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Top 4 reasons why your Google rankings dropped

Most webmasters face this problem sooner or later. The rankings of your website on Google have dropped and you don't know why this happened.

Google and your website

Here are the top 4 reasons why rankings on Google can drop:

Reason 1: Your website has been penalized or banned from Google

Search for "" on Google (replace with your actual domain name). If Google returns one or more pages from your website then your website has not been fully banned.

What you can do to solve that problem:

Find out what you have done wrong on your website. Google doesn't like spamming, cloaking, link building and similar shady tactics. Clean up your website and ask for reconsideration.

Reason 2: Your server rejects Google's spider

Have you installed a new robots.txt file lately? Does your robots.txt file allow Google to index your website? Have you changed your htaccess file? Have you recently installed a spam bot blocker?

Are you 100% sure that the spam bot blocker lets Google through to your website? Google uses different IP addresses for its different spiders and some spam blockers might accidentally block one of the spiders. This might also look like cloaking to Google.

What you can do to solve that problem:

Double check the settings in your robots.txt file, your htaccess file and your spam bot blockers. If possible, avoid bot blockers because they might send the wrong bots away.

Reason 3: Google has changed its algorithm

Google is continually tweaking its algorithm. It might be that one of the latest changes affected your website. Last year, Google released more than 450 changes of the ranking algorithm. That's more than 37 per month.

What you can do to solve that problem:

Check your website with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer and follow its advice so that your website is compliant to Google's latest algorithm. By using the Top 10 Optimizer you make sure that your web pages are perfectly optimized for Google's latest ranking algorithm.

Reason 4: Your competitors increased their efforts

You're not the only one who wants to get high rankings for your keywords. Search engine optimization is a constant competition. Your competitors might have done something better than you.

What you can do to solve that problem:

Analyze your competitors with IBP's Top 10 Optimizer to find out what they've done to get the top rankings. Get better inbound links than your competitors and optimize your web pages.

Things that brought your website to the top of Google's search result in the past might not work anymore today.

Google and your website

If you want to get on Google's first result page and stay there, you have to continually check if your website complies to Google's latest changes.

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July 2008 search engine articles