Googles Search Engine Updates- How Do They Affect Your Site?
For website clients who think they’ve been hit by an algorithm update or a penalty, because they notice a drop in organic traffic, are quick to think that Google search engine updates are to blame. This may not always be the case, so watch out for some SEOs who are using updates from Penguin to explain organic traffic drops. This explanation may work on clients that may not fully understand the technical nature of SEO, so vendors can often hide behind these as the reasons for traffic drops.
How Can You Tell If Your Site Has Really Been Affected By An Update?
The first step is to try to check your traffic levels to see if there was a sudden drop. This may be one sign to look for in order to discover if you have been penalized by Google’s latest Penguin update. You might need to dig deeper to determine if the drops are from a single search engine. If this isn’t the case, then an algorithm update or penalty may not be the cause of the traffic drop.
You can also check for organic traffic drops by checking the times at Moz’s Google Algorithm Update History page. Now if you notice that the timing of your sites traffic drop coincides with the timing of an recent update, then you can conclude that your site has been hit with a penalty by the update.
To check for link penalties due to Penguin, you need Google Webmaster Tools. Try to check your Google Webmaster account regularly so that you don’t miss any posts or updates from Google about potential spam links that they have identified.
Another thing that can be done in case you suspect that your SEO has been building spammy links, is to check some of the backlinks that Google has flagged and are listed in Google Webmaster Tools.
Other Common Reasons For Traffic Drops
Other common reasons for an organic traffic drop on your site are: missing redirects, blocked indexing, the level of SEO activity and market changes.
For Blocked Indexing
If you notice that your organic traffic is quickly dropping from several search engines, it may be a sign of technical issues on your site that may prevent search engines from indexing it. You might want to check your robots.txt file for incorrect disallow statements that apply to your whole website or specific pages that have lost traffic. If you discover that this is the case, then try to remove the incorrect disallow statement from robots.txt to allow recovery.
About Missing Redirects
Often overlooked, but 301 redirects are very important for search engine robots to find content when the URL and/or domain for a site has been updated. Missing redirects are common with site relaunches.
If you find that you’re missing 301 redirects for your most trafficked pages on your site, assume that the 301s were not created for any of the pages on the site.
A Market Change
Sites may also experience an organic traffic drop simply because of a decrease in searches in a particular market. So a good tool to use in these types of situations is Google Trends. This useful tool shows you the keyword search volumes over a time period. That way you can work out to which direction the market has shifted to.
For more information on Search engine ranking help for your business visit our Scarborough seo service