Kate Muller, SEO Account Manager, Splice Marketing
There are a number of reasons that you may have been ranking at the top of Google and now you’ve dropped.
If you’ve made changes to a page and you’ve noticed that just a few of your keywords around the content on that page have dropped off, Google’s either evaluating the changes you made or it’s decided that the changes don’t make you the most relevant anymore. The other option is that your competitors could have been putting effort into their SEO and Google now deems them more relevant than you.
If you notice that your whole site has a drop in rankings, however, this is where it can get a little bit more serious. So you may find that it’s accidentally being de-indexed from Google, which means that Google can’t crawl anymore. It can’t see it. This can happen if someone edits the robots.txt file, which can be done by someone who is either a developer or has some intermediate technical knowledge.
If you have a WordPress site, this can also be done in the settings option. There’s a little checkbox that says “discourage search engines from indexing this site”, and that can stop Google from seeing it as well. If this hasn’t happened and you’re still noticing a drop, you may have actually violated one of Google’s policies such as having too many spammy backlinks to your site, and they can actually issue you with a manual action. Now, what happens when they do this is they will send you a message to your Google Search Console dashboard, and it will refer you to the documentation on how to resolve the issue. But if you don’t have that and your site hasn’t been de-indexed, there could be other factors at play, and it’s definitely worth getting someone to check it out for you.