Home – New Forums Tech talk What’s happened to my site?

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  • #981883
    Rball
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    Hello hello.
    Would just like some opinions from anyone out there that has experienced a similar issue or might know what’s going on here.

    I run an online fitness community site purely for the enjoyment and it’s something I love.

    About 4 weeks ago, the site was zooming and I was getting hundreds and hundreds of hits everyday.

    However, in the last couple of weeks something has happened that has essentially destroyed this. Ill be lucky to get 200 hits a day now.. For the past 2 weeks.

    Google Webmasters Tools says that search engine impressions have dropped from 6,000 to 1,000 in this time. Alarming, I know.

    To give you a bit of background, in the last month we’ve been making dramatic changes to both the style and content of the site, if that would affect it, I’m not sure.

    I’ve updated the site map today to see if that makes a difference. But it is still showing up on Google… But definitely not as much.

    Incoming traffic from google has dropped from 29.5% to 15%.

    Does anyone have any ideas on why this might be the case?

    RB

    #1133504
    Past-Member
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    Hi, I am not that technical, so I don’t know the actual answer, but I did check your source and it says ‘locale’ is US not Australia.

    Would that make a difference?

    SEO experts will probably chip in soon.

    #1133505
    kathiemt
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    Interesting problem and I look forward to seeing what comes forward as possible suggestions.

    #1133506
    Rball
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    Hmm yes it has me baffled

    #1133507
    Greg_M
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    There was a thread recently by JohnW about a site that lost its grip after a rebuild, there’s lot’s of replies there as to why site changes may affect Google search.

    SEO is not my thing either, but I would’ve thought changing content, especially if titles, descriptions and probably URL’s have changed was a “no brainer” for slowing you down … how long you wait, or anything else you can do, not sure.

    At a basic level style changes shouldn’t be too bad, unless you’ve radically changed the layout and Google is finding it harder to index.

    Hope you sort it.

    #1133508
    Rball
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    Hmmm thanks for the input. The existing content hasn’t really been changed, it’s more so adding new content and features.

    It seems like such a dramatic fall though

    #1133509
    Divert To Mobile
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    Rball, post: 151743 wrote:
    To give you a bit of background, in the last month we’ve been making dramatic changes to both the style and content of the site, if that would affect it, I’m not sure.

    Hi RB,

    My gut tells me it has something to do with the changes you have made to the content.

    I think style can make a difference if your content (especially keyword rich content) is in a font similar to the background or tucked in behind images.

    Steve

    #1133510
    ray_223
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    Do you have Google Analytics installed (or some other web analytics software)?

    You need to know where your traffic is coming from to determine what may have changed.

    #1133511
    Zava Design
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    Yep, Google Analytics should point out where the issue lies. And you should be able to review how your site was being found when the numbers were high (ie. what search terms were bringing in the traffic) and how that compares to now.

    It may simply be that some other sites have better optimised themselves for the search terms that were bringing in the traffic, and once you’ve identified what these are you can do some work to target them better, or research some other keywords to target.

    #1133512
    Snakeman
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    Yes, all the above are good pointers. One you should also be aware of is your own backlink profile. If any of your existing backlinks have been removed in the recent past and Google’s found out, then this may penalize your ranking quite dramatically. We had this issue some years back when some rivals had our business removed from a number of online directories. Our site rankings dropped for no explicable reason and a check showed no new backlinks by the others.
    When we found out that our own backlinks had been targeted we learnt the hard way that SEO on the internet is not always a fair game.
    Since then we have (relatively recently) tagetted backlinks to competitors using our registered trademarks as anchor text and had good success in regaining primacy for our trademarks in search. We haven’t told the domain owners to remove the backlinks to the other businesses, as we regard it as unethical and two wrongs don’t make a right, but we have insisted our trademarks not be used.
    Lesson one – watch your own backlink profile as much as your competitors.
    Lesson 2 – if your business has a good reputation, trademark your name.
    All the best

    #1133513
    Aidan
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    Hi again Snakeman,

    I’d be cautious about pinning down a fall in rankings to any kind of penalisation, in the vast majority of cases it is not penalisation, just an algorithmic adjustment.

    A crude indicator of whether your domain has been penalised or not is to search for it by domain name, if its listed at or near the top, you can usually assume no penalisation has been applied to the domain. Its not a perfect test but it does the trick for most.

    As for tracking the backlinks of your competitors, again I’d caution against any jumping to conclusions, particularly if you are up against a clever black hatter. He will almost certainly have hidden some of his backlinks from discovery robots so you just wont find them in tools like majestic or OSE etc.

    #1133514
    JohnW
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    Rball, post: 151743 wrote:
    Incoming traffic from google has dropped from 29.5% to 15%.

    Does anyone have any ideas on why this might be the case?

    RB
    Hi RB,
    This number suggests your site was always very weak at attracting SE referrals. I’m used to seeing less than 60% SE referrals as a very, very poor result.

    Where did your traffic come from? Check your Other Referrals in Google Analytics. The limited info you have given suggests you have lost links from some other major referring websites. If you only had 30% traffic from SEs and this halved, it infers about a 15% drop in your total site traffic, not the 50%+ you seem to have suffered.
    Regs,
    JohnW

    #1133515
    cino
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    • Total posts: 38
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    Find out which pages were ranking well before (list of URLs)

    Check to see that the same content after site re-design has the same URL.

    If it doesn’t you need to 301 redirect from old URL to new URL.

    #1133516
    Tiggerito
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    On traffic loss after a redesign I always look into changes in Urls. Did you do any.

    GWT will give you a strong clue by showing an increase in 404 errors.

    Other possibles:

    You have made your content hard to crawl
    You have blocked crawling of your content

    As another said. Look deeper into what pages or keywords got affected. Find out exactly where you got hit.

    #1133517
    Rball
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    Hey guys thanks for all the great replies.
    I still can’t pin point what’s gone wrong.

    The URL’s of SOME pages (maybe 3-4/300) or so have changed. But all the articles have remained the same and they seem to be where the traffic has stopped… In the posts rather than the pages. Hmmm

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