Google On A Site Dropping In Ranking For One Keyword

Apr 17, 2023 - 7:31 am 4 by

Google Rankings Rollercoaster

Gary Illyes from Google spoke about the topic of a website dropping in rankings for a single keyword or single keyword phrase while ranking fine for others. Can it happen? And if it does happen, what should you look out for?

This question came up in the latest Google SEO office hours at the 10:23 mark where Gary from Google said that it would be "really uncommon that you would completely lose rankings for just one keyword."

The question asked was, "Is there a way that my site was deleted from SERP for one certain keyword? We were 1st and now we are absent completely. Page is in the index."

Gary said if you do see that happen, it "usually" means you were "out-ranked by someone else in search results."

What happens if you really did disappear for that one keyword phrase? Gary said:

(1) Check to make sure that this is not a regional thing where you rank well in one region but you don't rank in another region. "I would check if that's the case globally." "Ask some remote friends to search for that keyword and report back. If they do see your site then it's just a glitch in the matrix," he added.

If that is not the issue then...

(2) Check to see if you "did anything that might have caused it." He said, did you make any changes to your "internal link structure or page layout or acquired more links or if I use the disavow tool and so on each of these may have some effect on ranking."

Here is the video embed when this came up:

Here is the transcript:

Kamil is asking: Is there a way that my site was deleted from SERP for one certain keyword? We were 1st and now we are absent completely. Page is in the index.

It's really uncommon that you would completely lose rankings for just one keyword. Usually you just get out-ranked by someone else in search results instead if you did indeed disappear for this one particular keyword. First I would check if that's the case globally. Ask some remote friends to search for that keyword and report back. If they do see your site then it's just a "glitch in the matrix". If they don't, then next I would go over my past actions to see if I did anything that might have caused it. Have I changed my internal link structure or page layout or acquired more links or if I use the disavow tool and so on each of these may have some effect on ranking. So going through them is probably going to help.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

 

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