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Over-Reacting to Google Traffic Loss?

9:39 pm on Apr 16, 2013 (gmt 0)

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There have been several threads lately in which someone's site suffered a loss of Google traffic, and they reacted by making big changes, either to the content or structure of the site, or by trying to get backlinks removed. In nearly all of these cases, their Google traffic fell even more.

There was even a thread a few months ago about a patent which described how Google might use quick reactionary changes after a traffic loss as a signal of SEO activity, and further demote the site as a result.

My feeling is that you should design the site the way you want it, and keep it that way, unless you see a way to improve it. Making changes that you know don't improve it, and in fact even make it worse, in an attempt to please Google, apparently often backfire anyway. If you don't make any changes, you'll still have a site that you're proud of, and as recent threads show, very likely will get just as much Google traffic, if not more, than a site that you've torn apart in an attempt to please Google.
1:33 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Very inspirational and logical. Thanks for sharing. It was just the reminder I needed. You're right! Every change I make in reaction to a g traffic loss never benefits me.
1:47 am on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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+1 & +1

Something I try to keep in mind is a small average position ranking change can result in a large traffic loss, but going from an average position of 10 back to an average position of 3 doesn't normally mean I should "change everything" it usually tells me "fine tuning" is what I should be doing.
3:02 pm on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Totally agree.
3:23 pm on Apr 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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That's exactly correct, aristotle.

An experienced automotive engineer always finds out what the problem is with the vehicle before replacing parts, which may make no difference. The replacement part may even be faulty, compounding the problem.

Patience is the key to this, and reacting immediately without knowing what was actually wrong may make no difference, or as you say, make it worse.
3:57 pm on May 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Totally agree. Often ranking drops do not coincide with any google releases and you have no idea why it's changed. So making big changes can lead to more problems than it solves. Often it's months before changes make a difference and by then you have changed other things. So even if it worked its hard to fathom what worked anyway.

Design the best site for your visitors is my view.
4:01 pm on May 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I was hit by Panda #23 and reacted by making BIG changes. Since the initial hit I've only keep going slowly downhill. Not sure if my changes freaked out Google. Right now I have stopped making a flurry of tweaks and will wait a few months for the dust to settle.