Did Your Website Suffer a Major Drop in Organic Traffic Recently?
Last Update: Feb 23, 2022
If you've noticed a significant loss in visitors to your website lately, you might want to see if your site was hit with Google's most recent algorithm update.
Apparently, Google Link Spam algorithm update was released sometime in early November 2021, and is said to be about Google filtering out what they deem as harmful or dubious websites.
It is also said to filter out websites that add no value, as well as those using black hat tactics.
Claims are even made that this algorithm is more effective at recognising and quashing link spam more broadly, across multiple languages.
It is my understanding that if your backlinking consists mostly to irrelevant links, Google can penalize your website by hiding it from the SERPs completely.
Ostensibly, Google is constantly updating their algorithms in order to promote the most trustworthy websites. And apparently, SEOs witnessed a big change in how affiliate sites were being ranked, as early as July 2021.
Google’s interpretation of Link Spam is as shown in the screen print below.
Understandably, Google claims to reward websites that offer the best quality information and experience for their searchers.
Now I’m betting you want to know how to determine your website’s link spam, right?
According to Moz.com, they provide such a tool through their Link Explorer tool.
Though over time, I’m sure there will be other’s making their own Link Spam testing tools available.
According to some SEO pros, the Link Spam algorithm was most likely issued long before Google acknowledge it as being released. And, they also suggest that if your website got hit last year, it might even have been that your site was hit with last year’s Title Tag penalty by Google, which was said to have been completed by mid-August 2021.
Reduced organic traffic is often times a direct result of a drop in your site’s overall SERP ranking.
If you witnessed a drop in your overall site ranking, it’s a good chance that your site’s domain authority dropped too. According to some, this is most likely due to Google’s auto-crawling software no longer acknowledging backlinks from any spammy sites in your site authority.
Check your Google Analytics for a notification (as seen in the screen print below) to see if your site received a manual penalty for repetitive, low-quality, unnatural, or irrelevant links, then you can believe that your website has been hidden from SERPs.
If this proves true for your website, then you need to make updating your linking practice a top priority.
As an affiliate marketer, you depend on your links for the revenue they bring in, so this makes playing by Google’s best practices when adding links to your site, a matter of money for you.
If your website took a hit, simply fix those links. But if your affiliate website saw an increase in traffic, keep doing what you’ve been doing.
We all need to be part of improving the overall quality of affiliate offerings online, which is why the training on the Wealthy Affiliate platform is so vital for all students to pay close attention to and to follow what you learn here.
1.) Check your website for low-quality backlinks. If you find them, disavow them through your Google Analytics. Here’s Israel’s tutorial to help you with that: https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/training/when-and-how-you-should-use-the-google-disavow-tool/when-and-how-you-should-use-the-google-disavow-tool
2.) Use “sponsored” link tags. Apparently, Google prefers you to use the rel=”sponsored” tag rather than rel=”nofollow” tag, as it is said to allow Google to better categorize your links when indexing your pages.
Here are two different tutorials to help you:
3.) NEVER USE BLACK HAT TECHNIQUES / TACTICS – EVER!
4.) User-generated tags are said to be as important. It is suggested that if you allow user-generated content such as comments on your reviews and blogs that you will want to designate those links produced by using the user-generated content tag rel=”ugc”.
Personally, I would think that quality theme developers should be made aware of #4, as the user-generated tag would be much easier for the developers to add to their themes within the coding of their theme. You can easily check to see if your theme already uses the user-generated tag.
On a Windows computer, with your web page with comments published on it, open in your favourite browser, simply click Ctrl + U keys at the same time, to see your page’s source. You’ll need to scroll down to where the comments are to check for the tag, of course.
On a MAC computer, simply press your Command + Optional + U keys at the same time.
UPDATE: Please ALSO consider Kyle's response to panicing over a recent drop in traffic: https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/search-engine-optimization/a...
Credit for Header: Image by max leroy from Pixabay
Wow, Trish! Thanks for the info! Another Google rampage! This makes me glad my sites aren't active since, it is one more thing I can insure does not happen!
LOL, I hear ya' Jeff.
Google wants us all to do their work for them... but... if we wanna play in their sandbox, them thar's the rules. ;-)
Excellent update thanks so much.
I checked and my spam score is 1% and my traffic is growing.
Yeeeeah Lily... you're another member whose traffic has INCREASED since the latest algorithm update.
Good to learn of this. Sure pays to FOLLOW Kyle's training instead of wandering away from the training.
Personally, I found a few sloppy links that needed fixing on my MMO site yesterday and I fixed them BEFORE writing this post.
Great to see that you are on it, Trish.
I really appreciate you letting us know as it's all new to me.
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Good morning Trish,
Thank you for your blog post, it's appreciated.
I have noticed that my website goes up and down all the time, I tend to ignore it as so far it has always gone back up! I'm not quite sure why this is, but it does seem to be a fact. However, I know when I have time to blog more regularly it goes up quite rapidly! The website is also slightly seasonal so that can also make a difference.
I agree with you it's definitely not good to use black hat techniques! Just writing honest and genuine content seems to work!
Wishing you all the best and a great day.
Thanks Roy, which is why I stated that if this isn't your issue, keep doing what you've been doing.
The reason I shared this information is due to a few members in a bit of a panic wondering why they were now suffering with a drop in their organic traffic.
Good morning Trish,
Thank you for your reply, it's appreciated.
Yes, I understand where you're coming from Trish, I often see members panicking about their traffic! That was a good blog post to help put members minds at rest!
I often think when we first start out online there is a danger in continually checking stats rather than pushing forward with writing! I know that I always used to be checking my stats in the early days!
Have a great week.