4 Reasons You Are in Danger of Losing Organic Search Traffic

By: | January 11, 2018 | Tags: , | 40 comments

How to avoid losing organic search traffic

Do you wonder how to increase organic search traffic?

Is it possible you’re losing the very traffic you’re hoping to gain?

Guest author Samantha Anderson explains 4 reasons you could be losing relevant, organic search traffic.

Before you try to increase your traffic coming from search engines, you better make sure you’re not losing the organic search traffic you have.

4 Reasons For Losing Relevant, Organic Search Traffic

by Samantha Anderson

Google wants to give its users access to unique, high-quality content and the finest writers.

That’s why it is constantly evolving. It improves its algorithms, makes minor changes 500-600 times each year to refine the quality of its search results and makes major updates (such as Google Panda and Google Penguin) that result in huge shifts in search engine rankings.

The goal of these changes is to help searchers find websites that meet information needs of the internet users and provide a good user experience.

Google eliminates poor quality content by decreasing the ranking of the sites that violate Google’s quality guidelines and elevates the best of the web to the top of the SERPs [Search Engine Results Pages].

Google uses many different techniques to control the quality of search results, including algorithm penalties, manual penalties, and ranking algorithms. They may cause the organic traffic of your website drop significantly which can be a disaster for any blog or business online.

A drop in organic traffic can be attributed to different problems with your site. While Google publishes some clue about its algorithm updates, it rarely explains all the reasons for changes. Here are the most common reasons for the organic decline and the good news is that these problems can be fixed.

The Site is Slow or not Mobile Friendly

Websites that are slow to load make the users frustrated and cause high bounce rates.

Besides, a slow website makes it more difficult for Google to find important pages and may cause crawl path problems when individual pages or even sections of a website drop from the search index. You should monitor your site’s speed regularly and keep these issues to a minimum. You can install a caching plugin or use CDN to make your site faster.

Websites can also lose organic search traffic opportunities if they lack responsive web design. Now more than a half of internet traffic is mobile so if a website is not optimized for tablet and smartphone users, it will miss out on a lot of traffic.

Besides, Google’s algorithm Mobilegeddon makes mobile optimization a necessity because it reduces the domain authority of websites that are not mobile friendly. As most of Google searches are conducted on mobile devices, it favors those sites that provide a better user experience for mobile users.

[Read: How to Set Up Accelerated Mobile Pages for WordPress]

On-Page Issues

In 2011, Google introduced the Panda algorithm change that works as the most powerful anti-spam weapon and is a core ranking algorithm. It improved ranking for a lot of high-quality websites and a large number of websites were penalized for low-quality content, content that was designed not for readers but for bots, and duplicate content.

Your site needs high-quality content to have a high ranking.  Writing expert-level content is time-consuming and requires expertise and strong communication skills to convey your ideas effectively. As a way out, you may outsource this task to professional content writing and paper writing agencies.

Here are the most common on-page issues that can decrease your organic search traffic

  • Duplicate content

Duplicate content can have a negative impact on user experience and confuse search crawlers. When your site has duplicate content, it is less useful in Google’s view so use tools like Copyscape to make sure that your site’s content is unique.

  • Keyword stuffing

If you are using a certain keyword on a web page over and over again, hoping that it will get you a better ranking, you make your content unnatural and almost unreadable. For Google, the top concern is the user experience and a very high keyword density indicates poorly written content; that’s why it may penalize you. All content should be written with a reader in mind and if you can’t do it yourself, find professional agencies that offer a wide range of services and write compelling, engaging articles and sales copies, and unique product descriptions.

  • Unnatural anchor text

When you use the same anchor text that contains certain keywords in all your links in order to reinforce their authority, you are showing Google that you are using disreputable techniques and trying to game the system. You should use honest links that use natural real English phrases.

Content should be helpful and relevant to the end user, informative, fresh, and easy-to-read. Websites that are regularly updated with fresh, quality content gain more authority and earn the highest rankings.

Wrong Outer Area

An overly aggressive SEO tactic like buying/selling links or joining low-quality link directories that are intended to manipulate Page Rank or a website ranking in a Google search result may lead to a penalty. Google considers such tactics as a part of a link scheme that violates the Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. The link schemes may include manipulations with backlinks or outgoing links. Google warns that they may have a negative impact on a website’s ranking in search results.

Here are some examples of link schemes and violations of guidelines:

  • Buying or selling links
  • Exchanging lots of links
  • Low-quality directory links
  • Broken external links
  • Forum linking

Links are important for any website but not all links are now effective. Your site needs high-quality links from trusted sources with high domain authority. So you need a content strategy for creating unique relevant content that can be popular in the internet community. This is the best way to build high-quality links to your site.

If your site was penalized for some troublesome links, don’t panic. Use the disavow tool to request Google not count the links that are harming your site and try to get some of the links removed. Most of the penalties can be fixed if you put some effort and work hard to rebuild your site with an ethical approach.

You should think more carefully about your content strategy and focus on creating high-quality websites that deliver the best possible user experience and employ white hat SEO methods. As low-quality content on some pages can impact the whole site’s ranking, you should improve your site and remove low-quality pages or improve the content of individual pages and make them more useful. Ensure that an article or a blog post is original and useful for readers. Produce engaging content that has real value for readers.

Instead of trying to figure out how to optimize your website for any particular Google algorithm, you should focus on creating amazing, compelling content that deserves to be on the first page. If you step into Google’s mindset and start thinking about the big picture, your website will be more likely to rank high for the long-term.

About the author:

Samantha Anderson is an experienced writer with an educational vocation. She spends her free time helping students with assignments and writing term papers at writing service PaperWritten.com. Her main life goal is dedicated to communication strategies development.

Readers, please share so other website creators know how to avoid losing organic search traffic.

 

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    • Janice Wald at 6:46 pm

      Hi Rachel,
      I love when you come by so I can see your cute Cookie Monster gravatar.
      Thanks for the compliments! I’ve only ever met one blogger who didn’t want to increase traffic (so he said). You’re in good company! Thanks for coming by.
      Janice

  1. Melinda J Mitchell at 9:49 am

    Hi BBFFJ,
    Samanatha has so much good advice! But of course, I don’t always know what she’s talking about. Selling links?? To who?? Who pays you??
    Anyway, thanks for bringing us another quality guest.
    Maybe some day I’ll know everything I need to know! lol Like, when I reach heaven?? lol
    BBFFM
    Melinda J Mitchell recently posted…Book BonanzaMy Profile

    • Janice Wald at 6:57 pm

      Hi BBFFM,
      Thanks for writing.
      Links to your site get you a boost in SEO.
      If you get a link from someone with a higher Domain Authority score than yours, your SEO goes up and your chances of getting search engine traffic increase.
      Marketers need search traffic so people find them in search engines and they can make their sales.
      So, what they do is pay people to publish their links.
      Google gets mad if you don’t link to relevant content and it sounds like a scheme to play the system. This is why Samantha listed Link buying and selling as a no-no.
      I have actually been paid to publish links!
      However, I make sure I only publish links to relevant content. I wouldn’t want Google to get mad at me.
      I hope that answered the question.
      BBFFJ

    • Janice Wald at 7:00 pm

      Hi WhatsUpSusan,
      Thank you so much for pinning my post and sharing it on Pinterest! Much appreciated! Thanks for coming by to tell me and that you found the article helpful.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald at 7:12 pm

      Hi Cori,
      1. I use a plugin that shows me if I have broken links. That helps to remind me to fix them. Google doesn’t like broken links.
      2. The Kingged hosting package is a great deal. I’m an affiliate! There will be more information about their hosting package on my site next week. Stay tuned!
      Thanks for writing. Great to see you.
      Janice

  2. Ryan Biddulph at 11:50 am

    Good stuff Samantha. I am doubling down on search because I see more Google traffic as I pay stricter attention to both onsite and offsite SEO elements. When you create helpful, robust content over the long haul and keep making friends by helping people out, you will position yourself to rock out search. Then add the deets with a good plug in and fab posts like these, and you are golden.

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…Social Media Engagement Done the Right Way with Alonzo PichardoMy Profile

    • Janice Wald at 7:13 pm

      Hi Ryan,
      Your comment piqued my curiosity when you mentioned “a good plugin.” I use Yoast and Google Analytics. Is there another, free plugin, you’d recommend? Thanks for writing.
      Janice

  3. Jitendra Vaswani at 1:48 pm

    Hey,
    It’s a great article. Really great suggestions out there. Problems like Duplicate content and keyword stuffing are quite common and the new bloggers should be aware and must look out to avoid such problems. Also the Kingged hosting package sounds really interesting to me. Thanks for this article.

    • Janice Wald at 7:16 pm

      Hi Jitendra,
      Thanks for contributing to the discussion. Google definitely frowns on keyword stuffing.
      I’m not sure about duplicate content. If Google cared, how could content curation sites exist?
      Janice

  4. Divya Sehgal at 8:25 pm

    Hello Janice

    Samantha Has written a very useful article for us. today i got the reason why i lost me 80% traffic. Can you please write an article about how to recover that traffic which we have lost due to the reasons given above in the article? i will glad to know about that cause i am facing that issue from long time.

    • Janice Wald at 9:28 pm

      Hi Divya,
      I am actually planning an SEO post. I am so glad her article helped give you an explanation. 80%, ouch! I’d be happy to write a post about how to recover the traffic. However, with Google, patience is needed. I heard it could take months or even years to recover traffic. However, blogging is for patient people. I will let you know when I write the post. Thanks for the request. I welcome post topic requests.
      Janice

  5. Moss Clement at 12:57 am

    Hi Samantha,

    Your article is great and I vide with your suggestions, as Ryan always puts it. Moreover, as pointed out by JoeHx, you need to have massive traffic in-order to lose it.

    However, even though you might not have much traffic at he moment, it is important to know the rules – the do’s and don’ts associated it retaining your traffic.

    For example, not having a mobile-friendly site is a no-no for Google because search engines now favor mobile-friendly websites. These are websites that loads faster enough. So, if your site is not mobile-friendly, you’re certainly going to lose traffic.

    Thanks for sharing this informative article Samantha & Janice!

    I already scheduled it for posting on social media.
    Moss Clement recently posted…#Email Marketing: 9 Tested & Proven Ways to Increase Your Email Open RateMy Profile

    • Janice Wald at 6:44 pm

      Hi Sheeroh,
      Thanks for commenting on our article about how to lose organic search traffic.
      I brought you an excerpt from a future blog post I have in draft form about forums. It should answer your question about why Samantha included Forum Linking in her Google penalty section:

      Some forums (like LinkedIn) allow you to leave links to your posts in your answers. 

      Links to your site boost your SEO and therefore your search engine traffic. 

      Knowing this, many bloggers tried to game the system, and go to every forum imaginable to link drop where permitted. 

      Google got wise to this attempt to work their system. 

      For this reason, my guest author listed Forum Linking as a way to get a Google penalty in her article about how to lose organic search traffic.

      I hope this helps Sheeroh!
      Janice

  6. Mark Newsome at 1:37 pm

    Quite a practical eyeopener Samantha!

    Many thanks! I can definitely see how and where, I
    can start implementing several of your extremely prectical
    suggestions, an start moving forward almost immediately!

    It’s amazing, how often, just a few strategic tweaks here and there,
    done consistently.

    Can and do make such a huge difference in your long term success!

    Great stuff! Thanks! And thanks so much for featuring her Janice!

    • Janice Wald at 9:31 am

      Hi Nancy,
      Thanks for writing us yesterday. I have to remember to keep updating my site as well. Certainly, at the beginning of each new year, I do a lot of housecleaning. Thanks for writing.
      Janice

  7. Hugh Roberts at 7:36 am

    Hi Janice,

    Thanks for sharing this. Can you explain what ‘anchor text’ is? I’ve never heard that expression before.
    BTW – I’m still not able to’ like’ your posts because the like button does not load. I know I reported this to you before, but I thought I’d better let you know that the problem still seems to be happening. I hope you can get to the bottom of it.
    Hugh

    • Janice Wald at 3:18 pm

      Hi Hugh,
      1. Anchor text is the clickable part of the text. When you are reading a blog post, and there’s a link to a related article, you click on the underlined words. That’s the anchor text. The text is “anchored” to a link.
      2. Regarding the “like” button, since I moved to self-hosted, it hasn’t worked. I asked my tech guy to help me but he hasn’t. I’ll ask someone else.
      3. I’m always happy to help, but if you’d like a copy of my blogging terms glossary, here you go:
      https://www.mostlyblogging.com/better-blogger-blogging-terms/
      4. Nice to hear from you! Thanks for writing!
      Janice

      • Hugh Roberts at 4:48 am

        Thanks so much, Janice, that’s really helpful. It’s what I call a ‘pingback’, but I know that those that do not use WordPress will call it by some other name.
        Have a great weekend.

  8. Boost Bloggers at 9:27 pm

    Thank you for the detailed post, one of the major reasons i saw nowadays are changing of themes, when people change themes of their site, they forget to change default sitemaps and robots.txt, which deindexes many pages and thus affects SEO

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