As promised, I wanted to share my traffic changes after I've nofollowed my paid links. I already shared with you the interesting reconsideration request submission, response and analysis. Now, did the penalty change my traffic from Google?
Let me just share some key dates, so you can understand why I did comparisons as I charted below.
- March 20, 2013 - My site's manual penalty expired temporarily
- April 4, 2013 - I nofollowed the paid links and submitted a reconsideration request
- April 9, 2013 - Google responded to my reconsideration request that I had no manual penalty
Again, I have more details on this over here, but now for the traffic.
Here is my chart of the Google traffic to my site over time, as you can see, I added annotations to mark the dates above:
As you can see, it seems pretty level? That chart was using Google Analytics and plotting traffic sources > search > organic search > Google only.
So I decided to do a comparison from the day the penalty was lifted, compared to the same time period beforehand - to see if there was a traffic change. Using the same traffic sources > search > organic search > Google only report:
Google is telling me my traffic is only update 5.41% since the manual penalty expired. The stats do not look great.
So I decided to use the Google Analytics Search Engine Optimization report with the same dates:
As you can see, this report shows I have 78% more impressions, 47% more clicks on my site, an average increase in ranking of 44% but my click through rate declined 18%.
Obviously, the reports don't seem to match up a 100% despite them both being in Google Analytics.
Also, it may be too early - ranking may improve over time or not. Maybe it is just too early to tell.
Anyway, love to hear your thoughts on what you expect to happen or expected to happen to my traffic after the link penalty expired?
Forum discussion continued at Google+.