Marketing 3 min read

Mueller Explains Why Sites Lose Their Google Rankings

Solen Feyissa /

Solen Feyissa /

In a recent Webmaster Hangout, a site owner asked John Mueller about Google rankings.

The site owner explained that his three websites had been successful for the past seven or eight years. Since the sites sell similar products under the same brands, all three used related keywords.

At some point, the site owner noticed that the three websites started losing keyword rankings. In other words, the position of specific pages on the search engine was declining, for no apparent reason. Even after evaluating their inbound and outbound links, the publisher couldn’t find anything wrong with the websites.

In response, Mueller stated four reasons why sites may lose search rankings. While the list is not comprehensive, it provides a general overview.

Four Reasons Why Websites Lose Their Google Rankings

1. Top Google Rankings are Never Permanent

When a page makes it to the top of the search engine ranking, it’s easy to feel like you’ll remain there. However, Mueller pointed out that top rankings are temporary.

In general, just because the site was appearing well in search results for a number of years does not mean that it will continue to appear well in search results in the future,” he said.

Mueller further hinted that the web is a very dynamic environment, and these types of changes are not uncommon there.

2. The Web is Continually Changing

Speaking of a dynamic environment, Mueller noted that the internet is continually changing. Whether it’s the competitors gaining links or new websites popping up, several factors can affect a web page’s relevance.

On the one hand, things on the web change with your competitors, with other sites…” Mueller said.

3. Google Algorithm Changes

An algorithm change usually means that Google is changing how it understands web pages. And this can result in a dramatic drop in search ranking.

On the other hand, things on our side change with our algorithms in search,” Mueller noted.

4. Users’ Expectation Changes

Finally, the Google advocate pointed out that user interest changes can affect a site’s organic traffic.

For example, if a type of product becomes less popular, the traffic to sites selling the product will decline. As such, it’s vital to always keep up with the trends.

And finally, on the user side as well, the expectations change over time,” Mueller said. “So just because something performed well in the past doesn’t mean it will continue to perform well in search in the future.

Read More: Google’s John Mueller Says Heading Tags are a Strong Signal

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