Snappy, The HostGator Mascot

Gator Crossing

The Official HostGator Company Blog!

Dragonfly
AirPlane

How to Diagnose Sudden Drops in Website Traffic

Written by Taylor Hawes

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

diagnosing traffic drops Logging in to your Google Analytics account and seeing a sharp downward trend in your traffic stats can be scary.  What once looked like a promising trend in upwards traffic growth can quickly degenerate to visions of closed doors and scrapped expansion plans in the absence of the natural search traffic you once relied on.

Fortunately, some causes of traffic drops can be easily remedied, while others will take more time repair.  So before you start to panic, walk through the following diagnostic steps to determine exactly what’s caused your declining visitor counts:

 

Step #1 – See if your site is up and running

Though this first step might seem a bit obvious, your immediate reaction to a decrease in website traffic should be to determine whether or not your site is live.

Any number of things can take down a websites – from hosting issues to problems with your domain name registrar and more.  If you see that your site is down, contact your hosting provider immediately for information on what might be causing your current outage.

 

Step #2 – Make sure your analytics code is installed correctly

If your site is live, your next step should be to check your analytics code integration.  This is an especially important step to take if you’ve added your analytics code to your site using a plugin, as the presence of multiple plugins can cause conflicts in which one program interferes with another’s operation.

Additionally, making changes to your site’s code or introducing third-party analytics code modifications can all cause your site to stop reporting traffic data correctly.  Check this before you become concerned about more serious causes of traffic drops.

 

Step #3 – Determine whether or not your site has been hacked

identifying website hacking attempts

Next, if your site is running and your analytics code appears to be installed correctly, you’ll want to see if your site has been hacked, as this may result in your traffic being funneled to an external site.

The easiest way to check to see if your site has been hacked is to enter the query “links:yoururl.com” (without the parentheses) into Google.  If you see any spam content in the snippets that appear, chances are you’ve been hacked.  Contact your dedicated web hosting provider or a qualified website developer for help reclaiming your site.

 

Step #4 – Log in to your Webmaster Tools account

Another important step in the traffic drop diagnosis process is to log in to your Google Webmaster Tools account (assuming you’ve set up one before noticing your traffic decline).

Once you’re inside, navigate to the “Messages” section.  This is where Google notifies webmasters of major issues that have arisen; including sites that have become inaccessible to Google’s indexing programs, sites that have been detected violating the company’s webmaster guidelines and sites that have been issued manual penalties in the search results.

If you see a notice here, you may be able to gain some insight into what’s gone wrong with your site’s traffic and what steps you’ll need to take to repair the situation.  But if you have no new messages from Google, you’ll need to move on to the final step in the diagnosis process…

 

Step #5 – Check the SEO blogs for news of an algorithm update

Google and the other search engines are constantly changing their algorithms.  As a result, a sudden drop in traffic could mean that your site no longer meets the engines’ standards and has gone down in the natural search rankings – leading to a corresponding drop in traffic.

The easiest way to determine whether or not one of these updates has occurred is to head over to popular SEO blogs like Search Engine World, Search Engine Land or Moz, as these sites are often the first to report on changes within the major engines.  They’ll also be the first to report on the methods that sites can use to reclaim their lost rankings, which may be instrumental in your ability to regain the traffic your site has lost.

Be aware, though, that the process of recovering from lost traffic due to algorithm changes can be difficult and time-consuming – if you’re ever able to recover fully at all.  Because this type of traffic drop can be devastating to a business, it’s best to avoid using grey or black-hat SEO techniques, as these can jeopardize your site’s long-term stability.  Instead, focus on adding plenty of great content to your website and build links in natural ways – rather than using manipulative techniques to improve your search rankings.

Hopefully, the cause of your sudden traffic drop will be something that can be easily resolved, as in the first few steps described in this process.  But if this isn’t the case, know that recovery is possible, though you may be facing a long road to return your site to its former traffic patterns.

Posted in

Web and Hosting Tips
Comments

30 Responses to How to Diagnose Sudden Drops in Website Traffic

  1. This are some of the good ways.. I have used them for my client http://jobs57.com and I was able to tell the reason for the sudden drop of traffic.

  2. HadToSay (ihad.to) says:

    Great and informative post..! Despite your reassurance, I am still a little alarmed by my drop in traffic. At least now I have some solid starting points to look in to.

  3. for my website hosting ip address upgraded after that my website traffic is down can you please guide what i have to do changes i lost my seo result

  4. hh says:

    hhhhhhhhhhhhh

  5. Jide Ogunsanya says:

    Nice tips there. yes, Google webmaster tools helps alot. I have seen several messages as regards to the bot not been able to access my blog right there with info on how to fix it.

  6. joaniethomas says:

    such a informative post

  7. Yamaranews says:

    Very nice tips
    Thank you

  8. MoneyMazics says:

    Good Information but do alexa ranking matter in the assessment of the blog’s performance…?

    http://www.moneymazics.com/

  9. Well, the confusion comes when organic traffic declines gradually, leaving you with no clue :-(

  10. JiMz Freebies says:

    My blog traffic suddenly drops by 75% yesterday and still not increased. http://jimzfreestuff.blogspot.com

    • venkatkolla says:

      do u figure out why there is 75% drop?
      mine (bestdealsofcanada.com) is also same up to 70-80% drop in last two day

    • Dhams says:

      my blog drastically affected since last 2-3 days and yes almost 70% drop…. any specific known reason?? any clue or help will be appreciated

  11. Dhams says:

    I drastically affected since last 2-3 days and yes almost 70% drop…. any specific known reason??

  12. Shubham Saxena says:

    my daily visitors arround 1000 but now its 180.any answer will be appriciated.

    http://hackrulezz.blogspot.in/

  13. Shubham Saxena says:

    my daily visitors arround 1000 but now its 180.any answer will be appriciated.

    http://hackrulezz.blogspot.in/

  14. Shubham Saxena says:

    my daily visitors arround 1000 but now its 180.any answer will be appriciated. pls help me
    http://hackrulezz.blogspot.in/

  15. Shubham Saxena says:

    my daily visitors arround 1000 but now its 180.any answer will be appriciated. pls help me..
    http://hackrulezz.blogspot.in/

  16. my site traffic is down… 90% of my site traffic is gone… please help…

  17. Farhan Kash says:

    my website traffic dropped by 80%. i dont know what happened

  18. Vicky Puri says:

    Well I am also facing similar problems of decrease in my website traffic up to 80%. My website is http://www.indiaeducationguidance.com
    Can any one tell me why this is happening?

  19. Vijay Singh says:

    Even Same Happen with my site ! sudden traffic down !

    My web – http://musiclinda.org/

  20. Gowridevi Nagesh says:

    also same problem to me i found some 508 error on my webmaster site so what i do now?

  21. Nathan Brook says:

    Really it’s a great experience for me to read this post which helps me to learn something new and interesting.

  22. Please suddenly my website http://www.quizvook.com traffic down please help me…

  23. Softfully says:

    Thank you to know this tips. Our mistake is that we was using 3 kind of Stats and after reading this today we will use only 1 stat like Google.

  24. Sir,
    Recently I’ve encounter a problem, that my site’s traffic suddenly goes down.
    I’m curious why this happened… I’m very depressed what to do, because my site indexing, webmaster tools is also correct… Please help me to solve this riddle… For your information I also give my analytic link:
    http://www.trickschannel.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/analytics.png.
    Waiting for your kind response…

qwaszxerdfcv3.14 | 1776zxasqw!!