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Traffic down - why?

Discussion in 'Traffic Analysis' started by kartik786, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. #1
    Hi,

    My website is almost 11 years old and has been loved by my users. We had great success with google for several years, but my traffic has gone down horribly since last year.

    I've hired many seo experts but none of them are able to figure out whats wrong. I've finally managed to gather courage to ask this publicly in DP forum.

    Can you guys help me understand the reason why traffic is down this bad?
    SEMrush
     
    kartik786, Nov 17, 2015 IP
    SEMrush
  2. abdmjz

    abdmjz Active Member

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    abdmjz, Nov 17, 2015 IP
  3. kartik786

    kartik786 Well-Known Member

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    kartik786, Nov 17, 2015 IP
  4. abdmjz

    abdmjz Active Member

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    #4
    Sorry mate.. Even im looking for an answer for this question. Let's wait for an expert opinion. I had a site which was having 100k+ daily visitors and suddenly after some dmca notices the ranking got hurt very badly to the point where the site got no traffic at all. But mine was in entertainment niche and nothing serious.. So i created a new domain and moved on.

    By any chance have you used any new advertising like "content blockers" or "surveys" etc ? even bounce rate might affect the ranking but of course im not an expert on SEO so it is always better to get an expert opinion.

    Also see below:
    https://www.google.com/search?q=wil...57.4190j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8
     
    abdmjz, Nov 17, 2015 IP
  5. kjh-08

    kjh-08 Active Member

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    #5
    Find the posts/content in question and replace with unique content or remove the url completely from site. After removing these issues you will then be able to see if there was an improvement in rankings/traffic. Testing is the only way to know for sure. Check your WMT account for any notices.

    You were vague about providing any traffic/ranking details but if the above doesn't have any impact then you'll probably need an in-depth audit done on your site. Something that is not cheap and could take days to complete but worth every penny with the improved rankings/traffic you will receive when the issues are addressed.
     
    kjh-08, Nov 17, 2015 IP
  6. kimanierick

    kimanierick Member

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    #6
    just clean your site and update it. most of the links might even be dead. Service is key for any site to run smoothly. You can even log in into that website as a different user and see if it has any issues logging in or challenges. This might be the cause. I am not an expert in that field but I believe I can help. Thanks and all the best
     
    kimanierick, Nov 17, 2015 IP
  7. deathshadow

    deathshadow Acclaimed Member

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    #7
    Well, to be frank we're living in the age of responsive and accessible design -- these are things your site quite clearly lacks. Even setting aside the modern stuff and talking stuff that shouldn't have been done a decade ago, you have a "crappy little stripe" fixed width design, illegible colour contrasts like light-grey on white, inaccessible broken fixed metric fonts, and let's be honest here it's not the peppiest of websites either!

    The lack of speed comes from a number of painfully obvious sources -- the most obvious of which is the ridiculous 5.1 megabyte pageload of an even more ridiculous 264 separate files. In handshaking ALONE thanks to the absurd number of separate files real world that's a first-load cache-empty of 51 seconds with a worst case scenario of FOUR MINUTES OR MORE!!! That's not even TALKING bandwidth consumption, that's just handshaking/file requests! You probably have massive bounce or users who are going somewhere else as they're just sick of waiting on the page.

    ... and FOR WHAT? To deliver 4.5k of plaintext and maybe a dozen and a half content images that shouldn't even be breaking a quarter of a megabyte? That THREE MEGABYTES and 75 of those files is just the scripttardery (on a page where I'd axe scripting entirely) much less the absurd 1.1 megabytes of CSS in 36 separate files (likely doing the job of 48k of CSS in one file) I'd be shocked you even had users in the first place today, much less a decade ago.

    There doesn't seem to have been a lot of though put into layout, things just slapped together any-old way, so despite it's being fairly "clean" as design goes, finding things seems a bit counterintuitive to me. I think a lot of that is just years of cruft and stuff being added that wasn't originally planned for, since I bet when you launched it 11 years ago you didn't have thins like that facebook connect link or social media area before the footer.

    Under the hood -- again just using decade ago standards -- you have a near useless keyword stuffed description meta and a pointlessly overstuffed keywords meta that has little if any relevance to the page. Remember search engines now penalize sites for abusing those no matter what the SEO witch doctors tell you what to do; both reek of bad outdated SEO advice more likely to get you slapped down in search results than upranked. Remember the point of a description META is the text to be shown below your TITLE on a SERP -- it is NOT a place to intentionally stuff endless pointless keywords and acronyms and should be one or two natural language sentences. The keywords META is called keyWORDS for a reason. It's not keyphrases, it's not keysentences, but keyWORDS -- seven or eight single words (or proper names) that exist between <body> and </body> as CDATA that you want a slight uprank on. What you have there is likely to either be outright ignored as a waste of bandwidth, or get you slapped down by search.

    From there it's an absolute train wreck of how not to build a website with nothing resembling logical document structure, proper use of numbered headings, or even an attempt at semantic markup. It reeks of someone not qualified to write HTML worrying more about matching some PSD jockey BS than it does sane and rational accessible development. Static scripting in the markup (on top of the ridiculous megabytes of external scripttardery), static style in the markup, outdated scripting methodology attached to the body tag, elements inside body like LINK that are invalid there, endless pointless adverts that NOBODY is actually even going to see if they have more than two brain cells to rub together, Scripttardery in the markup doing CSS' job, broken inaccessible incomplete forms, tables for layout, attributes like target, cellpadding and border that have no business on any website written after 1997, endless pointless span, classes and ID's for Christmas only knows what, gibberish heading orders... It's a laundry list of how NOT to build a website; hardly a shock it wastes an utterly insane 92k of markup on 4.5k of plaintext and a dozen content images -- easily EIGHT TO NINE TIMES the HTML that should have been used for such a simple page.

    To be brutally frank, anyone who doesn't know what's wrong with this:

    <div class="dateout">
    <div class="date1">
    <h1>2015</h1>
    <h2>16</h2>
    <h3>Nov</h3>
    </div>
    <h1><a href="event.php?event_id=1616" class="black">Strategic Workforce Planning</a></h1>
    <p>16 November 2015 08:30 AM to 19 November 2015 05:00 PM</p>
    </div>
     
     
    <div class="dateout" style="background-color:#e0dfdf;">
    <div class="date1">
    <h1>2015</h1>
    <h2>20</h2>
    <h3>Nov</h3>
    </div>
    <h1><a href="event.php?event_id=1630" class="black">Making CSR work - What does a company needs to k..</a></h1>
    <p>20 November 2015 09:30 AM to 20 November 2015 01:30 PM</p>
    </div>
    Code (markup):
    Probably has no business even running a website, much less coding one!!! HERPA! FREAKING! DERP!

    Of course even the first line of markup proudly proclaims it's problems -- HTML 4 transitional; which is to say it was built using techniques that were in transition from 1997 to 1998 practices. Tranny is for making outdated crap run on modern browsers, not for building new websites.

    ... and that's dialing the clock back a decade on standards. That's before we talk about how you have a crappy fixed width layout (a no-no even then) thats' not RESPONSIVE. Responsive means adjusting the layout for smaller size screens or even larger screens to make the best use of the available space so people don't have to scroll sideways. Mobile and handheld browsing now accounts for 40% or more of web traffic, and your site is basically a giant middle finger to anyone trying to access it from such devices. It's also an accessibiity wreck in terms of using pixel metric font sizes sending users like myself diving for the zoom, only to find that by the time I get the text to a legible size

    Properly built websites a decade ago should have been built with dynamic fonts (declared in EM, not pixels), elastic (widths and paddings in EM, not pixels), and semi-fluid (a max width to prevent long lines from getting too long, min-width to prevent the layout from breaking, adjusting width between those two extremes) -- modern construction would just enhance that with responsive design to swap out or re-arrange elements to fit a wider array of device sizes.

    You have none of that. It is so poorly and ineptly built I am skeptical that you EVER had meaningful traffic, and your woes of declining traffic today should be of little surprise to anyone who knows the first blasted thing about building a website. It is a miserable failure at graceful degradation, accessibility and functionality, reeking of having been sleazed together from off the shelf parts by people who don't know enough about HTML, CSS or JS to be qualified to make even the smallest of rational choices about what should go on a site and what should have been rejected.

    Throw it out and start over, there is little if anything I would try to salvage from that mess.

    Of course that most of the topics on the site seem to be effete corporate market-speak that there's an increasing social backlash against certainly can't be helping matters. Kind of like how people are finally waking up and realizing that things like motivational speakers have all the legitimacy of a late night get rich quick infomercial.
     
    deathshadow, Nov 17, 2015 IP
    Arick unirow likes this.
  8. kartik786

    kartik786 Well-Known Member

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    #8
    Thanks @deathshawdow , that was brutally honest and would serve as a good guideline for anyone I hire to clear up this mess.

    Believe it or not, it was alexa top 10k until 2012. We upgraded the technology inhouse by hiring some tech guys and since then there's been a bloodbath in terms of traffic.

    It's one of the most useful websites for students in India and our visitors love it even with all the flaws. I'm certain they will love it even more with the new design.

    Apart from the issues that you have clearly showcased for the homepage, are there any other relevant areas we might need to work on?
     
    kartik786, Nov 18, 2015 IP