If you’ve routinely monitored your site traffic in Google Search Console, you may have had the unfortunate occurrence of seeing that your site’s search traffic has dropped.
You then ponder, “Why has my search traffic dropped?”
According to a new post on the Google Search Central Blog, there are 5 main reasons why you may have seen a drop in search traffic:
- Technical issues/errors. This can be something like a server not being available, a moved site not having been fully propagated, or something that inhibits Google from crawling at least one page on your site.
(If course, you can use robots.txt to prevent the crawling of certain portions of your site, but that’s not an error.) An error is when something that shouldn’t be in place, is, or when something that should be in place, isn’t.
- Security issues. If there’s a security issue with your site, a notice may appear beside your site’s listing on search results pages. When people see this, they may be hesitant about clicking on your site, which can result in fewer search visits.
- Manual Actions. If Google feels that your site doesn’t comply with Google’s guidelines, your site (or maybe certain pages of your site) can be removed from Google’s index, which would result in a drop in search traffic. This can be done algorithmically or manually.
- Algorithmic changes. This is probably, for me, the most logical explanation. And in fact, there doesn’t need to be an algorithm change to see a drop in search traffic: if Google determines that one of your competitors’ pages is a better match for a given search query, that competitor’s page could eventually rank higher than yours, which can lead to a drop in search traffic.
- Search interest disruption. If you have a site that’s seasonal, and people’s search queries ebb and flow with the seasons, then your search traffic will reflect that seasonality.
Google offers some tips to try to get a better idea as to what may be the root of the issue. One thing to do is to use the Performance report.
What’s great about this is that Google has given you 5 common causes as to why your search traffic may have dropped, as well as potential rectifications.
You’re no longer in the dark.
Source: Google Search Central Blog