Predicting Google is never easy, especially when it comes to updates in the search algorithm, but there does seem to be a trend in the elements that Google has used to move some websites down the the rankings while improving the position of others.
Common triggers that are likely to downgrade a site:
- Bounce rates of over 50%. (What is bounce rate?)
- Insufficient on-page content or content duplicated across a number of domains.
- Poor page speed scores on the Google Page Speed Insights Tool.
- Over-optimisation of page titles and descriptions.
- Blogs that are on sub-domains and not on the main root domain.
- Few social media signals into the site.
- Excessive use of keyword text rich navigation and content.
- Excessive internal links (more than 150 on a page) and/or the excessive use of footer links both internally and between owned sites.
However it's unlikely that this will all happen at once, as Matt Cutts, Google's search guru, said in March:
"Rather than having some huge change that happens on a given day, you’re more likely in the future to see Panda deployed gradually as we’re rebuilding the index, so you’re less likely to see these large scale sorts of changes,"If you find that your site falling down the rankings on Google over the coming months, the areas above would be a good place to start analysing and improving.