Firstly, a thank you in advance to any replies this topic may get.
I have produced a web-site which has now been online for around 8 months. It is a shopping comparison web-site. The entire model for the site has been around capturing organic referals from search engines which will relate to products people may be looking for.
the site has been getting almost no traffic at all, until about 2 weeks ago when suddenly it sprang to life. Below is a screenshot of the visits graph from google analytics to show this.
Towards the end of december, traffic went from 0, growing by almost 20 visitors per day, and at its peak for 144 visits, but then boom. it just reversed and as of today is back to 0. As it is a shopping site, I assumed that it may be linked to the extra traffic in general looking for products around the christmas time, but I can't be sure.
I also noted that if I typed the web-site name in to google which matches the domain (without the .co.uk etc). I was seeing my web-site with a selection of sitelinks. At its peak, on the 27th of December I had almost 10,000 sitelinks. From the 28th, they had all been removed and now there are no sitelinks associated with my web-site. I assume that there is a link between the sitelinks disappearing, and the traffic dropping off.
If I do the same search, but with the domain name in full , inclusive of .co.uk then I do see around 3,500 sitelinks.
My web-site has used a sitemap to send the vast majority of the URL's to search engines. I submitted around 1.7 million URL's of which google web-master tools tells me that 1,163 have been indexed (taken from the Webtools --> Optimization --> Sitemaps page). However, if I check the Webtools --> Health --> Index Status page, I only see 15 pages as indexed. I am assuming that the "Index Status" from the health page doesn't include any data from sitemaps.
Originally, I screwed up my backlinks, and I only recently have fixed them. There are now around 1.2m backlinks within the site. Each backlink is to a static product. Only a small portion of these will have been crawled / indexed so far. google itself is crawling between 12,000 and 25,000 pages per day. If I type into google "site: <my URL>" I see currently 3,820 results. At the peak of the traffic hitting my site, this was around 10,000.
So, I am trying to inturpret the recent jump in activity, followed by the rapid drop off. Could it simply be seasonal? After all around xmas people will be looking for various presents / products as gifts. Would my site be negativly impacted due to the sheer volume of backlinks / URL's in the sitemaps? do I simply need to be more patient with the indexing process? Is there a limit to the number of pages google will index for any given domain?
I am a bit confused in the sudden jump, and rapid decline. I had assumed that the increase in traffic would continue, or at least become reasonably stable. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.