SEO Sudden Ranking Drop Caused by WP_Cron Redirect Errors

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SEO sudden drop and spike in rankings graph
About a week and a half ago (Around June 8, 2018) all of our SEO site’s Google Rankings dropped almost completely off of the face of Google. I went into panic mode trying to remember everything I had ever read or heard about sudden ranking drops. It was a very stressful 4 hours.

The only thing I could find was a spike, between 3 and 5 hundred redirect errors on the sites. Which was very confusing because I hadn’t set up any redirects for any of our sites recently. So I looked into it; the issue had to do with wp_cron events. I immediately turned my wp_cron events completely off to try to get Google to replace my rankings as quick as possible. After turning it off and telling Google Search Console to validate my fixes, I went to work trying to figure out what had caused the sudden spike in wp_cron redirecting almost all my pages to wp_cron versions of the same page.

I’m not 100% sure I figured out what was doing it, but I downloaded the plugin, Wp Control. I ended up deleting an old remnant of a plugin I had deleted months ago called backupbuddy. After deletion of this cron event everything went back to normal on the site. I was able to turn wp_cron back on and the redirects calmed down. Only about 4 days later all the ranking are back to almost exactly where they were before the drop.

Although I’m still not sure exactly what happened, I hope this article helped somebody! Have other thoughts? Think you might know a little more about what caused this? Leave a comment below!

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