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Sharp Decline In Visitor Numbers Since May 20 2013 - Panda 4.0?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 sparkdigital

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 06:14 AM

Hi all,

 

My site listing handpicked romantic accommodation has seen a sharp decline in visitor number since May 20, 2014 - I suspect this will be due to the Panda 4.0 upgrade? Numbers tumbled from around 1200 per day to 300 - 400 so as you can imagine I'm not a happy bunny...

 

I've done quite some reading since but haven't really come across anything useful that can tell me what I'm doing wrong. Some comments on various articles suggest that smaller, more blog style websites have actually done very well from the upgrade so perhaps this is one posibility? Admittedly, the site is fairly conventional in setup etc (we basically do a write up on each property and add it to a geographical category) but all our copy is written in house and people seem to really like it (average numbers / time on site / pages per visit etc have all gone up, bounce rate is relatively low). We add around 2 to 4 pages every week with new listings and update other pages such as the homepage regularly.

 

I've had a look at my analytics and webmaster tools to see where the drop has come from - it seems to be mostly across the board and not one or two particular pages or searches.

 

Any suggestions or feedback will be much appreciated!

 

Thanks,

 

Konrad


Edited by sparkdigital, 02 June 2014 - 06:17 AM.


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 07:02 AM

 

I suspect this will be due to the Panda 4.0 upgrade?

And you're probably wrong.

 

as this;

 

it seems to be mostly across the board and not one or two particular pages or searches.

suggests  you are.



#3 sparkdigital

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 08:09 AM

Hi Chris,

 

Thanks for your reply. How would you explain the sudden drop though?

 

Konrad



#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 09:08 AM

You have to go through a list of possible causes, and the real cause may not be in any list of possibilities someone can suggest, or it could be a combination of things.  Many times drops in rankings/search referrals are self-imposed.


For example:

  • Have you made changes to the Website in the 2-3 weeks leading up to May 20 (any change could be significant)

  • Have you been building links?

  • Did you hire someone to build links?

  • Did you acquire a site with a large backlink profile?

  • Have you been having server outage problems?

  • Did you move your site to a slower Web hosting service

  • Do your in-house copywriters use the same expressions over and over again?

 

Examples of changes that can produce devastating effects on Website traffic include:

  • Adding a widget to increase the number of links on a page

  • Changing CMS platform

  • Expanding menu navigation

  • Redesigning the template

  • Implementing "rel='nofollow'" on ANY internal links

  • Revising page footers

  • Revising page/text color combinations

  • Adding more images

  • Removing images

  • Rewriting page copy

  • Adding new sitewide margin text

  • Removing sitewide margin text

  • CHANGING ANYTHING WHATSOEVER NO MATTER HOW SMALL IT SEEMS

 

Have you checked Google Webmaster Tools to see if you have any messages or manual action notices (the latter are provided under the "Search Traffic" section, not with "Site messages")?



#5 sparkdigital

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 09:16 AM

Hi Michael, thanks very much for your comprehensive answer and suggestions.

 

Fortunately I can answer most queries with a 'no'. One thing that i just noticed though... As I'm considreing moving to a new CMS (the current one is rather outdated and limiting) I set up a Wordpress install for testing purposes on the 28th of April on a redundant and unrelated domain, not thinking it would be indexed (there's no other sites that are linking to it). I created a small number of pages including three or four listings which I just copied and pasted from the orginal website.

 

But to my surprise Google did index the pages and is listing all pages on this domain apart from the actual listings (which are a direct copy and paste from the original listings).

Any chance Google is punishing the original site because this is classed as duplicate content?

 

It's a bit of a long shot but who knows...

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks,

 

Konrad



#6 Jill

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 09:30 AM

Any chance Google is punishing the original site because this is classed as duplicate content?

 

 

Could certainly be that that caused your site to get filtered. (It wouldn't be considered a penalty.)

 

Be sure to review my 18 SEO Killers article as well to see which (if any) of those you might be unwittingly doing.



#7 sparkdigital

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for all your replies and feedback. Will taking the other test site offline do the job if it is the problem or is there anything I can do to remedy the situation any more?

 

Thanks,

 

Konrad



#8 chrishirst

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 03:19 PM

If it's not there, it can't have any effect, and if it concerns you that much .... redirect.



#9 sparkdigital

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 02:54 AM

Thanks, I've taken the test site down so hopefully rankings will start to improve over the next few weeks or so.

 

Thanks everyone for you feedback - let's hope this was the culprit!

 

Konrad






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