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Recover Your blog's Lost Traffic Due to Recent Google Outage

recover lost trafficThe reason why we delayed this post was that we were actually experimenting on what actually caused a Global drop in traffic and why isn't Google responding on this biggest traffic Tsunami ever. I remember that from July 17th to August 17th MattCutts was on a 30 days self-Challenge of not reading news or using social media. I guess that challenge has already ended but is MattCutts even aware of the recent Google Outage that took place on August 16th, when he was on this "No Social Media, No News" challenge? :> We were not able to find a single piece of information on what exactly happened on August 16th and therefore were forced to do our own experimentation which at least improved our traffic by 10% and we are further waiting for more productive results. The tips below are optimization techniques for both Blogger and Wordpress Platforms. Applying them is indeed the easiest and quickest job.

UPDATE#1: Google just announced the reasons what made a search traffic drop:

If you have not read our Case Study on Google Outage then please first read that:

What Might Have affected your Site Traffic this time?

All services by Google went down for 5 minutes on August 16th, which effected a global loss in traffic worldwide up to 50%-90%. We wrote a comprehensive Case Study to prove that Google actually went into trouble on two specific days and the company has not yet commented on this technical blackout.

A similar failure happened even on April 17th, 2013 when Google Apps, especially Gmail went down for over 30 Minutes and people could not log into this largest cloud based Emailing system. Google quickly commented on this failure by informing Mashable:

We are currently investigating issues with Gmail, Drive and Docs as well as the Google Apps Control Panel. We are providing more information and frequent updates through our Google Apps Status Dashboard, which you can find here.

But the problem this time is different. The outage this time effected Google's organic search traffic. Well optimized sites saw a massive drop of over 50-90% drop. The forums are crowded with anger and waiting for a positive reply but looks like this time we need to help the sinking ship ourselves.

Here are some of the problems and their solutions that might have resulted out of this latest Google outage story or new Google Penalty story:

Problem#1 : Precious loss of Indexed entries on Google servers

Google's databases that stores indexed data might have been badly effected which caused lost of several entries. Google bots gather newly updated content using sitemaps which are XML documents. Whenever you update your blog, your sitemap gets updated with a new tag entry, this entry pings Google through your webmasters account and that's how a Search robot gets informed when to pay visit to crawl and index the newly published content.

Solution#1:

If this assumption is the least right then a possible precaution would be to refresh the sitemaps you have submitted to Google. Follow these steps:

  1. Log into your webmasters account
  2. Go to Sitemaps
  3. Check all boxes and hit the Resubmit button. Give Google at least 24 hours to refresh the new entries.

resubmit sitemaps

 

Tip For Blogger: Submit sitemaps containing at least 500 URLS. You can use our Multiple sitemap Submission tool to create total number of sitemaps for your Blogger blog.

Tip for Wordpress: In your XML sitemap plugin limit the number of posts to at most 500 or 1000. Add both these sitemaps in your webmasters account.

Problem#2 : Poor Quality Content  [True Definition]

A striking question that we often hear is Poor quality content and how to identify that you have written something that is poor in quality? The answer is simple, any post or page on your site that is of no value to Google users. Now what exactly could this content be. Following are some topics that come under this category:

  1. Tags
  2. Labels, Categories
  3. Archives
  4. Author Pages
  5. Paginated Pages
  6. Duplicate Content
  7. Content with only links
  8. Content with Less word count (less than 300)
  9. Broken Links
  10. Affiliate Links & Affiliate Posts!

 

I have taken care of almost all these types of SEO mistakes but the last one is something that I doubt this time and that is repeated posting on Affiliate products. We often post on Discount coupons with repeated use of keywords and product details. This pays no value to Google users but our Readers. After having brainstormed ourselves thoroughly We have come to a decision that such posting deserves to be tagged as noindex and noarchive. Google rarely sends traffic to Pages which shares affiliate products so it would be wise to take a safe side and noindex all such posts that offers no value in long term to our organic search and are meant to serve blog readers alone.

Solution#2:

We have written several tutorials on how to solve issue of the first 9 Poor quality content issues and today we will share an extremely easy and rarely applied method to make best use of your Affiliate posts and yet stay on the safer side. We will talk about Poor content issue#10 i.e. Affiliate Links & Affiliate Posts!

Its pretty obvious that you must always add a nofollow attribute to all your affiliate links but what about the post itself?

Noindex Affiliate Posts, Archives and Search Pages:

For Blogger:

Follow these steps for BlogSpot blogs:

  1. Go to Blogger > Settings > Search Preferences
  2. Enable Custom Robots header tags and set these settings:

custom robots header tags in blogger

 

Note: You can now easily noindex archives and Search pages (labels, search results) by choosing the noindex and noarchive options as shown in the image above.

Click Save and doing this will add a new option called "Custom Robots tags" in your blogger post editor. This option will enable you on how to treat a particular post. Whether you want it to be indexed or you don't want robots to crawl it. It has other options too for avoiding translating of post but we are concerned only with the tags noindex and noarchive here that will tell robots neither to crawl nor keep a cached copy of the page. 

Find all such posts where you have shared discount coupons or where you thing the post offers no quality and deserves to be tagged as noindex. Simply select the noindex and noarchive tags for that particular post and hit Update.

custom robots tags

Note: This method doesn't add a meta tag under the opening Head tag of that particular page but it will instead add X-Robots-Tag header tag in the HTTP response of that page.

Check the X-Robots-Tag for my homepage:

X-robots-Tag

For Further details please read:

For Wordpress:

Simply install Wordpress SEO by Yoast plugin and visit your post editor. You will find the noindex option just under the Advanced tab, meta robots index

What then?

Once you have noindexed all poor quality pages and posts on your site, now it is time to refresh the sitemaps by resubmitting them to Google. This will force Google to recheck the URLS and automatically remove the noindexed posts from its entries. That simple!

Need Help?

Remember that the traffic loss this time could be due to any reason, we can only propose the best possible tips to ensure you get a step more closer when it comes to a well optimized site. The poor quality content on your site should be immediately removed by using the method described above. You do not need to deleted poor quality posts, just noindex them!

Let me know if you needed any help. Please do inform us back after a week or so, to let us know how this method brought a change to your overall site traffic. We will try our best to keep Blogger community updated with all latest SEO techniques that are applicable. Wish you a happy blogging experience and a happy Traffic recovery! Peace and blessings buddies. :�

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