Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Carl Harvey on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Monday, April 7, 2014).

I`ve seen a large drop in visitors but nothing is showing in webmaster tools etc for a penalty.

Hi guys, for the last week i`ve seen a large drop in visitors but nothing is showing in webmaster tools etc for a penalty...I don`t suppose someone could look at my site and see if i`ve done something major eg a big cock-up! Many thanks ?

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YOUR ANSWERS

Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Carl Harvey: Hi guys, for the last week i've seen a large drop in visitors but nothing is showing in webmaster tools etc for a penalty...I don't suppose someone could look at my site and see if i've done something major eg a big cock-up! Many thanks ;
  • Ashish Ahuja: If you can tell me your website I can have a look. In general, there had not been any major update in last one week. 
  • Carl Harvey: Hi Ashish yes it's 
  • Ashish Ahuja: I went through your backlinks profile and its ok and natural, Its not great but most of the links are coming from relevant natural resources and the anchortext is also natural, so IMHO offsite issues like backlinks and anchor text have nothing to do with the decline of your traffic.

    Did you do any changes in the website recently around the time the traffic declined and also are you sure there is no problems with the sites itself. Also, do you also see a decline in impressions in webmaster tools data?

    If you are tracking your rankings, do you see a decline in them?

    I am asking all these, because I don't see any reason for the penalty, there may be small optimisation issues here and there but nothing so bad to effect a penalty and sudden decrease in traffic if the site was already ranking with those issues.
  • Carl Harvey: I change the images/text on the homepage once/twice a week to keep it fresh but thats it really. According to webmasters my impressions have halved in the space of a few days and my position in the search results have dropped (from number 3-5 on page 1 to mid page 2) at the same time...It's just very strange
  • Carl Harvey: Oh i forgot to say...i was getting 400+ visits a day (most from the UK) but that is now down to 100 and is about 50/50 the UK and the rest of the world
  • Robert Ramirez: Check crawl and index stats in google webmaster tools. Did a lot of pages that were bringing traffic get unindexed? Also make sure you dont have duplicate content. Tge fact that u lost so much traffic so quickly makes me think panda. Good luck
  • Ashish Ahuja: I am also not seeing any penguin issues and suspect panda but what is puzzling that their has not been any panda update recently. Also, the site doesn't seem to have got any panda penalty earlier.

    I think it's either manual action or some issues due to website hosting or indexing. We need to dig deep in analytics and wmt historical data to see what happened.

    Also, Google takes their own sweet time to notify about manual action.

    Further, going from position 3-5 to 15 or so is not the sign of manual penalty, they are generally much severe. It may be just a little tweak to algorithm which has caught your site on the wrong side
  • Christopher Shaffer: Were you doing any guest blogging?
  • Justin Y: My thought is that a filter has been applied. Have you made sure that you're still showing up in certain query spaces? That's where I would start first in your situation. 
  • Carl Harvey: Yeah guys, thank you all so much for your help...I am stilling showing up on my main keywords, just lower down the search and with less impressions. I did de-clutter my homepage so maybe i did too much (put it all back on now)
  • Lori Eldridge: Re Google penalties - Google doesn't inform you if you are hit with Penquin, Panda or one of it's algorithms, only if your site was penalized manually (Google also doesn't leave a notice of Panda updates any more - usually once a month now, and rumored to be around the 10th of the month.

    You have to use a tool like Panguin to check your traffic drop with algorithm updates. I checked the code on your site and it has massive code bloat along with incorporating the CSS within the page instead of on a separate file. This will cause your site to load slower and that affects ranking.It shouldn't have caused a large drop in traffic however.
  • Carl Harvey: Thanks Lori...I will ask the site builder to see in to it
  • Edwin Jonk: From the expert panel in this weeks SEO Questions hangout on air on 00:22:38 into the YouTube video:

    The cuetimes listed on this page are functional while the live broadcast continues and also once Youtube has finished processing the public broadcast. Processing time varies between 6-24 hours. During this period the clip is viewable in full but the cuetimes cannot be relied on.

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Monday, April 7, 2014).

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