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Traffic drop after 9 May 2013



4:37 pm on May 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

We are business listing portal in a particular niche and have created
lots of new pages lately. The indexed pages on our portal have
increased from roughly 100,000 in Feb, 2013 to approx. 500,000 at the
end of April, 2013 (400% growth over 2 months).

The increase in indexed pages was accompanied by a healthy growth in
traffic, week over week. However, starting 9th May, we had a dramatic
fall in traffic (almost 30%). After the Penguin 2.0 update on 22nd
May, the traffic fell further and is now down by 50% compared to
traffic on 8th May and earlier in May.

Actually we changed our hosting server on 8th May, got a new IP,
changed A Record and used same DNS. Coincidently there was an
unconfirmed Google algo update during the same time thus making it
hard to find the reason of drop in traffic. There is no PR drop and
more pages are getting indexed even now. Rank of lots of keywords has
dropped upto 5-20 places.

I would like to point out that all our pages have proprietary content
and this content is not available anywhere else on the web.

Any thoughts what could the possible reasons be besides the obvious
Penguin 2.0 penalty. Is a 400% increase in pages over 2 months, an
alert for Google to penalise?


4:39 am on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Hello, and welcome to the forums!

Actually we changed our hosting server on 8th May, got a new IP, changed A Record and used same DNS.

That's the first thing I would check into. There are several DNS checking sites online that should help you do this. There are over 50 ways a DNS can be setup up incorrectly, and I've only ever checked one domain that had no Errors or Warnings.


5:21 am on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

tedster's point is extremely important - you should check with at least two tools before moving on to other possible causes.

Have the number of pages that Google reports as indexed dropped since the server change?

What is a typical load time of a data page?

Are XML sitemap files in use and are they accurate/recently updated (post move)?


9:09 am on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

welcome to WebmasterWorld, nickseo1!

do you have any interesting messages in GWT?
have you tried "fetch as googlebot"?

was the 400% increase in indexed pages expected?
(that's a LOT of new content!)
does 500,000 seem like a reasonable number to you?


3:16 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Besides the possilbe server issues you have to identify the traffic source or sources that have dried up. Is it Google referral traffic? Has Bing/Yahoo referral traffic been affected? Is it for specific key phrases or groups of phrases?


4:57 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member

Definitely check your server stuff as everyone's advising. But if you rule all that out, I did experience a recovery on the 9th and did not change servers or make any serious changes to the site near that day.


8:39 pm on May 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Judging by the nunber of people who commented on May 8th and 9th, something surely changed around that time.


9:31 am on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hello Tedster and Hoople,
Thanks for your help.

Which DNS checking tools would you advise?
FYI there has been regular increase in the number of pages indexed even after server change.
Load time has decreased and that was the whole reason for changing server.
On 17th May, I removed XML sitemap files from webmaster tool and website also since there were lots of 404 pages in it. I will submit an updated sitemap in webmaster very soon.


9:44 am on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi Phranque,
Thanks for your help.

There is not a single message in GWT and "fetch as googlebot" is working fine.

As you know we are a business listing site, we created lots of dynamic pages by adding attributes and filters in listing pages. Therefore when you select any filter or attribute, a new URL is generated. We also created unique meta tags for most of these pages dynamically.


10:06 am on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi Jimbeetle,
Thanks for your help.

Google organic traffic has been affected a lot.
Yahoo and Bing organic traffic was not much but have same declining graph as Google organic traffic.
Google referral traffic has not dropped.
All sections of website are affected.
No particular type of keywords or group of keywords are affected.


4:58 am on Jun 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

We created over 5 lac pages over the last 4 months of which bulk of the pages were created for a particular category (we are a horizontal portal with listings across multiple categories). The category in which we created about 4 lac new pages has had a dramatic fall in traffic. The fall is over 50% in the last 20 days. All data on these pages is genuine and is not available on any other site.

Any help to identify the possible reason for the fall would be highly appreciated.


6:40 am on Jun 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think number of pages are not important. What matter is how you explaining the content. Use appropriate and unique matter on your page and you will get proper results.


7:40 pm on Jun 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member

I've been looking into this, and apparently it hit more webmasters outside this forum and there was some discussion. The majority seems to believe it was Penguin 2.0 being tested on a subset of sites before being released into the wild. At least 4 sites hit by it were analyzed, and it looks like they all had both Penguin and Panda hits, so another theory is that it's a combo of Penguin and Panda, OR that Penguin 2.0 IS a combo of the two... sort of.

Just passing that along. Now that it's been nearly a month, I can say I've had an increase since then of over 300%. It's still way below what Google used to send me before Penguin, specifically because there are still a few of my pages that are way down from where they used to be. But those pages are up from where they had been.

Google's silence on this update does make me wonder if it was a Penguin test. I wish we could be sure, because there are so few stories of Penguin recovery (even partial) and I don't know if mine is that or not.


8:04 pm on Jun 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I also lost traffic on that update. The only thing I noticed is that i now get almost ZERO traffic to my homepage..google send people to subpages and posts only.....


8:56 pm on Jun 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Therefore when you select any filter or attribute, a new URL is generated
This new URL does it contain the same, like, or different content?


8:16 am on Jun 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I had something similar too.
On May 8th i started to loose traffic and impressions.
Up till a few days ago i lost around 70% of my impressions gradually and exactly 50% of my clicks (both from Google).
Google didn't mention anything about an update but it seems like a lot of webmasters saw the same affects around the same time.

In the past week i've been trying to get rid of some spammy links and sitewide links etc.
I did have a small increase a day or two ago but nothing serious. I hope it continues.

Can anyone recommend any other actions?
Any onsite recommendations?

BTW - something interesting, even though there were a lot of specific landing pages that were affected, there are some landing pages that have increased clicks since that "update"...

Something to think about?


1:13 pm on Sep 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is it possible that sitemaps were incorrect with all the increase in pages and change in servers?

Did you wind up recovering and figuring out what the cause was?

I'm also dealing with a similar situation and trying to pinpoint the issue.


5:32 pm on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've been in the business listing (rating and reviews) biz for 6 years. Get out now.

Unless you can compete with the big guys - even your small local niche directory is going to be destroyed. Google is now the business listing king and all that juicy long-tail traffic from people looking up local businesses (Some of you know what I'm talking about) is going to all be going to Google or the big guys.

So, if your business listing site is relying on organic Google search to be successful - I'm sorry (boy am I sorry) that is not going to happen for any length of time past the honeymoon phase.

In other-words, even if you have a far better niche directory for the subject and location than the big guys with far better local content - Google does not care. You're done.

Just like Google scraping the fresh/not fresh content from a big movie review site - they are now going to be the curators of business listing content.


5:45 pm on Sep 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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

Now that I have re-read the post. Tell me 400,000 unique no were on the web articles in 2 months or 200,000 a month or 6000 a day. I find this so hard to believe and maybe Google does too.
Are you sure these suppose to be unique articles aren't meshed scrapped content. To much to fast smells funny.

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