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Visitors decline

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by Dorianvans, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Dorianvans

    Dorianvans Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I noticed a steady decline in the number of visitors on my funny pictures blog. The number of visitors have been pretty steady around 2000 a day and now since last tuesday it's pretty much a straight line down to 926 yesterday. I've never seen this happen before in running this site for a year and a half.
    Most of the traffic is organic search traffic. Does this mean I got penalized by Google? I haven't been doing anything fishy so I don't know what I'd get penalized for. Did Google recently change around their algorithms again that could have an effect?
    Hope someone with more SEO knowledge can help me clarify.

    Cheers,
    Ruben.
     
  2. Jinko

    Jinko Regular Member

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    Do you keep an eye on your rankings in Google? Slipping down even 1-2 places in the results can dramatically reduce your traffic. It's not uncommon for this to happen so check it out. Out of interest, how have you monetized your traffic?
     
  3. Dorianvans

    Dorianvans Newbie

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    Thanks for the reply Jinko. It's hard to tell which keyword it would be in this case, because the site is ranked with quite a bunch of keywords. I guess I'll dive into the analytics data and the webmaster tools data and see if I find something. Thanks for the suggestion.

    As for monetization I'm mainly using CPM networks. The inconvenient thing is that I finally got a nice offer from and advertising company interested in advertising on the site. Right then this happens, just my luck.
     
  4. ouchthathurts

    ouchthathurts Regular Member

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    Take a look into your analytic data and report back, you want to look at the traffic from search engines and keywords

    Have you been doing any link building lately?

    Check out ahrefs.com it will let you have 5 free searches, you can see if any "bad" links have been built recently
     
  5. Gintoki

    Gintoki Regular Member

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    You said your site is a funny pictures blog. Google has recently changed their image search feature, so that could be the reason.
     
  6. Dorianvans

    Dorianvans Newbie

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    Thanks guys. Gintoki, that would indeed explain it cause I did get a lot of Google images hits. I'll dive deeper into the analytics when I get some more time.
    Ahrefs is really useful btw, I just registered there and did a quick analysis. I'll be back if I find more info.
     
  7. Dorianvans

    Dorianvans Newbie

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    After some more investigating I found that it is mainly the traffic referred to in Analytics as google.com referrals. Pretty much of all of the pages with a lot of visits referred to from google.com (I think this includes Google Images?) dropped drastically over the past week. Also organic search hits from google dropped quite a bit.
    I'll keep monitoring it for the next week or so, not really sure what to do about it and what could have caused this. If it really is due to a change in how Google Images works then there's probably not a whole lot I can do anyway correct?
     
  8. Jinko

    Jinko Regular Member

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    Never thought about the image algo change... could definitely be a factor in your situation. You're doing the right thing exploring what to do about it though and I'm sure you'll regain your traffic and still land the deal with the advertisers (congrats on that by the way!). Sometimes my sites bounce a round a little, after what I presume is an algo tweak, but then they're back to their 'usual' spot within a few days-week. All the best.
     
  9. Dorianvans

    Dorianvans Newbie

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    Thanks buddy, appreciate the support. Google can be hard to grasp now and then.
    Looks like yesterday it bottomed out at half the traffic before the drop. Hopefully it'll go back to normal soon.
    I did notice two other threads on this forum about traffic drops so maybe Google is doing something behind the screens.
     
  10. bizzlewebmaster

    bizzlewebmaster Registered Member

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    wish you the best bro. that's a lot of visit 2000. wish can i get that much..
     
  11. jamal.k

    jamal.k Newbie

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    You guys are all missing something: school just started last week. Anyone from children to university students are registering for classes, buying books, starting out their coursework. I noticed the same dip you're talking about since last week. It's the same one I notice every time a new semester starts. It'll go away on its own.
     
  12. HoNeYBiRD

    HoNeYBiRD Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    you cannot be more mistaken with this, it won't go away this time

    just do an image search on Google and you'll see what has changed, now you have significantly less chance to get a visitor to your site through the Google Image Search, because now there's an option "View original image" offered by Google to view the image w/o the need of visiting any website

    i used to use the right click-> view image built-in firefox feature until now to accomplish the same effect, but now everybody can access the image with a single click and the image is displayed on a black background w/o the hosting site

    i think OP you can stop your analytics right there, because that's the answer
     
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  13. jamal.k

    jamal.k Newbie

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    Honeybird, the majority of my traffic is from Google Images. When Google switched to the new format earlier this month, there was only minimal change in traffic for me. The big dip that started last week coincided with school starting, not with the format change which happened a week or two before that.
     
  14. zarklon

    zarklon Newbie

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    I was thinking it was the google images change as well. This is the second post I've seen about it effecting a site. Study that one harder - good luck mate
     
  15. HoNeYBiRD

    HoNeYBiRD Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    actually the change started to happen only a week ago, 23th Jan, not everwhere at the same time, they rolled it out in phases as usual, it can be roughly the same date when school started (idk when it's in the US), you can check the comments of website owners here:
    Code:
    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2013/01/faster-image-search.html
    not surprisingly they're not a really a fan of this new update, aside the traffic loss, Google violates copyright and license agreements and this change even divides the users

    if you click on any image once, it will be bigger, hosting site url will be visible and clickable (it's a good thing btw) and 3 options will be given: visit page (opens image in it's original environment on the hosting site), view image (opens image on a dark gray background w/o any referring to the hosting site), image details (no url to the hosting site)
    if you don't choose any of those options, but click on the image, it will open the image on the hosting site

    i wouldn't say that you should expect 50% traffic loss, but i wouldn't be too surprised on 25-30%

    one step forward, two steps back a'la Google
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  16. bigbong

    bigbong Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    There is a lot of rumbling on various forums at the moment re the new Google image search. What Google has basically done is to replace what was possibly justifiably an image search engine with thumbnails used under so called "fair use", create the world largest online gallery. Basically they are taking millions of copyright protected images, scraping them off the net and placing them in their own online gallery, making a fortune in the process.

    Google has been through the courts many times before because of their previous image gallery search function, and many cases are still pending. Google has so far managed to defend themselves against injunctions because it was seen as likely that the use was "fair use" (even though Google lost a number of district court cases).

    I am not so sure their amended image gallery will be able to survive similar court cases. Their new Google image search function does not link a click on a thumbnail to the original site. Instead it opens a large version of the image inside the Google image search in the style of an online gallery. That, in my opinion, is stealing and hardly constitute fair use. This will also explain why your traffic is down. While Google used to show the thumbnail and then open the original website with an enlarged version of the image on top of it, now it simply shows you the full image with a small button saying "click to see the website". That would explain why many people generating referral visits from Google images now have lost nearly all that traffic. It is not so bad if your own use of the image is under "fair use" or from free databases such as Wiki commons - but imagine that you are the photographer and original copyright holder, Google is now effectively withholding traffic that you used to get in return for their use of your images. Or, as is the case for many of my sites, you have paid royalties for the use of the images - Google is now, for free under the pretense of "fair use", letting you pay the fees for the use of the images and then copying them into their own gallery without neither paying nor sending any traffic to you.

    Hopefully some greedy law firm specializing in copyright class actions will eventually pick up on this like someone once did on the Google book search. In general I do not dislike Google, but this is just stealing and no other website would get away with it. Imagine that you copied all the images you found online and made your own gallery, just with a small link saying "click here to see the website I stole this from". You'd have you ass sued so bad you would have to stand for the rest of your life.
     
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  17. Dorianvans

    Dorianvans Newbie

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    Thanks guys, that does explain a lot. Just your typical Google arrogance I guess.
    I personally don't think it's the school/college semester start effect, because I didn't notice this drop at all last year.
     
  18. Furious George

    Furious George Supreme Member Premium Member

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    google image search has changed drastically. You can't even get porn anymore.... I bet that has something to do with it. Do you market with social networks?
     
  19. Dorianvans

    Dorianvans Newbie

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    I do use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr to get some traffic, but that's only a minor chunk of the traffic. At this point I think it's a combination of the google images change and some other google update that has been going on, because both sources of traffic declined drastically.

    If it doesn't regain that would be a major bummer, because I put a lot of money and time into this website and didn't do anything shady. It looked like it was just about to start paying off and then google comes around the corner with a change of plans. Google is just like women, can't live with them can't live without them.
     
  20. jayrat14

    jayrat14 Senior Member

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    Check out your keywords with stats which keywords has been dropping..