Why has my website traffic fallen dramatically?

A drop in Google Search traffic is a sign that your website is not performing well in Google’s search results.

There are always reasons for a website’s traffic to drop, and if there is a reason, it can usually be fixed.

Why has my website traffic fallen dramatically? 

There are a variety of legitimate reasons why your traffic may suddenly drop, including technical issues, security issues, manual actions, algorithmic changes, and search interest disruption.

Server availability, robots.txt fetching, page not found, and other errors that may prevent Google from crawling, indexing, or displaying your content to people. Note that the errors might be site-wide (for example, your website is down) or page-wide (for example, a misplaced noindex tag, which would depend on Google crawling the page, meaning there would be a slower drop in traffic).

If the website’s traffic has crashed, where to start:

1. Look over traffic pages to see if they can be indexed. Important pages can drop out of the index. It is necessary to check significant pages in the Google cache (sometimes in the cache the site page is saved, but with a completely different domain).

2. If the site is multilingual, check the report on targeting and hreflang tags in Google Search Console. Maybe something is broken (available only if the site is added with a https/http prefix, not available for domain property).

3. Open up the “Page indexing” (“Coverage”) report in Google Search Console, and see what’s been added to the excluded pages lists lately.

4. Examine the information in the “Crawl Stats” Google Search Console report. There may be an issue with the server or getting content.

5. Analyzing server logs. See what codes Googlebot has been getting lately.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Log Analysis

6. Rendering of traffic pages. Whether the page code is displayed correctly for Googlebot, whether all the important meta tags are present and valid.

7. Copied content. Someone may have stolen your valuable content and published it on an expired domain. As a result, the position of your site may drop drastically.

Occasionally we see bad actors on the web who copy large portions of an existing website onto their own site in order to draw traffic. If you see a site that has copied your content, you can file a removal request. If someone has filed a bogus takedown request on your site after copying its content, you can file a counter-claim.

Google. “Why did my site traffic drop?”

You can use special SEO software to check technical issues:

Changes in user behavior, whether as a consequence of a new trend or seasonality throughout the year, might affect the demand for specific queries. See if you can see a trend in your decline over the course of a week, month, or year. If you see a trend, consider how it may be connected to the content on your website. This explains why your traffic may suffer as a result of external factors.

Users may see warnings or interstitial pages before reaching your site if Google detects a security threat, and this may cause search traffic to decrease. Check the Security Issues report.

Google can omit parts of your site or the entire site from search results if you do not follow the guidelines. Check the Manual Actions report.

Google is always refining how it evaluates content and changing its algorithm to reflect this. Their core updates and other slight adjustments may affect how some pages perform in Google Search results.

Read more about Google Core updates

Find out What you need to know about Google’s Core December update

A quick SEO tip. If you have no idea that your site was penalized by the Google update, open Ahrefs.com

Check your site with Ahrefs Site Explorer. Referring domains, referring pages, and organic traffic data (from the charts) should be exported in CSV format.

Next step, drag and drop files to https://seogre.ipullrank.com/

What should I do if my website traffic is suddenly dropping?

There are a variety of steps you can take to attempt to reverse a sudden drop in website traffic.

  1. Identify a specific reason why your website traffic is suddenly dropping.
  2. Take appropriate action to resolve the problem and, if possible, prevent it from happening again.

Analyzing the shape of the line in your search console performance report is the best way to figure out what happened to your traffic. This is because it summarizes a lot of information.

Try a “Performance” report at Google Search Console.

Why did my site traffic drop?
The most common cause of a sudden drop in website traffic is a recent search algorithm update.

Increase the date range to 16 months. This will allow you to review the traffic dip in greater detail and ensure that it isn’t a yearly occurrence due to a holiday or a trend.

You could utilize the Search Analytics API to extract data and store it in your systems if you wanted to prolong the 16-month period.

When comparing the drop period to a similar time period, you review what exactly changed. This will assist you in determining what has changed. Pay attention! You need to compare the same number of days, preferably the same days of the week. Make sure to click all of the tabs to see if the update only affected certain queries, URLs, countries, devices, or search appearances.

Analyze each type of search independently. This can assist you in determining if the decline you observed occurred in web Search, Google Images, or the Video or News tabs.

You might set a new filter ‘Device:Compare’ in the Performance report at Google Search Console as well. Something like this.

Try a Performance report at Google Search Console

This explains which type of device your traffic has dropped. If your mobile traffic has dropped, examine your site’s Mobile Usability report.

There are many sites that get their main traffic from Google Discover. Let’s open the “Discover” report. If your traffic has fallen, you should check titles for clickbait. Pay attention, images might be clickbait too if they are not relevant to the main content.

Compare Quality Backlinks

Using any backlink tool like Majestic, you can confirm whether links are the cause of the traffic drop. It’s best to look at both the quantity and quality of backlinks.

Compare Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

If users see your site on SERP but don’t click through, the most likely reason is that other search results are more interesting. This could be because they have more meaningful titles, snippets, or search features, or because they’re considered more reliable or authoritative by users.

You may compare your CTR over two time periods using the Google Search Console. If you see that your CTR and your traffic have decreased, it’s time to look at your competition. Take a quick look at who ranks where on page one for your target keywords using a keyword tracking tool like Semrush. It helps to identify any new competitors who weren’t previously outranking you.

By John Morris

Researcher and blog writer. #ML, #AI

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