Using the Flowchart Method for Diagnosing Ranking Drops — Best of Whiteboard Friday

Having the option to pinpoint the explanation behind a ranking drop is one of our generally enduring and conceivably baffling assignments as SEOs, particularly in 2020. There are a mysterious number of components that go into ranking nowadays, yet fortunately the approach for diagnosing those changes is promptly nearby. In this well known Whiteboard Friday, the magnificent Caseybiggs shows us an organized method to analyze ranking drops utilizing a flowchart technique and basic reasoning.

Hello, everybody. Welcome to the current week’s release of Whiteboard Friday. I am the new SEO Wordsmith here at caseybiggs, and I’m so eager to be here. Prior to this, I worked at an office for around six and a half years. I worked in the SEO office, and really a typical thing we experienced was a customer’s rankings dropped. What do we do?

This flowchart was somewhat worked out of that mindset of we need an intelligent work process to have the option to analyze precisely what occurred so we can make really directed suggestions for how toward fix it, how to get our customer’s rankings back. So how about we make a plunge. It will be a flowchart, so it’s somewhat nonlinear, however ideally this bodes well and encourages you work more brilliant instead of harder.

Was it a significant ranking drop?: No

The primary inquiry I’d need to pose is: Was their rankings drop major? By major, I would state that is something like page 1 to page 5 short-term. Minor would be something like it just fell several positions, like position 3 to situate 5.


We’re going to take this way first. It was minor.

Has there been an example of decrease enduring about a month or more noteworthy?

That is not an enchantment number. A month is something that you can use as a benchmark. Yet, on the off chance that there’s been a consistent decay and it’s been multi week it’s position 3 and afterward it’s position 5 and afterward position 7, and it just continues dropping over the long run, I would think about that as an example of decrease.


So assuming no, I would really say pause.

  • Instability is typical, particularly in case you’re at the base of page 1, maybe page 2 or more. There’s going to be much all the more moving of the query items in those positions. So instability is typical.
  • Keep your eyes on it, however. It’s really acceptable to just observe it like, “Hello, we dropped. Alright, I’m going to check that again one week from now and check whether it keeps on dropping, at that point maybe we’ll make a move.”
  • Endure it. Now, I would just alert against making huge site refreshes in the event that it hasn’t really been justified at this point. So instability is ordinary. Anticipate that. Keep your finger on the beat, yet just endure it now.

In the event that there has been an example of decay however, I’m going to have you bounce to the calculation update area. We’re going to arrive in a second. In any case, for the present, we’re going to go take the significant rankings drop way.

Was it a significant ranking drop?: Yes


The principal question on this way that I’d need to ask is:

Was there a position following issue?

Presently, a portion of these are going appear to be really fundamental, like how might that ever occur, yet trust me it happens from time to time. So just before we make significant updates to the site, I’d need to check the rank following.


I. An inappropriate space or URL.

That can be something that happens a ton. A site maybe you change spaces or maybe you move a page and that old page of that old area is as yet recorded in your ranking tracker. In the event that that is the situation, at that point the rank following instrument doesn’t know which URL to pass judgment on the rankings off of. So it will look like maybe you dropped to situate 10 short-term from position 1, and that is like, hold up, that is a tremendous update. Yet, it’s in reality just that you have an inappropriate URL in there. So just check that. In the event that there’s been a page update, an area update, check to ensure that you’ve refreshed your rank tracker.

II. Glitches.

So it’s product, it can break. There are things that could make it be off out of the blue. I don’t have the foggiest idea how regular that is. It presumably is absolutely reliant on which sort of programming you use. Be that as it may, glitches do occur, so I would physically check your rankings.

III. Physically check rankings.

One way I would do that is…

  • Go to undercover in Google and ensure you’re logged out so it’s not customized. I would look through the term that you’re needing to rank for and see where you’re really ranking.
  • Google’s Ad Preview device. That one is really acceptable as well on the off chance that you need to look through where you’re ranking locally so you can set your geolocation. You could do versatile versus work area rankings. So it could be really useful for things like that.
  • Crosscheck with another device. You can fly in your URLs, see where you’re ranking, and cross-check that with your own device.

So back to this. Rank following issues. Truly, you discovered your concern. On the off chance that it was just a position following device issue, that is really incredible, in light of the fact that it implies you don’t need to make a great deal of changes. Your rankings really haven’t dropped. However, on the off chance that that is not the issue, on the off chance that there is no rank following issue that you can pinpoint, at that point I would proceed onward to Google Search Console.

Issues in Google Search Console?

So Google Search Console is really useful for checking site wellbeing matters. One of the fundamental things I would need to check in there, in the event that you experience a significant drop particularly, is…


I. Manual activities.

In the event that you explore to Manual Actions, you could see notes in there like unnatural connections highlighting your site. Or then again maybe you have slender or inferior quality substance on your site. In the event that those things are available in your Manual Actions, at that point you have a reference point. You have something to go off of. There’s a great deal of work associated with lifting a manual punishment that we can’t get into here sadly. A few things that you can do to concentrate on manual punishment lifting…

  • Connection Explorer. You can check your inbound connections and see their spam score. You could see things like grapple text to check whether maybe the connections highlighting your site are watchword stuffed. So you can utilize devices like that.
  • There are a great deal of good articles as well, in the business, just on getting punishments lifted. Marie Haynes particularly has some really great ones. So I would check that out.

Be that as it may, you have discovered your concern if there’s a manual activity in there. So center around getting that punishment lifted.

II. Indexation issues.

Before you move out of Search Console, however, I would check indexation issues also. Maybe you don’t have a manual punishment. In any case, go to your record inclusion report and you can check whether anything you submitted in your sitemap is maybe encountering issues. Maybe it’s obstructed by robots.txt, or maybe you unintentionally no listed it. You could likely observe that in the record inclusion report. Search Console, alright. So indeed, you discovered your concern. No, you’re going to proceed onward to calculation refreshes.

Calculation refreshes

Calculation refreshes happen constantly. Google says that maybe one to two happen every day. Not those will be major. The significant ones, however, are recorded. They’re reported in various better places. Moz has a really decent rundown of calculation refreshes after some time. You can without a doubt reference that. There will be a great deal of good ones. You can explore to the specific year and month that your site encountered a rankings drop and check whether it maybe connects with any calculation update.

For instance, say your site lost rankings in about January 2017. That is about the time that Google discharged its Intrusive Interstitials Update, thus I would look on my site, if that was the issue, and state, “Do I have nosy interstitials? Is this something that is influencing my site?”

On the off chance that you can coordinate a calculation update with the time that your rankings began to drop, you have heading. You found an issue. On the off chance that you can’t coordinate it up to any calculation refreshes, it’s at last an ideal opportunity to proceed onward to site refreshes.

Site refreshes

What changes befell your site as of late? There are a variety of things that could have happened to your site. Just remember too that maybe you’re by all account not the only one who approaches your site. You’re the SEO, yet maybe technical support approaches. Maybe even your paid advertisement supervisor approaches. There are various individuals who could be making changes to the site. So just remember that when you’re investigating it. It’s the progressions that you made, yet changes that anybody made could influence the site’s ranking. Just investigate all conceivable factors.

Other factors that can affect rankings


Many things, like I stated, can impact your site’s rankings. A great deal of things can accidentally happen that you can pinpoint and state, “Goodness, that is unquestionably the reason.”

A few instances of things that I’ve by and by experienced on my customers’ sites…

I. Renaming pages and letting them 404 without refreshing with a 301 divert.

There was one circumstance where a customer had a blog. They had several really great blog entries. They were all ranking for pleasant, long tail terms. A customer messaged into technical support to change the name of the blog. Tragically, the entirety of the posts lived under the blog, and when he did that, he didn’t refresh it with a 301 divert, so those pages, that were ranking really pleasantly, they began to drop out of the file. The rankings went with it. There’s your concern. It was heartbreaking, however at any rate we had the option to analyze what occurred.

II. Content cutting.

Maybe you’re working with a UX group, a structure group, somebody who is taking a gander at the site from a visual, a client experience point of view. A great deal of times in these circumstances they may take a page that is loaded with really great, important substance and they may state, “Goodness, this is excessively cumbersome. It’s excessively cumbersome. It has an excessive number of words. So we’re going to supplant it with a picture, or we’re going to take a portion of the substance out.”

At the point when this occurs, if the substance was what was making your page rank and you cut that, that is most likely something that is going to influence your rankings adversely. Incidentally, if that is transpiring, Rand has a really decent Whiteboard Friday on sort of how to wed client experience and SEO. You should check that out if that is an issue for you.

III. Important backlinks lost.

Another circumstance I was diagnosing a customer and one of their backlinks dropped. For reasons unknown to be like the main thing that changed over this course of time. It was a really important backlink, and we discovered that they just dropped it out of the blue, and the customer’s rankings began to decrease after that time. Things like Moz’s devices, Link Explorer, you can go in there and see picked up and lost backlinks after some time. So I would check that out if maybe that may be an issue for you.

IV. Incidental no file.

Contingent upon what sort of CMS you work with, it may be really, really simple to incidentally check No Index on this page. On the off chance that you no record a really significant page, Google removes it from its list. That could occur. Your rankings could drop.So those are just a few instances of things that can occur. Like I stated, hundreds and several things could have been changed on your site, yet it’s just really critical to attempt to pinpoint precisely what those progressions were and on the off chance that they concurred with when your rankings began to drop.

SERP scene

So we got right to the base. In case you’re at where you’ve taken a gander at all of the site updates you despite everything haven’t discovered whatever would have caused a rankings drop, I would state at last glance at the SERP scene.

What I mean by that is just Google your catchphrase that you need to rank for or your gathering of watchwords that you need to rank for and see which sites are ranking on page 1. I would get a lay of the land and just observe:

  • What’s going on with these pages?
  • What number of backlinks do they have?
  • What amount content do they have?
  • Do they load quick?
  • What’s the experience?

At that point improve content than that. To rank, such a large number of individuals just think abstain from being nasty and abstain from having things broken on your site. Yet, that is not SEO. That is really just helping you have the option to contend. You must have content that is the most appropriate solution to searchers’ inquiries, and that is going to make you rank.

I trust that was useful. This is a really decent approach to just sort of work through a ranking drop conclusion. On the off chance that you have techniques, incidentally, that work for you, I’d love to get notification from you and see what worked for you before. Tell me, drop it in the remarks underneath.

Much obliged, everybody. Return one week from now for another version of Whiteboard Friday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

CaseyBiggs will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.