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Lost 70% of visits, not Panda, How to Recover

 5:26 am on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

This Sunday, January 29th at 20:00 CET our main site has lost 70% of visits, this lost has been in all sections and sub-directories and we do not know what may be the reason.

We make changes to improve the site daily but always at a section level so I do not think that the latest changes could affect the whole site and all countries (spain and latinamerica). The latest update of Panda was 19 so it doesn't look the reason, the truth is we are desperate.

Thank you,



 3:12 pm on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Let's do a quick fact finding mission:

1) What type of traffic are we talking about? Going from 10 visits to 3 visits is a 70% decrease but not very significant. Are we talking hundreds of visits, thousands of visits, more?

2) Are you targeting Spain & Latin America or United States & Spanish countries?

3) What specific changes have you made to your website? Not all changes are helpful and some changes are even dangerous.

4) Are the other search engines also sending less traffic? Is this for all keywords or just a few keywords?

5) Have you reviewed your site to see if this was a self-inflicted mistake?
-Check robots.txt, htaccess, noindex metatags, etc.

6) Have you reviewed outside factors?
-Check for duplicate content, loss of backlinks, etc.


 8:43 pm on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hello goodroi,

I answer by points:

1.- Are 15,000 visits each day

2.- Our target is Spain

3.- The last change was to include relationed articles above the title of the article, not in all website only in one section about 25% percent of the website, all sections have lost traffic.

4.- The other search engines also are sending less traffic although the amount in comparison against google is negligible, in percents:
Google -65%
Yahoo -40%
Bing -38%

5.- There's nothing

7.- I don't think so

It's very extrange, and we can't what to do because affects to all sections with different templates even to our vbulletin forum.

Thank you,


 10:00 pm on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

When you get hit (like I did a few days ago) like that, there is no magical solution to recovery. If you still believe in your site, all you can do is to continue working hard on it, improving it, adding new features etc.

As the old cliche goes, build your site for users not for search engines. Keep doing that and hopefully Google comes around eventually (although it probably won't happen for months).

Good luck.


 10:03 pm on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Interesting that you're down across all three search engines. Have you checked for connectivity issues? Is WMT reporting anything yet?


 10:59 pm on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

It is simply not possible to build site for users and not for google. I dont know how you can build a site and not think about things like thin pages these days. Pages that you made for users but google decides it is thin and will punish the whole site for it. Lots of nice keyword links all over the place to aid navigation but google says its keyword spam and punishes you for it. Lots of useful side information that users lap up but now its looks like you have tried to cover too many topics and google punishes you for it. How can you not think about google when you build a site and google has 90% of search traffic and you can can be punished in an instant and lose 90% of the organic serps?


 11:35 pm on Jan 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

@santapaws, yes good point(s). However, call me naive if you like, but I'd rather not spend too much time and energy trying to keep up with Google and would rather invest that effort into improving my site.

All I can do is hope that my users will like the site, link to it, talk about it ... and Google will eventually realize eventually that it is a quality site.


 12:38 am on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)


I was investigating because is very strange we have lost visits from all our sources, even facebook and twitter.

We use Histats and it shows in real time last referers, I found links from google redirecting to our site but ending in <snip>.info, the last code must be the land page. Can something redirecting our site to <snip>.info, statistics code? I've read there is a virus named <snip>.info.

I don't know if something can be changing destination urls, google has indexed the redirect instead of our url.

Thank you,

[edited by: goodroi at 2:49 am (utc) on Feb 1, 2012]
[edit reason] Please do not post specific websites [/edit]


 2:55 am on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Having URL redirection websites in your referral data is not necessarily bad. Have you logged into Google Webmaster Central to see if there are any messages? If you think a virus might have impacted your website then you should check to make sure Google does not think your site has been hacked.

It is very interesting that you have lost traffic from all search engines. I would suggest you revisit and check a second time for technical problem with your website.


 3:07 am on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Suddenly losing traffic from all sources can sometimes be a DNS problem - it sure isn't just a Google problem. Check into DNS cache poisoning [webmasterworld.com] and use one of the online tools to give your DNS configuration a check-up.


 3:08 am on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I really, really doubt that Google itself-- or any other major search engine-- has a virus and doesn't know about it. So the problem is has to be at your end. First obvious step is to look at your config file and any htaccess.

Is it your own server or shared hosting? Check everything. If you have a host, check with them.


 3:11 am on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)


I've found the problem, it was the vbulletin forum it was outdated and when you accessed the site through a link, not always, reached the site and then redirected to tiny...

I've updated and the problem has been fixed and the traffic come back to normal numbers.

Thank you everyone,


 3:43 pm on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ chms:

I've found the problem, it was the vbulletin forum it was outdated and when you accessed the site through a link, not always, reached the site and then redirected to tiny...

So are you saying that your vbulletin forum was hacked and that people were being redirected to a different site than yours?


 4:11 pm on Feb 1, 2012 (gmt 0)


Yes, I am still investigating but I think so, I have a code for using forum login in entire website and when I disable it works fine.

Thank you,

[edited by: tedster at 4:58 pm (utc) on Feb 1, 2012]

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