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Causes (and Solutions) for Loss in SEO Traffic in the Last Year

Person typing on the computer, with caption says Causes (and Solutions) for loss in SEO Traffic

Website managers will do anything to get ahead. 

So why is it that over the past year so many websites have lost so much traffic? It isn’t because their website manager is lazy. 

No, so many websites have plummeted in SEO traffic because Google made numerous Core Updates and changes to their algorithm in 2021. 

In this post, we will go over the changes Google made, and provide some solutions for frazzled website managers.  

Page Experience Issues

It is commonly known that Google rewards secure and fast-loading mobile pages with higher rankings (thus leading to more traffic). However, many casual site managers do not know that Google made updates to make this system more effective in 2021. 

While search impact was largely unaffected, Google gave mobile sites high-quality pages more exposure than ever in the past year. Get used to this change, because they plan to do the same for desktop sites in 2022. 

While this may be cause for concern for unprepared sites, there are small changes you can make to get back in Google’s good graces. 

First, heavily invest your resources into improving your page’s experience. Check your Core Web Vitals metrics often to see where you sit. 

Check out Google’s Page Speed Insights and Lighthouse tools to pinpoint the causes of your slow site speed. 

Make sure all your diagnostics are run at the URL level if you hope to have maximum effect.  

Anything you can do to improve site speed and user experience will give you a traffic boost under this new update.  

Authenticity and User Relevance

Your site needs to remain relevant to users. This has always been true.

However, you can no longer use spam tricks to fool Google into rating your site higher than it should be. This has not always been true.

In the past, you could bulk up your site with artificially high word counts and excessive ads. 

This was never best practice, but it did work for some sites. Now, Google rankings are all about consumer quality. This is especially true for YMYL industries like finance, healthcare, and e-commerce.

To regain lost traffic from this update, make sure your content is authored by an expert and remove any bias on your site. Present the full story on all your products and services. 

Additionally, remove excessive ads and break your content into easy-to-consume bites and bullet points. 

If your site is hard to read, Google will take note and adjust your rankings accordingly.  

Link Spam  

Quality backlinks are a strong indicator of site ranking.

But what do you do when you want a multitude of backlinks, but your site has little to none? Why, your spam and fabricate, of course!

Sorry spammers, this strategy no longer works. 

Google has rolled out a new update that filters out irrelevant, spammy backlinks. 

It may seem like tough luck (especially if you thought your strategy was very clever) but the good news is, you now have the opportunity to do things the right way. 

Perform a backlink audit and examine the results carefully. Disavow any backlinks that are clearly spam or lack relevance to your site. 

Don’t go nuts. If you delete too many backlinks at once can do more harm than good. 

Your best route is to consult with an SEO expert and have them a survey and delete any spammy backlinks for you. 

In the future, focus on earning natural backlinks from reputable sources. The only way to achieve this is through high-quality, consumer-relevant content.  

A Better Site for You and Your Consumer 

All these Google updates can feel like they produce more work for site managers than resources yielded, but in the long run, they provide a better experience for your consumer. Not only that, but they make search engines work better for everyone.  
With each Google update, white-hat best practices grow stronger while spammy, black-hat SEO becomes less effective. 

One thing is for certain: Google will keep making updates. For casual site managers, it can be hard to keep up.  
Instead of spending hours trying to figure out how to fix your site, bring the work to Legend Web Works. Our expert team knows all the ins and outs of SEO management and can get your site on the fast track to traffic-paradise in no time.  

Get a conversation started! 

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