Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Brian Willingham on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, May 15, 2014).

Help: Webtraffic Declined from 1, 500 to 150 a Day.

Help: Webtraffic Decline from 1, 500 to 150 a Day

Hi, I am new to this community and am grateful for any help or guidance. 

Last week I completed a website redesign to Studiopress / Parallax theme. As soon as my developer made the switch to the new site, my traffic plummeted from 1, 500 sessions per day to 150.

Initially, there were Sitemap errors. I have resolved those. 

And Google had cached versions of my mobile site m.diligetiagroup.com  - That has all cleared up. Google is now serving my responsive / correct webpages instead of the cached mobile ones.

Traffic still remained low. I started to Google myself, logged out, and noticed the following error: 

If you search "asset investigation" You will see my site appears on the first page. In the results but with the following error: A description for this result is not available because of this site`s robots.txt – learn more.

If you search: comprehensive background investigation you will see I am on page 1 with Authorship. 

comprehensive background check investigation - I have 2 results, 1 with authorship, 1 without and all is fine. 

So I look into my webmaster tools and look at Crawl > Blocked URLs: robots.txt analysis

It says: I have blocked 345 URL`s...  "Syntax not understood" next to Line 1: User-agent: *

My Robots.txt looks like this: 

User-agent: *
Disallow: /v2/wp-admin/
Disallow: /v2/wp-includes/

I am at a loss for the sudden drop in traffic. 

I do not know where to turn or what else to do. 

Can anyone provide me with some direction? Troubleshooting or suggestions.

I am grateful for your help / advice.?

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Brian Willingham: <b>Help: Webtraffic Decline from 1,500 to 150 a Day</b>

    Hi, I am new to this community and am grateful for any help or guidance. ;

    Last week I completed a website redesign to Studiopress / Parallax theme. As soon as my developer made the switch to the new site, my traffic plummeted from 1,500 sessions per day to 150.

    Initially, there were Sitemap errors. I have resolved those. ;

    And Google had cached versions of my mobile site  ;- That has all cleared up. Google is now serving my responsive / correct webpages instead of the cached mobile ones.

    Traffic still remained low. I started to Google myself, logged out, and noticed the following error: ;

    If you search &quot;asset investigation&quot; You will see my site appears on the first page. In the results but with the following error: A description for this result is not available because of this site&#39;s robots.txt – learn more.

    If you search: comprehensive background investigation you will see I am on page 1 with Authorship. ;

    comprehensive background check investigation - I have 2 results, 1 with authorship, 1 without and all is fine. ;

    So I look into my webmaster tools and look at Crawl &gt; Blocked URLs: <b>robots.txt analysis</b>

    It says: I have blocked 345 URL&#39;s...  ;&quot;Syntax not understood&quot; next to Line 1: User-agent: *

    My Robots.txt looks like this: ;

    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /v2/wp-admin/
    Disallow: /v2/wp-includes/

    I am at a loss for the sudden drop in traffic. ;

    I do not know where to turn or what else to do. ;

    Can anyone provide me with some direction? Troubleshooting or suggestions.

    I am grateful for your help / advice.
  • Jim Munro: You could try re-creating and re-uploading your robots.txt as plain text utf-8. Sometimes an invisible character can confuse googlebot. (search for &quot;robots.txt BOM&quot;)

    After you have done this, test your site pages with &quot;fetch as googlebot&quot;
  • Raman Mehrotra: Hi Jim how do ; you check wether the robot.txt is in correct format for wordpress website ? Any tips
  • Jim Munro: I am not familiar with how WP does this, Raman. I will have a look.
  • Jim Munro: OK so it might be that you have set the WP privacy settings to allow users/disallow robots.

    Check to see if you can find this setting but apparently if you create and upload your own robots.txt file at mysite[dot] com/robots.txt, it will override WordPress&#39; virtual robots.txt file.

    To make a file on your desktop, use notepad.exe, save as utf-8, and ftp it to your root directory. That&#39;s the only place it should be.

    If you can locate the privacy setting and you find that it is not &quot;allow all&quot; you just need to reset it, no need to upload a file unless you want to exclude directories.
  • Raman Mehrotra: Thanks  ; good suggestion will check it out
  • Tony McCreath: The robots.txt file looks fine now. Maybe it was blocking for a while when the website was first switched over and caused a bunch of pages to get disallowed.  ;

    The first pages to get hit would be your most valuable ones, and in the same vane they would be the first to recover.

    How is your traffic now?

    An eCommerce hosting company I use recently did a robots.txt FU and blocked may websites for about 24 hours. Even though the problem was fixed I&#39;m still hearing owners complain that their traffic has not come back yet. So maybe there can be longer term effects.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Thursday, May 15, 2014).

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