“Our Google Ranking Dropped Dramatically. Any Insights?”

A site’s brand name is the same as a Biblical story. Google’s John Mueller responds to why they may have lost rankings.
SIA Team
December 1, 2021

During the English Google SEO Office-Hours From November 26, 2021, Google’s John Mueller addressed a question about why a site’s Google ranking may have dropped dramatically. 

“What would be an explanation for a sudden drop in ranking from 1 out of the top 100 after years of perfect ranking for our brand name? Our brand name is the same as a biblical story, so we did compete with Wikipedia sometimes. And now we're just gone. We can still advertise, of course, so it isn't quite unfair.”

John replied:

“I don't know. It's hard to say without knowing the website. I don't know if you're here or if you can drop me a link. I'm happy to double-check. I think the general tricky problem is if you have a brand that is essentially something that people commonly use for something else, then it makes it very hard for us to understand when someone is searching for that term if they mean your website, or if they mean the other thing.

“And if we can recognize that people mean something very specific with that term, then we'll try to show that very visibly in the search results, which also means if we can recognize that people are searching for this biblical story with that name, then we'll try to focus on that biblical story.”

Why A Generic Brand Name Can Indirectly Lead to A Drop In Google Rankings

“And if there's also a website that is kind of unrelated to that biblical story, then it can be quite hit-and-miss whether we actually start showing that website. And this is something where, with biblical stories, it's, I don't know, probably depends a bit on what exactly you're seeing there. But I see this very common-- very often where people will take essentially the keywords that they're trying to rank for and say, this is my brand. Like Best Car Insurance is my company name now.

“And just because your company is called Best Car Insurance doesn't mean we will show your website as number one for someone searching for "best car insurance." Because usually, we can tell that, well, people have in the past at least used this term to search for something different. And just because your website is called that doesn't mean it will rank number one for that term.”

There are many reasons why a site's Google rankings can drop dramatically, and having a generic brand name can be one reason why.

Source: Google Search Central YouTube channel