to check if you have lost any impactful backlinks. Monitor your backlinks regularly to identify any lost links and attempt to restore them.

Step 13: Check for URL Removal Requests in Google Search Console

In rare cases, URLs may be unintentionally blocked from appearing in Google search results due to URL Removal requests. Check Google Search Console’s Removals tool to ensure that your URLs are not blocked from surfacing in search results.

If you have exhausted all the steps above and still cannot determine the cause of the ranking drop, consider analyzing user engagement metrics and investigate the possibility of algorithmic penalties. Seeking assistance from an SEO consultant may also help unravel the mystery behind the ranking drop.

Remember, ranking drops are a common occurrence in SEO. Stay calm, follow a systematic approach to diagnose the issue, and monitor your website’s performance regularly to maintain a strong online presence.

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