Did you notice your organic search traffic drop? It happens more often than businesses like to admit, but it’s not always clear why. For the first time ever, Google recently illustrated what different types of traffic drops look like to help companies better understand how they can address these drops.
Types of Traffic Drops
Google posted sketches of examples of traffic drops and what they could mean. These visuals can hopefully help businesses understand what’s causing their traffic to diminish and how to fix it.
Causes of Traffic Drops
Google identified five main causes for drops in search traffic, which we’ll explain below.
Technical issues can prevent Google from crawling, indexing, and showing your web pages to users. This could be issues such as server availability, robots.txt fetching, page not found or others. Technical issues could be site-wide or limited to just a page.
When the technical issues are site-wide, organic traffic tends to drop off quickly. The good news is that once they’re fixed, the traffic should pick right back up. When the issues are page-wide, the decrease can be slower as Google doesn’t index these as often.
If your website is affected by a security threat, Google may alert users before they reach your site, which can decrease traffic. Security issues could be unsecure HTTPS, a hacked site, detected malware, phishing, or other issues. It’s important to fix these issues as soon as possible, as they can not only reduce organic traffic but also make your brand appear unsafe to users.
If your website doesn’t comply with Google’s guidelines, some of your pages or even your entire site may be omitted from Google SERPs through manual action. If you notice you’re not appearing in Google searches, make sure your site is compliant with their guidelines.
Google is constantly changing and improving its algorithm, which is why SEO is always an ongoing process. Core updates and small updates may change how your pages perform in Google Search results. Improving rankings that have dropped due to algorithmic changes can take some trial and error, which is where having a professional SEO agency working for you comes in handy.
Search Interest Disruption
Sometimes search traffic drops due to changes in user behavior. This will change the demand for certain queries. This could be due to new trends or seasonality throughout the year. This means that your traffic is dropping simply due to external influencers. You can try to regain this traffic by creating content that is seasonally appropriate or fits current search trends.
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