Maintaining website rankings in the competitive online business world is crucial. However, several technical and algorithm errors can lead to a drop in website rankings, affecting your visibility and potential customers. In this blog, we will learn about the 12 most common mistakes that may cause your website rankings to plummet and provide practical solutions to rectify them.
12 Common Technical Problems and Algorithm Errors Causing Website Rankings to Drop: Example + Solution
1. Slow Website Loading Speed
Error: Slow loading speed can lead to higher bounce rates and reduced user satisfaction.
Example: Before optimization, the website took 12 seconds to load. It led to a high bounce rate as users lost patience and left. After compressing images and enabling browser caching, the loading time became 3 seconds. As a result, users are now more likely to stay and explore the site’s content.
2. Non-Mobile Friendly Design
Error: Mobile-friendliness is a crucial ranking factor; a non-responsive design can lower rankings.
Solution: Adopt a responsive design, test on multiple devices, and use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
Example: With a responsive design, the website’s layout becomes cohesive on mobile devices. The text was too small, and the buttons were hard to tap. With a responsive design, the website now reorganizes content and adjusts font sizes, making it easy to read and navigate on various devices.
3. Thin or Low-Quality Content
Error: Low-quality, thin, or plagiarized content fails to engage users and has no value in search engines.
Solution: Create high-quality, informative, and valuable content, employing relevant keywords naturally.
Example: Previously, the blog had short, shallow posts that lacked valuable insights. Each blog post is well-researched and comprehensive, offering step-by-step guides and practical examples to help readers understand complex topics.
4. Keyword Stuffing
Error: Overloading content with keywords can lead to penalization by search engines.
Solution: Use keywords strategically and maintain a natural flow of content.
Example: In the past, the product description included the keyword so many times that it sounded unnatural. The product description maintains a natural flow while strategically integrating the keyword, making it readable and appealing to potential buyers.
5. Lack of Internal and External Links
Error: Insufficient linking affects user navigation and search engine crawlers.
Solution: Incorporate relevant internal and external links to enhance user experience and credibility.
Example: An article on gardening needed links to related articles and external resources. After updating, the report includes links to planting guides, gardening tools, and reputable horticulture websites, enriching the reader’s experience.
6. Broken Links and 404 Errors
Error: Broken links frustrate users and negatively impact SEO.
Solution: Regularly check for broken links and implement 301 redirects for removed pages.
Example: Visitors clicking the “Contact Us” link encountered a “404 – Page Not Found” error. Now, clicking on the link takes them to a dedicated contact page, ensuring they can easily reach the business.
7. Ignoring Metadata and Alt Tags
Error: Missing or poorly optimized metadata and alt tags hinder search engines from understanding your content.
Solution: Craft compelling meta titles and descriptions and use descriptive alt tags for images.
Example: Previously, when sharing a blog post on social media, the preview displayed a generic image. After optimizing metadata and adding alt tags to images, shared links show the intended featured image and a compelling description.
8. Ignoring HTTPS Protocol
Error: Not using HTTPS can lead to security issues and a drop in Google ranking.
*Solution:* Secure your website with an SSL certificate to ensure data encryption.
Example: A browser warning appears when submitting personal information on a website without HTTPS. The sign disappeared by implementing HTTPS with an SSL certificate, assuring users that their data is secure during transactions.
9. Inadequate Social Signals
Error: Ignoring social media can result in missed opportunities for engagement and traffic.
Solution: Leverage social media platforms for sharing content and interacting with your audience.
Example: The company missed out on potential customers because there were no social media sharing buttons on product pages. By adding prominent social sharing buttons, customers can now easily share their favorite products with friends and followers.
10. Poor Backlink Profile
Error: Low-quality or spammy backlinks can lead to search engine penalties.
Solution: Conduct regular backlink audits, disavow toxic links, and focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks.
Example: A business saw a drop in Google page rankings due to low-quality backlinks from unrelated sites. After identifying and disavowing these harmful links, the website’s ranking gradually improved, increasing organic traffic.
11. Duplicate Content
Error: Identical or substantially similar content can confuse search engines and harm Google’s ranking.
Solution: Check for duplicate content using tools like Copyscape and rewrite or consolidate as needed.
Example: The website had multiple pages with identical product descriptions, confusing visitors. Customers now receive clear and distinct information about the offerings by creating unique reports for each product.
12. Not Keeping Up with Algorithm Updates
Error: Ignoring search engine algorithm changes can result in outdated SEO practices.
Solution: Stay updated with algorithm changes, adapt your strategies accordingly, and follow reputable SEO blogs.
Example: Following an algorithm update, a travel blog’s traffic plummeted because it failed to adapt its strategies. By staying informed about updates, the blog adjusted its content to align with the new algorithm’s preferences, leading to a recovery in traffic and visibility.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: How can I test my website’s loading speed?
A1: You can use online tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to analyze your website’s loading speed and receive suggestions for improvement.
Q2: What is the significance of mobile-friendliness for SEO?
A2: Mobile-friendliness is crucial for SEO because search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites, providing a better user experience for mobile users and potentially higher site rankings.
Q3: Can I use stock images without optimizing them?
A3: It is essential to optimize stock images by compressing them before use to reduce file size without compromising quality.
Q4: How many internal and external links should I include in my content?
A4: The number of links depends on the length and purpose of your content. Include enough to enhance user experience and provide relevant sources.
Q5: What is the purpose of alt tags for images?
A5: Alt tags (alternative text) describe images to search engines and visually impaired users, improving accessibility and SEO.
Q6: How does HTTPS affect my website’s rankings?
A6: HTTPS is a ranking factor, and secure websites build user trust and protect data. Websites without HTTPS may experience a drop in rankings.
Q7: Is social media engagement important for SEO?
A7: While social signals are not direct site ranking factors, social media engagement can increase brand visibility, drive traffic, and indirectly impact SEO.
Q8: How can I identify and remove toxic backlinks?
A8: Tools like Google Search Console and third-party tools like Moz and Ahrefs can help you identify harmful backlinks. You can then disavow them through Google Search Console.
Q9: Can I repurpose content across multiple pages without penalty?
A9: Repurposing content is acceptable, but ensure it’s sufficiently unique and valuable. Use canonical tags to indicate the source if necessary.
Q10: How often do search engine algorithms change?
A10: Search engine algorithms can change frequently. Staying updated with reputable SEO blogs and news sources will help you adapt to these changes effectively.
Avoiding these common technical problems and algorithm errors is crucial for maintaining solid website rankings. The suggested solutions can improve your website’s performance, enhance user experience, and attract organic traffic. To ensure your online success, consider seeking professional help from a trustworthy digital marketing agency, like ADverDigi, offering services such as content marketing, Google Ads, social media marketing, and top-notch SEO packages that can help you fix website rankings. Remember, staying proactive and optimizing your website will improve search engine visibility and increase business opportunities.