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|If your google traffic is down - what are you doing about it?|
is it time to stop doing the same thing while expecting different results?
it's the same old story - someone played with the knobs at google - and now everyone's hurting a bit.
If you're like me - you've been following the "white hat" / page-a-day mantra - and have found it just isn't paying of like it used to.
what are you doing to try to make up for lost traffic?
more aggressive optimization?
less aggressive optimization / more content?
focusing on other search engines?
(personally - I'm getting a bit more "aggressive" / doing more "focus" pages in an effort to go after traffic from other search engines)
Solutions will definitely vary according to the business model. If it's an advertising model based on impressions, then I look at getting visitors to "stick" around -- an average of even one more page view can make a big difference.
If it's B2C sales, then I look at improving conversion rates, plus upping repeat sales/customer retention. An in-house email list should be a goldmine here, and well worth starting if it doesn't already exist. It takes a lot more to acquire a new customer than to hold on to an existing one.
In B2B and lead generation, I would look more toward increasing the PPC spend to fill in the gap. But of course, these are all steps I would take in parallel with analyzing the traffic loss and working to get it back.
You know I was just writing on the same subject and deleted it.
I asked since I have lost some major terms in my sector and there really seems no concrete answer what do I do to replace the lost traffic. Google is down to 13% so I as well see this as a good bad thing.
I as well got more agressive in
pinging for spidering the new material
refreshing the pages
adding links to quality sites
took the time to upload to google base (we will see if it was worth the time spent on the build)
So all in all yahoo traffic is doing better than ever up to 55% msn and then Google.
Revenue picking up and I know some other things I need to do but need the time to get to them and feel by this happening I will be better off in 6 months than ever before.
The above site is my personal site work at home after my below job.
On a better note I am SEO for a large multi site firm and we just got the #1 position in Google on a tough keyword in our sector.
Feels real good, been here 3 years and we have always been 3-6 position since I started..
You know it is tough to manage multiple sites in different sectors and be expected to keep them up...
All I can say I have favor from the Lord as he has done it not me...
If you read through this post, you'll see some other things people are doing to get sales that are a little more stable then google traffic.
At the top of my list i put:
- improve the customer experience through better use of technology driven smarts.
- improve the building of a quality community
- improve the unique value of the content
Does anyone have specifics that they found that markedly shift the balance away from Google that could help your friends here.
[edited by: tedster at 1:09 am (utc) on Mar. 17, 2007]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]
What is "pinging for spidering the new material"?
Another option for anyone with an image site is to opt in on Google's image enhancement. I am seeing a lot of my supplementals come back into the index after doing that.
|it's the same old story - someone played with the knobs at google - and now everyone's hurting a bit. |
I hate to sound pedantic, but how could everyone be hurting? When one listing moves down in the rankings and the site loses traffic, another listing moves up and that site gains traffic. The only way everyone could be hurting would be if Google's search traffic (and, therefore, total Google referrals) were down.
As for what I did when my own Google traffic was down, I discovered the likely cause with the help of several people on this forum (it appeared to be the www vs- non-www duplicate-content issue that has often been discussed here) and fixed the problem by implementing redirects in my .htaccess file. After about two months, Google referrals came back and have been stable or growing ever since.
Based on my personal experience, I'd say that members who are having problems with Google traffic should make sure the causes aren't close to home. Still, I'd be the first to concede that one person's experiences aren't universal. Some members may be losing traffic for reasons that are beyond their control, or that would require solutions which aren't possible with an existing business model or type of content that Google no longer favors.
[edited by: europeforvisitors at 5:25 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2007]
piney, I saw that thing about the image enhancement on Google webtools. Have you noticed an increase of hotlinking after doing it? I was wondering about that.
I have not seen an increase in hotlinking but haven't seen much of an increase in Google referrals, either. (Presuming the referrals would need to happen first before people would find the images to hotlink to them.) Does anyone know why this might be? As the pages go from supplemental to non-supp., are they stuffed to the bottom for awhile? Or is this an unrelated secondary issue?
Getting back to your question, the images on my site are unique content, so hotlinking has never been a factor. A friend of mine has problems with hotlinking because she is an art dealer. Multiple people on the net are also marketing prints of the same pieces. In my case, I'm the only one marketing the images. (Would putting your domain name in the image reduce hotlinking?)
rich 42 -
|giving up? |
Have you thought about how you can convert that traffic to something more sustainable?
>> I hate to sound pedantic, but how could everyone be hurting? When one listing moves down in the rankings and the site loses traffic, another listing moves up and that site gains traffic.
Well, Wikipedia has taken over anywhere from 1 to 3 of the top 10 spots in many of the words I am competing for - plus many of the 2 word and 3 word phrases. So one megasite gains, while tens of thousands of specialized sites lose.
Some of the other pages that recently got into the top results are surely tickled with the extra traffic, but they must be baffled as well, as they obviously weren't going after those terms. A #1 result for a phrase I watch ('neodymium widget') doesn't even contain the term 'neodymium widget' ... it has some text about neodymium toxicity at the top of the page, and a little text about fun widgets at the bottom.
When results are that bad, a lot of very good publishers get hurt, and searchers end up wasting their time. Not good for the the world, not good for the company that wants to organize the worlds data.
What am I doing to make up for the slack? Community building. Trying to write one other webmaster/author/podcaster per day, to say hi, let them know about my site, to tell them I put a link to their site (when warranted), etc. etc.
This community building can't hurt me on the search engines (and just might help). It is not as quick as other strategies, but I think it is a strategy to diversify and reduce the impact of fluctuating search engine results.
My traffic is down a bit, about 10% or so. I'm a little slow to take action on changes like that, because so often they revert all by themselves without any other action needed.
But after a couple months I'm going to make some changes. Mostly that means attempting to get more page views from the traffic I do have. I've got one section of the site that gets a lot of one page visits. That's because the landing pages typically deliver what the visitor is looking for, so they grab the info and leave.
Until now I've only made a modest effort to move that traffic around the site, so I'm going to crank that effort up a bit and see what happens.
I've had fairly good results the last couple weeks with some new pages that I'm feeding traffic to via links on old pages. These 45 new pages are generating 1,000+ pageviews a day. I would have gotten some of those pageviews anyhow I think, but probably not many. I'd guess this is a 900 pageview gain overall, just because of the ease of find the pages.
But replacing pageviews is not the same as replacing visitors.
It seems to me like I've lost visitors from some long tail searches, because a less likely to be clicked (sub)index page is ranking instead.
Adding new pages might help replace visitors eventually as those new pages show up in the serps.
I've got plenty of content sitting on the shelf, so adding pages is just a matter of doing it.
|What am I doing to make up for the slack? Community building. Trying to write one other webmaster/author/podcaster per day, to say hi, let them know about my site, to tell them I put a link to their site (when warranted), etc. etc. |
...... but I think it is a strategy to diversify and reduce the impact of fluctuating search engine results.
One of many good strategies IMO
It might be slow to start, but it's where all good things start from. In my opinion you have to work those diversication areas until you get good at it ....really good.
|Adding new pages might help replace visitors eventually as those new pages show up in the serps. |
Is this diversifying or doing more of the same better?
[edited by: Whitey at 10:40 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2007]
|what are you doing to try to make up for lost traffic? |
Sacrificing chickens at a crossroads at midnight.
My first step would be to make a list of all other possible sources of traffic, taking both online and offline sources as opportunities.
I'd put the list into some sort of order of next best traffic source.
Next, i'd put them into a sequence of cost.
In addition, i'd put them into a sequence of speed of reaction to the activity (especially important if you need traffic fast).
Now, select the highest ratings from each of the lists above.
Finally, i'd draw an action plan based upon my highest/best ratings from the lists above, and put it into action.
Matt Probert - You too? I've been doing that for years and it seems to work really well with Yahoo.
Your google traffic is down - what are you doing about it?
well Duh..I'm scream bitc*&% and moan about it and blame Google... clearly it's their fault
|well Duh..I'm scream bitc*&% and moan about it and blame Google... |
Or maybe you're going to post a totally surreal overreaction to whining, when I only see people proposing solutions.
Personally, I'm going to start revisiting offline direct sales; inbound 800 advertising, outbound telemarketing, direct mail. I haven't looked at offline in years because the ROI on web advertising was always much better, but that may no longer be the case with rising PPC costs.
I used to stress drops in rankings when they would happen. It took me a while, but now I have come to the conclusion that Google has been like tides rolling in and out whenever the moon passes over. As much as i might not like that tidal surge, it is going to happen regardless how I feel about it.
However, I do a few things when traffic is down.
1) I always find fault in what i have done and systematically rule them out until i find things i question. In many cases it is something i may have done in the past.
2) Look in to as much historical data as i can and look at what worked, when it worked, and if it can be applied today.
3) Find out what is working for me and try to apply it to what does not.
4) Find alternative traffic, SMO is something I am testing, but trying to get "social" for my professional niche, is not easy, but not impossible.
5) Look at my competition. Obviously we can't do a whole lot about Wikipedia, but I have sevearal keywords (one word and long tail)that outrank them and always have. There are other competitors out there too. I try to find out what they rank for (which I have been doing for a couple of years now) and target keywords that they target that I may not have for one reason or another. Read their source code, find linking patterns, etc..
6) Make subtle changes on pages that do not perform like they used to. I like to take the baby step approach so I am not totally burned.
7) Redesign images and layouts. I think it was in Boston 06 I heard a well respected speaker say "go ahead and redesign your site, it is ok" I will say that I would not do that if there was a major shift in serps because over the past year data refreshes have replaced updates IMHO and redesigning on the fly could cause a headache later down the road.
those are a few things that i do, but beleive me when I say this, there is so much more that I do and just can not currently remember as I post this.
and for the person that said something about www. vs non www, spot on. The sad part is that when you do it, it can take some time before that settles.
Add more unique and useful content!
One of the things I've been doing for some of my e-commerce clients who have hundreds if not thousands of product pages (many gone supplemental or filtered results) is to focus on the category pages, rather than the product pages. I just got back from a meeting with my main client, and I told him his percentage of unique content per page was way too low. His argument was that there's only so many things you can say about some of his widgets - size, color and price. And he's right - these are pretty basic products (such as a bag or a box). But every product page with every color and size doesn't NEED to come up in a search - if we can get the category page to come up, the visitors can pretty easily find the exact widget they want to order. And we can flesh out the category pages with text about the wide variety of widgets we have, why we're a better source for widgets than anyone else, possible applications for the widgets, and types of customers who typically can use these items. In some cases, there is often industry news or new regulations that control aspects of the widgets, so we can report on those as well.
So the upshot is that for the moment, we're kind of setting aside working on all the individual product pages in order to really build up the category summaries. Be interesting to see if it helps.
For me, I'm going to keep expanding the long tail results. I won't worry about the few things that I've slipped on and see if writing more won't just let the rest of the chips line up properly. If not, I'll come here and see what everyone's vague suspicions are ;)
|go after traffic from other search engines |
What in the UK - there is only scraps from other search engines over here...
We could do with some competition that's for sure!
On topic - play with only one page attribute at a time on one page - and map changes across multiple pages to see whether any effects seen.
Obviously it's a bit of a waiting game though and trying to find pages that have similar in IBL, content length and content structure in order to get some kind of benchmark is a little time-consuming - actually probably quicker to find a nice domain to buy and go spamming?! ;)
|Add more unique and useful content! |
on a humorous vibe: "pray to the man upstairs" that Google engeneers want the objectively best content on page 1 ...
No doubt, Gooogle has done tremendous developments, but in some cases their service deserves being critizised, ... search results in particular ...
I purely wish they could generate "the most useful and oririginal content on top"
Our main keyword has been occupied by the total opposite of it`s fundamental meaning ... instead of "Free service" it is "pay and buy site" that has taken our long time page 1 position.
In fact we offer a free service 100% related to a search term including "free", but still the seller of some commercial service is sitting on top of Google page 1 since ages with even 2 urls.
Our PR is higher, our content is rich, 100% unique, related and certainly good enough to convince visitors a million times more than buying some xx$ software when searching for "Free ... "
It would be great to see Google improve on search result quality. Ok, all competitors are far worse, but Google could afford to show the very best of the Internet easily and to reach invincible quality levels.
Google Traffic Down?
While I cannot say this happens to many of the sites I work on because I ensure they have to be there, when it happens I ALWAYS assume that something is LACKING WITH MY SITE.
I don't blame the Gods of Google and go about increasing conversion with what little traffic Google is now sending. I expand my website, might be adding some onpage content, might be optimising that content, might be I need to add LINKS. Links that support the content. I would make this judgment based upon the other websites ranking - do they have more pages devoted to the topic? how well are these pages optimised for search? how many links, but mostly from where do they come from? Then I approach the site.
If you are not BUILDING, or SERIOUSLY ATTRACTING LINKS, your strategy is dead in the water. Naturally it's harder to build links when you have a crap site, so make your content the best and go from there. But do it as one integrated approach.
What appears as content to you is irrelevant, your content is for your users No.1 and Google No.2. If you do a good job targeting your content at your users using appropriate web standards (Hx tags etc.) and get some good traffic to your site (AKA QUALITY LINKS - not PR, just raw qulaity traffic) you will be well infront.
No point working with what you've got when you could be gaining far more from your time in the process.
[edited by: Bennie at 11:53 pm (utc) on Mar. 21, 2007]
Many people seeing traffic drops have spent so much time focusing on just getting links to their home page that the rest of their site suffers because those pages have no direct PR.
What you need to do in that case, which will improve your lot in Google and the other SE's, is to get deep links to your other pages with the long-tail phrases you want to rank for in the anchor text.
Otherwise, you can just sit tight and watch others with pages that have PR move ahead of you.
Good tip, Bill
|His argument was that there's only so many things you can say about some of his widgets - size, color and price. And he's right - these are pretty basic products (such as a bag or a box). |
This is something we struggle with all the time.
I'm using my brain - and moving my money to where the numbers are. While Google has been messing up the works, Yahoo has been making a comeback. Their new format is great, and for the first time ever, not only are my conversions higher at Yahoo, but my actual numbers are higher at Yahoo. They are taking over where Google is messing up. Now you can get your words and ads up within hours over at Yahoo, while at Google it is increasingly taking longer and longer to get an ad running. And you have to jump through a plethora of new google hoops to get it running.
Google is just going after the "blind" money. Many of these big companies are throwing money at words, and not tracking them at all. And Google is scooping up this money with a large home-made shovel they have nicknamed QS. Mark my words, it's the same shovel that is digging their hole. Eventually the blind money will come to a halt - by then Google will be so far down in the hole, that the playing field will be more level for competition.
Over the past 6 months my company has created a number of sites on the same topic (a competitive niche). By diversifying how they are marketed, (currently 75% grey hat and 25% pure white) we're still gaining steadily on the serps we want (on two of our sites) and are now very near or or in the top 10. So the lesson that I'm taking away from this.. diversify the way your sites are marketed for steady income streams.
| This 62 message thread spans 3 pages: 62 (  2 3 ) > > |