8 Things That Can Hurt Your Site Rankings


As hard as we try to stay in line with best practices, every website is bound to have some SEO errors that can adversely affect search rankings.

And if you’re experiencing the impact of these errors, you’re not alone.

In fact, in a study that evaluated landing page adherence to site performance best practices, Cambridge University researchers looked at elements such as using HTTPS, displaying images with correct aspect ratios and serving with the appropriate resolution, and more.

Not one page had a perfect score.

Let’s take a deep dive into some of the most common SEO errors so that you can start things off on the right foot, or get yourself off the wrong path if you’re already on it!

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1. Low Quality Links to Your Site

Any link created or purchased with the intention of manipulating the PageRank that directly impacts a site’s ranking in the search results is referred to as a low-quality link. 

Low-quality links are links from low-quality web directories, low-quality article directories, low-quality guest posts, or spam comments.


Quality backlinks are beneficial because you know what you’re getting. … Because the links are from high domain authority websites, they are also more valuable than other backlinks. The more highquality links you build, the better your rankings will be.

2. Updating Title Or Meta Tags

The title tag is an extremely important ranking element because it lets Google understand your web page’s contents. Hence, even a slight change in the title tag might cause fluctuations in rankings. 

For example, if the title tag of your homepage is “Web Design Company Focusarc” and you changed it to “Hire A Web Designer In Focusarc” then your rankings might get affected for keywords like “web design company Focusarc” because you just removed the word “Company” from the page’s title tag. 


Do not change your title and meta tags often, as this can negatively affect your rankings.

It is better to apply the change on a single page and see the results before moving on to another page.

3. Changing Content

There might be a sudden drop in rankings after making any changes in your site content, including H1s. Content is a critical ranking factor, and all the webpages rank based on content. Any changes in it are likely to cause fluctuations in rankings. 

You can edit your blog posts all you want but sadly every edit will count if you were hoping to have a bit of a free reign of experimental editing.

But that doesn’t mean that you should leave your blog posts untouched for fear of hurting their performance. Often editing posts to update their keyword information and copy and images can improve their ranking.

Q: Does editing blog affect seo?

It does, and that is a good thing. Feel confident to edit and update your blog, and don’t forget to change the date on it. Google will get the signal that the content is updated and it will rank it with all the changes.

4. Getting Low-Quality Traffic

Low-quality traffic does not hurt your site rankings directly, but they can do so indirectly.

If you notice that your site has started receiving tons of low-quality traffic, then perhaps your site is getting links from low-quality directories or irrelevant sites via paid links or negative SEO; this can directly impact the number of conversions, time on page, bounce rate, etc.

All these factors combined will tell Google that users are not liking your website meaning the rankings could be pushed down.


If your website gets less than 5-10 conversions per week, you have a low traffic website, says famous conversion expert Bryan Eisenberg

5. Violating Copyright Knowingly or Unknowingly

If your site receives a lot of valid copyright removal notices, then your rankings will drop. In the words of Google, “Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results.

This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily—whether it’s a song previewed on NPR’s music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify.” 


Visit the Google Transparency Report and enter your website URL to see the number of requests filed by others against your website. 

6. Mobile Friendliness

A website that is not mobile-friendly might be pushed down in the rankings because Google always wants to improve the UX, and a responsive website is the first step in improving UX.

For this reason, Google moved to the mobile-first index, meaning it now ranks websites based on their mobile version of content instead of the desktop. 

If you still don’t have a mobile-friendly responsive website, then chances are your website will continue to lose its current rankings in the search results.


Take the mobile-friendly test to check the mobile-friendliness of your website. 

7. Local Seo Citations

Surprisingly, many companies completely forget to utilize local SEO citations and opportunities. Believe it or not, something as simple as adding and verifying your business with Google can jump you to the top of local search results. Take full advantage of whatever local SEO citations you can.


Local SEO allows you to put important information about your site online, such as the address and phone number of your business. In addition, you can highlight and promote the type of products or services you offer on your website using SEO techniques.

8. Content Readability

Readability is the ease at which most readers can read your content. Writing shorter sentences and using similar vocabulary will grant you a higher readability score.

Use Short and Simple Words. This is the most direct way for improving your Flesch-Kincaid readability score. The higher the score, the higher the SEO ranking.

Try to make your content as concise as possible for an optimal readability score.


Ensure when you write your blog post that you include plenty of headings, using H2 and H3 tags appropriately. The Yoast readability analysis will help you know if you have included enough, or if there are any parts of your text that need to be broken up with more subheadings


Can you change the title of a blog and submit for indexing when you have already submitted your blog URL for live indexing under a different title?

Yes, you can change the title of any file you publish on your blog. Google will eventually find that you’ve made the change and update its index accordingly, but if you want to force the issue you can do so from Google search console.

Log into your Google search console account and on the left-hand side click on the 3rd link down for URL inspection. Then at the top of the page paste in the URL that you are trying to update and hit enter. Google will then tell you if the URL is currently in its index. You should see a screen something like this:

search console

Click on the link that says request indexing. Google will test to see if the live URL can be indexed and if it can, will send you a notice that it has been added to a priority queue.


Bottom Line

All your SEO efforts will be wasted if you don’t keep an eye on the number of factors that can hurt your website. A single mistake can make your site lose its existing rankings.

Always follow the above SEO checklist and continually monitor your website for factors that might hurt your site in the future.

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