Ranking Audit

- Is your website new?

It takes Google about a month to figure out where it wants to rank a new website. It needs time to collect signals.

- Does your site suffer from a manual penalty?

Google reports all its penalties in Google Search Console. If your site suffers from a manual penalty, fix it to recover any ranking demotion. You may have to wait for a Panda or Penguin algorithm refresh to recover rankings fully. This can take several months to a year.

- Does the site contain a high ratio of low quality, unoriginal or thin content, or work in progress pages?

Such pages don't offer much value to users and are not bubbled up in rankings by the Panda algorithm. Either mark such pages as NOINDEX until they are production ready or remove them from your site.

The Panda algorithm works at the site level. If your site has a bad score, all your pages will be impacted. After you have cleaned your site, it will often take a Panda refresh to fully benefit from your efforts.

- Does your site have many internal 404 (broken links)?

Broken links are reported both in Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools. A couple of broken internal links won't hurt your rankings, but a significant quantity can be interpreted as a signal of low quality.

- Does the site contain a high ratio of duplicate content pages?

Sites containing a high ratio of duplicate content pages dilute their value and PageRank unnecessarily. This impacts rankings negatively. Use canonical links to solve this issue.

- Are internal links set to NOFOLLOW?

NOFOLLOW internal links don't pass link juice, and this impacts ranking negatively. Make those links DOFOLLOW to solve this issue.

- Are internal links created between your pages?

Creating relevant internal links between pages help search engines understand what they are about. It also let PageRank flow.

- Are unnatural link or links from spammy sites pointing to your site?

Such links can trigger a Penguin algorithmic penalty. Use Google's disavow tool to neutralize them.

- Did you acquire your domain name from a previous owner?

Your domain may have a bad backlink profile or may have been penalized (check with Google Search Console). Fix all issue and then notify Google you are a new owner.

You may have to wait for a Penguin or Panda algorithm refresh before seeing a full recovery.

- Are you redirecting pages from an old domain name?

If your previous domain name was penalized by Google, the penalty can sometime be passed to the new domain via redirects. In that case, don't implement redirects from the old site to the new site. Just copy valuable content. It will be treated like new content.

- Is your CSS or Javascript blocked by your robots.txt file?

Even if search engines can access your pages, not being able to access CSS and Javascript mean they can't be sure of what is being displayed to users. If Google can't trust content, it won't rank it.

Sometimes, sites lose (or gain) rankings progressively because Google has updated its algorithms and is slowly recrawling its pages.

In other cases, Google may demote websites pointing to your site, or links from those websites. In that case, you don't benefit from the incoming PageRank anymore. There is nothing you can do about it.