Google’s 5-Step Plan To Diagnose Ranking Drop

Published on Tuesday, February 20th, 2024 by

Google Plan To Diagnose Ranking Drop
Google’s Search Liaison, Danny Sullivan, recently offered guidance on how to diagnose ranking declines. Sullivan provided the advice on X (formerly Twitter) to Wesley Copeland, owner of a gaming news website, who sought help after seeing a significant drop in traffic from Google searches.

Diagnose Ranking Drop

According to Copeland’s post, he’s been struggling to understand why his website’s status as the go-to source for Steam Deck guides has changed. He stated:

“Hey Danny! Any chance you could take a look at my website please? We used to be the go-to for guides on Steam Deck but got hit pretty badly and I’m a bit lost as to why.”

A Five-Step Plan To Diagnose Ranking Drop
Sullivan recommended several steps to diagnose and address potential issues with the website’s performance:

1. First, use Google Search Console to compare the site’s metrics over the past six months versus the prior period.
2. Next, sort the Queries report by click change to identify notable decreases.
3. Check if the site still ranks highly for those terms.
4.If so, the content quality and SEO may not be the problem.
5. Recognize that Google’s ranking algorithms evolve continually, so some volatility is expected.

“If you’re still ranking in the top results, there’s probably nothing fundamental you have to correct,” Sullivan assured.

He elaborated that changes in traffic could be due to Google’s systems finding other content that could be deemed more useful at the time.

Implications & Insights For SEO Professionals
Sullivan’s advice highlights the importance for SEO professionals to regularly analyze performance using tools like Google Search Console. His recommended approach can provide insights into traffic changes and identify areas to potentially optimise.

High search rankings require aligning with Google’s evolving ranking criteria. Google continually improves its algorithms to deliver the most relevant content to users. Therefore, search ranking fluctuations are expected.

Copeland’s experience demonstrates the volatile nature of SEO, demonstrating that even well-established websites can be impacted by changes to Google’s ranking priorities.

Sullivan’s final words offer a mix of assurance and the reality of SEO:

“But you probably don’t have any fundamental issues, and it might be the mix of how we show content could change to help you over time.”

The conversation between Copeland and Sullivan is a lesson in staying vigilant and responsive to the ever-evolving demands of Google’s algorithms.

Article Source: Search Engine Journal

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