The 51Blocks Guide to Diagnosing Ranking Issues

Are your rankings suffering from, ahem, performance issues? Don’t be embarrassed- it happens to lots of websites. It can be hard to pinpoint the exact reason for a sudden drop in rankings, or to figure out why your page isn’t ranking like you wish it would. Fortunately, we have answers. Take a look at these common causes for ranking problems and use them to help tweak your pages until you are absolutely dominating search engine rankings like a total boss.


New Links– Though it seems like something that would boost your rankings, adding a bunch of new links to a domain actually can have the opposite effect. This is because Google has a way of sometimes not letting the impact of the new links count toward your overall rankings. You see, Google algorithms are always on the lookout for trust issues, and when it sees a crop of brand new links pointing back to your domain, it can apply something called a “rank transition function,” which effectively tries to thwart any attempts to manipulate search result rankings.

What to Do: The first step to take is to use a backlink tool such as Ahrefs to check the links themselves and make sure there is an unusual spike in activity coming from them. If that’s the case, you’ve found the cause of the drop in your rankings.


Lost Links- Just like the sudden presence of new links can cause your rankings to drop, so can the absence of existing links. Smaller websites depend on backlinks to drive traffic back to their domain; losing even one of those important backlinks can cause a noticeable drop in your rankings.

What to Do: Check all of the backlinks you’ve had for a long time to make sure they still are there, and that they still work. If any of them are missing or broken, take steps to ensure that they get restored. Try to come up with a process to regularly check these links so you don’t run into this problem again.


Algorithm Changes- Oh, Google, whatever shall we do with you? Since 2015, the updates to Google search algorithms have become more and more complex and sophisticated, causing SEO specialists to be less able to stay ahead of the changes and provide comprehensive analysis of the impact of each change. Because of this, it can be difficult to know what is causing sudden drops in rankings and how recent updates may be affecting them.

What to Do: Check out websites like Mozcast or  the Google ranking tool from Advanced Web Ranking to track the levels of fluctuation in your search results ranking. You can spot potential issues caused by Google algorithm updates by checking the dates for unusual activity. This can help you better spot the underlying causes of the decline in your rankings.


Still having problems figuring out what happened to your rankings? 51Blocks has a team of experts who love this stuff! We can help you get to the bottom of your rankings issues and provide solutions that can help boost your rankings even higher than they were before! Contact 51Blocks today to get started on SEO that will get you the results you need and boost your search rankings to new heights.

About The Author

Brittany Filori
Brittany Filori

Brittany is an accomplished COO & current CEO of 51Blocks who has written 3 digital marketing books including White Label Digital Marketing: How to Effectively Scale Your Agency for Time & Financial Freedom. Brittany is an expert on how agency owners can remove themselves from the day-to-day operations and focus on selling to scale. She helped create The Just Sell Method™ which has helped 300+ partners grow their book of clients and become more profitable with their own digital marketing agency. Brittany is passionate about leadership, operations, and agency growth.

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