43% Of SEOs Say Traffic Down Since Google Redesign

May 20, 2010 • 8:00 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Earlier this month, Google launched their new design to all and even though many hate it Google is sticking with it and pleading for searchers to stick with it also. But from an SEO's or Webmaster's perspective, is the new design bad?

Some are reporting that the new design is sending fewer referrals and less traffic to their web site. Now, that can be a huge deal for a site that gets a lot of traffic from organic Google search results. Back then, the report came from WebmasterWorld, yes a thread but also the site said they are suffering with the new design. So I decided to see if it is widespread or specific to WebmasterWorld.

I ran a poll asking you if your Google referrals have changed since the redesign. With over 200 responses, I decided to post the results. In short, over 43% of you said your referrals from Google have declined since the redesign, whereas another 40% said traffic has not changed at all since the redesign. Only 12% said their traffic is up since the redesign, I was honestly hoping to see more saying traffic was up.

Here is the pie chart:


I do find it interesting that so many people said their traffic is down since the redesign, but at the same time so many others said it was not down. What concerns me, like I said above, is that not as many people said their traffic was up. Is this related to the Google MayDay update, it shouldn't be, because this is dependent on rankings being the same, but traffic not.

Forum discussion continued at WebmasterWorld.

This was scheduled to be posted today. I am offline today and scheduled several polls for the days I am offline. I am back Friday, May 21st.

Previous story: Survey Says: SEOs Don't Care About Teoma or Ask.com


Jill Whalen

05/20/2010 02:15 pm

I just spot checked a bunch of sites I have analytics access to and it appears they're all up from this month as compared to the previous month for their Google organic.

Terry Van Horne

05/20/2010 02:42 pm

Well... lotsa reasons to be skeptical as IMO, Google traffic generally down for many if they were dependent on longtail, there is a seasonal change here and holidays which would definitely affect pre and aft comparisons. JusSaying... pinning this solely on the design change is IMO, a reach that isn't a good conclusion to come to. Works for the SEOs who are on the downside as relieves the "blame" from them.

Ryan Underdown

05/20/2010 06:50 pm

I would hope most seo's would be smart enough to compare monthly data year over year as well as comparing last 30 to previous 30.

Scott Mc

05/20/2010 07:02 pm

Similar to Ryan's point, I wonder how many of the sites surveyed took into account the April traffic decreases due to the Icelandic "ash crisis". Certainly any travel-related website will have seen material traffic decreases in April from all referral sources.


05/26/2010 09:25 pm

So I can't help but think that rankings are essentially a zero-sum game: if I lost a #1 ranking, someone else took it from me. Granted, there are plenty of ways that rankings can reshuffle where a lot of people lose rankings and relatively few gain (but, in general, gain significantly). But I'm not really convinced that that's what happened with this update. I think the low percentage of respondants (of, admittedly, a very small sampling) saying they gained traffic may suggest that the SEO contingent lost rankings while more 'organic' pages benefited. In other words, Google's goal of having pages rank by their own merits (and not for manipulations of a ranking system) may have worked, to some extent or another.

Whitney Segura

06/02/2010 05:57 pm

This is typical Google, they make a tweak that the SEO community is unhappy about and then people get upset. Soon, they will turn down the dial a bit, only to tighten it back up shortly after. Then, it will be the next new change that were all concerned about. Overall, Google is attempting to increase overall quality of search, so increase the quality of your websites and you shall weather the storm, I hope!


06/07/2010 08:10 pm

Well what I noticed is that not only is my traffic down but also that when I posed new and optimized content, it got picked up right away by Google, but within a few short hours to maybe one day, everything shifted again and all those new high positions were nowhere to be found, not on page one nor on page two at least. They would dance around and sometimes come back for a short time, then they would go somewhere far far away and now they are there, with no one being able to find them, even authoritative posts which always seemed to rank high as per quality, now no longer are where they used to be. At this point I am wondering if this will come back to how it was or if I am wasting myself, posting content I spend my time on writing and rewriting. Can anyone comment on this? Why would strong SERPs just lose position like that and why would the new posts jump around. I mean I had #1 positions on heavy SERPs and now I can't even hit one with 10k - 30k results of much lower quality sites. Thanks guys and good luck.

No Name

06/16/2010 09:57 am

Quite a number of our clients saw significant drops in traffic round about the same time as the Google update as well. I had thought that perhaps they'd had a major update on the actual engine rather than the User Interface. I Hadn't considered it might actually be the UI that affected the traffic! Regards Rob


10/03/2010 10:31 am

Yes its true, traffic is down. even my site www.speedwaysafaris.com , i receive less traffic.

Ava Da Luca

11/08/2010 05:56 pm

I think it just depends my site has kept it's steady pace of going up in rank through this change. Also the things that I rank high for haven't dropped considerably sense their change. It's still is the normal competition between other similar companies.

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