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Google traffic referrals dropped a lot...

     

irock

11:55 pm on Dec 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I run a PC hardware site and I notice a huge drop in traffic beginning Thursday. Did anyone notice similar trend? Is it normal due to Christmas fever?

Thanks!

lazyz

12:05 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Could it be that your "fresh" listing just isn't fresh anymore?

sem4u

12:10 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Probably due to Christmas. It's kind of hard to ship the goods now to get them to customers in time for the 25th, :)

threecrans

12:25 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I run a software site (specifically, software for software developers) and we typically see a 30-40% reduction in traffic beginning around Dec 20 and continuing until several days into the new year.

jomaxx

2:20 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Traffic is down hugely for my site thru Christmas and many other holiday periods. My rule of thumb is: look at the pattern of referrals. If Google (or any other site) drops significantly in the proportion of visitor referrals, you may have a problem.

europeforvisitors

2:24 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)



I have a travel-related editorial site, and I've seen a drop in traffic over the last week or so. Affiliate bookings have also slowed to a trickle. In my experience, that's pretty normal for this time of year. I don't know how traffic and sales patterns go in the PC hardware business, but for sites like mine, both traffic and bookings start climbing again in January.

dcheney

5:37 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thursday was the last day dorms were open at many universities in the US as well.

FoodPlaces

6:46 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Perhaps Google has made some changes in their algorithyms again, and in our case, they definitely correspond to a big traffic drop on our sites as well. We are doing 40% of the traffic we were at during the beginning half of this week...

It seems the description is coming from someplace else (the meta description tag now), though as of the last update, it hadnt been from that tag on our sites.

In doing the same identical searches we always do:
"Texas Widgets"
"Widgets in Texas"
Texas Widget Guide"

(for example... we have a predefined list)...

Our listings dropped from 2nd-8th to maybe #250 or so... havent checked them all yet, but those have been the results in a number of categories (a small number albeit, though the results have always been representative of the whole).

Someone else mentioned seeing this happen in the past as well for a few days and then cleared up... considering their page cache is old, perhaps this is the case again.

Now, in checking our competition's sites (using the same search words) we noted that they also had a similar drop. We are almost always within 10-15 of them on each search, and that seems to remain the truth.

As for accuracy of the results, the top 20 results suck compared to us, our competitors, and the other few smaller sites that populated the top 20. Remember, this just refers to keywords we use... I havent checked others yet.

Google's page cache doesnt seem to have changed any either... mabye they are doing some major indexing and that is causing it?

www2 and www3 return the exact same results for my query.

Is it possible this is the "Everflux" that is talked about here?

[webmasterworld.com...]

That thread says it's the 20th-28... and this started for us on the 21st.

- Robert

[edited by: FoodPlaces at 7:22 am (utc) on Dec. 22, 2002]

europeforvisitors

6:55 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)



>>Perhaps Google has made some changes in their algorithyms again,<<

Maybe, but on my site, I've been seeing the same referral patterns as usual, and the positions of the top pages in my referral logs hasn't changed. So I'd wait for the holiday lull to end before worrying too much.

chiyo

6:56 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member chiyo is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Dont panic, for the last 5 years on all our sites, we get a reduction of 50% or more from the last days of the week before Christmas, and they only start going up again fromthe 4th or 5th of January. We have btob and business professional type info sites, so i guess we are more affected than most. Our traffic is highly correlated with office hours and many offices are now closed down and many are on holidays.

From memories of previous discussions leisure and entertainment sites are not as affected. As always, if you know your market, you will know what is causing big jumps and big leaps like this.

I do as a previous poster suggessted. Just make sure that hits from SE's are declining at around the same rate. If G referrals are down 50% so should MSN and AV referrals etc. - given that search engines themselves have diff demographics - e.g. % of business/personal/home/lifestyle users.

FoodPlaces

7:23 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



europeforvisitors:

Our referral pattern is the same, but the quantity has dropped to 40%...

- Rob

onionrep

7:56 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)



Ive seen big drops too, traffic is 40% down.

Im not overly concerned, as people are 'out there' shopping and prepping for xmas and offices have closed for the holidays.

Im confident that things will normalise after the hols.

austtr

8:02 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



ditto the above comments - every year since 1997 shows that same Dec 20th to first week in Jan as being very low traffic- people have better things to do.

Then Jan always goes gangbusters, perhaps 25-30% above the other months average. A few others see this and have commented over the years but I'm not sure if anyone knows why.

Travel/destination sites involved.

tigger

8:22 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I'm also seeing a drop around 30% which I think will get worse next week

dcheney

8:28 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Unless your web site specializes in "how to put together a tricycle", etc. - then you'll see a huge boom in traffic late on the 24th ;-)

JLindsay

8:34 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Our traffic also started to drop off by about 40% as of Thursday. We deal with business services but it is also the type of work that attracts interest from politicial science and international affairs students.

netjunkie

8:42 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



threecrans said,
"I run a software site (specifically, software for software developers) and we typically see a 30-40% reduction in traffic beginning around Dec 20 and continuing until several days into the new year. "

I concur. This is what I have experienced over the last few years. It's normal ops and to be expected.

Monkscuba

9:30 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I believe many people web surf at work much more than at home (as I do), so during holiday periods, you can expect lower traffic, since people are at home with the family or out enjoying themselves.

If your web site is titled "Last Minute Christmas presents" you might do well though!

seindal

10:46 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



This seems to afflict almost every kind of site. I have one on ancient culture, and it is down at least one third for a week or so. At first I was rather displeased, then it struct me that schools are probably closing, and I get quite a bit of traffic from both primary and high schools and from universities.

René.

Hardwood Guy

11:04 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I suppose I'm one of the luckier ones but my sites have only been on the web for 2 and five months respectively and traffic increases weekly. The last two weeks have been record breakers all over. Could be all the Christmas parties people have been going to. Without attempting to describe my business for fear of breaking the rules here, my screen name gives a clue.

Yidaki

11:52 am on Dec 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Cool ... half an hour ago i noticed a 25-30% decrease in traffic since 18th at most of my sites. I've been a bit worried, but after checking my positions at the major se's (still fine) and after reading here, i'm pretty relaxed, now :-)

onlineleben

1:41 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Referral patterns are same as before, but drop in traffi, what seems to be natural. No more chances to get stuff from online shops shipped before christmas. I also go shopping for last minute xmas gifts in the analog world now (like anyone else does! man it's crowded outside!).

jady

2:03 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



MERRY CHRISTMAS! Everyone is shopping! :)

jimbeetle

3:18 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



On our city-oriented site we get increasing activity from September on, peaking last week of November - first week of December. Then, as other folks say, it starts dropping off. Our next up cycle will start end of January as people start thinking about spring vacations.

ann

3:51 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ann is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Holidays usually do make a drop in traffic, mine is off quite a bit....women getting ready for Christmas.

My best month is usually Jan.

Ann

FoodPlaces

5:49 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Traffic seems to be back to normal on our site, or they have begun using the new content on our sites from their most recent indexing.

- Rob

Thanasus

6:23 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have seen a noticable drop in traffic but its all proportional. Traffic picked up on Sunday though back to almost normal levels

Process

7:06 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Manufacturing b2b/buyers guide: Referrals & traffic dropped 25% across the board.

jdMorgan

7:18 pm on Dec 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jdmorgan is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



austtr wrote:
Then Jan always goes gangbusters, perhaps 25-30% above the other months average. A few others see this and have commented over the years but I'm not sure if anyone knows why.

All those new Christmas-present PCs coming on-line?

This is just a guess, but I have noticed a disproportionate number of AOL/MSN and other "bundled" ISPs are used in the late December/January traffic peak.

Jim

przero2

2:25 am on Dec 24, 2002 (gmt 0)



All those new Christmas-present PCs coming on-line?

That is definitely a MAJOR contributing factor ... A new year - new plans and new travel/vacation plans contributes to spurt in travel biz. However, retail is usually much slower in Q1 over Q4 though;)

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