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Lost A Lot Of Traffic - Help


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9 replies to this topic

#1 jpatriar

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:34 PM

Hi All,

 

my little niche H&G bag site did ok for many years until 2012. I know the site is old but it always ranked decent in the Fickle Princess and conversions were good so I was reluctent to mess with it however its time to do something but I'm not really sure where to go from here aside from making it more mobile friendly.

 

The site currently ranks #1 in Bing for kw laundry bags but that traffic is around 10% and it moved from #1-3 with site links in Google to around  #13-16 for the same kw.

 

There are no penalties in GWMT. I've tried many things, I changed some meta content, removed some of the old link directory exchanges suchas as Link Market, Add my Site, etc.

 

I'm trying to pinpoint the traffic decline.

 

Is it because of Penguin/Panda?

 

Is it because Google shopping went to a commercial model and also closed their affiliate progam thus increasing competition?

 

Is it because I'm using the same/similar product descriptions from my site in my Amazon store feed, google shopping feed and Google sees this as duplicate content?

 

Is it because of the way I anchor internal links?

 

I also had a quick question on responsive design and how Google would treat content toggled not to show, via media queries as that goes against GWMT guidelines.

 

I had one more question regarding GWMT geotargetting.

I have it set for USA but the site seems to rank better in foreign countries.

Any thoughts on that or is there no connection to why it ranks better in foreign countries? 

 

thanks

James


Edited by jpatriar, 24 October 2013 - 10:06 PM.


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 11:39 AM

I'm trying to pinpoint the traffic decline.

 

Is it because of Penguin/Panda?

 

Who knows, where did the traffic that has gone used to come from?



#3 jpatriar

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Posted 25 October 2013 - 01:53 PM

Who knows, where did the traffic that has gone used to come from?

 

All Google organic.



#4 chrishirst

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Posted 26 October 2013 - 01:25 PM

So the answer to all your questions are : .....

 

Possibly.

 

 

And the answer to "What should I do then"? Is

 

Decide what is the least valuable in conversion terms and turn it off to see if Google referrals (AND conversions) recover.

 

Any thoughts on that or is there no connection to why it ranks better in foreign countries?

 

Lower competition if the searches are for English phrases would be the most likely deduction.



#5 neilkil76

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:54 PM

The simple solution you said you site is old. That is most likely the problem it needs to be updates with new content. Since Google is a content driven search engine, updates to the homepage content as well as new pages will help with the site. I would link to the barracuda pangiun tool but the people here think any links are spam and I am new. It will show you when the updates happened and correlate that to your traffic you will know which one of google algo did that.



#6 torka

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 09:27 AM

Sorry, neilkil76, but that is absolutely incorrect (on several counts). :nah:

 

Google does value "fresh" content for certain queries, primarily news-driven / current-events type things. But unless we're talking about breaking fashion news here, that would not apply to the majority of content on a handbag sales site. Frankly, it wouldn't apply to the product descriptions of most e-commerce sites. Change your content if the product changes (or if you decide to emphasize different features/benefits in order to support a new marketing campaign) or if it's really crappy writing and not converting well, not because you think the search engines want you to. :type:

 

Now, if the old content wasn't converting at a high rate, absolutely test new content to see if it converts better than what you've got. Any webmaster or website owner should be constantly testing to see if they can improve layout, calls to action, content, etc. However, do NOT change good converting content without testing the change -- especially not if you're doing so "for SEO reasons." It's very likely you'll just end up making things worse. :ohno:

 

Good SEO means NOT having to change direction every time the wind shifts. If someone feels they need to re-do their content because of Google updates, then frankly I question whether they were creating solid content to start with.

 

I have pages on my sites that haven't been touched in years, and they still do very well in search. In fact, after Penguin/Panda, some of them are doing better than ever... at least partially because it's good content: useful information that thoroughly answers the questions visitors might have about our products.

 

Essentially, Google doesn't want new content as much as they want excellent content. :thumbup:

 

And the other count where you're wrong: we don't consider all links to be spam. But the links you allow on your site are a reflection on you, and there are a lot of bogus "SEO tools" out there that mislead people into thinking SEO is some kind of "paint by numbers" game. So we are picky about what "resources" we allow links out to. Same as any good webmaster should be.

 

My :02:

 

--Torka :oldfogey:

 


Edited by torka, 04 November 2013 - 09:30 AM.


#7 chrishirst

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 04:50 AM


Edited by chrishirst, 05 November 2013 - 04:51 AM.


#8 Michael Martinez

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 09:20 AM

Your traffic decline (based on my interpretation of the points on the chart) appears to coincide with Google's "Blogacalypse", in which they delisted/de-indexed thousands of blogs from (maybe) dozens of paid networks.

 

Typically the way these networks worked was you signed up, submitted articles to the network with 1-3 links you embedded, and then the articles were published on random blogs.  Users rarely if ever had any oversight on where the articles were published.

 

Most network users spun their articles -- writing an article once and then using software to replace phrases or words with synonyms or similar expressions.  A typical spin might generate 1-10,000 variations on a source article.

 

Once a blog was identified by Google and delisted/deindexed those links that were helping sites before simply dropped out of the link graph.  If you were lucky, that was all that happened to your site.

 

The Penguin algorithm came later.  If it affected your site you would NOT receive any notifications in Google.  Your decline, however, predates Penguin.

 

Did you participate in any blog networks?  If so, you more-than-likely just need to attract natural links.  If you cannot do that with product listings then you should create a blog, post interesting content to it on daily basis (do not use guest articles/writers), and then wait.

 

If your site is the one I found in Bing it may benefit from a redesign that reduces the amount of on-page navigation and duplication of internal anchor text.  That MIGHT have brought on a Panda downgrade but it's really very hard to say if your site has been affected by Panda based on the dates in your screen capture.

 

That looks more like a link-related traffic loss than anything else to me, but coincidences can and do happen in search marketing.


Edited by Michael Martinez, 05 November 2013 - 09:22 AM.


#9 jpatriar

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 03:01 AM

Your traffic decline (based on my interpretation of the points on the chart) appears to coincide with Google's "Blogacalypse", in which they delisted/de-indexed thousands of blogs from (maybe) dozens of paid networks.
 
Typically the way these networks worked was you signed up, submitted articles to the network with 1-3 links you embedded, and then the articles were published on random blogs.  Users rarely if ever had any oversight on where the articles were published.
 
Most network users spun their articles -- writing an article once and then using software to replace phrases or words with synonyms or similar expressions.  A typical spin might generate 1-10,000 variations on a source article.
 
Once a blog was identified by Google and delisted/deindexed those links that were helping sites before simply dropped out of the link graph.  If you were lucky, that was all that happened to your site.
 
The Penguin algorithm came later.  If it affected your site you would NOT receive any notifications in Google.  Your decline, however, predates Penguin.
 
Did you participate in any blog networks?  If so, you more-than-likely just need to attract natural links.  If you cannot do that with product listings then you should create a blog, post interesting content to it on daily basis (do not use guest articles/writers), and then wait.

 
If your site is the one I found in Bing it may benefit from a redesign that reduces the amount of on-page navigation and duplication of internal anchor text.  That MIGHT have brought on a Panda downgrade but it's really very hard to say if your site has been affected by Panda based on the dates in your screen capture.
 
That looks more like a link-related traffic loss than anything else to me, but coincidences can and do happen in search marketing.

 
I only ever did press releases and ebay guides, never any blogging. The pages are all indexed just moved from page 1 to page 2 or 3 & 4 none were delisted.
 
I think you are correct that it is internal link anchor text. I'm redoing the entire site. I'm going to use a color swatch instead of having the anchor text color spelled out and ditching the vertical nav menu to a horiz. one.
 
Perhaps someone knows the answer to this question regarding nav menus.
I noticed some of the example css dropdown nav menus hide content off screen (by setting the left position to -999 vs using display:none) but this goes against Gwmt guidelines to use css to hide content.
 
Will Google see this as big deal?
 
thanks everyone for all your help/advice.

Edited by Jill, 08 November 2013 - 06:49 AM.


#10 Michael Martinez

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Posted 08 November 2013 - 07:52 AM

Perhaps someone knows the answer to this question regarding nav menus.

I noticed some of the example css dropdown nav menus hide content off screen (by setting the left position to -999 vs using display:none) but this goes against Gwmt guidelines to use css to hide content.


There are no guidelines against using dropdown menus. However, I advise against their use because people tend to jam dozens or hundreds of navigational links in them. Dropdown menus are hard to use and very confusing.

It's better to use a short, simple menu for sitewide navigation and then to give each section of a Website its own secondary menu.




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