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Sudden Drop in Organic Traffic on 28 June 2014 and still continuing
lolamjambuna



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 8:41 am on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hello everyone :)

I am a WordPress Blogger and I post articles on Computers and Technology.

On 28th of June 2014, I lost 80% of my blog's traffic. I have read in many forums/websites that many webmasters suddenly lost their rankings in Google Search Results on 28th of June 2014.

Before this sudden traffic drop, I only placed one slot of AdSense ad which went above the fold. After traffic drop, I immediately removed the slot and also made adjustments to my blog's layout, so that good amount of content remains above the fold even after placing the same ad slot in future.

I was convinced that my blog suffered Page Layout Algorithm Penalty, but now after reading the experience of other webmasters I don't know what's happening?

Can anyone please help?

Thanks a lot :)

 

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 4:09 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

How old is your site? It's a pretty competitive field, you'd have to work pretty hard to keep your head above water there. How much traffic were you getting?

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 4:30 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

lolamjambuna

Hi there and welcome to webmaster world.

Does your blog have ORIGINAL content?

Do you talk about products / services that NO ONE ELSE has talked about?

Does your blog offer information that no other site offers?

nettulf



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 5:01 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

I lost a site the very same day also, about 80-90% drop, and there are a few reports around of something similar the same date.

So something happened that day, yes.

But I cannot really see what it was, my other sites in similar nices was not touched.

Maybe a small algorithm change that triggered something on the edge.

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 5:11 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Mark the date: Something definitely happened on that date (at least in some sectors). Actually, at least one other person confirmed that it began late in the evening on the 27th (Eastern Time Zone here) which is when I noticed it. Radical drop in Google traffic.

Saw something similar last September or October and recovered completely exactly 30 days after the fact. Think it started Sept. 14th last time.

lolamjambuna



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 5:13 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

@netmeg Thanks for your reply :)

My domain was registered on November 2013, so around 8 months.

I was getting 450 to 500 page views (mostly from Google) from past few weeks, but after 28 June 2014 it is barely touching 50 page views! Google has stopped sending me traffic.

Right now some posts are still ranking on the first page of Google, while majority of other posts have disappeared from the first 20 pages!

Can I post analytics screenshots here?

@Planet13 Thanks :)

My blog has original content. I was posting small paragraphs from my blog articles on my G+ profile, Facebook page and YouTube videos, but some knowledgeable people suggested me to remove those posts as they were competing with my articles. I deleted all of them few days ago.

I can't say that I am writing about something that NO ONE ELSE has written OR NO OTHER SITE is offering, but I can assure you that my articles are all original and I have tried my best to include all possible details.

I want to know can I post my domain keywords here OR can I PM you my domain name?, so that you can look at my articles.

Thanks a lot :)

lolamjambuna



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 5:20 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

@nettulf and webcentric

I also don't know what happened that day and what I have to do to recover from it?

I have done some major changes in my site and Google is re-crawling everything once again. But I don't see any improvements.

But I will wait :)

Thanks both of you for your replies :)

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 6:10 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

"I can't say that I am writing about something that NO ONE ELSE has written OR NO OTHER SITE is offering, but I can assure you that my articles are all original and I have tried my best to include all possible details."

I understand.

But you are offering SOMETHING original, right? Maybe it is an original analysis of what could be done with the technology, or something like that?

What I mean is that it offers some UNIQUE VALUE to visitors.

Otherwise, it could be that your honeymoon profile with google is over?

~~~

Could be some kind of an update, too. Are you using more than one analytics program just in case it is just a glitch with google analytics

lolamjambuna



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 6:38 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes, most of my articles offers good and unique value to my visitors. A top contributor in "Official Google Webmaster Tools Forums" have also confirmed this. He also asked me to make following changes:

* NOINDEX but FOLLOW all categories, tags, archive, /page/2, /page/3/ etc. pages - DONE.
* Put content above the fold - DONE and Removed all Ads. Adjusted page layout.
* Remove matching article text from my Facebook page, Google+ and Youtube videos - DONE.

The contributors there didn't find any Keyword stuffing or black hat SEO technique.

Maybe I have to wait... OR maybe it was honeymoon period like you said OR may be it was page algorithm penalty. I don't know what happened exactly? :(

No there was no error with Google Analytics as I am also using WordPress stats (Jetpack) and it is also reporting traffic drop.

I posted this thread here to know if anyone else have similar experience and 2 people confirmed it above.

Thanks again for your reply :)

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 6:58 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

In situations like this, it is a good idea to do a site:yoursite.com search to see what pages have been indexed in google.

(I am assuming that your site is hosted on yourdomain.com and NOT on subdomain.wordpress.com).

BTW: Even if there was some algo update on the 28th, we still need to figure out why you got hit.

webcentric

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 7:09 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

BTW: Even if there was some algo update on the 28th, we still need to figure out why you got hit.


Yes, the traffic loss is a symptom but a symptom of what? I've thrown some other site updates (big sitemap change) into my mix so I really can't say. I'm fairly certain it's not the site changes that caused the drop on the 27th/28th because the drop happened while I was still working on them. G isn't that fast in responding to site changes (good or bad). They're still chewing on my newest site map at the rate of 1000 pages a day added to the index or so and my 301's are taking hold even slower than that.

andreiut



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 10:14 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

my site also went down after 28th June..it was on the first page on multiple keywords for 2 years. a similar situation happened 2 months ago i think and website got back after 2 weeks without doing a thing. this is very confusing..and sad :|

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 10:29 pm on Jul 5, 2014 (gmt 0)

Maybe Robert Charlton will chime in on this, because I think he has mentioned in the past about google "testing" there results, replacing long standing sites with other sites to see how people respond to the changes.

Also, if new sites get a "honeymoon period" with google where they are floated near the top of the results (or at least higher up than where they might normally rank), then SOMEBODY'S site has to be moved down.

lolamjambuna



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 5:07 am on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Planet13

I have my own domain and hosting ;)

"In situations like this, it is a good idea to do a site:yoursite.com search to see what pages have been indexed in google."

Almost all my website's pages are indexed, but they are not appearing in search results where they used to appear.

Some pages are still appearing on the first page, some shifted to 2nd or 3rd page and some don't appear on the first 20 pages at all! VERY VERY FEW pages have been de-indexed.

One weird thing that I noticed in GWT is that my submitted MULTI PAGE XML sitemap got reset! GWT shows out of 174 submitted URLs it only has 77 URLs in its index (which is not true). Earlier the indexed number was 170+. It seems like Google is re-considering my sitemap (especially sub-sitemaps) and re-crawling my entire site.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 5:44 am on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

@lola, i see traffic drops too.

Please check if you have

-russian referall spam since then
-google proxy adsense bot visits your site (we do not run adsense)
-you get srurges of traffic follow by notraffic time

lolamjambuna



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 8:09 am on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hello. Thanks for your reply :)

1. I don't see any Russian referral spam since then, but lots of crawlers from few "SEO Services. Webmaster Analytics Tools" services keeps on hitting my website occasionally.

2. Don't know how to check it? In logs? What IP address?

3. I was getting 450 to 500 pv for many weeks before 28 june 2014. Traffic suddenly dropped on 28 June. The traffic was constant. No sudden spike.

zarathustra2011

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 9:27 am on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

My ten year old site originally got hit in 2012 when the EMD was released, which made no sense as the domain name is a single word (a relatively short made up word), that I don't even feature in the keywords. Since then the traffic never really recovered, though a Panda update in 2013 seemed to have an negative affect too. In May 2014, with the latest Panda changes, my site starting hitting all the main keywords again, appearing high in the results, until about June 26th, reaching an all time low around the 28th June. I've no idea what it's all about, and why it's happened. I've all but given up with Google.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 9:50 am on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

@lola, check your serverlogs for referals that hit only the homepage, entries like *.ua or *.ru with external url appended. Together with many bots. We had the same thing about 2 years ago. It last for 2 weeks. Traffic plumped like this time. I think thi was penguin relared.

FranticFish

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 9:53 am on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Check to see if your articles have been reproduced on other sites or scraped. You can use Copyscape (although its bot can be blocked) so I'd (also) take short snippets from the top middle and bottom of a sample of pages that are no longer ranking and searching on them with "speechmarks" around the snippet.

From what you and others have posted it doesn't sound likely to be the problem, but at least you'd be able to rule it out as a factor.

heisje

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 11:14 am on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Here : some sites go up, some sites go down - no apparent reason why the ones that go up should be going up, and vice versa. Sites going down are a larger percentage of total, i.e. negative net effect.

There is a direct correlation between traffic and pages listed in the index, naturally. Reduction in listed pages per site is extreme in some cases, ex. from 260,000 to 1,200. Some sites are obliterated for some reason, others seem to stand their ground for some reason. Quality of all sites concerned very much the same (not too bad, not too good, just right).

I tend to conclude that G policy is to limit overall listed page volume to a more manageable size, culling procedure being more or less random, or at best based on very debatable & questionable factors, undoubtedly giving advantage to G bottom line considerations than content merit -- it is becoming more and more difficult getting what you are searching for.

.

[edited by: heisje at 11:23 am (utc) on Jul 6, 2014]

photojack

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 11:20 am on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Same thing here ó my site is 6 years ago (original quality content, PR5, never used any blackhat techniques) and there was a clear, drastic drop (70%) in traffic on July 28th. I have no idea what happened but there certainly seems to have been some kind of update. I havenít done any major changes to the layout or ads, so Iím very very puzzled and trying to figure out whatís going on.

lolamjambuna



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 4:50 pm on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Martin Ice Web I just checked REFERRING SITES under AWSTATS and there are tons of entries of .ru domains and few .ua domains! There are also some weird .org and .su domain names. The list is quite lengthy and I use high power spectacles :P

The number of these entries were highest in the month of June 2014 and May 2014.

What's this? What I have to do? How this is related to Google. Please help. Thanks :)



~~~~~



@FranticFish No my content is not appearing on any other site. I am also using iFrame killer script :)

This was the very first thing I checked as sometimes domains with plagiarized content starts ranking higher than the main domain. Thanks for your reply :)

not2easy

WebmasterWorld Administrator 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 5:10 pm on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Most of that "referer spam" is not really traffic visiting from the sites shown as the "referer" It is programmed bots selling "backlinks" for a fee. Look at the IPs, run a whois and block the CIDR. The reason they do that is because some poorly configured sites have logs that are bot accessible and in that case, it would appear that there are many inbound links. To a bot, that is an invitaion to crawl the referer.
What may appear to be hundreds of IPs can often be just one or two servers that need to be blocked. Human traffic is not coming from hosting servers, you won't be blocking potential visitors.

lolamjambuna



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 5:27 pm on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi not2easy

Thanks for your reply :)

I can understand what you are saying, but this thing is completely new for me! Can you point me to some relevant article?

Do we block CIDR using .htaccess? Is there any existing CIDR block list that contains lots of rogue IP addresses/domain names (.ru, .ua, .su etc.)?

"The reason they do that is because some poorly configured sites have logs that are bot accessible"

How can I detect and get rid of this problem? FYI I am using shared hosting server. Should I contact my host?

Sorry this is completely new topic for me, but I am eager to learn :)

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 5:49 pm on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

@not2, i tend to think that this bots are killing the traffic as traffic is been throttled by google. Ths traffic counts for them as normal users. I think their db that should ignore this kind of site refs is broken or not up to date. I know that about 2 years ago we had te same problem and blocked the ips and it got better.

mhansen



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 6:29 pm on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

You mentioned your XML sitemap. I assume you use a WP plugin for this, and if its the "Arne Brachold Google XML sitemap" that just updated to the multi-page setup, I would start by looking there. (The plugin updated the last week of June)

MH

lolamjambuna



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 6:45 pm on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have inserted following code in my .htaccess file to block RUSSIAN referrers:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} \.ru [NC]
RewriteRule .* - [F]


Is this correct? Thanks :)





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~







@mhansen Yes I was using the latest version of that plugin and I have switched to its older version which don't have multi-page sitemap feature. Thanks :)

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 7:02 pm on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

lolamjambuna
Those referrals with .ru and .ua domains, etc, that you see in Awstats are fake visits, as not2easy indicated. In other words, those "backlinks" don't actually exist, and never existed. They are bogus. Since they don't exist except as fake entries in your logs and stats, the search engines never see them except in rare cases where someone's logs are public. Therefore, they have no effect on your rankings in the vast majority of cases. You can try to block the bots that create them, but it's a tedious and never-ending job, which in most cases isn't worth the time.

lolamjambuna



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 7:08 pm on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi aristotle

Thanks for your response :)

Above .htaccess code will work? or I have to add IP blocks? or some other method? :sigh:

Thanks :)

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4685257 posted 7:17 pm on Jul 6, 2014 (gmt 0)

@aristotle, that is not true. The visits are real visits, the links not. If u run g. Analytics they will show up as an get request.

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