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Massive drop in organic search traffic from Google, why?

   
12:42 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



During 5 previous months there was a (stable) traffic lift but all of a sudden(since August)we are experiencing a massive drop(70%) in organic search traffic from Google. All rankings stay the same or even higher, no considerable changes in the website have been made recently. Please, advice what could be wrong? Thanks
5:05 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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



Hello julia, and welcome to the forums.

The answer to the question "why" is something you will need to investigate in detail. The obvious fact is that you were getting traffic from some specific search terms and for those terms you are no longer ranking. You need to identify which terms those are.

Your analytics, whatever kind you use, should tell you what those search terms were and what terms are bringing you traffic now. Investigate those keyword searches that dropped off.

The issue could be a technical thing, or it could be a penalty. You should have a Webmaster Tools accout set up with Google and check in there for information about whether Google is having technical trouble crawling your server.

If you can pretty much rule out technical trouble, then to uinderstand possible causes for penalties have a look through the topics in the Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page. Also keep an eye on the thread Google Updates and SERP Changes - August 2009 [webmasterworld.com].

5:10 pm on Aug 21, 2009 (gmt 0)



All rankings stay the same or even higher..

Are you quite sure about that?
12:08 am on Aug 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



70% drops means its a penalty or yo-yo
12:13 am on Aug 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

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



And even if the rankings look the same to you, they surely can't be the same for everyone. Search volumes don't drop by 70%, unless it's a very fleeting topic of popular interest.
7:28 am on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Guys,thank you all for your ideas,
I have already investigated the keywords that bring traffic -it is our brand name and we are in top 5 ( 12 different google data centres were checked).
According to Google Webmaster Tool we have only 2 not found pages, everything else is ok.
I check rankings every day, they all seem the same as they were when the traffic was higher.
That is why I am puzzeled and confused and do not know what to do to get the traffic back.
As I understand, penalty means that the pages are out of the index, am I right? Or it may mean something else?
Thanks!
7:39 am on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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



A site cannot have all the same rankings but also have a massive drop in search traffic. If your search traffic dropped, the missing traffic MUST be associated with a search term or perhaps several.

So don't bother checking rankings yet, especially not directly at each data canter. The first job is finding exactly which keywords used to bring in the high traffic but no longer do.

9:02 am on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Tedster, we have 2 keywords that bring us almost 50% of traffic, until August the traffic they brought was rising and then stopped immidiately, their rankings remained the same. All the other keywards bring insufficient traffic share but I will examine them closely today. BTW after stopping Adwords the direct traffic and traffic from reffering sites have also decreased but it was progressively. Also now we have several domains like www.site.com, site.de.,site.eu, site.co.uk etc, but the content is the same as on our main www.site.com (we are translating the content into these languages). May be it has influenced somehow the traffic decrease?
4:54 pm on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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



we have 2 keywords that bring us almost 50% of traffic, until August the traffic they brought was rising and then stopped immidiately, their rankings remained the same

Seems clear to me that their rankings cannot be the same, unless the total volume of searches for those two terms has fallen off.

Maybe the rankings are now only for part of the day. Maybe there's some heavy geo-targetting making your rankings lower in most locations (but not the one you search from). Maybe the computer you check from is logged into a Google account. But if the actual volume on these searches is relatively stable, then the math should be clear - you've lost some ranking somewhere.

7:13 pm on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



or maybe is DNS has been jacked and redirected to another site.
7:54 pm on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)



julia_iaso

In which country are you? I'm in the UK and have seen some dramatic European traffic variations recently owing to many companies having the whole of August off on holidays...lucky so-and-sos to put it politely.

8:50 pm on Aug 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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



maybe is DNS has been jacked and redirected to another site.

Although it's rare, that is another possibility. Somtimes DNS hijacks take only a part of the traffic and not every click.

10:57 am on Aug 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



HuskyPup, our main office located in the Netherlands and the majority of customers are Dutch. But we have distribution network across the Europe. And during this period I see traffic decrease in all European countries. So,if it is seasonal - then in September we'll see the increase)))I really hope so, but suspect that it is not that simple....

Please advise what to do if it is DNS hijacking? How can we fix it and what to check?

12:55 pm on Aug 25, 2009 (gmt 0)



So,if it is seasonal

Well you'll definitely know next week, most of my clients return on 31st August even though that day is a holiday in the UK...the last until Xmas!

 

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