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Massive traffic drop after site redesign

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by GiorgioB, Aug 7, 2015.

  1. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

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    Hello lads

    Found myself in a bit of trouble with one of my websites, I'll try and keep it short and concise. 4 years of age, 6000+ pages indexed, averaging 1000 visits per day these past few months (up to 2500 / day in winter which is my peak season) - had a basic non-responsive template during all this time.

    Last wednesday I changed to a new template which is responsive. Since then, traffic has dropped gradually, had 450 yesterday..

    hp4do0N.png (Google traffic - the big dot = template change)

    The URLs have not changed. I have this template on another website for over a year and that website is doing OK, not deindexed or penalised..

    Does anyone know what can cause this? Text to html ratio? I know obviously it would help to know the URL of the website (I also have a staging website with the old template for comparative purposes) so if some people have some decent theories I'd be happy to PM you the URLs for further checks.

    Has anyone else experienced this? And how did your sites react over the next few weeks/months? What actions did you take - if any? Any help and suggestions is much appreciated!
     
  2. randybishop

    randybishop Elite Member

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    That is my fear, that once I redesign the site that the rank will drop.
    So I never redesign!
     
  3. Windmm

    Windmm Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I usually face this after changing them of any website.
     
  4. wizard04

    wizard04 Elite Member

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    My advice is to do nothing. Leave it for 10+ days to settle down, the traffic will probably return.
     
  5. junglist08

    junglist08 Junior Member

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    THIS IS NORMAL.

    If you did it right, it will return and even go up if you improved onsite.
     
  6. HoneyHelper

    HoneyHelper Supreme Member

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    If you didn't change the on page linking.....traffic will come back!

    Cheers!
     
  7. Codliver

    Codliver Registered Member

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    Is your domain name keyword rich?

    Is that keyword partially used across all 6000 pages?

    If yes the theme may have injected it in the footer inflating the density on all pages.
     
  8. watley

    watley Power Member

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    Has any of the text on the site changed? Redesigns typically cause ranking movements, mostly down short-term. I'd check super thoroughly to make sure you haven't messed anything up and then just wait it out until the rankings come back.
     
  9. soccerlover

    soccerlover Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Did you change the URL structure?
    What about contents?
    May be the backlinks got dissolved due to the Tier 1 URL change stuff.
    Sort that out & I'm sure, everything will be back on Track.
     
  10. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

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    thanks for the feedback all
    codliver - no, the URL is a brand name and the keyword densities are pretty low/natural
    sagarmankar - no, the URLs didn't change and the contents neither, or not really... just a template change which means there might be some generic words that appear more than before (add to cart, etc..)

    I will keep watching and update the thread on the evolution.. maybe this will help someone out there decide whether to change their design.. for now my advice would be "don't change something that is making money" :S
     
  11. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I redesigned a forum and I'm getting a bunch of messages on Google Webmaster Stools about my mobile usability. Organic traffic also decreased, so I assume it's something to do with the rendering on mobile devices, although the site looks fine on the gadgets I tested.
     
  12. BeSocial

    BeSocial Junior Member

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    It probably screwed up your on-page SEO
     
  13. SEO20

    SEO20 Elite Member

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    Ìt will go up again (unless you fucked up the internal link structure).
    Keep your pages loading fast.
     
  14. Aty

    Aty Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Theoretically it should be back on track soon. Give it a couple more weeks or so and let us know what happens.
     
  15. GiorgioB

    GiorgioB Supreme Member

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    I thought I'd update this thread after a few months of struggle and strife, because again - I wish I'd found a thread like this myself just to prepare for the traffic fluctutations related to changing the web design of my site.

    After the redesign google traffic dropped pretty seriously and it took a lot of good link juice to pull it back up. It's only just starting to recover since a few days, and hopefully the recovery is not a temporary increase... that's almost 4 months of -70% compared to last year :S

    [​IMG]

    I'm still at around -40-50% compared to last year but hopefully it will recover gradually back to normal and even more. Consider this a heads up to anyone thinking about changing web design, Google can be a real BIIIIATCH about it. I've heard stories about redesigns going well, how much this is under the control of the webmaster, I don't know. Anyway, hopefully this experience and data will be useful to someone out there. And of course any suggestions or insight as to how to keep the recovery going is much appreciated.
     
  16. accelerator_dd

    accelerator_dd Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Kudos for coming back to the thread to update on your situation, very few do that these days!

    As a side note - have you looked into GWT for possible increase in 404s or any other warnings?
     
  17. europa

    europa Newbie

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    I think traffic will come back after the redesign.
     
  18. taskforcenow

    taskforcenow Registered Member

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    Woah! Awesome! Your traffic's back! Great news! I also found this thread an interesting read, seeing the journey to come back to the top.