5 Technical Factors Responsible for Ranking Drop

Ideally, you’d want your SEO strategy to be consistent, constant and smooth. As nothing is perfect in this world, situations tend to change quicker in the internet world as compared to other niches, and therefore, the word “constant” doesn’t exist in SEO dictionary. But you can always try, by investing time and effort in your SEO strategy. Or you can hire one of the best search engine optimization services to take care of your online business. In reality, regardless of your knowledge and experience, at some point of time, you’ll see the drop in your rankings, only to increase your frustration and confusion.

SEO has gone so complicated that you cannot define it with the help of single variable.

The problem is, SEO and online visibility are such complicated topics that they’re impossible to reduce to single variables. Each of your effort, whether it’s web hosting or the kind ofsocial media marketingyou opted for, affect your search rankings.

So, from where you initiate the troubleshooting when you see a drop in web ranking?
Generally, there are two factors that can cause a dive:

  • Quantitative factors: Sometimes, technical factors are responsible for your site’s ranking. For example, if your site isn’t structured in a way that Google can see and readily interpret, it won’t be able to index your site, and your rankings will drop. These tend to be obvious once spotted, but they require a degree of technical expertise to solve.
  • Qualitative factors.Sometimes, there are non-technical factors for a ranking drop and they are hard to identify. Google’s Panda evaluates the quality of content, whereas Penguin evaluates the quality of links. Identifying these qualitative aspects is almost impossible since Google never reveals the working of these algorithms.

Anyhow, here is how you should approach to the problem

Technical Factors to Check When Your Rankings Drop

Technical issues are easier to locate and fix. If ranking was affected by technical factors, chances are, you’ll overcome this issue by fixing technical aspects of your website:

Here are things to check:

  1. Web Hosting

Hosting is your starting point. At times, due to the problem at the end of the hosting provider, your website becomes temporarily unavailable. Sometimes it does not operate properly. Perhaps, the poor loading time is responsible for the drop. All these issues are related to the hosting provider. You need to run an audit on your hosting situation and consider switching if you’re not receiving consistent service.

  1. Robots.txt file

Robots.txt file instructs Google how to view and index your website. You can use it to instruct Google not to index certain pages. Pages with duplicate content are more likely to be indexed. However, many people end up making mistakes in the robots.txt file, masking the entire site from being indexed.

  1. 301 Redirects

If you set up a 301 redirect improperly, it could result in a number of different errors, such as duplicate indexing or the complete loss of certain pages of your site. Be sure you’re actually using 301 redirects, and not 302 (temporary) redirects or any other means of forwarding traffic.

  1. Content Loading

Sometimes, technical hiccups are simple and easy to identify. If some of your content isn’t loading properly, it could cause your rankings to tank. For example, if none of the images or videos on your site are loading on mobile devices, you could suffer a massive blow to your mobile rankings and traffic.

  1. Functional Errors

Functional errors can range from very small, such as broken internal links, to very large, such as entire sections of your site that aren’t loading or running properly. Some of these functional errors can bleed into qualitative factors, such as:

  • Poor user experience, or
  • Pages not loading quickly enough

Then you need to run performance tests on multiple devices to check for these errors proactively.


If none of these technical factors seem to be affecting your site, you’ll have to start looking for qualitative, non-technical issues that might be wrong with your site.

About the author  ⁄ Jon L. Ratcliff

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