Over the last 12 – 18 months or so Google has introduced a number of major updates/rollouts to its algorithm all of which are to bring better quality results to its users. By doing so it has to down rank, sometimes eliminate, some sites from its index which are deemed as spammy, contain low quality content or just simply sites which contain content available elsewhere (duplicated content). One of the biggest updates caused sites to be penalised because of unnatural link profiles – if you have been caught with an unnatural link profile then your webmaster (who ever looks after your website) should have received a notification from Google regarding this and that action is required.
Using a tool called Panguin (named after Google’s major updates) Panda and Penguin respectively you can see when these updates to the algorithm had occurred against your traffic received on your site. The example below shows a what it would look like if you had been hit by the updates and then signs of recovery (only if you have done something about it).
Using this tool you can overlay the update dates with your traffic data taken from your Google Analytics account. It’s really easy to do this so please ask your own agencies to provide you with some data on how the site, if it all, has been affected by any Google algorithm update. Here are some examples of sites we manage:
Pauley Creative Website
Client site 1
Using this tool we can actually see that there are signs of growth which could indicate that some competitors for certain search phrases might have been penalised thus increasing our clients own individual rankings and traffic levels as a result.
Client site 2
Again, no signs of any penalty but we are seeing sustainable and healthy growth, one which we are taking from competitors.
Check your own website – you may need to act now!
There are many marketers out there who have completely no idea why or even if there own websites have been hit by any Google update so it might be worth going over to Panguin, logging in and overlaying your Google Analytics data to just quickly see if you can see anything worth investigating further.
If you do see signs of decreasing traffic levels over a large period of time then it could be one of two reasons. The first is that your site could just be completely out of date and you’ve not updated it since 1998 and therefore Google has no reason t show your site to anyone. Second could be that your site has been hit by one of the Google updates and if it is the case you need to get on that phone to your agency now and start investigating.