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Still trying to address ranking/traffic drop, lost 80% of impressions

     
5:33 am on May 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Greetings again,

In March I wrote about a loss of 80% of page impressions on Google searches. I received some excellent feedback and have made several adjustments to address the problem. Sadly, my site continues to founder, while other sites in the same general area have remained fairly constant or even increased somewhat (nothing drastic that would make me think they have found a way to "take" my traffic--kind of a crazy, paranoid idea that sneaks into my thoughts...).

I reviewed my organic search word performance from a reasonably reliable source, and it shows the same thing.

I have tried to search for additional guidance, but need to know if there is something at Google (or elsewhere online) that explains what can impact a site so heavily without manual intervention (I have no communications from Google of manual actions, and can't get any responses from Google at all, whether through AdWords publisher support or otherwise).

Many thanks,
HymnSite
6:50 am on May 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It is extremely difficult to opine on such nebulous data. You may want to post on the Webmaster Supporters Forum for actionable advice from the veterans here.
10:05 am on May 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

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This is the same site that was discussed in this thread....

Feb 28th: Lost 80% Impressions, Anyone Else Experienced Similar?
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4652064.htm [webmasterworld.com]

As noted in that thread, I had, in the process of removing the url from an earlier post, taken a look at the site, and saw that it had serious structural and technical issues. While some of the broken nav links may have been fixed, the other issues remain.

Again, we can't give the site a public review... but I think we should be clear that this is not really a problem that Google should be expected to give feedback on.

It's a combination of many problems with the site, which surfaced with algorithm changes that I'm guessing devalued the site's inbound links... perhaps combined with Panda issues as well.

To repeat some of the summary of what I saw, which apparently remains unchanged...

...The navigation itself wasn't structured into what I felt might be searchable categories.

The site was built in frames, something I haven't seen in many years, which provide lots of challenges for search engines. Even if Google did index the framed pages, the content frames simply not well optimized, nor was the content focused. As I remember, the page titles were often repetitive, and there was no way that titles could have been used to boost relevant content.

Additionally, there's what appears to be a great deal of duplicate content on the site... as I remember without any sort of value-added commentary. Again, we can't get into a discussion of site specifics in a public area of the forum.

I bring this up, though, to suggest that the site was probably ranking on inbound links alone, and it's possible that some aspect of the site's inbound linking, or the linking algorithm, changed significantly around Feb 28. Treatment of (or threshold for) duplicate content may have also changed.

Any further look at the site itself needs to be done in the Supporters area, but the site really needs major work... and probably needs a new platform.

It's not clear from HymnSite's comments whether he's followed up on backlink problems which I've assumed exist... or what precisely he did fix on the site.
4:53 pm on May 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@Mentat
Let me show you a graph :(

It all started on [u]4th of September[/u] with no signs!

On the 28 feb I'm back with this subdomain.

[i.imgur.com...]

I made no changes to the subdomain, there is no real competition for me on the topic!


The question is also, what did you do around the 20th Feb to get a huge spike in traffic? 300k I could only dream of that number.
5:49 pm on May 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have never had a spike in traffic. Just steady, organic growth, followed by then a cliff. Fluctuations happen, but not this. I'm still working on a revamp of my site, but have not heard anything that explains why 17 years of good results turns into a catastrophic drop in 2 days.
5:55 pm on May 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Mr. Charlton has already given a wealth of excellent and free information. I repeat, your best bet for further help is to seek a site review in the Webmaster World Supporters Forum.
6:08 pm on May 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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@mromero
I appreciate Mr. Charlton's excellent responses and have personally thanked him for them, too. One of his observations is that my site is home grown, and he is quite right. I am working on his suggestions and will continue doing so, but revamping takes time. I appreciate your encouragement, too. And will always remain amazed that 17 years of good results can be tanked in 2 days.
6:32 pm on May 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have never had a spike in traffic. Just steady, organic growth, followed by then a cliff. Fluctuations happen, but not this. I'm still working on a revamp of my site, but have not heard anything that explains why 17 years of good results turns into a catastrophic drop in 2 days.


Sorry, I meant mentat's post