Why a drop in traffic on my website?
The loss of traffic to a site can have various causes and some may be unsuspected, unexpected. This does not necessarily com from the design or the content of the site and may be completely out of reach of the webmaster.
Several types of information in the pages can block any traffic to a site:
- The robots.txt file.
Check it does not block a directory or the whole site.
Disallow: Provides access to the entire site.
Disallow:/ Block access to the entire site.
- The meta tag "robots".
The directive noindex or none removes the page from Google's index.
- The canonical tag.
Check by looking at the page source that the URL displayed in the bar is the URL specified by the canonical tag.
Because the latter takes priority over any other indication and can let to index a different page.
If they have not been changed, there is no reason that traffic diminish, but a change may trigger a negative signal for the search engine algorithm.
- Change in the design may lose traffic. The position of content is taken into account in assessing the subject and context, images too.
- Adding links on a page can change the groups of keywords associated with it, and thus the traffic from the engines. Removing the same.
An external effect may have an internal cause. A site may be penalized by search engines for competitive keywords if it introduced in its pages signals of what is considered as spam.
Here are a few:
- Keywords or text hidden to users and visible by search engines (eg white text on white background).
- Extended list of links to the same site.
- Even block of links to partner sites, on all pages.
- Registration in many directories with a backlink to them.
Penalties consist of a loss of position in the results pages ranging from a few lines to several hundred pages.
Changes in the algorithm
We saw at the MayDay, a significant change in Google's algorithm can reduce the traffic of a site by 70%, which certainly benefits to other sites.
MayDay, who was given this name because it affected most sites May 1, 2010, affected the long tail, the requests of several keywords that are individually uncommon but together make up the bulk of traffic .
It has been redirected to pages with more content.
The same effect was observed after the Panda Update, which penalizes sites whose pages do not have enough original content, and the Penguin Update, which takes to sites with too many self-made back links, so from sources without any authority in the field.
This is something that we do not think initially, but the search suggestions, adding one or two keywords to what the user types, have the effect of directing it to sites that contain these groups of keywords. Suggest may also evolve, be refined, provide different suggestions.
That's why some webmasters have seen their traffic that took advantage of these keywords for over a year to drop from 5000 UV per day to almost nothing, the day where a group of keywords has been deleted.
To this, you can not do anything.