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Traffic Down, Rankings Level?
Sophronisba




msg:4572859
 8:15 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

So for the past two days I've been trying to figure out my traffic problem and I am completely baffled. Around 1:00 - 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon, our traffic suddenly plummeted by a third, and it's been down ever since.

But the weird thing is, our rankings appear to be just fine. I've checked all of the most common keywords (using an online rank tracker so it wouldn't be affected by my Google profile) and they are exactly where they were (top 5 results) before traffic dropped.

All of the links are fine, and there's nothing wrong with the pages that I can see. I am totally at a loss as to what the problem might be. Anyone have any ideas?

 

canuckseo




msg:4572889
 10:08 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

what are you using for tracking? could be that the tracking script is misfiring, or not firing at all - did you compare to raw logs to see if they show the same drop?

Is there a change in your direct traffic?

skweb




msg:4572892
 10:27 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Sophronisba, I am seeing something similar on one of my domains. These last three days or so I am seeing much better ranking here in the US but the traffic has plunged. I checked my stats in awstats and google analytics and my adsense impressions are down as well. The most optimistic view I have is that it is some kind of a an update that is causing the upheaval or that I am screwed in other English speaking countries and will just get US traffic from hereon.

krikomoush




msg:4572893
 10:31 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

It is like I wrote the original post, what you said is 100% EXACTLY what happened to me.

Did you get hit by the original panda back in 2011? Seems like all the same players got hit, check out hubpages for confirmation.

Also, its funny that the original panda was released on a weds afternoon too. Must be the way they setup their updates.

Sophronisba




msg:4572905
 11:06 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

The tracking script is definitely working, and I'm using a couple of different trackers in addition to Google Analytics. They're all showing the same thing. Also, our ad revenue is down.

We did get hit by Panda in 2011. I wasn't sure this was the same thing because our rankings still look good.

We might be down a little more in Europe than in the US, but we don't have a lot of European traffic anyway, so it's hard to tell.

canuckseo




msg:4572910
 11:28 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

That was going to be my next question - is it a regional thing? IE down in Europe but not US or vice versa? Or perhaps there's some other traffic source that's down?

Sophronisba




msg:4572912
 11:36 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Bing and Yahoo are down about 10%. Google is down about 35%.

Direct traffic is also down about 10%, I just realized (thanks for reminding me to check that out, canuckseo), which makes me wonder if I have some kind of server issue? I'm having our server host look into that. (It's a little hard to tell how much direct traffic really down, since last week was our big mailing for the quarter and direct was up because of that; but it does seem to be lower than it should be.)

canuckseo




msg:4572942
 1:44 am on May 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

you could try switching to hourly view if you use google analytics - see if there's any drops there - ie where there appears to be no traffic

also log file analysis should show if you have any points in time where there was 0 traffic

spina45




msg:4573333
 9:01 pm on May 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm facing all the same issues mentioned above. But...for the past year or so traffic/sales have been less than usual. However, I've noticed that whenever I blast a newsletter, almost 1/3 of resulting sales come from new customers - who did not receive the newsletter. It's like G sees that there is a lot of traffic coming into my site, so they make it MORE visible. Then 3 days later when the newsletter traffic dies down so do the new customer sales. Has anyone else noticed this?

jimbeetle




msg:4573660
 7:23 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Have you checked your organic referrals to see if traffic has dropped for specific keyword phrases or segments?

1script




msg:4573695
 8:37 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just had a similar ~30% drop over the weekend, with no SE percentages significantly changed (if anything, G's % has increased and that normally converts into more traffic, not less).

Poking around and playing with my own smart phone, it looks like there has been some kind of a trouble with IPv6->IPv4 conversion at Verizon Wireless gateways over the weekend and none of non-IPv6 enabled servers could be reached. I had my mobile traffic halved this weekend, whereas usually on weekends mobile share grows to over 50% or the overall traffic. Was kinda surprised to see how big of a share VZ has - almost half of all my mobile traffic from VZ and all of it was lost over the weekend. It has just cleared about two hours ago, so chances are, Monday will also be pretty lousy.

The whole episode made me appreciate importance of mobile traffic for my sites. I kind of kept it always on the back of my mind but this was nothing subtle at all, definitely a major factor now.

diberry




msg:4573730
 9:30 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's like G sees that there is a lot of traffic coming into my site, so they make it MORE visible. Then 3 days later when the newsletter traffic dies down so do the new customer sales. Has anyone else noticed this?


For a while now, I've noticed that whenever I get a "storm" of social media traffic, Google seems to give me a boost until the storm goes away. I thought I had to be imagining things until you posted this. I'm not sure how it would work or why they would do it, but there is at least something going on that makes it seem like they're doing this.

Sophronisba




msg:4573769
 11:13 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, I still don't know what the problem is. It did hit all areas of our site pretty uniformly; I wasn't able to isolate any one factor or keyword or anything like that.

We did recreate our sitemap, and I also deindexed many low-traffic pages in case that was hurting us somehow. Today is looking better than yesterday, and this afternoon is looking better than this morning, so that seems to be progress.

Pjman




msg:4573781
 11:41 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Sophronisba

I am seeing almost exactly what you are 30 % drop Saturday and Sunday. Today I'm close to being back on track. I made no changes.

purplekitty




msg:4573817
 2:08 am on May 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm facing all the same issues mentioned above. But...for the past year or so traffic/sales have been less than usual. However, I've noticed that whenever I blast a newsletter, almost 1/3 of resulting sales come from new customers - who did not receive the newsletter. It's like G sees that there is a lot of traffic coming into my site, so they make it MORE visible. Then 3 days later when the newsletter traffic dies down so do the new customer sales. Has anyone else noticed this?


For a while now, I've noticed that whenever I get a "storm" of social media traffic, Google seems to give me a boost until the storm goes away. I thought I had to be imagining things until you posted this. I'm not sure how it would work or why they would do it, but there is at least something going on that makes it seem like they're doing this.

Fwiw, I've never noticed anything like this. I wish it would make a difference, but I've never seen a correlation between organic google traffic and my newsletter sends.

spina45




msg:4575123
 12:04 am on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

For me the take away is: develop traffic flows that don't come from Google. Focus on Facebook, YouTube, StumbleUpon, Pintrest, Tumblr, Blog posts, OTHER? Also, maybe update my resume after 10+ years of web/seo. :(

I will always fondly remember those halcyon days when I could work whenever I wanted (or not) and still make a great living.

backdraft7




msg:4575259
 2:20 pm on May 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Seasonal - I keep records every year and mid May is the lowest traffic of the year. It can hit you slowly or over nite, all depends on the weather. Just because you see a change, don't instantly blame it on Google.

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