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    mla0712's Avatar
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    Angry We lost 60-70% of organic traffic - what happened?

    Hi Guys,

    Need some help/advice

    Im running a sports betting site superbetting.com and around 16-19th may our organic traffic suddenly dropped with 60-70% or so and ever since weve been struggling trying to find the cause and not least, been trying to do something about it. But we still haven't found the cause but maybe you guys have some suggestions?

    A few observations / thoughts;

    - It seems weve suddenly have quite a few inbound links from Russia without promoting our content / site towards Russian users. Neither do we have any Russian content. Should we disavow those links and/or try to contact the sites to get our link removed?
    - Looking in ahrefs, I can see that anchors also suddenly are dominated by Russian. Maybe obvious given the above...

    - We have struggled with spammers trying to deploy link in our forum and have just recently removed them ( or at least we think we have) but could those bad links been hurting us over time?

    - I think Google ran an algo update in may regarding quality signals but I cant belief that should have hit us that hard since I (and I may be biased ) would say that there are far lousier sites ranking better than us now than before.

    Any feedback would be appreciated

    Thanks!

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    Triple7 is offline Private Member
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    Under which cave you have been last months?

    Google did a big update, one of the main factors is "is your website mobile friendly or not" and yours isn't mobile friendly. So I guess that's the reason and not that Russian backlinks that everyone has or some forumposters that left their link.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mla0712 View Post
    - It seems we’ve suddenly have quite a few inbound links from Russia without promoting our content / site towards Russian users. Neither do we have any Russian content. Should we disavow those links and/or try to contact the sites to get our link removed?
    I would disavow the links, and then contact the sites and ask them to remove the links.
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    @Triple7 - Yes, I'm full aware of that, thanks, but that update was in April and was only targeted mobile searches so I can't see that we should have been hit that hard by that.

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    who knows with google

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    You have hundreds of pages "picks" that have between 50 and 100 words... Im going to put my money on that,,

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    That mobile comment is totally inaccurate thought. Mobile friendliness affects in no way your desktop searches. However, when it comes to user experience, i'd say mobile theme is a must.

    What you are experiencing I've experienced I think 4 times already, and this is perhaps my 5th. No shame of losing organic traffic as long as you can pinpoint the reasons. No need to be harsh on yourself either. I've had positions drop, stay low for months and re-appear for no apparent reason on its own.

    However I do believe if I had taken actions back then, that would have perhaps happened faster. I'd get rid of anything under 300-400 words. I think when quality updates kicked in, I deleted well over 800 posts. Lots of feedback on this, that it's bad, but I did it anyways. For me, the problem has always been Marketing and link building, simply because I've rarely done it, if at all.

    I've always pumped up content, even when I had 10 organic searches. It made no difference to me at least. As I said I'm in a similar situation, I'll just proceed as I have always. This time however I do plan to do some marketing, some content polishing, I'm already re-branding, and perhaps even some here and there link building.

    As for the disavow tool, Ive tried it, tbh I think it hurt me, ofc im just guessing. Considering that Google mentioned that someone like 0.5% of the webmasters would need to use it, I think playing with it may not be such a good idea. Ive removed my file recently. Other than that, idk what to tell you. It's part of the business the ups and downs. I've had google index wrong landing pages on keywords at some point.

    I did nothing and it just fixed itself. So sometimes things are beyond your control.

    P.S: I like such problems, gives me the challenge to overcome it, which makes it fun afterwards. Otherwise things would get extremely boring around here.
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    I have a non-gaming drop ship site and I just noticed google deindex 66 out of 128 pages sometime in feb. I have no idea why yet,
    site is html and actually validates 100% error free.

    Goggle crawl status > crawl errors.
    No errors detected in the last 90 days. Nice!

    Looking back at my records I only had disavowed 2 domains (m dot biz and prlog dor ru) in april of 2014 so that's not it.

    checking now it looks like it indexed 2 more pages so moving in the right direction anyway.
    Last edited by slotplayer; 23 June 2015 at 9:53 pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderpunter View Post
    You have hundreds of pages "picks" that have between 50 and 100 words... Im going to put my money on that,,
    Yes, but that's the nature of the site, every pick has it's own page, like a webshop with products so I don't think I can do much here and I honestly don't think that's the problem. Maybe if all content was like that but that's not the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderpunter View Post
    You have hundreds of pages "picks" that have between 50 and 100 words... Im going to put my money on that,,
    Yes, but that's the nature of the site, every pick has it's own page, like a webshop with products so I don't think I can do much here and I honestly don't think that's the problem. Maybe if all content was like that but that's not the case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mla0712 View Post
    Yes, but that's the nature of the site, every pick has it's own page, like a webshop with products so I don't think I can do much here and I honestly don't think that's the problem. Maybe if all content was like that but that's not the case.
    Im certain that's the problem, I deleted 600 pages myself after the last quality update and bounced back... anything under 300 words went, sometimes we want to think our content is good enough, but as a 3rd party I view those pages differently to yourself, I would not be satisfied and click back looking for something more detailed.. and there are hundreds perhaps thousands of those pages? this would effect your whole site for sure... is there a way you could combine all the picks on one page based by date?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderpunter View Post
    Im certain that's the problem, I deleted 600 pages myself after the last quality update and bounced back... anything under 300 words went, sometimes we want to think our content is good enough, but as a 3rd party I view those pages differently to yourself, I would not be satisfied and click back looking for something more detailed.. and there are hundreds perhaps thousands of those pages? this would effect your whole site for sure... is there a way you could combine all the picks on one page based by date?
    Yeah, I see the point and think it would be worth a thought after all.... The problem with combining would be that you wont be able to have unique titles etc for ranking for specific searches for a specific match. But I'll give it a thought...

    But still... if that's the case there must be A LOT of web shops outthere with the same problem and that doesn't make sense to me...

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    Check WMT to see if there are any drops in rankings - if its sports betting, could your biggest event have stopped? What does Analytics say is the biggest drop?
    Currently dipping my toe back in the water with my pet project site, Vegan Chocolate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderpunter View Post
    You have hundreds of pages "picks" that have between 50 and 100 words... Im going to put my money on that,,
    That's nonsense. This site wouldn't have been hit with a penalty even if a Google reviewer visited it. There's no chance in ******* hell this site was hit with a thin content penalty. Plus you get a warning when that happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WagerPod View Post
    Check WMT to see if there are any drops in rankings - if its sports betting, could your biggest event have stopped? What does Analytics say is the biggest drop?
    I have content, decent informative articles, that used to get a lot of organic traffic that suddenly almost gets none. And there's several cases where that has happened.

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    Are they themed keywords? such as Football? DO you have Google Webmaster Tools? Try Google Trends on your dropped keywords, see if they have dropped.

    If it's rankings then its an SEO issue, if its a traffic drop whilst maintaining rankings its a seasonal issue.

    If its just organic and not referrals/directs then it could be either. Analytics and WMT holds all the answers
    Currently dipping my toe back in the water with my pet project site, Vegan Chocolate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanHorvat View Post
    That's nonsense. This site wouldn't have been hit with a penalty even if a Google reviewer visited it. There's no chance in ******* hell this site was hit with a thin content penalty. Plus you get a warning when that happens.
    I disagree... I think thousands of keyword rich title pages with 50-100 words sooner or later fall into the quality algo, I ditched hundreds of pages and bounced back up, it could be coincidence or could be sooner or later that content value looks like it is trying to game the system via titles and very little content.. I never said it was a penalty, I think its just a algo problem that could be fixed quickly, I had stuff from 2 years that eventually caught up and by deleting and 301 the external linked pages i bounced back, Here is another thought.. have some parts of the site been hit harder than others? i.,e static pages or posts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WagerPod View Post
    Are they themed keywords? such as Football? DO you have Google Webmaster Tools? Try Google Trends on your dropped keywords, see if they have dropped.

    If it's rankings then its an SEO issue, if its a traffic drop whilst maintaining rankings its a seasonal issue.

    If its just organic and not referrals/directs then it could be either. Analytics and WMT holds all the answers
    It's not only specific keywords, it looks like a general traffic drop and if it wasn't because I haven't received a warning I would have thought it was some kind of penalty.

    But the more I think about and the more feed back I get from you guys among others, the more I think it's a general quality issue based on our 1) content 2) back link profile 3) lack of mobile / responsive

    Another thing; for the past 3 months we've been running a pop-up / pop-under. Obviously not something Google would be fond of... Anyone have experience with getting lower rankings because of that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wonderpunter View Post
    I disagree... I think thousands of keyword rich title pages with 50-100 words sooner or later fall into the quality algo, I ditched hundreds of pages and bounced back up, it could be coincidence or could be sooner or later that content value looks like it is trying to game the system via titles and very little content.. I never said it was a penalty, I think its just a algo problem that could be fixed quickly, I had stuff from 2 years that eventually caught up and by deleting and 301 the external linked pages i bounced back, Here is another thought.. have some parts of the site been hit harder than others? i.,e static pages or posts?
    Yes, a lot of static pages.

    Example: http://superbetting.com/betting-draw-n44.html

    The above page received a decent amount of traffic up until the 16th may. After that, literally nothing.

    The same goes for basically all top pages up until the 16th. After that, nothing

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    I'm trying to get our developer to check our logs if anything from our development could have caused it

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