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Is There A Fall In Traffic, After 301 Redirect?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Anshika

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 07:50 AM

I had merged few domains to a single domain. Then applied 301 from old domains to the new domain. But after a month there was a fall in terms of traffic and adsense revenue.

Please advice, what are the effects after 301 redirect. Is the fall in traffic is natural and why? Also advice on revenue.

How I can get back the old traffic and revenue.

#2 Jill

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 08:39 AM

Since there's now only 1 site rather than 3, it makes sense that there would be a fall in traffic.

But what does your web analytics tell you? That's the way to see what's going on. Without that there's really no way to know exactly what's happening.

#3 Anshika

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 10:59 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Sep 15 2009, 08:39 AM) View Post
Since there's now only 1 site rather than 3, it makes sense that there would be a fall in traffic.

But what does your web analytics tell you? That's the way to see what's going on. Without that there's really no way to know exactly what's happening.

Yes analytics is showing a dip in traffic. Also the adsense revenue has become half.

#4 Jill

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 11:22 AM

Yes, but you need to dig deeper. What sort of traffic are you losing? For which keywords. Once you know that, you can determine how to rectify the situation.

It's probable that you need new corresponding pages that were previously bringing keyword traffic to the redirected site, to be added to the resulting site.

#5 Anshika

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 02:13 AM

QUOTE(Jill @ Sep 15 2009, 11:22 AM) View Post
Yes, but you need to dig deeper. What sort of traffic are you losing? For which keywords. Once you know that, you can determine how to rectify the situation.

It's probable that you need new corresponding pages that were previously bringing keyword traffic to the redirected site, to be added to the resulting site.

Actually there were around 14 websites which I merged to into 1 website and redirected all the 14 to their new location. So its difficult to tell what all keywords or pages are losing traffic.

Suggest me ideas that I can implement to get back the traffic which I was earlier getting on individual portals.

Also I would like to know the reasons why there is a fall in traffic after 301 redirection?

Thanks

#6 Randy

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:57 AM

QUOTE
Also I would like to know the reasons why there is a fall in traffic after 301 redirection?


Jill already hit on what is the most likely major reason. It goes like this...

Let's say you had a page on one of the old sites that got 100 visits per month for the phrase "some niche phrase". But there was no page on the site you've redirected things to that is optimized for this "some niche phrase". Since the original page is now gone, and since the new site isn't optimized to attract traffic on this phrase it simply disappears into the wind. This traffic is now going to another site, or more likely a few other sites.

Now consider the fact that you've combined 14 sites into one. At a bare minimum I would suggest the norm is to miss a lot of these niche type of phrases when you're combining sites if you'd not done a lot of research pre-merge and made sure you had pages on the new site that were optimized around these types of niche phrases. It's quite likely you may have missed 10 or more of these types of phrases per site you're redirecting.

If each of those niche phrases only provided 100 new unique visits on average per month, you've effectively cut off 1,400 visits per month per site. At a minimum. Multiply this by the 14 sites and it's quite normal to see a loss of almost 20,000 visits per month, all attributed to the lack of doing proper research prior to instituting a redirect.

And that's just one explanation. If any of the sites were getting traffic from the same people on slightly different keyword phrases before, those also become a single visit instead of 2 or 3 or 5 visits to 2 or 3 or 5 of your sites.

There are lots of possibilities. But the biggie is not knowing which phrases were bringing you traffic before the redirect, or more specifically not making sure the new final destination had pages optimized for those phrases. That's one you could and should plan for prior to setting up such full site redirects.

#7 Anshika

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 11:28 PM

Thanks Randy and Jill. Both of you answered my queries to some extent. But I want to know more.

For example I had a site A on crafts. Site B on aluminum crafts, C on Wall hangings, D on Candle Holders. I added all the pages of B, C and D in site A, properly categorized. The pages were same, the content was also same. No change. Then I applied 301 from B, C, & D to A, on their respective pages. But as soon as I did this, indexing in google was same as before and the indexing would change gradually. The fall would have been gradual. But that was not the case. Although now traffic has started to increase. Still in the last month I lost around $200 in adsense because of the 301s I applied.

#8 Randy

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 06:45 AM

I think you may be misinformed about how 301's work on the search engine side of things Anshika.

While the effects of a 301 redirect for users hitting a redirected page is immediate, the same is not true for the search engines. For them all the 301 does is start the process. This delay leads us back to understanding how the search engines crawl and index pages. Let's take one single page that's being redirected and follow the process that has to take place.

So you have a page located at domainC.com/somepage.html that has now been redirected via 301 status to domainA.com/anotherpage.html. Googlebot (or whatever spider really) goes out to retrieve domainC.com/somepage.html and sees the 301 redirect status in the server response, along with a reference to the new location at domainA.com/anotherpage.html.

Now here's where the main difference between how browsers/users and spiders happens. Browsers automatically send the user to the new page. Spiders on the other hand will simply grab the new URI noted in the redirect, mark the old domainC.com/somepage.html page as gone and place the new URL in their To Be Spidered URL list. In other words, spiders don't immediately hop through to the new page.

When another spider works its way through the To Be Spidered list and retrieves the domainA.com/anotherpage.html page it saves it to Google's database. Just like normal.

Then when we move onto the ranking and scoring of the domainA.com/another.html page, Google pulls together all of the information it has about the page, including what the text on the page says, what links point to the page and the part about domainC.com/somepage.html now redirecting to it. All of this information gets fed into the scoring system.

As you can see with the rather simple 1 page example it's not an immediate process. Yes things happen in a certain order, however they don't happen one right after the other. There is a relatively short delay, starting with the fact that spiders don't crawl from page to page like many think they do. Or to put it another way, they don't follow links in the way people seem to think they do. All they do is retrieve the code, extract any links or redirects they see, then place those in a To Be Spidered list.

And of course there is also a delay while the search engine goes about its scoring routine, where it eventually includes the new page in its index and ranks it appropriately given all of the information it knows about any given page.

It is a relatively short process, especially when you look at it on a single page level. We're talking a matter of days, up to maybe a few weeks on the outside range. Which is a lot better than it used to be a couple of years ago when it would typically take anywhere from a few weeks to a few of months to complete the process.

And of course when you look at it on a single page level it's all rather harmless looking. This harmlessness can change a bit when you're talking about hundreds or thousands of pages needing to complete the process as opposed to a single page.

There's not really any way to speed up this process. It happens when it happens. The saving grace is that you're doing this now, when the time needed to complete the process has been compressed a good bit. If you'd done it even a couple of years ago you could have expected to see a 2-4 month outage.

Even now you cannot control when the process starts or how quickly it finishes. But at least it doesn't take nearly as long these days than it did in the past.




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