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High Rankings, No Traffic. Is this possible ?



5:43 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I have a website in a crowded niche. I had lost some significant traffic over the last 6 months, due to a major fall in rankings, but have fought my way back in the SERPs, to a point that is comparable to about 6 months ago...., where I am on the first page of Google, for certain keyword phrases. I have done some diligent recording of rankings and traffic, to substantiate this, and to be able to make the comparison. I just looked at U.S.-based traffic, which has always been 95 % of my overall traffic.

However, I am getting only about 10 % of the traffic that I was receiving 6 months ago. This has been the case the last several weeks since my SERPs have returned to the levels of 6 months ago. Given the laws of probability, this is telling me that overall Google traffic for this popular niche has fallen off by 90 %. I cannot believe that this could result in just 6 months.

What else can I attribute this significant reduction in traffic to, given comparable rankings from 6 months ago and today ? Is there a simple answer here ?


6:42 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

Is there a simple answer here ?

Perhaps. How much of the traffic from 6 months ago was for long-tail phrases?


6:48 pm on Oct 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Most of the traffic from 6 months ago was for long-tail phrases. Yet, these same long-tail phrases are what rank highly in the SERPs currently. However, I see next to nothing traffic-wise from these long-tail phrases currently, despite their current high ranking. That is what perplexes me. How could they rank well, yet not see any traffic, unless there has been a shift in searching phrases for this niche ?


12:49 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just a thought but have a look at Google Trends for your market, may be a fact of less media hype or something similar. It does happen, but I don't know what niche your in nor the product.. so it could be down to a number of things..


2:43 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Are people searching for these keywords now? For example, right now I am getting a lot of politics traffic and I know that come Nov 4, a lot of it will simply disappear regardless of how high my website ranks.


3:21 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Also, are you logged in to Google, or have your searched from other machines etc to verify your rankings. In other words, are you sure Google is serving you the same result as someone else?

I imagine that you have checked this as you are record-keeping, but it was just a thought


3:37 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


This is a good point. Since <an SEO tool I used> went offline, I know longer have a valid list of Google servers in the U.S. Does anyone have one, that can be checked ?

[edited by: Receptional_Andy at 3:44 pm (utc) on Oct. 29, 2008]
[edit reason] Removed specifics as per charter [/edit]


3:43 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Have you considered the fact that Google has done more on geo-targetting of SERPS for people from different countries? For example, if you are in the UK and you are searching on Google.com, you will possibly see a very different set of results to someone in the US also searching on Google.com. So it's possible that you think your rankings are back where they were, but it may only be that way if you live outside the US (example). The Adwords Preview tool will allow you to check out the different result sets to confirm.

[edited by: Simsi at 3:43 pm (utc) on Oct. 29, 2008]


4:09 pm on Oct 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


Yes, I have considered this, and looked at results. I am geo-agnostic (for this site), and my SERP ranking seems fairly consistent agross the different Google language servers.


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