A WebmasterWorld thread has one webmaster asking a very common question - where do I start looking first if my traffic falls by 50%?
The Webmaster asked where does he start looking to analysis why there is a drop in his traffic.
He did immediately check Google Webmaster Tools for warnings or notifications, but nothing came up. No hack notifications, no SEO issues reported, no unnatural link warnings - so what is wrong?
Many SEOs would also jump to their analytics to see where the source of the traffic drop was from. Was it Google organic search? If so, which keywords dove most? Which landing pages took the biggest hit?
Based on figuring those details out, you can then try to understand if it was algorithmic or maybe a technical bug on your site.
Tedster, WebmasterWorlds administrator, wrote:
1) If you dropped 10 or more positions, then something in the algorithm probably decided to demote your site. Looking for that factor is one kind of analysis. It could be either a recent change that you made, or it could be a change in the algorithm that Google made.
2) If just one of your big keywords dropped just a few positions (say from #1 to ##4 or 5) then it may be about a different kind of algorithm change - one that is rewarding your competitors' sites for some factor rather than demoting your site.
There are so many places to look, from competition, to your own site, to a bug on your end to a bug on Google's end.
Forum discussion at at WebmasterWorld.