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Big Traffic Drop Starting September 14th?
Planet13




msg:4206229
 6:38 am on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Did anybody else see a big traffic drop from September 14th to present?

One site dropped 26% while another site is down almost 16% over the prior period of September 5th through 13th.

This is more confusing since labor day was in the states during the earlier period of September 5h through 13th...

 

Planet13




msg:4206448
 4:34 pm on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

another 5% drop yesterday (the 23rd) compared to the 22nd...

tedster




msg:4206504
 6:00 pm on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Sounds more like something specific to your site rather than an algo change that affected many sites.

Planet13




msg:4206660
 1:08 am on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tedster:

Sounds more like something specific to your site rather than an algo change that affected many sites.


That's what I was afraid you were going to say. Traffic is way down and I don't know why, nor what to do about it.

this seems really weird because from mid august to early September, googlbot has been visiting my site more than any other time ever, so I though if anything, it was a sign that my traffic was about to go up!

I'm stumped (and more than a bit depressed about this).

tedster




msg:4206666
 1:59 am on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Now is the time that your analytics package should earn its keep. I often say that rankings should not be a primary metric - but they make a great diagnostic tool.

You need to ask which keywords are no longer getting Google traffic, and which pages are no longer getting Google traffic, too. Then see what happened on those SERPs. Log into your Webmaster Tools and see if there are any messages, any crawling problems. But mostly move past the depression and start diagnosing.

mslina2002




msg:4206688
 3:38 am on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is your site image heavy by any chance?

I saw a drop on that day too and looking at the WMT it seems to be attributed to the image search. Web traffic was up so looking at GA it looked like everything was fine and honkidoori but a closer look shows that image search dropped 54%. My site has lots of images.

Looking at other sites it seemed the same thing there too.

Anyone else see this too?

indyank




msg:4206727
 6:12 am on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I saw a steep drop in one of the new sites starting sep 16. The traffic had been consistent or flattish at one level until sep 15. It dropped to a low on sep 15 and it remains around that level since then.I do believe that there is a minor algo change since mid september...

Planet13




msg:4206912
 7:06 pm on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

@Tedster:

You need to ask which keywords are no longer getting Google traffic, and which pages are no longer getting Google traffic, too.


Thank you for the input.

Unfortunately, it is near universal. Lots of Keywords in all sorts of different categories have all seen a drop.

I think the google autofill feature might be a factor here, because there are some alternate spellings for certain products I carry that are performing BETTER, even though I have not optimized for those spellings (in fact, I don't think those alternate spelling even appear on my site).

I unfortunately never bothered keeping track of where I ranked in the SERPs, so I won't have a way to compare it to the past. All I guess I can do now is try and see where I rank currently and see who is ahead of me, and try and diagnose those sites. That sounds like a mighty uphill climb though...

Log into your Webmaster Tools and see if there are any messages, any crawling problems.


That's the thing. webmaster tools looks clean!

the only thing I can think of is that I DID have about 20 pages that had short meta descriptions (only the page title appeared as the meta description).

So I went through those 20 pages and basically took the first paragraph as text and used that as the paragraph description. But those were pages that (for the most part) weren't getting much traffic anyway, so I don't suspect that is a major factor.

While I know how to USE google analytics, I guess I don't know how to draw actionable information from it.

@mslina2002

"I saw a drop on that day too and looking at the WMT it seems to be attributed to the image search."

Thank you for suggesting that.

I will have to look into that. I think that I do get a good share of traffic from image search.

@indyank

"It dropped to a low on sep 15 and it remains around that level since then.I do believe that there is a minor algo change since mid september..."

I checked my other main site, and it is down a more modest 8% when comparing the period of Sept. 13th through Sept. 24th to the previous period of September 1st through September 12th.

On this other site, When I compare July 1st through September 24th to the period of Apr 6th through June 30th, I see that I am down about 10%

Planet13




msg:4206925
 7:45 pm on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

One other question...

Is there any data out there suggesting that adding the facebook like button could hurt rankings / traffic?

I knwo it is in an iframe (the default way that facebook gives you the code) and it takes a while to load.

tedster




msg:4206926
 7:49 pm on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

I haven't seen anything about that. In fact, page speed is such a minor factor that there's little reason to look at it for major traffic problems.

Planet13




msg:4207365
 7:26 am on Sep 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

On another note...

This recession has been a killer for me in terms of backlinks.

I use a link diagnostic tool (they advertise here on webmasterworld) and noticed that a lot of my pages had backlinks from small, independent sites that are more or less related to my niche - or so I thought.

Until I actually went to visit the sites and see that they either no longer existed or their domain was "claim jumped" when their registration lapsed and replaced by a spam site.

I guess that is what I get for believing in Matt Cutts that all you have to do is focus on the quality of the content and allow the backlinks to grow naturally - or die an untimely death.

Planet13




msg:4208246
 5:05 pm on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Another day of way ABOVE average googlebot activity = another day of way down traffic...

backdraft7




msg:4208284
 5:47 pm on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I still can't put my finger on this phenomenon, but our traffic seems to be the same as last year, but sales are non existent. I can't believe it's the economy because we've seen worse conditions that did not affect sales at all. We are still listed at the very top of the serps and verified this with users around the globe. This new "mayday" started around September 1st for us and since my 10 year old site is only a few hundred pages, I don't think it has anything to do with the "throttling " issues that bigger sites are seeing. The only other thought is that the web itself is beginning to see the clogging of traffic that many experts predicted would occur into 2011 or the current 19% packet loss [internettrafficreport.com...] is keeping our pages from loaded, resulting in abandoned pages. If that's indeed the case, we'll have to find another source of income or jump out of the office window...too bad it's only on the 1st floor.
I am just beginning to accept that fact that Google is broken and may never return to "normal".

Planet13




msg:4208301
 6:04 pm on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

What is google imgres?

One thing I noticed:

Starting on September 13th, referrals from google imgres dropped to 0, and stayed that way until September 24th, when it crept back up to 13 visits.

The recent high is 22 visits on September 27th.

Previously it was around 25 per day.

Planet13




msg:4208308
 6:10 pm on Sep 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Huh? Upon closer inspection, it says that DIRECT TRAFFIC WAS ALSO 0 in that same time period?

Maybe google analytics was broken?!?!?!?

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