If you own a website that takes SEO seriously, chances are you are doing your best to keep your pages in the upper positions of the Google search engine results page. However, there can come a time when traffic to your site inexplicably drops.
When this happens, the first thing you should remember is to calm down and not panic! There could be a lot of reasons for the traffic drop, and sure, some of them may be severe. However, most of them can be simple problems that you can solve with a step or two. The only requirement is that you first find out the culprit. If you know the reason for the sudden traffic drop, then you can act and respond accordingly.
What causes traffic to drop?
First up on the list of things you need to check is the accuracy of the data you post. Fortunately, of all the reasons for your traffic loss, this may be the easiest to correct. You just need to make sure that the data and statistics that you state in your content are on-point. If you find some anomalies and inaccuracies, it’s just a simple matter of editing them to reflect the correct values and information. In most cases, this is enough to put your content ranking back on track.
Was your site penalized?
If the topic still suffers, then you may have to look if Google penalized the page in some way. Penalties generally come with your page moving down the rankings, or not being displayed by Google at all. However, the reason for the penalty may be rooted in one of many things.
Security is important first and foremost, so make sure that your site has not been hacked. Hacked sites are sure to penalized. Luckily, Google made a list of what to check for if you suspect your site is hacked.
Duplicate content is also grounds for penalty. Google has to make sure that everything on its top-ranking results are original content, and not spam of the same content duplicated in a variety of ways. Sites like Copyscape help check the originality of your posts and prevent the risk of plagiarism cases.
Sites with open comment system need also be aware of spam that users post on the site. These may come in the form of unwanted links, and Google penalizes you for these, too. It may be tedious to look for these spam content manually, but sites like WordPress can give you an overview of the user-generated content on your page. Tools like the Akismet (built-in on WordPress) can also help minimize spam.
Changes to the algorithm
One thing you should really watch out for, though, is when Google changes their search engine algorithms. This is unavoidable and affects every site, so you have to familiarize yourself with new rules and adapt your site accordingly.
Hopefully, these tips will help you find out the reasons why traffic suddenly went down on your page. Maintaining an SEO-friendly site is not an easy task, but with the right knowledge, tools, and attitude at your disposal, you can be sure that your site stays on the top.