Few things can be as disconcerting as seeing a steep, sudden, drastic decline in your website traffic. Especially if you use your blog as a source of income, that’s something you want to fix, and fast. Here are a few things that are some common culprits of tanking traffic!
Did you change something on your site? Sometimes this can cause issues with your search traffic, particularly with your robots.txt file. I worked on a site once where they made a single, slight mistake in their robots file and made the entire site essentially disappear from search engine results. Not ideal.
Google Algorithm Update
Google updates its algorithm constantly. Like, multiple times a day constantly. But sometimes they release a new rollout of a big change to the algorithm, and these ones typically get named in the SEO community. Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Caffeine are all examples of big algorithm updates that made a big change in the search engine results. If you’ve seen a big change in your organic search traffic and there haven’t been any major changes to your website, it might have something to do with the algorithm. Ask me! I keep pretty close track of that stuff.
You know those Terms of Service that everyone agrees to without reading? Google states that there are some specific things you can’t do with your website, especially if you’re advertising. Even if you’re not advertising, if you’re involved in shady practices like buying links or spinning articles, you might get dinged with a manual penalty. That means someone from Google flags your site and you’ve gotten hit with a penalty based on those practices. In order to lift that penalty, you usually have to do some major cleanup of the links pointing to your website, cleaning up your content, things like that. If you have Google Search Console set up for your site, you’ll see a notification.
Sudden traffic declines are definitely scary to see! But sometimes it’s a quick explanation and then you can be on your way to recovering. As always, I’m here to answer questions!
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