Google 7 Tips for Analyzing Google Search Traffic Drop
Google gives site owners seven tips to analyze the main causes of organic search traffic.
An article by Google’s Daniel Weisberg identifies the real reasons for the decline in search traffic.
- Technical issues: Errors that may prevent Google from crawling your pages, indexing them, or presenting them to users.
- Security issues: Google may warn users before visiting sites with potential security risks, which may reduce search traffic.
- Manual steps: If a site does not follow Google’s guidelines, some of its pages or the entire site may be removed from Google search results by manual action.
- Algorithmic changes: Core updates and other minor updates can change the way pages are displayed in Google search results.
- Disruption of interest: Sometimes changes in user behavior will lead to a change in the demand for certain questions, either as a result of a new trend, or as a result of weather conditions throughout the year.
Google Analytics has some initial examples of each of these drops.
Read about Google Insights to determine the cause of the drop in traffic.
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Evaluating a drop in Google search traffic
Google says the best way to understand what happens to a site’s traffic is to open its search console performance report and look at the main chart.
Analyzing the shape of the line can provide some information. Dig deeper into the data with the help of these three points:
- Add 16 months to date range: This will help to analyze the lack of traffic in context and ensure that it is not an annual decline.
- Compare drop periods to similar ones: This will help you assess what has actually changed. Find out if the effect includes specific queries, URLs, countries, tools, or search offers.
- Analyze the different types of searches separately: This will help you understand if the drop you saw was in a web search, Google Images, or the Video or News tab.
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To understand if a drop is part of a larger trend, or something specific to your site, Weisberg recommends looking at Google Trends.
This may help to rule out the following two factors as possible causes of traffic jams.
- Search interest disruptedPeople can start using their devices for different purposes, or for different purposes. If you’re looking for questions for which you rank low, this can lead to a drop in traffic.
- Seasonal: For example, Google Trends shows that food queries are very seasonal: people search for Diet in January, Turkey in November and Champagne in December. Seasonal levels vary in different industries.
Here are two more ways to gain insight into your search traffic while still on Google Trends:
- Check out the top questions in your area and compare the questions you’re getting traffic from. If you find any questions that you are not getting traffic from, even though you have content on this topic, make sure it is being crawled and indexed.
- Examine questions related to important questions. It can search for increasing level of relevant queries, which will help you to find better ways to search for them.
See Google, Google’s full article for more information.