Common Causes for Sudden Drops in Traffic from Search
Traffic is the lifeblood of websites. Businesses and brands understand just how important traffic is to their overall success; even brick and mortar institutions rely on people calling or coming through their doors in order to earn a living. Unfortunately, the internet can be a lot more cruel to businesses and brands when it comes to traffic, whether that traffic originates from social media, email marketing or search engines. Many websites rely on search engines for large portions of their traffic; any sudden change or drop in traffic can spell doom for a website. We’ll discuss today some of the main causes for a sudden drop in traffic, with the goal being to give you the necessary info to respond to the event.
Search Engine Penalties
In the pursuit of pinging for SEO, we may be willing to try a wide variety of unique tactics. Some of these endeavours can truly pay off, but others may cause damage. Google has many different penalties that can be foisted upon your website at any given time if you make a wrong move. From bad link building strategies to keyword over-usage, you may have tripped Google’s proverbial alarms and not even know it. If you have been penalized, then you’ll be able to find precise information by logging into Google Webmaster Tools and seeing if any manual action has been applied. Even if you haven’t suddenly changed anything, Google’s algorithms are constantly being revised: something that was acceptable yesterday may not be acceptable tomorrow.
There are many different changes in the habits of consumers and internet users that ebb and flow from week to week, month to month, and year to year. A successful brand may find itself attracting tons of visitors at one point, but may gradually begin to see that traffic disappear. If your brand has a specific appeal during a season or particular period of the year, then a sudden drop may simply be a natural, seasonal shift. In order to make up for this drop, you may wish to double-down on social media and email marketing efforts – whether they be paid or organic. Pinging for SEO is a great strategy to utilize, but sometimes, having all of your traffic eggs in one basket can cause problems.
Loss of Links
Your visibility in search is determined by many different things. The quality of your content and the power of your direct SEO certainly influences things, but indirect effects – such as earned backlinks – also play a role. If one or more sites around the web have deleted old content, rearranged their design or otherwise changed things up to the point that links from them to you are now gone, then your SEO clout may have decreased. This in turn can impact how many people are seeing you in various SERPs. In many instances, earning these backlinks once again is possible and requires direct contact with those brands, but you’ll first have to uncover which links you’ve lost.
Many different culprits can contribute to a sudden loss in search traffic. The important thing is to not panic: people make bad decisions when in panic mode. Whether you’ve lost quality backlinks, suffered a penalty, experienced seasonal shifts or are dealing with something entirely different, remember that the trend can be reversed. If you’ve experienced a sudden loss in traffic, tell us below about your dilemma.