Understanding the reason for why your ranking suddenly dropped on Google can be extremely frustrating. We gathered a few things we always check when assessing a ranking drop or a decrease in views.
1. Check that your city name defined by Google (in other words, the location pin) is the same as the one you have added to your address. If you are at the city's border, e,g, London and Oxford, and Google defines your location as in Oxford, then you might rank poorly for searches including "London". A solution to this is to move the location pin inside the border of the city you want to rank.
2. Check if there have been any Google algorithm changes. In other words, check if there has been a significant fluctuation in ranking for other similar businesses or profiles in general.
3. Check what companies are ranking now that did not rank before. Are any new businesses in the essential keywords not on top of the list? Have you dropped out of the local pack? Are there any spammy listings outranking the profile? Have there been any changes to the local search results?
4. Has the knowledge panel disappeared? Was there previously a knowledge panel on the right side of desktop searches, but it is no longer for brand searches?
5. Has your business profile been filtered? Local filters were introduced with the Possum Update in 2016. If there are two or more profiles at the exact location, then the local filter comes into play. It can make another profile shadow your business, and your profile views drop. You can first identify what GBP profiles cast a shadow on yours. Once you have sorted that out, you can check which categories that company is using, how many reviews they have, and whether their GBP landing page is better than yours. Also, duplicate profiles often lead to the original profile being filtered so find out if there are any duplicate profiles.
6. Scroll on Google Maps to see if the location pin has disappeared. Open Google Maps and navigate to the business location without doing any search. If the location pin has disappeared, edit and accept the location pin again. If the location pin doesn't appear, make a support request to Google to solve it.
An example of a sudden drop on Google Maps views due to a disappeared location pin:
The best way to stay on top in the search engines is by actively managing your business listings on Google.
Download our guide to learn how to optimize your Google Business Profile.