Why Did Your Site Traffic Drop?

Alexander Prokopiev
Alexander Prokopiev CTO of ARTJOKER
5 min read

Online business has become increasingly popular in the last decade. In this case, for its development, in turn, it is important to monitor the position of the site in search results. After all, the bulk of users comes only when the resource is at least one of the first five lines of the search engine. But what should you do if, up to a certain point, all was well, and then suddenly the position of the site dropped sharply? First of all, you need to understand why this is happening

In order to more easily orient yourself, what are the primary causes of the drop in traffic, analyze the following information.

  1. Using a special service, check where exactly the sagging queries:
    • in all search engines - this is most likely a technical reason;
    • in one particular search engine - the reason is search engine filters or algorithm updates.
  2. Whether or not technical work is being carried out on the Website at this time:
    • yes - perhaps they are the reason;
    • no - remember what kind of work has been carried out recently.
  3. Analyze sites from the top ten in search results:
    • The fall in position of the site occurred only with your site;
    • Competitors' websites have also changed their position.
  4. Isn't the drop in site position seasonal?
  5. There were no errors in the metadata and in the content of the main pages?
  6. Were there any problems with access to the resource?

A side note!

Regularly monitor your resource and pay attention to things like this:

  • Monitor traffic and analyze sources;
  • Check the indexing of the resource;
  • It is also important to check the site for errors;
  • Monitor the position of the site by keywords.

Such preventive measures will help in time to prevent unwanted consequences if the site is falling in position.

Why Did Your Site Traffic Drop?

Positions have dropped only in one search engine

As mentioned earlier, there are cases where a resource drops exclusively in one search engine. However, in the rest of the search engines a high ranking is maintained.

The reasons for this phenomenon may be very diverse. In order to get to the bottom of it, first analyze what is happening in a special service. The program will indicate when the site's position fell.

Find out the period during which there was a loss of traffic. Was it gradual? This means that the optimization is wrong. Or did it all happen quickly? In this case, perhaps the influence of other factors.

If you do not know yet in which specific search engine the search queries for the site decreased, then find out this with the same service. Then compare the traffic to previous months. Thus, you will clearly see the level of its subsidence.

And only now proceed directly to finding the reason why the site is losing position. Since we are talking about what is happening only in one search engine (in the rest of the fine), then most likely the problem lies in these points:

  • changing the algorithms of the system;
  • imposition of sanctions.

How do you determine what exactly happened to the portal?

  • Has there been a new Google or Yandex algorithm recently?
  • Have Google or Yandex filters been recently updated?
  • Have any manual sanctions been imposed on the portal?

If the answer to at least one of the above questions is positive, then it is logical to pay attention to this fact.

Positions dropped out of the top only on some pages

In addition to cases where the entire portal goes from the top places in the results, it happens that individual page?s downgraded. As a rule, this situation is easier to change for the better 😎.

What can lead to this? In most situations, it is the imposition of sanctions by a search engine. However, for a complete picture of what is happening it is still better to analyze the performance of the portal, to act not blindly, and work directly with the problem areas. In addition, there are also options:

  • the page is inaccessible (for example, it was deleted by mistake);
  • the page has changed address (check if everything is OK with the new address);
  • a technical error (this should be fixed);
  • a ban on indexing (for example, was put by accident);
  • content is of low quality or irrelevant;
  • and some others.

In most cases, dropped pages do not affect the portal's position in search. However, by working through them, you will prevent serious problems in the future.

Why Did Your Site Traffic Drop? - 1

Falling positions of the site after an incorrect transfer

In order to increase the conversion rate of the site after the wrong move, it is worth understanding what actually caused the drop in traffic.

The most common options:

  • changed the URL, but did not set up a 301 redirect;
  • changed the URL, but did not change the internal links;
  • not all metadata was transferred;
  • not all content was transferred;
  • changed text formatting;
  • the Alt and Title attributes were not filled in;
  • not all products were not transferred;
  • and so on.
  • didn't keep external links.

A side note!

After the transfer, it takes a couple of months for the portal to return to its former position in search results. So, perhaps everything was done correctly, you just need to be patient.

Manual sanctions and filters

As a rule, if the site's position is falling quickly, it means only one thing - search engines-imposed sanctions or filters. In other cases, the downgrade is gradual. Recognize filters and sanctions can be on the reduced number of site conversions and decrease in search results.

What could cause this to happen?

  • use of non-unique content (took someone else's content);
  • someone copied your content, but was regarded as the primary copyright holder;
  • selling links from the portal;
  • poor quality links;
  • duplicate content (different links - same content);
  • excessive advertising;
  • if the website down for a long time;
  • and other reasons.

Keep in mind, though, that manual sanctions are more severe. And even when they are removed, the effects will still be felt. In some cases, traffic is not fully restored in this way.

Why Did Your Site Traffic Drop? - 2

Internal optimization is broken

Improper internal optimization can also cause problems with the place in search results 😟. If this has already happened and site promotion has stalled, then pay attention to these points:

  1. Make sure that the tags are set correctly.
  2. Make sure that a resource map is present (or being generated).
  3. In the robots.txt file, close pages that users don't need.
  4. Optimize the text content.
  5. Find duplicate pages and remove them.
  6. Content should be unique.
  7. Make internal and external linking.
  8. Markup should meet the requirements of the search engine.

Check each of the points. This will make it much easier for you to restore the optimization of your site.

How do I get my site's position back?

Before you bring a resource back to the top of search results, it is important first to determine the causes of downgrade. And then act on the results of the analysis. Fix all the bugs and errors. Otherwise, returning to the top place in the search engine simply will not succeed.


The best way to combat slippage in positions - timely checks and refinement of the site, as well as continuous high-quality external optimization. The ideal option - in-house search engine optimizer or permanent cooperation with the agency. So, you can not only avoid such troubles in advance, but also to constantly increase the visibility of the resource.

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