web analytics

What to do when losing Google traffic?


A regular reader came to me asking for help a few days ago. Apparently, she lost a lot of traffic from Google. I checked the site and it’s not banned. All pages are still being indexed and it’s an old domain with a fair amount of backlinks.

I got some stats and dug a bit deeper on the exact date the traffic went down. It wasn’t gradual but a sudden drop. Here’s a screen shot during that week:

Google Traffic

There are still residual referrals from Google but are few and far apart. It’s as if it lost all its juice and fell down the SERPs. It’s just Google though — traffic from other search engines are still coming in but you can see from the graph how much damage was done. PageRank is still intact.

Realme Philippines

The question is how did that happen?

Here’s the checklist that I gave and I thought I’d share it with everyone here too:

  • Is your site functioning well, as in no page errors?
  • Did you check your htaccess or robots.txt for any codes that might block being indexed by Google?
  • Are you or have you been selling links?
  • Are you or have you been buying links?
  • Did you change web host or IP recently?
  • Did you change your domain WHOIS info recently?
  • Do you have Sitemaps installed?
  • Summary feeds or full rss feeds?
  • Did you check your error_log for relevant data that would suggest access errors?

Did I miss anything?

So, what to do now?

  • Don’t panic. If you have a lot of regular readers, then it won’t hurt that much.
  • Check for duplicate content. You could be delivering multiple instances of the same content on your domain (something like http://blog.domain.com and http://domain.com/blog and http://www.domain.com/blog).
  • Check for backlinks. You might have lost a lot of really juicy links recently.
  • Try and get some more nice links. When you’re used to get them for free before, this time be a little proactive.
  • Continue building great, original content.

Hopefully, it will come back.

Avatar for Abe Olandres

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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15 years ago

My Technobiography traffic dropped too in December.

My simple mind likes Jayvee’s Yultide explanation of traffic reduction.

Let’s check back in Jan 2007, see if traffic picks up.

Happy New Year, all!

15 years ago

And Abe, I think the correct word is “losing” Google traffic and not “loosing”… ;)

15 years ago

Did she make site changes that inadvertently deleted the Statcounter code? I noticed that the stats above are from Statcounter and I’m thinking probably she really didn’t lose traffic, she just unwittingly deleted the code in one or a few of the site pages where there’s a lot of Google traffic. Because there’s no Statcounter code, it’s not accurately counting the traffic’s that coming in. I suggest too that she signs up for a Google Webmaster account and use Google Analytics in her site.

15 years ago

The drop in traffic is scary, though I wish I had those levels of traffic. ;)

15 years ago

site:domain returns nothing.

15 years ago

how does one check, if a site is banned?

15 years ago

Get a Google Webmasters account, verify the domain, and see if it gives any warning(s).

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