A drop in website traffic can be due to many factors such as seasonality, the popularity of search queries, brand reputation, or a high bounce rate. However, there are times when a drop in traffic is due to something out of your control. Here is how you determine whether a Google algorithm update is to blame for a drop in website traffic:
- Steep drop in traffic shown in your analytics
A sudden drop in your website traffic might indicate an algorithm update. Google Analytics is a free tool you can use to track your site traffic. Also, look for any algorithm news announced by Google or debated in SEO groups like WebmasterWorld.
2. Mozcast SERP weather
If you are not working with an SEO agency to keep track of your site’s health Mozcast is a free tool that can help you gauge your success in search engines. The tool shows the “weather” in terms of the fluctuations in search results. Google does not usually announce updates to its core algorithm because they happen almost every day. However, this tool is a quick way to get some answers.
It scores the weather on a scale from 0-100 where:
- +0 if the ranking stays the same
- +|#| if the ranking moves in the top 10
- +10 if the ranking drops out of the top 10
***”#” is the number of spots the ranking has moved
3. Rank tracking tool
A drop in rank of your target keywords could also be an indication of an algorithm update. If you haven’t hired an SEO agency, then using a rank tracking tool can make it easy by running scheduled scans of keyword positions. Most tools add annotations within the reports whenever there has been a notable algorithm change.
4. Google Search Console
This is a free tool from Google that can give you insights on your website’s health. Accessing the query report will show you estimated number of searches where Google found your site relevant, clicks, and average position — from the last 90 days.
While having a dedicated SEO agency like TechWyse might help with hassle-free SEO optimizations, the aforementioned methods are just as effective and reliable to detect unforeseen traffic fluctuations.