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Big drop in traffic but can't figure where from
Is it rankings or something more suspicious?
Automotive site

 7:11 pm on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have lost around 30% of my traffic in the last week but it appears as though my rankings have remained stable.

I can't figure where the missing traffic is resulting from. My traffic has remained stable for the last two years and has seen steady but gradual increase.

I imagine this is a complete coincidence but last week I decided to hire a virtual assistant to manage all aspects of my site as I was going to be very busy with offline tasks. He has complete access to my Wordpress account (administrative role) and writes content and manages comments, and also the SEO side of things. I wonder (and this is a big if) if it is possible for him to divert some of my traffic using some kind of hidden text, or something along those lines, and it would appear that I have lost the traffic genuinely.

I think its all a coincidence to be honest. I think I just have lost some Google rankings that I am overlooking. But in theory, is it possible for people to steal your page views in a way that leaves no tracks?

By the way, we are talking about a couple of thousand daily uniques here that has been lost.



 8:22 pm on Nov 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

Before getting into any conspiracy theories I think you have to go deeper into your analytics to find out what's what. Just saying that you lost 30% of your traffic in the last week doesn't tell you or anybody anything at all.

Which keyword phrases lost traffic? Which pages lost traffic? Is time of day or day of week in play? etc.

Automotive site

 11:42 am on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I recently rearranged some of the categories after 2 years of keeping it same. Could it be due to that? The urls remain the same even afetr category adjustments because the category names are not in the urls, just the sitename.com/page title.


 2:45 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sure, it can be that, but it doesn't help much to just make guesses without any underlying data.


 4:13 pm on Nov 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

things to check:

see if you can reach the site both ways, with WWW. and without WWW.

check to see if the nameservers have changed.

check the IP address that each nameserver sends traffic to


 1:58 am on Nov 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

as jimbeetle has mentioned you need to segment your traffic so you can find out where the drop in traffic is happening: source, landing page, referrer, keyword, visitor demographics, location and technology, etc.


 4:58 am on Dec 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can't believe there are so many reports about this for this specific timeframe but none of the big SEO news type sites seem to have really made a fuss - [webmasterworld.com...]

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