Semalt SEO Tips For Analyzing Google Search Traffic Drop

It often comes as a very hard pill to swallow. We mean the moment you see the result of your web analysis and realize that your pages are experiencing a significant decline in search traffic. 

The first question that comes to mind usually is why? What could have caused this, and how can it be rectified. Luckily for SEO experts and website owners, Google has taken the liberty of giving us some possible reasons why there can be a decline in organic search traffic. 

Considering that this piece of information is from Google itself, it's best we pay close attention to what it says. 

What Causes a Decline in Search Traffic?

Google's Daniel Waisberg, in an article, explained seven possible reasons why there could be a drop in your organic search ranking, and they are as follows:

Technical Issues

Technical issues can cause a lot of damage to your organic ranking on SERP. It is possible for the technical aspects of your website to have errors that prevent Google from crawling, indexing, or presenting your pages on its SERP for users. 

Security Issues

A search engine like Google is the user first. Whenever Google believes that content or a website somehow negatively impacts the security of a user, they tend to shy away from it. In some cases, Google alerts users before they visit sites that they consider security threats. They may also remove such sites from their SERP. 

Manual Actions

If a site does something Google prohibits or refuses to comply with Google's guidelines, it will experience a decrease in its organic traffic. In some cases, Google may choose to omit some pages, and in more severe cases, the whole site may be deleted from Google Search results via manual action. 

Search Interest Disruption

Users are subject to change. A change in trend, changes in interest, and behavior can contribute to why you are experiencing a decline in your organic traffic. 

Diagnosing a Drop-in Google Search

According to Google, the best way to know what caused a decline in a site's traffic is to open the Search Console Performance report and study the main chart. By analyzing the data contained therein, we can at least know where to start looking. In other words, it points us in the right direction. 

Analyzing the plot of your traffic decline is a clear indicator of what could be going wrong. All that's left for us is to dig deeper into the data with these three tips:

● Changing the date range to include 16 months

This is one way to get to the bottom of why your inbound traffic dropped. In this case, you will be able to analyze the traffic drop in context, and it helps you ensure the drop doesn't happen every year. 

● Compare the drop period to a similar period

Doing this helps you figure out exactly what changed and why your organic ranking began its nosedive. While comparing, you should be able to see if the impact involves a specific query, URLs, countries, devices, etc. 

● Analyze different search types separately

By analyzing the different search types separately, you see if the drop you've noticed happened in the web search, videos / news tab, or Google images. 

● Check the top queries in your region and compare them to the query you get your traffic from

Sometimes, you discover that the top queries in your region are not what you are optimized for. These top queries carry the most traffic. Sometimes, it could be that you have content on these popular queries, but they haven't been crawled by the search engine. In this case, you should find a way to make sure that the content is discoverable and readable by search engine bots so it can be crawled and indexed.

To go deeper, you should consider the possibility that the drop is part of a larger trend, or could it be because of something specific to your website? 

Looking through Google trends may be of great help. Doing this may help you rule out two factors that are potential causes of traffic drops. 

These two factors are:
  1. A search interest disruption: Sounds strange, doesn't it. Well, it simply means that people can start searching for different queries, or they may choose to use their devices for different purposes. Statistically, if fewer people search for the queries which your web pages are optimized for, you will notice a drop in your inbound traffic. 
  2. Seasonality: The season can and usually does affect your traffic. Google trends, for example, show that food-related queries are very seasonal. Due to the feast of thanksgiving and December, people usually search for diets in January, which is contrary to Turkey in November and champagne in December. Depending on your industry, you should expect some changes as you move through the different seasons. 

SEO Issues that Causes a drop in your Ranking and Traffic

Sometimes, the reason why there is a drop in your ranking and traffic could be from your SEO. It could simply be a change in Google's algorithm, your server, a technical error, or damaged links. And these only constitute a few reasons why there is a drop in your traffic. 

Here are some issues that can cause your ranking to fall:

On-site issues

Under this, there are several aspects in which something may go wrong and affect your traffic. Not updating your article is one. It is important to do a competitor analysis so you can see what other competitors in your niche are doing. Logically, if traffic is leaving your site, it is going somewhere else, and a competitor analysis shows you what your competitors do that you don't. 

It is important to update your website and contents, so you stay relevant and beneficial to your audience. 

Off-Site Issues

Likewise, there are many off-site issues that can affect your ranking and traffic. To reveal what went wrong in this case, we usually have to perform a deeper dive and analysis. 

Sadly, in this case, these factors are off-site, so we usually have less control over what we can do to prevent them from happening. 

For example, imagine you have broken or removed the link from reputable sites. It could be that a good number of the inbound traffic you enjoy comes from other sites. In a situation where these links get deleted, you lose a major stream of traffic. This can and will affect your inbound traffic. 

Changes on Google SERP

Google's update may not be in your favor. It happens to even the best of us. These changes in algorithm can affect the very element you used in attracting your audience. We've seen Google make changes to the featured and rich snippet feature. At that time, we had clients who used that specific feature to attract a ton of SERP traffic. However, these changes came, and they noticed a decline in the amount of traffic flowing into their site from SERP. 

That is a perfect example of how Google may sometimes be the issue. 


Although losing traffic is never easy, it happens. All that matters is that you find the hole, and you plug it. 

Semalt services give you a very good chance of not just recovering but also performing better. We look through every part of your website, and we won't just stop at bringing back your traffic; our services also cater to all your needs. So you enjoy the complete treatment from our teams. 

Contact us today!

If you need to learn more about the subject of SEO and website promotion, we invite you to visit our Semalt blog.

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