Google Search Console is a powerful tool that provides website owners with valuable information about their search engine visibility. One of the key features of this tool is the ability to track changes in search engine traffic over time. If you notice a significant drop in your website’s traffic, you can use Google Search Console to diagnose the issue and take corrective action.
In this blog, we will walk you through the steps to analyse traffic drops in Google Search Console.
Step 1: Check the Date Range
The first step in analysing traffic drops is to make sure that you’re looking at the right date range. In Google Search Console, you can change the date range to any period of time that you want to analyse. Make sure that you’re looking at a long enough period of time to identify any trends or patterns in your traffic data. A good rule of thumb is to look at a minimum of 3 months of data.
Step 2: Analyse the Traffic Sources
Next, you’ll want to analyse the traffic sources to see if the drop in traffic is coming from a specific channel. In Google Search Console, you can view traffic data by channel, including organic search, direct traffic, referral traffic, and social traffic. If you notice a drop in one particular channel, it may indicate an issue with that channel. For example, a drop in organic search traffic could be due to a Google algorithm update or a change in your website’s search engine optimization.
Step 3: Check for Manual Actions
Google Search Console also provides information about any manual actions that Google has taken against your website. These actions can include penalties for violating Google’s webmaster guidelines, such as the use of spammy techniques or the presence of malware on your site. If you’ve received a manual action, it could be the cause of your traffic drop.
Step 4: Look for Technical Issues
Sometimes, traffic drops can be caused by technical issues on your website. Google Search Console provides a wealth of technical information about your website, including crawl errors, broken links, and mobile usability issues. Check these sections of Google Search Console to see if there are any technical issues that could be causing your traffic drop.
Step 5: Analyse the Search Queries
Finally, you’ll want to analyse the search queries that are driving traffic to your website. Google Search Console provides data on the keywords that people are using to find your site, as well as information about your site’s average position and click-through rate. If you notice a drop in traffic for a specific keyword, it could be due to increased competition or changes in user search behaviour.
Main Reasons for Organic Traffic Drops
There are several reasons why a website may experience a drop in organic traffic as reported in Google Search Console. Here are some of the most important reasons:
1. Google Algorithm Updates
Google’s search algorithm is frequently updated in order to improve the quality of its search results. These updates can affect a website’s ranking in search results, leading to a drop in organic traffic. Websites that use black-hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing, buying links, or duplicating content, are particularly vulnerable to algorithm updates.
2. Manual Actions
Google may take manual action against a website that violates its webmaster guidelines. These actions can result in penalties that lower a website’s ranking in search results, leading to a drop in organic traffic. Manual actions can be triggered by issues such as spammy links, hidden text, or malware.
3. Technical Issues
Technical issues on a website can also lead to a drop in organic traffic. Common technical issues include broken links, crawl errors, slow page speed, and mobile usability problems. These issues can make it difficult for search engine crawlers to index a website properly, leading to a lower ranking in search results.
If other websites in a particular industry or niche are producing more relevant and high-quality content, it may lead to a drop in organic traffic for a website. This is particularly true if the competitor websites are also using effective SEO strategies to rank higher in search results.
5. Seasonal Fluctuations
Seasonal fluctuations in search volume can also affect a website’s organic traffic. For example, websites that sell Christmas-related products or services may experience a drop in organic traffic in January, after the holiday season ends. Similarly, websites that offer summer-related products or services may experience a drop in organic traffic in the winter months.
Analysing traffic drops in Google Search Console can be a complex process, but by following these steps, you can identify the cause of the drop and take corrective action. Whether the issue is related to technical issues, manual actions, or changes in search behaviour, Google Search Console provides the data you need to diagnose and fix the problem. Keep monitoring your website’s traffic in Google Search Console regularly to ensure that your website is performing at its best.
There are several reasons why a website may experience a drop in organic traffic, as reported in Google Search Console. It is important to regularly monitor your website’s traffic data and identify any changes or fluctuations. By diagnosing the underlying cause of a traffic drop, you can take corrective action to improve your website’s search engine visibility and regain lost traffic.