MelissaLB - 4:59 pm on Feb 1, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: goodroi at 5:45 pm (utc) on Feb 1, 2013]
I am posting this out of desperation and what I'm realizing is a sheer lack of knowledge/understanding of what Google has been doing in the last year.
From what I can tell, this started around July of 2012. Our G Traffic stats were about exactly the same Year over Year. in july, they dropped 10% as the months went on it dropped 20%, 30% to December of 2012 at 50% and now January where we were at a 60% loss in Google traffic year over year. There doesn't appear to be a singular drop, it has been gradual.
We've made changes to the site over the past year for a positive effect but have not seen such:
-removing keyword heavy anchor text from right and left column navigation (it really looked like keyword stuffing before)
-removing old/empty categories and removing out of stock products that had no use (they had been out of stock for a long time, it was way over due)
-we rewrote a lot of our content so that it was more descriptive and has been good for the customer, without overusing keywords.
-we had a ton of soft 404's in WMT becasue we didn't have 404's in place to handle them, we implemented those, now after about 4 months we are showing 0 soft 404's and 12,000 or so 404 Not found.
-we updated our preferred domain in WMT so google would know what pages to index
-we put a noindex follow tag on all of our pagination pages in the category pages on our site (many categories have multiple pages, they would all have the same meta description so we noindexed them so that the 1st page would be the only page to index)
-we doubled the number of products that a user can see per page from 12-24 so there would be less pagination for a user to go through (we noticed that all of our competition had more products per page and they were outranking us so we followed suit.
To sum up, im not sure if there is something major i am missing becasue we keep losing ground. I dont know if it has something to do with how much our products are being used on syndication partner sites (social shopping sites where people post products like pinterest and wanelo among others) or if it abotu our site layout, or possibly a change we made that we thought would be positive is having the opposite effect.
I have posted before in the Site Review so paid members can check that out to see my website. I am looking for any advice I can get right now, I just thought my best bet would be to reach out to the community and hope someone could point me in the right direction. Please feel free to post a reply here.
We've worked so hard for so many years on this site and spent such a large amount of money investing in developing our site to be user and google friendly.. And trust me, I know were' not the only ones suffering. I truly do, I have been reading and posting in this forum for years so I understand, as we all do, the plight of the webmaster.
[edited by: goodroi at 5:45 pm (utc) on Feb 1, 2013]