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Big decrease in traffic after adding new pages
pood




msg:4006523
 9:00 pm on Oct 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

In the last couple weeks, we're seeing a big decrease in our traffic, it dropped about 12% from a week ago and our bounce rate has increased to about 64% compared to about a month ago which was 55%.

The only changes we've made were about 640 new pages, about 95% of them were unique. This is in a span of 4 weeks (we had 2 major releases, 2.5 weeks ago and late last week).

It seems like our traffic started to decrease when our new pages we put up, instead of releasing them slowly (10-20 a day), the dev team put up about 450 all at once. Ever since the new pages were indexed our traffic had a downward trend.

Links hasn't really decreased as before.

What do you guys think is causing this? I'm thinking because the new pages we've put up are optimized for much more competitive terms and they're in the primary navigation; google is giving more link juice to them instead of the other less competitive pages. Since these pages are for much more competitive terms, the pages are receiving far less volume. Which caused the decrease in traffic because our older pages are no longer receiving as much link juice for them to rank.

I've checked competitor websites on compete.com and their traffic hasn't decreased much so it can't be caused my seasonality

 

Robert Charlton




msg:4006531
 9:17 pm on Oct 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

...because our older pages are no longer receiving as much link juice for them to rank...

This is one of my first thoughts every time I see a question about traffic drop after page additions.

How is your navigation changing as you add the new pages? Are you, eg, linking all these pages from home?

tedster




msg:4006541
 9:24 pm on Oct 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

our bounce rate has increased to about 64% compared to about a month ago which was 55%

Very suspicious symptom there. You might be getting traffic that is more poorly targeted - maybe the new pages don't quite fill the bill - you should isolate just those new pages in your analytics and see what's up. But there might be a server problem slowing down page delivery, too.

With regard to the traffic decrease, you'll first need to dig beyond pure search traffic numbers (I assume you are talking only about organic search here) and look at the search terms that were and are bring in visitors. Your goal would be to discover where the rankings changed for individual terms.

And yes, if you removed certain pages from the primary navigation to make room for the new sections, you may have disrupted some important link juice flow. A good study of your internal link structure (new and legacy) should reveal something useful.

pood




msg:4006619
 11:35 pm on Oct 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've added these new pages to the primary navigation (just the main categories)

The other local focused terms were never in the main navigation.

Navigation for local

Home Page->category->subcategory->local page

While these new non local page goes:
Home Page ->category->new main sub category landing pages-> new sub-sub category landing pages.

I've checked the traffic for these new pages and they get account for less than 8-9% of our total daily traffic, not enough to offset the traffic we lost on the other pages.

I'd like to compare rankings for our local keywords from before the new pages, but unfortunately we never tracked that.

ken_b




msg:4006622
 11:44 pm on Oct 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Bounce rate:

Can you break the bounce rate out for old and new pages?

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