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My website traffic dropped by 95%

     
11:49 pm on Jul 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

My blog traffic dropped by 95% with no changes made, all keywords ranking for my site has been dropped, it been 3 days till now, i checked WebmasterTools and there is no errors. is there any recent algorithm changes? if not can anyone help me?

THANK YOU
9:48 pm on July 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In this case there must be something else in robots.txt that blocks these pages (or robots.txt may be returning incorrect HTTP response code). Have you got User-agent: googlebot section in robots.txt and if you do, is anything listed in there that could block your pages?

Another thing that I would do is to go to Google Webmaster Tools, section "Crawl" --> "Blocked URLs" and in the entry box at the bottom enter URLs that Fetch reported as blocked.

Click on "Test" and if this URL shows there as blocked, it should tell you which line in robots.txt (seen in the top box above) blocks this URL. If the URL should not be blocked, then your rules in robots.txt are created incorrectly.

Another thing that I would do is to check how many pages are blocked by robots.txt. You can get some idea by searching google using the site: command

site:example.com

If you get message "In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries..." then click on "repeat the search with the omitted results included". Browse through the SERPs and look for SERPs entries with "A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt learn more" - see how many of these you have on the site.

I am not saying that robots.txt is the (sole) reason for your traffic drop, but it is obvious that you have some issues in this area, and the best is to fix these first.
11:28 pm on July 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Ok, this is what it shows on my robots.txt

User-agent: Mediapartners-Google
Disallow:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /search
Allow: /

Sitemap: http://example.com/feeds/posts/default?orderby=UPDATED



After testing some of my pages the test results shows "allowed by line 6: allow: /"



After Using site:example.com on Google search it shows just my pages nothing else.


On that URL blocked section i saw that there is 477 URL blocked, any idea?
And Thx for your help.

[edited by: phranque at 11:30 pm (utc) on Jul 13, 2013]
[edit reason] use example.com please [/edit]

11:42 pm on July 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Allow: /


i would get rid of this line - especially in the context of a wildcard User-agent.
- it is unnecessary (the default is to allow)
- it is nonstandard and therefore not universally supported (it's a Google-created extension)
- although the standard says use the most specific rule, it could be misinterpreted

No Allow in Robots.txt - Google SEO News and Discussion forum:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4466631.htm [webmasterworld.com]
12:27 am on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@Phranque i did what you said hope it works, thx :)
2:49 am on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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hope it works

this is more of a preventive measure - to avoid future issues.
i doubt it's going to fix any of your current issues.


i Receive my content from Unique article wizard, (not my content)

if it wasn't made clear to you, this is the biggest problem you have to solve.
everything else is like rearranging deck chairs on the titanic.


i did what you said on one of my pages and i found 5 errors, 5 of the links from that page are blocked by robots.txt

yes i did "Fetch as Googlebot" like you said i checked 2 pages and i found the same 5 errors on it and the errors are "blocked by robot.txt"

as many times as you write this i can't understand what you are saying.
how can you check one page and get 5 errors saying "blocked by robot.txt"?

can you find any urls on your site (i.e. your hostname, not external links from your content) which are being blocked by robots.txt?
can you find any urls on your site which you expected to be indexed which aren't indexed?
2:06 pm on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Ok those links on my page that i said they were blocked by robots.txt are some of Google plus buttons. anyway i don't think it's a big deal.

Another think that i noticed on my StateCounter, i got two visitors from one of my keywords and it still indexed on #1 but it redirected them to my home page, and i noticed some Encrypted Search,. that's all
5:06 pm on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Ok those links on my page that i said they were blocked by robots.txt are some of Google plus buttons. anyway i don't think it's a big deal.

I am confused by the above. - you cannot block external links via your own robots.txt. Robots.txt can only block the links on your own site. Unless you are talking about the path to Google plus button image URL being blocked by robots.txt?

Another think that i noticed on my StateCounter, i got two visitors from one of my keywords and it still indexed on #1 but it redirected them to my home page, and i noticed some Encrypted Search.

So if I understood well, in Statcounter you see two visitors coming to your site via Google, and the entry in Statcounter has #1 next to it. When you click on this link in Statcounter, you get redirected to home page? This would imply that it was your home page that ranked for these keywords (which you should see from the next line of Statcounter tracking).

The encrypted searches that you noticed in Statcounter is for some other visits, I presume, and not for these two visitors, as for these two visitors you could see keywords used.
5:37 pm on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@MrBrightside, I overlooked this earlier post of yours:

Looking at the above graph, there were no pages indexed until 24th of March 2013.

Is this a new site that went live in March? This makes the site only 3 months old. If so, your drop may be because the site's "google honeymoon period" is over.

Google often boosts new sites up in ranking to measure user responses and this boost may not last very long. You can find a bit more on google honeymon period in this thread: [webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: mademetop at 7:55 am (utc) on Jul 24, 2013]
[edit reason] No external links, please [/edit]

6:06 pm on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Unless you are talking about the path to Google plus button image URL being blocked by robots.txt?


Yes that's it.

When you click on this link in Statcounter, you get redirected to home page?


Not me the two visitors when they click on that entry it redirected them to the home page, Statecounter told me that not me.

This would imply that it was your home page that ranked for these keywords (which you should see from the next line of Statcounter tracking).


No my home page isn't ranked for these keywords, just one of my pages who should be ranked for that keyword but not anymore. but even if i tried those keywords it doesn't shows any of my pages, i don't know why statecounter tell me that the keyword is still ranked on #1, and how did those two visitors got into my website.

The encrypted searches that you noticed in Statcounter is for some other visits, I presume, and not for these two visitors, as for these two visitors you could see keywords used.


Yes that's it
6:12 pm on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Is this a new site that went live in March?


No in February, but my pages are being indexed until 24th of March 2013, as you said, one month after website creation.


If i continue doing backlinks will my website crawl google search again?

Anyway i still have some pages indexed, one of them is indexed on the second page, and others are far away.
6:45 pm on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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i don't know why statecounter tell me that the keyword is still ranked on #1, and how did those two visitors got into my website

Google is serving personalised results. Perhaps your page was at #1 for these visitors.

If i continue doing backlinks..

Have you been building links since March? How many links have you built so far and from how many sites/domains?

...i still have some pages indexed, one of them is indexed on the second page...

I think you need to understand the difference between indexing and ranking and use the correct terminology, otherwise members of this forum will not understand properly what you are saying.

Page may be indexed, but may not rank. You can check whether a page is indexed by Google by (for example) copying a couple of unique sentences from that page and pasting it to Google search box. If you see your page appearing in results, the page is indexed.

However, this does not mean that this page will rank for any keywords you wish it to rank for. According to graphs you showed, Google has in its index 546 pages from your site, but according to the other graphs (query graphs), after the traffic drop only very few are ranking well enough to bring you the traffic.
7:15 pm on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Have you been building links since March? How many links have you built so far and from how many sites/domains?


Yes, i built 1418 links from 74 domains


I think you need to understand the difference between indexing and ranking and use the correct terminology, otherwise members of this forum will not understand properly what you are saying.



Thank you, i get it now :)
7:21 pm on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Page may be indexed, but may not rank. You can check whether a page is indexed by Google by (for example) copying a couple of unique sentences from that page and pasting it to Google search box. If you see your page appearing in results, the page is indexed.



i tried one of my pages that used to be indexed and ranked at the first page, now it's not even indexed
7:41 pm on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Yes, i built 1418 links from 74 domains

There is also a chance that you tripped some filter for agressive link building. Perhaps this plus receiving the content from Unique article wizard is why Google stopped ranking your site.
8:41 pm on July 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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i was doing 10 backlinks for each article a day, i don't think it's an aggressive link building.
Well if i write some unique articles could i crawl search engines again?
6:31 pm on July 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"i was doing 10 backlinks for each article a day, i don't think it's an aggressive link building."

This sounds to ME as over aggressive link building. But I am NOT an expert.

all the links were from social bookmarking sites?

How many were nofollow links? How many were do follow links?

What did you use for the anchor text? did you use a keyword for the anchor text?
8:41 pm on July 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

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This sounds to ME as over aggressive link building. But I am NOT an expert.


Well, could someone tell me what's the right way to do social bookmarking.

all the links were from social bookmarking sites?


YES

How many were nofollow links? How many were do follow links?


Almost all of them are Dofollow.

What did you use for the anchor text? did you use a keyword for the anchor text?


The article title, it contains some of the keywords
12:03 am on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I think you got caught by the algo.

It is not natural to get 10 social bookmarks per article per day when you had (on average) only 70 clicks to your site from SERPs. Basically, it would appear that the site gets more bookmarks than visitors per day.

Secondly, your pattern of social bookmarking is very even (10 bookmarks per article per day). This pattern would never happen naturally and it is easy to spot and get caught by algo. Also, having all links from only one type of source (social bookmarks only, with no reinforcement on being talked on blogs, forums, other websites, etc) does not help.

Adding to this the content creation strategy (which results in duplicate content with 5-10 other sites for each article), and with (from what I understood) no significant amount of unique content written by yourself in a mix, then I am not surprised that your website lost the traffic.

I would suggest that you need to re-think your website purpose and business strategy.
12:26 am on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I would suggest that you need to re-think your website purpose and business strategy.


Yes you are right, thank you
12:29 am on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thank you guys for your help, i learned a lot from you.
One last thing could someone suggest me some SEO tips and strategies, and thank you for your help.
12:51 am on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Pardon me if this sounds insensitive, but often the truth comes across that way.

What you've been doing is essentially being part of the spammy side of the web: distributing rehashed (and usually low quality) content you didn't create, and then bombarding social media sites and calling this "link building".

Produce good quality unique content you write yourself or pay someone to write and people will share it with each other. There's no get rich quick in the blogging world without putting in the time and effort to produce something people not only want to read, but will naturally link to as well.

Right now, all I'm reading from this thread concerning your blog is that it appears to be a classic case of "garbage in=garbage out".
2:32 am on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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One last thing could someone suggest me some SEO tips and strategies


start by thinking about visitors and content that would be useful for those visitors.
2:35 am on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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LOL thx Mr motorhaven, I'm just a newbie and there is a lot of things that i don't know, now i learned from my mistakes, and you are totally right
2:37 am on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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thx phranque, i know
3:27 am on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@MrBrightside,

Following on what phranque said, I suggest that you start with the following thread: [webmasterworld.com...]

I also suggest that you keep reading these boards. There are lots of very useful advices here.
2:54 pm on July 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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thanks :)
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