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Published November 12, 2014 by Brad Knutson
I recently wrote about my 4 month hiatus from blogging. I wrote about a bunch of excuses alluding to why I had stopped. Life had gotten too busy…I didn’t have time to blog anymore…something had to give…blah blah blah.
That was all true, but there was another significant contributing factor.
My traffic had plummeted, for absolutely no reason. I’m still not sure why. The timeline is suspicious, given some Google algorithm updates, but I’m still not quite sure what the hell happened.
Allow me to explain.
I started this blog in February of 2013. In the time between February 2013 and May 2014, I slowly built up traffic primarily through search. I’ll be the first to admit that my site was pretty dependent on Google as the primary source of traffic.
I had always known that Google giveth and Google could taketh away, I just never thought they would – after all, I never gave them a reason to. I never built any shady links, I never cheated or attempted any sort of black hat work – nothing like that. I just blogged, blogged some more, then blogged again. My primary strategy was content and more content.
So, over the course of a year and a half, I built up my website to over 1000 visits per day on average. It might not seem like much for some people out there, but for me, this was a huge milestone.
Then all of a sudden, the week of May 20th, 2014, my traffic dropped 50%. I got discouraged, and stopped blogging a week later.
I was out of the picture completely for 4 and 1/2 months. I didn’t post a single blog post during that span. I didn’t market my content at all. I didn’t promote content through social media, paid search, or any other channel. My website kind of just sat there.
Comments, which had previously come in on a regular basis, slowed to a crawl. Some posts that were receiving a handful of comments per day hadn’t received comments in months all of a sudden.
Then, unbeknownst to me, in the last week of September and beginning of October 2014, my traffic slowly started to climb back up.
At this point, I hadn’t change anything. I hadn’t posted any new blog posts, and I hadn’t had any new links to my content show up. I can’t explain the increase in traffic.
I had taken enough time off, I thought, so I started blogging again.
I’ve only posted a handful of new posts, but my traffic continues to climb.
So what gives, SEO experts? I’m baffled.
I’ve checked Google Webmaster Tools. No notifications of a manual action, no increase in crawl errors, no index errors, index stats all seem normal, no server errors. Everything. I honestly have no idea.
What are your thoughts? Any ideas what could have caused this? Did Google make a mistake in an algorithm update in May that was corrected in September?
Published November 10, 2014 by Brad Knutson
I recently ran a Twitter contest for the first time. I’ve participated in many Twitter and other social media contests before in the past, but I’ve never managed one before. The concept is simple, ask people to use a hashtag to enter a contest – easy. I assumed that I could manage the entries just […]
Published November 7, 2014 by Brad Knutson
I’ve been working a lot lately on trying to increase conversions for several products. One issue I’ve face with call to action buttons is that it’s sometimes difficult to convey information in an easy to consume format in such a small amount of space. I searched the web for some good example of CSS buttons, […]
Published October 21, 2014 by Brad Knutson
Pardon my running pun, I’ve recently started to call myself a “runner” so I think I’m qualified to use that bad cliche. Over the weekend, I had a discussion with some friends about starting a business online and what it would take. It occurred to me that I’ve been reading other marketers and entrepreneurs writing […]
Published October 17, 2014 by Brad Knutson
Sometimes you just need to take a step back from the things you love the most. 6 months ago I was stretching myself pretty thin. On top of my full time day job, I supplemented my income with some freelance work. 2014 has been my best year to date for freelance work in terms of […]
Google Partners Presentation Suggests Asking for Positive Google+ Reviews, Among Other Bad SEO Practices
Published June 2, 2014 by Brad Knutson
Two weeks ago, I attended a local Google Partners Connect gathering and watched three Google product-themed presentations. Overall, it was clear that this was Google providing a service to agencies in an attempt to get more small and medium businesses interested in using their’s tools and services – namely AdWords. Fred Vallaeys, Co-Founder of Optmyzr […]
Published May 29, 2014 by Brad Knutson
I’ve built my fair share of WordPress sites. My clients love WordPress because it makes updating their content extremely simple after our contract is up. Of all the project I’ve done and been asked to do, WordPress is by far the most requested. For all that WordPress is, it does have it’s flaws. I’ve written […]
Published May 13, 2014 by Brad Knutson
I came across an awesome tool the other day that I wanted to share with you. Many of us curate and aggregate content that we share on our social media accounts. When we share content from other authors and other websites, what are we getting in return? Our social media followers click on the link […]
Published May 8, 2014 by Brad Knutson
5 Marketers Reflect On Their 5 Year Predictions 1 Year Later One year ago today I asked the question “What Will SEO Look Like 5 Years From Now?” to a handful of industry experts. Each marketer comes from a slightly different background, and each of them had a unique answer. There were some common themes […]
Published May 1, 2014 by Brad Knutson
Published April 25, 2014 by Brad Knutson
Social Media can be a powerful marketing channel. Individuals, all the way up to Fortune 500 companies are finding massive success on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and others. Yet so many small businesses are struggling with social media and social media marketing, why is that? I’ve met with many small businesses over the last […]