Reno - 1:02 am on May 11, 2010 (gmt 0)
How am I supposed to know if this is the new algo change or the new layout? At least if I can narrow it down I may be able to do something about it
Because everyone here is a professional webmaster and thus most of us work on our sites just about every day, your question is one we all face when there is a drop in Google traffic. Did we do something that triggered alarm bells? Is it because people are working on their yards or going to their children's soccer games, rather than surfing the web? Is it something with Google that is completely out of our hands?
We all wonder about these things because in large part many of us work in an isolated environment.
In this particular case, my own traffic dropped off practically to the hour that the new format rolled out. So even though I was working on my sites that day -- as I do almost every day -- nothing I did was black-hat so I have to think it's them, not me. And when I see SO many other people (including Brett) reporting the same thing, the evidence points to Google.
Some of the posters here are postulating that filters may be askew -- if that's the case, then we need to give their engineers the time to tweak them back into position.
So sometimes the best thing to do is to do nothing for awhile, and see how this settles out. If a number of webmasters start reporting a return to normal traffic and you remain way down, then further investigation may be necessary. But for now, it's possible you could do more damage than good if you start shuffling content around, so if you can hang in there, you may see more clearly what is going on in a week or two. That's my own plan, for now at least.