You may have noticed that I haven’t published anything here during the past week. There are two reasons for that:
- extreme busy-ness, and
- testing my Google search traffic level
More specifically, I was testing to see if my Google traffic would continue to rise without any new posts. My logic: If it did, then I’d be more comfortable in thinking that I’m recovering from being hit by the Panda updates this year.
Actually, I think I was was hit twice. Have a look…
Google Panda Updates in Google Analytics
Here’s the graph showing Visits from Google / Organic search since early 2012. I’ve marked two noticeable drops in Google traffic.
(click for larger version)
You can see at the bottom that I make annotations for Google updates (recommend you do the same). There’s a drop-off in late February/early March, which is right after Panda Update 11. Google traffic steadied and was stable until a second noticeable drop in early June, right after Panda Update 15.
The numbers? Google traffic was down 14 percent in April (compared to March), and then down 21 percent in June (compared to May). Ouch.
Why Was This Blog Hit (Twice) by Panda?
I have no idea.
Panda is more content-related than link-related (and I don’t do any link building, anyway), so I’m not worried about anything link-related.
Content? You can browse through the article archives from February and May and let me know if you see anything unusual. They were pretty standard months in my mind. I don’t hit a home run with everything I publish … then again, I’m not trying to.
So, like I said, I have no idea why two Panda updates would impact this blog.
What I Did to Recover
I just kept blogging like I’ve been doing all year. And waited patiently to see what would happen. Luckily, things are starting to get better now.
As you can see below, my Google search traffic for October was up more than 21 percent and is almost back to where it was in June. I still have a ways to go to get back to the March levels.
(click for larger version)
Moral of the Story?
I’d like to think that my blog content didn’t deserve either Panda slap, so maybe the moral of the story is…
1.) Here’s some proof that Google’s algorithm changes aren’t perfect and sometimes have negative impacts on sites that don’t deserve to be hit negatively.
2.) Panicking or rushing to solve a problem that doesn’t exist isn’t necessarily the best idea.
Sometimes you have to trust that you’re doing things the right way and that Google screwed up, not you. And yes, I recognize it’s way easier for me to have an attitude like that than it is for a small business owner that depends heavily on Google traffic. Which leads me to the real moral of the story…
Don’t count on getting free traffic from Google for eternity.
Google can change things at any time and hurt any business, whether it’s deserved or not. Remember this old post?
Still applies today. Always will.