Monday, 17 April 2017

7 Reasons Why Your Organic Traffic has Dropped! And Yes, It’s Not Google’s Fault!

With a huge change in the field of SEO landscape in the past few years, the organic traffic of a website may appear and then disappear. This has made many website owners think about reasons for organic traffic to drop? Here are some reasons the organic traffic has dropped:



1. Search Behaviour and Trends Changes


Sometimes, the drop is simply not related to content or external links. It may occur for reasons beyond one's control. Algorithms for Google are constantly changing which invite additional changes in the manner search results are returned to users. However, this is not out of control for the owner of the site completely. Ignorance to the latest trends will have a huge influence on your website’s search visibility.

A decline in traffic and rankings have got declined for your website's key landing pages, refreshing  keyword targets will make sure you are up to date with what people are searching for. The Google Trends is definitely a great place to start. It will help you measure targeted sharp decline or gradual fall in key phrases. You may also refer to Search Console Search Analytics data of Google to achieve recent snapshot of things users are currently searching for to find your services and products.

2. Uninformed Changes in Site


Apart from search marketing fundamentals, some developers like to make changes to your website sans giving any prior information to stakeholders and the marketing department. Hence, any drop in organic traffic should be dealt with a super quick catch up with developer or even senior colleagues to determine any dramatic changes that have been made to the site. Thereafter, you may place a request for another crawl of the domain with the help of tools like Screaming Frog to identify pages marked as 'no-index' (stripped off) content. Reviewing of new content is crucial.

3. Indexing Sans Content Pruning


One of the major reasons there's a drop in your organic search traffic is indexing of all pages without pruning content. Google makes dedicated efforts to improve the search algorithm and detecting high quality content. No wonder it has rolled out the Google Panda 4.0 update. It deranks very low quality content and then boosts those of high quality. A website with evergreen content tends to attract organic traffic. However, some pages act as deadwood. So if you are serious about not getting search traffic dropped in the Google Index, include the pages that you are interested in ranking.

Polluting traffic of your website with overloading unnecessary pages makes no sense. Remember that pages having poor quality or obsolete content is of no use. This do not interest the visitors. Hence, these must be pruned to ensure good website health. Poor quality of pages will affect performance of the entire site.

4. Penalties - Manual or Algorithmic


A dramatic drop in organic traffic may be because you have been hit by algorithmic or a manual penalty. When a site is flagged for not adhering to Google's quality norms, a manual penalty is issued. As a result, your rankings will be penalized. It is easier to spot manual penalties. A notification is sent through messages from Google in its Manual Action section of your Google Search Console account.

5. Search Console Manual Actions


As mentioned above, manual penalties are visible in your Google Search Console account. However, this is not the case with algorithmic penalties. These are more common and occur naturally. Google issues an update to their search algorithms and sends penalties wherever applicable. Hence, it can be hard to know if you’ve been hit by an algorithmic penalty. No notifications will be received here as in the case of manual penalties. So if you have noticed a drop in organic traffic, audit your website for harmful backlinks that it has recently acquired. You also need to identify any duplicate or poorly written content. Some of the Crawl tools such as Screaming Frog are quite helpful in pointing out pages on your site with low word counts. The Ahrefs can identify external links (spammy or irrelevant to the  content) acquired recently.

6. Redesigning Your Website & Not Doing 301 Redirects to Old Pages


It is possible to lose any traffic to your site when migrating website from one domain to another. And the worst part is that all of your new visitors will be greeted with a 404 page. All organic search traffic you enjoyed will be a memory, especially if you fail to do 301 redirects. However, it is possible to transfer all of the organic search traffic to another domain with only a few lines of code!

301 permanent redirects a visitor (including search engines) to your new website. Everything from direct traffic to authority, age, and reputation of your old website will get transferred to the latest web address.

7. Ignoring Technical SEO


Most individuals get caught up in the practice of churning out fresh content for their websites. However, they simply end up neglecting technical aspects of SEO. There are certain things to look into so that the organic traffic for website doesn't drop. First, you need to check if robots.txt file is blocking some of the pages from being crawled by search bots. Also assess if there are pages on your site marked up with the noindex tag.

Having multiple pages covering similar themes or targeting the same keywords is also a problem. You need to canonicalise these pages appropriately to refer the original page that you wish search engines to return.

Make sure the website is mobile friendly. This is the major ranking signal of Google. Get rid of pages that are slow to load.

Summary

Keeping tabs on the above listed points will help you know about the exact reason behind drop in organic traffic and search engine ranking. Good Luck!

3 comments

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Your Blog is very attractive and this article is awesome on dropping organic traffic. I am searching this type of article, because my blog organic traffic dropping. thank you for sharing this useful information.

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