Why did Google cut a lot of traffic to my Blog?

31 replies
  • SEO
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Hi,

I have an article blog that has close to 100 articles. Started it almost a year ago. All articles are useful unique content. The site is 100% credible, has over 7k twitter followers and a good facebook following as well. Articles are good content as they are often retweeted and 'liked' on facebook, are commented on, etc. Basically I was building an authority site ranking for tons of different keywords. Wasn't doing any kind of spammy back linking, just being a contributing forum member in my niche and doing some guest blog posts, that's it.

Here is what happened last month (march 13th). This is a graph of my Google search traffic:



So I have no idea what happened. This was a few days before the panda update, but I don't understand as my site has been through every update in the past and only got more traffic. So now I am very very confused, and don't know what to do. The only thing I can think of is that some (not all) of my articles have some amazon affiliate links, but plenty of sites rank fine with amazon links. So I have no idea! Another thought is I recently started using Rank Tracker (by SEO Powersuite) to track keywords, so maybe that had an effect?! All I know is that pretty much all of my rankings (for many low comp keywords as well) went down resulting in losing 80% of my google search traffic.

What do you guys think could have happened?

thanks!
#blog #cut #google #lot #traffic
  • Profile picture of the author theactor19
    anyone? plzzz
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  • Profile picture of the author micksss
    Could be Panda since the drop happened around the last update...
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    • Profile picture of the author theactor19
      Originally Posted by micksss View Post

      Could be Panda since the drop happened after the update...
      Actually as I mentioned, it happened 4 or 5 days BEFORE the update.
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      • Profile picture of the author webby0031
        Hello mate, were your amazon links no follow ?

        If not thats the only reason I can think of based on the information
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        • Profile picture of the author theactor19
          Originally Posted by webby0031 View Post

          Hello mate, were your amazon links no follow ?

          If not thats the only reason I can think of based on the information
          They were not, but I have since changed them to no-follow, but my traffic has not restored.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
    The short answer: something. Have you received a notification via webmaster tools?

    What link building have you been doing?

    Lastly, one man's 'good quality content' is another man's 'loosely spun crap'. I don't mean that in a derogatory sense, but it's very subjective. Again, requires a close look at what you have actually been doing and what's on the site.

    OTHER POINTS:

    I presume you haven't changed any URLs on the site?
    I presume you haven't altered or changed the tracking code in Analytics in any way?
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    • Profile picture of the author theactor19
      Originally Posted by Gareth Mailer View Post

      The short answer: something. Have you received a notification via webmaster tools?

      What link building have you been doing?

      Lastly, one man's 'good quality content' is another man's 'loosely spun crap'. I don't mean that in a derogatory sense, but it's very subjective. Again, requires a close look at what you have actually been doing and what's on the site.

      OTHER POINTS:

      I presume you haven't changed any URLs on the site?
      I presume you haven't altered or changed the tracking code in Analytics in any way?

      Checked webmaster tools, no notifications. Google still gives me traffic, but significantly less.

      Only link building was contributing as a forum member, and doing guest posts for credible websites.

      Haven't changed URLs. Haven't altered any analytics code.. As well, huge decrease in my adsense revenue, so i know traffic is down for sure.
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      • Profile picture of the author theactor19
        Could I potentially contact Google asking why I lost so much traffic from them. That way a rep of theirs could check out my site and verify that it is credible. Is this even possible?
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        • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
          Originally Posted by theactor19 View Post

          Could I potentially contact Google asking why I lost so much traffic from them. That way a rep of theirs could check out my site and verify that it is credible. Is this even possible?
          Google doesn't do customer service, they do automated responses, and two week delays. They have trillions of pages in their index, they don't care about you.

          Short answer, you can yes - reinclusion request. Other stuff you need to do first though, you don't even know if that's the issue.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
        I would need to take a look - it's like telling a doctor someone's been shot without letting them examine the wound
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      • Profile picture of the author pcue
        Are the back links to your site from PR 1+ pages or better? I can only speculate since I don't have your website URL to be able to look up your back linking profile.

        But it's a fact that too many PR 0 or NA links to your site will have a negative effect on your ranking especially after the last Google update.
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        • Profile picture of the author Gareth Mailer
          Originally Posted by pcue View Post


          But it's a fact that too many PR 0 or NA links to your site will have a negative effect on your ranking especially after the last Google update.
          No, it's not. Evidence? Research? White paper?

          Too much spun, low-quality crap content behind your website - content created SOLELY for the purpose of a link and content which is ultimately, crap - has been targeted. That has little to nothing to do with PageRank, though.

          It's like saying a backlink profile with PR 0 links from BBC.co.uk, CNN.com and Guardian.co.uk is redundant, through virtue of the fact the links are PR 0. Nonsense.
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  • Profile picture of the author theactor19
    So I was doing a bit of research on my end, and there is one popular discussion forum that I post on that doesn't allow outbound links (which I didn't know), and they deleted my article links I had on there. If I had to guess I would say there was roughly 25 links to different articles of mine maybe?

    The thing is, I don't know when I lost those links.. If it were around the time that I lost traffic, then that could be it. Is there a way to check for backlinks that I had before? Like a timeline that shows how many on a certain day? That way I can look back and see when the links were removed.

    thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author aygabtu
      Are you keeping track of your keyword SERP rankings? You need to check to see which ones dropped and why.

      Google webmaster tools can give you some hindsight information, but you should use a tool to monitor it yourself closer to real time. Either way, you have to figure out what you or google did leading up to the drop.
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  • Profile picture of the author Boricua
    Originally Posted by theactor19 View Post

    Hi,

    I have an article blog that has close to 100 articles. Started it almost a year ago. All articles are useful unique content. The site is 100% credible, has over 7k twitter followers and a good facebook following as well. Articles are good content as they are often retweeted and 'liked' on facebook, are commented on, etc. Basically I was building an authority site ranking for tons of different keywords. Wasn't doing any kind of spammy back linking, just being a contributing forum member in my niche and doing some guest blog posts, that's it.

    Here is what happened last month (march 13th). This is a graph of my Google search traffic:



    So I have no idea what happened. This was a few days before the panda update, but I don't understand as my site has been through every update in the past and only got more traffic. So now I am very very confused, and don't know what to do. The only thing I can think of is that some (not all) of my articles have some amazon affiliate links, but plenty of sites rank fine with amazon links. So I have no idea! Another thought is I recently started using Rank Tracker (by SEO Powersuite) to track keywords, so maybe that had an effect?! All I know is that pretty much all of my rankings (for many low comp keywords as well) went down resulting in losing 80% of my google search traffic.

    What do you guys think could have happened?

    thanks!
    A warning, you're still alive. Most likely, your most recent linking. Only way to find out is studying your linking, just as Gareth mentioned. PM website, should be easy and even simple to find the reasons why.

    ----

    Warm welcome to the forum Gareth Mailer, nice advice/comments and posting.
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  • Profile picture of the author InitialEffort
    You need to identify first the reason why your rank decreased in the SERP. Consider checking your analytics stats and see if there’s some reason why traffic is down. Decrease in traffic usually occurs when your site have low quality links or duplicate content. In order to identify which backlinks are still working, you need to identify the bad ones. In the Google Webmaster Tools, look in the “Links To Your Site” section and you’ll see a list of the websites that link to your site along with the number of links that point your way from each website. After identifying the bad links, you can: delete, destroy, dilute the bad links by acquiring more quality natural links, and disavow the bad links.

    Also, removed or deleted backlinks could cause negative link velocity and may result to decrease in rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author webgal1985
    The same thing happened to my site during the first week of March.
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  • Profile picture of the author theactor19
    Guys I am still stumped. I cannot figure out why there was such a decrease as rankings dropped for all keywords (low and high comp)... So since they dropped accross the board (I rank for hundreds of keywords), this leads me to believe one of two things:

    1) I lost some backlinks

    2) Google decided to penalize me... but why?!

    Still need help...
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    • Profile picture of the author Demetrius
      Originally Posted by theactor19 View Post

      Guys I am still stumped. I cannot figure out why there was such a decrease as rankings dropped for all keywords (low and high comp)... So since they dropped accross the board (I rank for hundreds of keywords), this leads me to believe one of two things:

      1) I lost some backlinks

      2) Google decided to penalize me... but why?!

      Still need help...
      Google acts strange sometimes for some websites and they are not bound to explain to you about their decision. See, you are not finding anything wrong in the website but still loosing a lot of potential traffic.

      I would like to ask you, did you verified your authorship? It can make some difference.
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      • Profile picture of the author theactor19
        Originally Posted by Demetrius View Post

        Google acts strange sometimes for some websites and they are not bound to explain to you about their decision. See, you are not finding anything wrong in the website but still loosing a lot of potential traffic.

        I would like to ask you, did you verified your authorship? It can make some difference.
        I did not verify authorship. Tell me more about this. Interesting, but could it account for such a large drop in traffic all of a sudden?
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  • Profile picture of the author linkassistant
    Hi theactor,

    I'll provide a number of suggestions on the possible reasons of your traffic drop below, but first and foremost I'd like to address this concern:

    Originally Posted by theactor19 View Post

    Another thought is I recently started using Rank Tracker (by SEO Powersuite) to track keywords, so maybe that had an effect?!
    Our software cannot effect your website rankings in any way. The way Rank Tracker works cannot harm your positions because the software does not send any data to Google or any other search engine. It just conducts search in a specified search engine and reports on the data found - the same way you work in your external browser when searching for some keyword or term.

    RE your traffic drop.

    I agree with Gareth, we need your site's URL to provide a better solution, still below are some general ideas.

    Originally Posted by theactor19 View Post

    All I know is that pretty much all of my rankings (for many low comp keywords as well) went down resulting in losing 80% of my google search traffic.
    You should identify keywords that stopped bringing traffic and then check out if there really was a ranking drop for these keywords. If that's the case, something should be wrong with your content, on page or link building strategies.

    A more detailed checklist is available at Search Engine Traffic Drops: How to Diagnose and Fix the Problem | SEO Blog of Link-Assistant.Com

    If your site is new, the reason might be the typical ranking drop for novice sites and pages. There's a fresh video from Matt Cutts that explains this effect:
    Also my initial guess was the Easter season, which is traditionally downtime for site Visits. So if your rankings are still in place, and traffic is recovering that might be the reason.
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    • Profile picture of the author theactor19
      Originally Posted by linkassistant View Post

      Hi theactor,

      I'll provide a number of suggestions on the possible reasons of your traffic drop below, but first and foremost I'd like to address this concern:



      Our software cannot effect your website rankings in any way. The way Rank Tracker works cannot harm your positions because the software does not send any data to Google or any other search engine. It just conducts search in a specified search engine and reports on the data found - the same way you work in your external browser when searching for some keyword or term.

      RE your traffic drop.

      I agree with Gareth, we need your site's URL to provide a better solution, still below are some general ideas.



      You should identify keywords that stopped bringing traffic and then check out if there really was a ranking drop for these keywords. If that's the case, something should be wrong with your content, on page or link building strategies.

      A more detailed checklist is available at Search Engine Traffic Drops: How to Diagnose and Fix the Problem | SEO Blog of Link-Assistant.Com

      If your site is new, the reason might be the typical ranking drop for novice sites and pages. There's a fresh video from Matt Cutts that explains this effect: Why does a new page's ranking change over time? - YouTube

      Also my initial guess was the Easter season, which is traditionally downtime for site Visits. So if your rankings are still in place, and traffic is recovering that might be the reason.
      Thank you. I do track keywords, and all ranking went far down. Some that I was on page 1 in the first few results are not even in the top 100 results more. So everything happened very suddenly.

      I could perhaps PM my site to you.
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      • Profile picture of the author linkassistant
        Originally Posted by theactor19 View Post

        I could perhaps PM my site to you.
        Thank you! PM'ed with further suggestions.
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  • Profile picture of the author PicnicTutorials
    Wow that graph really says it all. Thanks Google for the wonderful update. Same thing happened to my sites. Took me about 3 months of 3 hours a day to get back. Here is a fitting article I wrote about it. Google's 2013 Socialism Update
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  • Profile picture of the author jfbmarketing
    did you by any chance buy some back links, did you submit your site to some forum that is on the black list of Google, are you spinning articles. If your doing any of them they can penalization you for using them illegal methods
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    Joseph F. Botelho

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  • Profile picture of the author theactor19
    So in Webmaster tools, I tried a reconsideration request (even though I am still indexed, but to try and salvage alot of the last traffic). They basically said that there were no manual spam actions found and gave me this generic message:

    "Dear site owner or webmaster,
    We received a request from a site owner to reconsider your site for compliance with Google's Webmaster Guidelines.
    We reviewed your site and found no manual actions by the webspam team that might affect your site's ranking in Google. There's no need to file a reconsideration request for your site, because any ranking issues you may be experiencing are not related to a manual action taken by the webspam team.
    Of course, there may be other issues with your site that affect your site's ranking. Google's computers determine the order of our search results using a series of formulas known as algorithms. We make hundreds of changes to our search algorithms each year, and we employ more than 200 different signals when ranking pages. As our algorithms change and as the web (including your site) changes, some fluctuation in ranking can happen as we make updates to present the best results to our users.
    If you've experienced a change in ranking which you suspect may be more than a simple algorithm change, there are other things you may want to investigate as possible causes, such as a major change to your site's content, content management system, or server architecture. For example, a site may not rank well if your server stops serving pages to Googlebot, or if you've changed the URLs for a large portion of your site's pages. This article has a list of other potential reasons your site may not be doing well in search.
    If you're still unable to resolve your issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.
    Sincerely,
    Google Search Quality Team"

    So looks like they didn't penalize me, but I still lost a ton of traffic..
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  • Profile picture of the author PicnicTutorials
    As I said mine dropped like that too. So bad it prompted me to write google. After a long search I found the correct email. I asked if I did anything wrong and why don't you like me anymore. They actually responded and said everything looked good on their end and there was no problem. So my conclusion was panda.
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  • My site got hit the same time as yours. It is recovering on its own and is now back to half its original strength. I haven't embarked on a big content addition project or a massive link buildup project so sometime it is just site being hit by one Google update and recovering a bit by next Google Panda and/or Penguin refresh. If your site is legit and links are "natural" then in my experience they do recover though never at their full strength. That requires help from the real experts.
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