It can be incredibly frustrating when keyword ranking suddenly drops. It’s a sign that something isn’t right with your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, and it needs to be addressed quickly. But what could be causing keyword rankings to dip? There are several possibilities, and understanding each one is the key to getting keyword rankings back up again. In this article, we will discuss seven of the most common reasons why keyword ranking may go down so you can take actionable steps towards fixing any issues.

Here are 7 most common reasons why keyword rankings go down

Change in algorithm

Algorithm updates are one of the most common causes of keyword ranking fluctuations. As search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, keyword rankings may be affected when changes occur. This is because each new algorithm update focuses on different elements of SEO, such as keyword usage, page authority, content quality and structure, meta tags and descriptions, linking strategies, and other factors. Monitoring keyword rankings regularly and staying up to date on algorithm updates is essential for keeping keyword rankings steady.

On-page optimization

On-page optimization is an essential component of any successful SEO strategy. If the on-page optimization of a website is poor, keyword ranking can suffer as a result. Poor keyword usage, inadequate content length, keyword stuffing, and excessive use of duplicate content are some of the issues that can lead to keyword ranking drops.

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Technical issues

Technical issues such as broken links, slow loading pages and other errors can also have a detrimental effect on keyword rankings. When search engine bots crawl websites, they are looking for signals that indicate the website is well maintained and optimized to deliver quality content to users. If a website has technical issues, such as broken links and slow loading pages, then keyword ranking can be affected.

Technical SEO and Content SEO are 2 different things know the difference between content and technical SEO

Competitor activity

Competitor activity can have a significant impact on keyword ranking. If a competitor’s website improves their SEO efforts and tactics, then they may be able to surpass your keyword rankings. This could be due to the fact that they are optimizing their content more effectively than yours, or they might have implemented better keyword targeting strategies. For example, if they are using keyword modifiers, related keyword phrases, and long-tail keywords more efficiently than your website is, then this could lead to their keyword rankings surpassing yours.

You can check out these 5 Search engine optimization tools which can help you in competitor benchmarking

Content quality

Content quality is an integral part of search engine optimization (SEO). If the content on a website is outdated, low quality, or irrelevant, it may affect keyword ranking. This is because search engine algorithms prioritize websites with high-quality and up-to-date content over those with lower quality and out-of-date content. Poor keyword usage, keyword stuffing, and low keyword density can also have a negative impact on keyword rankings.

Backlink profile is one of the most important elements to consider when it comes to keyword rankings. The quality and quantity of backlinks on a website can have a direct effect on keyword ranking. Changes in the backlink profile, such as a decrease in the number of high-quality backlinks, can also cause keyword rankings to drop.


Penalty from search engines can have a massive impact on keyword rankings. Search engine algorithms are designed to reward and penalize websites based on their SEO performance, and if a website is found to be in violation of search engine guidelines, it can be issued a penalty that leads to keyword ranking drops. Penalties can vary in severity, ranging from keyword ranking drops to complete removal from search engine results pages.

By understanding the common causes of keyword ranking drops, website owners and SEOs can take steps to address any issues that may be impacting keyword rankings. This includes making sure the website is properly optimized for keyword usage, addressing technical issues on the website, monitoring competitor activity, producing high-quality content, and maintaining a healthy backlink profile. Additionally, website owners should ensure that their websites are adhering to search engine guidelines and avoiding any potentially malicious activities that could lead to keyword rank drops as a result of penalties. By addressing these potential keyword ranking issues in advance, website owners can protect keyword rankings from unexpected drops.

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Brandshark is a leading creative digital marketing agency with expertise in search engine optimization. Founded by professional marketers and SEO experts, Brandshark has been helping businesses reach their online marketing goals for over 10 years. For businesses that want to succeed in the ever-changing world of search engine optimization, Brandshark offers comprehensive services ranging from keyword research to content creation. With Brandshark, businesses can be sure that their keyword rankings are protected against unexpected drops and they have the best chance of success on search engine result pages.