Google changes their Algorithm (rank-calculations) over 500 times per year. That’s almost twice per day. In this article I’ll show you how to pinpoint exactly what went wrong and what caused the traffic loss.

I’ve worked on sites with over 12 million visits a month, and I’ve personally grown sites from scratch to over 30,000 visits a month. The Investigations are the same.

Just this last week, I had a sudden drop in traffic across multiple client’s websites. Although their traffic was still rising – this was frustrating. Almost all clients who were selling products, dropped instantly although I had increased there traffic for months. It took me a few hours to find out what had occurred and how to fix it.

I thought it would be valuable (to you) to show you how to investigate like I did to find the REASON traffic drops.

social media advertising1 SEO How To Find WHY Traffic Dropped in Google and Bing!

Drop in Traffic – Google Update

The first thing to check when you have a sudden drop in traffic – is Bing and Google Webmaster Tools. In Webmaster tools, you can see a clear picture of what dropped.

For me I found this:

drop in traffic GWT SEO How To Find WHY Traffic Dropped in Google and Bing!

Bing-Google-Webmaster-Tools

What’s great about Google Webmaster Tools is that you can see exactly what Searches and Keywords increased and decreased and by what percentage.

If you’ve been hit with a Google penalty – this is where Google will send you an email telling you that something is wrong.

Go to Google Webmaster Tools > Search Traffic > Search Queries – will tell you exactly what searches dropped and by how much. Click on the “With Change Button”. Note: Google only shows you percentage changes for the past month. You can not look at percentage comparisons more than 30 days in the past:

Google Traffic Drop SEO How To Find WHY Traffic Dropped in Google and Bing!

SEO How To Find Google Traffic Drop

Then I checked all of my client’s accounts and found a similar looking drop all on the same day.

I still didn’t understand what occurred. Time to check with Google on what they changed. But I couldn’t find any announcements from Google… So I checked with the man:

Matt Cutts is the head of the Web Spam team and is the vocal voice of Google staff. So, first I checked his blog – Nope – didn’t say anything about an update.

Next I checked his Twitter feed and YES – he confirmed the update. (Check his twitter feed as that’s where he often drops some SEO tips and news)

Matt Cutts Twitter SEO How To Find WHY Traffic Dropped in Google and Bing!

Matt-Cutts-Twitter-Google

I’ve worked on sites with over 12 million visits a month, and I’ve personally grown sites from scratch to over 30,000 visits a month. The Investigations are the same.

What I found: This was an update of content Above The Fold. It also addresses the amount of Ads and Images you have on your site. This means if you want content to rank, try moving content up above the fold (toward the top of your website).

(Here’s the Google Algorithm Update Link on Content Above The Fold)

Try using a theme that moves the content toward the top of the page. But more valuable than this tip: I’ll show you how to investigate anything you want! This can help you in life, in your marriage, on your job, in any circumstance where you need to investigate the underlying reason for something.

The Simplicity of Investigation:

The first step is to find something less than ideal – like I said – it can be any bad condition, anything that is a departure from the way you think it should be.

The first step is always to establish how it should be clearly in your mind. Then you can compare and picture what is missing fairly easily. Without this comparison, you may miss a lot of things you would see if you clearly define how it should be.

How to Investigate:

You need to locate the REAL REASON something went wrong. So many people are unhappy and take pills thinking it’s going to make them happy, guess what – it won’t – because it just covers up the real reason they are unhappy. When you find the REAL REASON – a doorway will open to fixing it and making it right. The reason should always open the door to a handling of the situation. Otherwise you are not done investigating – the final step of investigating is to find an answer to the problem and a SOLUTION to bring the existing situation towards ideal.

Fullscreen capture 3212012 101519 PM SEO How To Find WHY Traffic Dropped in Google and Bing!

SEO and SEM Investigation

Investigation boils down to this one thing: Keep asking yourself “What Don’t I Understand”. Once you answer the first question, you will find something else you don’t understand and you just “pull the string” all the way down until it all makes sense. And Its that simple. My friends and I at The Search Agency used the phrase: “Aha Moment”. At the bottom of the questions will usually be a large situation that makes the whole thing make sense. Like someone blocked all robots in the “robots.txt” file or an issue that makes all other issues clear.

Taiichi Ohno, considered to be the father of Toyota’s Production System, encouraged everyone in the company to always ask WHY about everything they did – especially when problems showed up. He believed that “having no problems is the biggest problem of all.” His famous statement was, “Ask ‘Why’ five times,” to get at the root cause of the problem.

SEO and SEM – How To Use Webmaster Tools For SEO

When it comes to improving websites SEO my motto is: Increase every statistic possible. But when an unexpected drop or increase occurs this is what I do:

Step 0: Create Bing and Google Webmaster Tools Account.

Step 1: Check Webmaster Tools to see exactly what Keyword Impressions decreased or increased.

Step 3: Keep asking yourself “What don’t I understand?”. Then I pull the string until I find that “Aha Moment”.

Step 4: Correct the error and ensure the traffic resumes.

Google Webmaster Tools is one of the tools that I use the most – it can be very helpful to site owners and webmasters to figure out what problems their site has, fix potential errors, and provide Google some feedback on how our sites should be treated. For the most part, the information provided to webmasters through Webmaster Tools is stuff that Google already knows. They collect this data whenever they crawl your website. Webmaster Tools just provides a way for us to see your website through Google-tinted glasses.

Check out this great article by a Dutch Friend of mine over at Yoast – who explains details on how to use Google Webmaster Tools for SEO.
Google Webmaster Tools reports are now included as part of Google Analytics. You may recall several months ago, Google Analytics launched a pilot program between the two services. The Analytics team announced the initial test are over and everyone will now be able to link Webmaster tools and Google Analytics accounts. They’ve even enhanced the services based on feedback during the pilot.

Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools – I call them “Google Goggles” and “Bing Binoculars”.

Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics are essentially a means for website owners to ensure that Google can easily find, crawl, index, and categorize their website appropriately. GWT provides website owners with detailed reports about their website’s search engine visibility, which can be leveraged to improve outcomes. After creating an account and verifying their site, site owners can log in to access these reports at any time and use these to see drops in impressions on any given keyword.

Source: Online Marketing – Web Design

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