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Reasons your page could be deranked on search engines

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Did you wake up to find your web page deranked or your website deindexed? These things happen for many reasons ranging from human to algorithm-triggered issues. Below are some common reasons and what you should do to rectify them.

1. You disabled crawlability in your robot.txt

A robot.txt file tells web crawlers and other web bots what URLs shouldn’t be crawled on your site. So, when you accidentally include the page you want to be ranked in this protocol, your webpage will be removed from the search result.

To confirm this is the issue, use a URL testing tool to see if your URL shows this error: the page cannot be displayed or crawled due to robot.txt. If that’s the case, you should update your robot.txt to exempt the pages you want to appear on SERP.

2. You violated Google’s guidelines

When your site or page violates Google’s webmaster guidelines, human checkers at Google penalise it. This leads to a drastic drop in ranking by a minimum of 10; or even page removal.

When you notice this happening to your web pages, do the following:

 

  • Visit the Google Search Console

 

  • Click on Security and Manual actions.

 

  • Click on Manual Action

 

If that’s the problem, there will be an error report with a description of the issue, and a ‘learn more’ button to see how to fix it.

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3. You do sneaky redirects

Sometimes you have many pages you want to be shown as one, or you have changed the website and want visitors of your old page to land on the new page. The only way to do this is through redirects.

However, some people use this opportunity to lead the searchers to a different location (similar to cloaking). So, instead of a page talking about “How to catch your first fish,” you land on one talking about “incredible odds to win!” or something worse.

This is a violation of Google’s guidelines and will cause your page to be penalised.

4. You have been outperformed

Your competitors share the same desire as you to improve their position on search results. Sometimes your page could be deranked because your closest competitor has made some improvements that benefited their ranking.

In that case, you should run a rank tracking test with tools like SEMrush and Ahref to understand the situation. Are there several pages switching positions, both new and old? If yes, a subtle algorithm update is often the culprit.

However, suppose the same websites are outranking your page across different keywords. You need to analyse their pages to see what was improved and how to benefit from that.

5. There’s a new algorithm update

As mentioned above, search engine updates can cause your page to be deranked or removed. These updates improve areas that are lacking, close loopholes, and improve value. As such, your page might fall beneath the expected mark of the new update.

To check if that’s the case, google recent updates as shown below. You can also visit SEO news platforms like Search Engine Land, Moz, and Reddit SEO communities.

Whenever you notice your pages or site has been deranked, do routine checks to see what the problem is.

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    Frequently asked questions about donations journey

    • SEO is constantly changing. Every year, Google makes over 400-500 algorithm updates to improve search results. Here are some things you should do or avoid to rank better.

    • Many successful businesses outrank yours in search results and conversion. To meet and exceed them, you need to study what they’re doing better and how you can improve on that. Here is how to go about it.

    • You should regularly update your website and content because websites that update their old content regularly, can see up to 106% growth in organic traffic. Here are some tips to help you boost your website performance.

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