Looks like Google is acting Cowboy again! Forums are getting crowded daily with questions related to a massive Organic Search traffic drop on sites world wide. Almost all sites are effected be it entertainment based, IT orientated, ecommerce or blogs ran on Wordpress and Blogger. All www domains have been seriously effected by Google with a 50%-90% Cruel Traffic penalty without any prior notice or announcement. Matt Cutts blog and his twitter profile are both deserted and there appears to be no updates on what exactly is happening. Webmasters around the world have been terribly hit by this biggest algorithmic change far bigger than Panda or Penguin. The interesting part to note is, Google blogs, forums and the company employees wont utter a word on what just happened on August 16 and August 21?
Around half of our clients complained recently about a major drop in their traffic. Since we offer SEO consultancy, its our job to keep these sites well optimized. I was shocked with the figures I received from their Analytics reports. Far bigger surprise was when we noticed all blogs of STC Network being terribly effected with a tremendous loss in traffic for the past few weeks starting from August 16th. Based on the free available tools we have online, following are some reports presented as a brief Case Study that would prove that a major algorithmic change has surely occurred on Google's side which the company is neglecting to answer so far.
UPDATE#1: A Simple Solution has been shared. Please read:
UPDATE#2: Google just announced the reasons what made a search traffic drop:
Alogoroo is my favorite tool and it is the only reliable tool I use when observing changes in Google's algorithms. If you observe the chart below, you would see that the Red rectangular bar shooted high on August 16 and August 21. This clearly indicates that Google has surely refreshed their indexed data twice on these days. August 16 is the day when our blog's traffic along with thousand others dropped by 40%.
Serps offers an extremely useful and tracking free tool that shows index volatility for Google and Bing. It gives a much wider information through different volatility charts on monthly and quarterly basis. If you observe the spikes on the chart below then you would notice that the changes in Google's algorithms dates back to even June 28-29 and July 26. Also observe the spikes on 16th and 21st August.
PS: Click the image to enlarge.
SerpMetrics is the most comprehensive tool amongst all because it shows major spikes of Search changes for all major Search engines which include Google, Yahoo and bing. Carefully observe below a major spike on 21st August.
4. GoSquared Testimony Proves it all!
Now to prove how badly the algorithmic Change on August 16th effected global traffic then see the chart below which is provided by GoSquared which offers real time analytics for websites. It is a popular service even used by BBC News and The TeleGraph.
GoSquared proved that on August 16th Google was unbelievably down for 5 minutes! People could not access YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, Blogger, Google+ or any service under Google's umbrella. All domains under the company were returning a server error between 23:52 and 23:57 BST on 16th August 2013.
The chart below shows a big drop in the number of pageviews of GoSquare tracking tool on August 16. This indicates that all sites which had the Gosquared script installed were actually receiving no search traffic from Google for exactly 5 minutes and this caused a serious traffic loss for over 40% of all sites using GoSquared.
This is what that proves it all. Google went down for 5 minutes and yet the company neglected to comment on this global outage.
5. Google could not hide it!
After having contacted Google's Webspam team led by matt cutts and waiting for their replys , we could not wait any longer and thought to inform everyone that the above reports are not rumors but facts which Google accepts itself! How?
Google has a utility called AppsStatus that shows status for all sites under Google's root domain. Visiting this tool today convinced me to write this case study. The pink bullets indicate service outage and amazingly you would see a pink bullet next to all services owned by Google between August 16 and August 17. Since our blog is hosted on Blogger.com therefore you would notice that even blogger was down between August 16-17 and this is the main reason which explains why many of BlogSpot users were facing trouble logging into their accounts because the page kept on returning a server error.
PS: Click the image to enlarge.
So what now?
I am sure its not just you who is effected with this latest Google story but indeed all webmasters worldwide including us and all sites under our network. No one knows if this is a service failure on Google's part, or they have encountered a server breakdown or loss of indexed data or they are experimenting with a new Webspam algorithm but no matter whatever it is, it has badly effected all sites worldwide irrespective of the niche and content quality. Some say it is a new Penalty that Google will announce soon for sites sharing Affiliate products or similar. But I strongly disagree to all such claims because most of the sites that we service are entertainment based with not even a single affiliate link. Some even used to say that the traffic drop is because of summer season in WEST but I believe that is not a valid reason because we have never encountered such a massive traffic drop ever in past 5 years. Traffic during summer season is effected by a minor margin of 5-10% but the SERPs loss this time is as high as 90% for some sites which is alarming.
I would share some tips on what to do in order to make sure you recover the lost traffic. Its simply a SEO trial and error experiment that we think could possibly change things to a satisfying level. Stay tuned for our next post on Recovering the lost traffic due to Google outage.
Please share your precious views and tell us any new story that could contribute to the case study above. Do Tell us if you are one of those who are experiencing a Traffic loss for the past few weeks. Your views on this story could help many people.
Peace and blessings buddies.
Disclosure: The above article is just a case study and is not aimed at disclosing any hidden facts or degrading the company. We love Google and it means everything to us. We hope they would sort out this issue soon and would gift back its users all the hard earned traffic. Filed Under: News, SEO, Webmaster Tools
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