What should you do if you open your Search Console and find out that your Google Search traffic has dropped? While a drop in organic Search traffic can happen for a variety of reasons (most of which are reversible), it’s not always super clear as to what has happened.
In a new blog post, Google have categorised and illustrated what different sorts of organic drops look like. Google have posted example sketches of drops and what they could potentially mean, which looks something like this:
With these you can see that a serious technical issue or a manual action will result in an immediate drop off while a page level technical issue or algorithmic changes will result in a slower decline of traffic. Google categorises the five main causes for drops in Search traffic as:
- Technical Issues: Errors that prevent Google from crawling, indexing or serving the page to users. This could be anything from server issues through to 404 errors amongst other things. These issues are also split into site wide and page wide issues; the former will see an immediate drop in traffic while the latter will see a slower decline.
- Security issues: If your site is affected by a security threat, Google can alert users before they reach your site, potentially decreasing your traffic.
- Manual Actions: If your site does not comply with Google rules and guidelines, Google can manually omit both single pages or your entire site from Google results.
- Algorithmic Changes: Google is always improving how it assesses content and updating its algorithm accordingly. It’s always possible that an update can change how your site performs in the Search results and can cause a drop in traffic.
- Search interest disruption: Sometimes it is simply a change in user behaviour that changes the demand for certain queries, meaning your traffic can drop entirely via external influences.
If you would like to learn more about how to analyse these drop patterns, you can read more about it on the official Google blog post here.
If you run a website and are looking to increase your Google organic rankings, please get in touch with us here at Total SEO: www.total-seo.co.uk