What if Your Traffic Suddenly Stops? (Don’t Panic.)
If your traffic suddenly takes a nosedive, it gets your attention fast and often causes a sense of panic. However nerve wracking, don’t panic. First, take a look at your overall stats in Google Analytics. The problem may not be a problem at all but a reflection of the holidays, seasonality or other patterns common to your specific niche. Also take some time to make sure all your Google Analytics codes are implemented correctly on all pages of the site. If you find that these things check out, the error is not statistical. The next step is to look into the symptoms and begin investigating the root cause of the problem.
Google Algorithm Update
If the decline in your traffic corresponds to a Google algorithm update rollout, you should investigate the factors that trigger it. New core updates are usually discussed in SEO news. However, niche-specific and narrowly focused updates may not be discussed immediately. Keep track of SERP fluctuations for the niche keywords you are using to find any strange changes.
Substantial Website Changes
Significant changes to your website such as content clear out, redesign or migration may negatively affect your SEO. If you’ve made changes to your website and there is a sudden traffic dip, you should look into your website crawl and indexing. Go to Crawl > Crawl Errors in the Google Search Console and assess the graphs to find any abrupt changes after the updates to your site. Go to Google Index > Index Status and see if the number of indexed pages for your website has decreased.
Losing Valuable Backlinks
Losing valuable backlinks may have a negative effect on your traffic and visibility. If the traffic dip affected most pages and keywords, you should check for any obvious changes to your backlink profile. Update the Backlink Page Info factor to track the lost links. You will see the real-time status of each backlink in the Links Back column. The Last Found Date column will give you an idea about when you have lost a backlink. You can contact website owners personally to get the links back.
Perhaps you have already checked the data, but the traffic dip is so large that your site can’t be found at all. It’s possible that the dip is caused by a manual search engine penalty. Check out “Google Search Console” to confirm this theory. Go to Search Traffic and then to the Manual actions page. If your website has received a red card, you should get a notification stating the reason for the penalty and what has been affected.
Sometimes, the reason for a sudden traffic dip is duplicate content. Remove all duplicate content will resolve this issue. Also check if you’ve been hacked and remove user-generated spam. Go through the pages of your website that provide user-generated content and remove all the irrelevant links and suspicious content you find. Malicious links should be removed as well. Perform regular audits to analyze the backlinks to your website.
The checks and balances above will often be the answer to many of the traffic issues businesses routinely face with their websites.
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