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SEO 5 min read November 23, 2016
Elena K.
There are various reasons why rankings can drop dramatically. In this article we will list some of the most common reasons and show you what and how to fix to get your rankings back up
The Most Common Reasons Rankings Dropped Dramatically

Editor at Serpstat
First of all, you should understand that regular tracking of your site's positions will help you notice any changes and react right away. Serpstat's Rank tracker has the detailed graph where 5 curves are displayed. If you see something like this one day, it's time to find out what could trigger it:

Google Algorithm Update

Google updates its algorithm several times a year, most of them are minor and don't lead to great changes in rankings. But there also are extensive ones, which usually are named after some animals, such as Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird and etc. They may result in dramatic drop if your website doesn't fit the new requirements. To avoid being penalized, backlinks' growth should be gradual. The list of them can be found in Google guidelines for webmasters. Also there is a list of techniques you need to avoid not to be penalized. Here are some of them:

  • Automatically generated content;
  • Participating in link schemes;
  • Cloaking;
  • Doorway pages;
  • Hidden text or links.
The recent boom of rankings drop is connected with Google Penguin update. Google Penguin is a google algorithm update that was announced in 2012 to catch sites that buy backlinks for better ranking. List of sites hit by Penguin was periodically refreshed and thus the sites that conducted black hat SEO techniques might not get busted at once.

Less than a month ago Google announced that Penguin became a part of its core algorithm. It means that Penguin now works in real time. Thus google penalties for spammy links are much faster now. If you find your site under this penalty try to remove spammy or low-quality links from the web. In case you cannot remove all of them you need to disavow the remaining links. For more detailed info read Google guide on this.


Dramatic Change of Backlinks' Number

A rapid change in the number of backlinks no matter relevant or not may lead to rankings drop. It happens because Google understanding that the significant number of backlinks cannot appear or disappear instantly, considers this as link manipulation. That's why you should add and remove links gradually. Lots of sites repeat the same mistake: after being caught in link schemes, they immediately start removing all these links. To check whether this reason could affect your site's rankings use Serpstat's Backlink Analysis. If you see the unnatural to your site rise or fall of backlinks, it's likely to be a possible reason.

Negative SEO from Your Competitors

Negative SEO is set of harmful techniques made against the competitor's site. Here are some of them:

  • Building spammy links to competitor's website

  • Pointing links to competitor's website using irrelevant anchors.

  • Removing competitor's high-quality backlinks

The web is flooded with the offers from people who are ready to conduct this work almost for nothing. Here is an example of such offer from fiverr and it's only $5.
The best solution here is to check your backlinks regularly. If you see that there are any low-quality and spammy links, delete them asap. Create a list of those you cannot remove and ask Google not to take them into account when assessing your site.
These are not all reasons that affect rankings drop, but as it was said at the beginning they are the most crucial. I hope that you find this article helpful and useful. Don't hesitate to ask your questions, we'll try do our best to help you.

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