TOTAL Traffic Drop - WTF HAPPENED?!

25 replies
I have a site that's been running for about a year now. It's been getting around 10,000 unique visits per month but a few weeks ago, I totally re-did the site design to make it easier to navigate for the visitor.
Today, I check my analytics and the traffic has totally dropped to 500 unique visitors. 500!!! A month!!!

What happened?! Can anyone explain?!
#drop #happened #total #traffic #wtf
  • Profile picture of the author HarrieB
    Was there a change in the Url's?

    Did you do a permanent redirection of the old Url's?

    Did you change the Title, keywords and meta tags?

    How are your competitors fairing? Did they also lost their rankings?

    Check the webmaster tools to see the backlinks to your site and see if there are no spammy backlinks built by some1 else, which might lead to drop in rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author Toby Couchman
    Originally Posted by cupcakemonster View Post

    I have a site that's been running for about a year now. It's been getting around 10,000 unique visits per month but a few weeks ago, I totally re-did the site design to make it easier to navigate for the visitor.
    Today, I check my analytics and the traffic has totally dropped to 500 unique visitors. 500!!! A month!!!

    What happened?! Can anyone explain?!
    Its imposible to explain without looking at your analytics or knowing your site url.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    If the changes were only recent then I would probably give it a few more weeks before worrying about anything too much. If you have made significant changes then it's likely Google have noticed that and your site is now dancing around the rankings before it settles somewhere. So long as you didn't change the links, page titles, content, it should be ok.

    But there's never any guarantees with Google... unfortunately.
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    • Profile picture of the author PeterKnight
      Check your google (&bing) webmaster tools account and look for potential issues. If you don't have one set up, sign up as you will be able to identify problems with the site. There may be crawling errors, url issues, or content duplication issues that were introduced during your redesign.
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  • make sure you thoroughly check webmaster tools! as peter mentioned, they usually leave a warning message.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicnac03
    Checking your rankings on google. Might've been slapped
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    • Profile picture of the author jka
      Did content change on the site?
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      • Profile picture of the author cupcakemonster
        Thanks for all the answers - I've checked my analytics and backlinks and...NOTHING IS WRONG.
        This is completely bizarre. I updated my theme and re-designed the layout so that it'd be much easier for visitors to navigate from page to page. I've done absolutely NO black hat SEO on this site. In fact, I've hardly done any SEO at all.
        Yea, but I'm no longer on the first page (or even the second) for a keyword that was bringing me tons of traffic. Looking at Google, it looks like all my competitors got shuffled around as well.
        Has anyone else noticed a shuffling in their Google position?
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  • Profile picture of the author dvduval
    You didn't mention if you checked for crawl errors. Definitely you want to do redirects from pages that no longer exist to the new ones. It is not uncommon to see a temporary traffic drop after you change a site's structure that lasts a couple of months.
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  • Profile picture of the author KuhNoodle
    Has anything changed recently that might have caused this? It's strange if you haven't done anything to your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author Terry Hatfield
    Hi,

    When you updated your site you may have inadvertently changed the setting so that google can't see your site.

    Go to your wp-admin panel and navigate to settings>reading and make sure that the "search engine visibility" tab is unchecked.
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  • Profile picture of the author himanuzo
    You should install Google Analytics script into your site to find out the traffic source.
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    • Profile picture of the author Richard Van
      Without wanting to sound rude, this is a nice reminder not to be completely reliant on organic traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author igg
    My only thought on this is that maybe Google did a shuffle and your site was affected negatively by it.
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  • Profile picture of the author GReason
    be sure that you did redirect the links that you just have changed ( just in case you made changes) and be sure to check your webmaster tools as there might have been some crawl errors or any issues that arises. ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author intergen
    I've seen it asked 3 times here in the forum - did you put 301 permanent redirects from your old pages to your new pages? This is critical to pass on link juice etc. If you did not do this you could drop in the rankings.

    Also as others have specified. You need to do a crawl and check for errors. Screaming Frog (free) or the SEOmoz (site crawler) - and I'm sure there are others - will give you the feedback you need.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheLinkMaster
    You might have been slapped by Google..so will changing back to the old design (lol, maybe) help with the issue? I'll be devastated too if this happens to me..from 10k to 500 visitors!?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeannie Crabtree
    When things change on your site, such as an addition of a little text or even a theme, google may re shuffle your site, to see where it fits in, in the grand scheme of site ranking. It may take 3 weeks to 3 months to work it all out and you to see where you rank.

    I have lost rankings with changing a theme. That is possibly what is happening here. You can see it discussed more often in the seo forum. Adsense / PPC / SEO Discussion Forum

    Jeannie
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    How is anyone supposed to help you with such little, and useless information?
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  • Profile picture of the author cupcakemonster
    Thanks for all the answers, guys...turns out I forgot to re-add my analytics code when I updated my theme -_-
    Apologies for my stupidity...
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    • Profile picture of the author substance
      Originally Posted by cupcakemonster View Post

      Thanks for all the answers, guys...turns out I forgot to re-add my analytics code when I updated my theme -_-
      Apologies for my stupidity...

      Well, Looks like The OP have realize his mistake and have corrected it!

      So read the threads above you before responding!
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  • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
    Originally Posted by cupcakemonster View Post

    I have a site that's been running for about a year now. It's been getting around 10,000 unique visits per month but a few weeks ago, I totally re-did the site design to make it easier to navigate for the visitor.
    Today, I check my analytics and the traffic has totally dropped to 500 unique visitors. 500!!! A month!!!

    What happened?! Can anyone explain?!
    If you changed the url paths, you screwed your rankings because the new url paths have to rank independently.

    I accidentally did this to a site once. Same content, but changed the urls. It was terrible for my traffic. Luckily, I was able to salvage some of the lost traffic by re-creating the original urls immediately and using them as simple gateway pages to the new url pages of the same content.
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  • Profile picture of the author ymest
    It's possible that the changes and re-design of your site actually affected your Google page rank but then again, you should wait a few more days if not weeks to see if it's getting back to normal.

    This is a massive drop and you haven't provided us with much information, at least your website.

    From experience, I know that Analytics isn't always accurate and up-to-date. That could explain why but still the drop in the number of unique visitors is quite steep.

    Have you done a search on Google about this particular problem? You may find clues etc.

    Good luck and I hope you get your 10K visitors back soon.

    Regards,

    Yoan
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Roberts
    If you're reading this thread and thought - "this has happened to me" - and it wasn't your Google analytics code but a slap or some other reason for loss opf ranking - there are ways that can help restore your site - but no guarantees with Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaolinsteve
    I'm glad you got something resolved. Give it some time and see how well you're doing after the drop.
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