How Do I Get My Traffic Back After Google Ranks Drop?
Imagine the following situation: your business is developing thanks to the growing traffic of the site, and you are enjoying life. And then “Bang!” — search traffic suddenly drops by 85%. Your dreams about the further development of the enterprise are destroyed in an instant, sales fall, and the business suffers from a lack of customers. You urgently need to find and eliminate the reason for the drop in traffic. But where should you look for it?
One of the first thoughts that you might have is to order an SEO audit service and check information provided by the specialists. This is the right approach. While you are looking for a professional company, you can analyze the reasons for the traffic drop yourself and try to eliminate them. So, here are the six questions to be answered and analyzed.
Question 1: Is the statistics service code installed correctly?
To test the functionality of the Google Analytics tracking code, use one of the debuggers. You can also check for the presence of the code on all types of pages and restore it manually.
Question 2: Have you changed anything on the site lately?
Very often, changing the design of the site leads to a drop in traffic, especially if you do not use the correct redirect.
In addition, removing pages with content or content from pages, as well as changing their hierarchy, leads to unpredictable consequences. Usually, this problem is solved after eliminating changes in the design or hierarchy, as well as after restoring the content. Use page popularity analysis in Google Analytics to identify sections of your site that have seen a drop in traffic due to content removal or reduced relevance. Check your site logs to determine what changes have occurred just before the traffic drop.
Question 3: Has your site been hacked?
The owner or administrator does not always notice the hacking of the site, as criminals know how to hide their actions. Generally hackers do not specifically disrupt the operation of the main page and other important pages of the resource. Instead, they create new sections with malicious content that can go unnoticed for a long time.
However, when search engines find dangerous content on a site’s pages, they immediately reduce its rankings. Google protects its users from potentially dangerous resources by hiding the platforms that impose the risks of cyber attacks.
The Google Webmaster Tools will help you identify the consequences of hacking. Also, try entering a query like “links:your site” into the Google search bar. This often helps to detect broken pages from the description meta tag, which forms a snippet in search results.
The specific steps to take back control of your site depend on the CMS you’re using. They usually include restoring the resource using a backup copy, as well as changing passwords for administrator accounts, users, and databases.
After that, search engines will restore the resource in search results, which will automatically lead to an increase in traffic.
Follow simple recommendations that reduce the likelihood of website hacking:
- Update the “engine” in a timely manner.
- Use complex passwords.
- Be sure to use automatic backup tools.
- Check the status of the site with the help of the tools for Google Webmasters.
Question 4: Is the drop in traffic related to the change in the algorithms of the search engine?
The introduction of new algorithms by search engines often leads to a drop in traffic. Find out on the forums and blogs of webmasters whether they have experienced a sharp increase or decrease in site traffic in recent days. Read the latest publications on the official blogs of Google.
You will need the help of professional SEO specialists if traffic to your site has dropped after the search engine algorithms have been updated. Therefore, hiring an SEO company with proven records of successful projects will be useful.
Most likely, only in-depth work on comprehensive site development, which includes the creation of quality content, obtaining natural external links, and other measures, will return search traffic to your site.
Question 5: Can the decrease in traffic be related to sanctions against your resource?
If the search engines have not introduced new work algorithms in recent days and weeks, then your site could lose traffic due to sanctions. In this case, you will notice a sharp drop in the positions of the resource in the output for queries that do not contain the name of your company, as well as the names of exclusive technologies and products (the so-called branded queries).
Search engines use sanctions against sites that contain spam content, malicious content, or low-quality links (i.e., links to non-existent pages or unsafe resources). And after the introduction of the Panda and Penguin anti-spam algorithms, it is quite easy to get sanctioned by Google for low-quality external link mass (especially if they have been purchased through link aggregators).
Contact an SEO specialist who will conduct an audit, eliminate errors and perform internal search engine optimization of your site.
Question 6: Has your resource become a victim of competitors?
Sometimes search traffic drops due to the deliberate actions of competitors who simultaneously buy a large number of spam links to your site from low-quality donors. Search engines react to this by lowering the position of the resource in search results.
The Bing search engine has implemented the Disavow Links Tool, available to users of the Bing Webmaster Tools service. This tool allows you to eliminate the influence of spam links on the position of the resource in search results. Google has a similar tool. Of course, you will need it only if competitors or poor optimizers have bought a large number of spam links to your site.
If you have checked all the points listed above and have not found an answer to your question about the drop in traffic to your site, then it is best to stop guessing and resort to the assistance of professionals. Otherwise, you risk decreasing your positions even more.