Lost Traffic This Year? 3 Ways to Recover Your Rankings

Family therapy for communication issues near me,Family therapy for communication skills,Family therapy for communication issues online,Family therapy for communication difficulties,Family therapy for communication and trust,Cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD,Cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD online,Cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD near me,Cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD children,Cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD adults,Cognitive-behavioral therapy for OCD and depression,Therapy for depression and grief,Depression therapy near me,Grief counseling near me,Depression and grief therapy online,Depression and grief group therapy,Depression and grief therapy,Mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques,Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy techniques,Mindfulness-based stress reduction for anxiety,Mindfulness-based stress reduction for depression,Mindfulness-based stress reduction for couples,Mindfulness-based stress reduction for groups,motionally-focused couples therapy near me,Emotionally-focused couples therapy for infidelity,Emotionally-focused couples therapy for communication,Emotionally-focused couples therapy for anxiety,Emotionally-focused couples therapy for depression,Online therapy sessions,Online counseling sessions,Online therapy video sessions,Online therapy chat sessions,Online therapy phone sessions,Online therapy group sessions,LGBTQ+ affirming therapy online,LGBT-sensitive therapy near me,LGBT-friendly therapy in my area,LGBTQ+ affirming psychotherapy,LGBTQ+ affirming therapy for couples,Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques,Evidence-based trauma-informed therapy,Trauma-focused therapy for children,Trauma-informed therapy for adults,Trauma-informed therapy for couples,Individual therapy for anxiety,Individual anxiety therapy online,Individual therapy for anxiety disorders,One-on-one anxiety therapy near me,Individualized anxiety therapy sessions,Individual anxiety therapy for adults,Couples therapy near me,Couples therapy in my area,Couples therapy near me today,Couples therapy close to me,Couples therapy in my city,Couples therapy in my zip code,Best PTSD therapy techniques,PTSD therapy near me,Effective PTSD therapy options,PTSD therapy for veterans,Affordable PTSD therapy services,PTSD therapy for children,Holistic PTSD therapy approaches,Online PTSD therapy sessions,Natural remedies for PTSD therapy,PTSD therapy for first responders,PTSD therapy for sexual assault survivors,EMDR therapy for PTSD,Group PTSD therapy sessions,PTSD therapy for caregivers,Military PTSD therapy options

Navigating Google Updates and diagnosing specific causes of traffic loss can be a challenging task.  In 2021, Google has rolled out nearly a dozen major algorithm changes – and those are just the ones they’ve told us about.  Many of these updates even overlapped, making it all the more difficult to correlate traffic & ranking drops with dates of known updates.

From site speed to link spam, let’s hop in to 3 things you can do to recover lost traffic in Q4.

1. Page Experience, Site Speed, and Core Web Vitals

Originally announced in the pre-COVID era and delayed until this past summer, Google’s Page Experience update had a 3 month rollout from June through August of 2021.  This change is aimed at rewarding fast loading pages which offer a positive user experience across three Core Web Vitals.  If you lost SEO traffic in early September and fail the new requirements, this could be a cause of your traffic loss.

Luckily, Google has made their PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse tools available to get a better understanding of what’s slowing down your website and how to fix the problems.  There are also additional reports within Search Console regarding your website’s performance.

It’s important to note this is largely a page-level update, so webmasters will need run diagnostics at the URL level.  For large websites, including publishers and Ecommerce companies, this can present a large time investment, and is likely the reason Google gave such rare advance notice of this update.

In addition to the recommendations from the above-mentioned tools, it may be beneficial to move your site to a service like Cloudflare which has built-in speed and security optimizations, or hire a professional who can make a complex project more approachable for you & your developers.

2. Skeletons in the (link) closet

It’s no secret that backlinks are one of Google’s primary ranking factors, leaving a site’s link profile ripe for manipulation.  Google has a long history of playing cat & mouse with link spam, going back to the days of monthly Google “dances” in the early 2000’s, to the Penguin updates throughout the early-mid 2010’s, and manual actions through present-day.

More recently, Google rolled out their latest “Link Spam” update in late July, which specifically targets guest blog posts and sponsored content.  Why guest posts?  They fit a pattern that’s easy for an algorithm or human reviewer to detect – scalable, repeatable, and pattern-forming.  Most link building companies (NOT IMN) lean on guest posts to acquire links for their clients because it’s low-effort, high profit, and scales incredibly well, but they’re really doing their clients a disservice in the long run.  Any time a link building tactic becomes popular, it’s only a matter of time before Google catches up and takes action.

If you lost traffic in late July and know that you (or someone at your company in the past) ever built links directly or through an agency, it’s likely those links that once helped you are no longer providing ranking value.  Consider a backlink audit and potential disavow to clear your association with these links, but be careful here – even Google says you can do more harm than good disavowing links if you don’t know what to look for.

None of this is to say that all link building is “bad” – if done correctly, the results can be rewarding, long-lasting, and safe.  Earned links really do rely on the quality of your content and it’s intended audience, so a win-win scenario entails building an outreach strategy that is aligned with your editorial calendar & overall content plan.

3. Authenticity & Understanding your users

E-A-T, YMYL, oh my!  By now, we all know the acronyms, and they’re becoming a bigger piece of the ranking puzzle.  If you lost rankings throughout June and/or July, you may have been affected by one of the Core Algorithm Updates, and it’s likely your content and user experience may be a reason why.

When reviewing your site’s content, ask yourself:

  • Are the articles, stories, and other content pieces on your website written by someone who is an expert in the field they’re writing about?  Are you demonstrating this in your bylines and in author profiles?
  • Are you writing content to meet a minimum word count or to meet your users’ search intent?
  • Is the ratio of ads to content across your site working more in your favor and less in your users?
  • Is the content written and formatted in an easy to consume, digestible way?
  • Are other elements integrated into your content (related YouTube videos, images, and trusted external citations)?

Our friends at Semrush take a deeper dive into Usability and it’s SEO impact and it’s well worth a read.  It’s also never a bad time to review and familiarize yourself with the latest version of Google’s quality rater guidelines.

These are some, but not all of the things to review if you’ve lost SEO traffic this year.  In reality, having a multi-channel approach that doesn’t rely so heavily on Google organic traffic can not only help protect you against search engine changes, but also help develop branding signals and provide the food for Google that can help recover your rankings too.  Thanks for reading!

About Chris
Chris Sullivan is a digital marketing veteran, launching his first online business in the late 90’s (a sports message board & newsletter) and being part of the Internet Marketing Ninjas team since 2007.  Chris helps new clients create custom strategies to grow their business online.  Want to chat?  E-mail Chris at [email protected]


Find Out More

Marketing Tips You Need

Keep In Touch

Quick Subscribe

Client Reviews Tell The Tale.

Dan was a delight to work with. I needed a few headshots taken for my LinkedIn profile and Dan provided the easiest and most comfortable experience using state-of-the art equipment in a very professional setting. Also, the turn-around time on results was quick and I felt completely engaged and satisfied during the entire process. I highly recommend his services.Donny RitcharoenDecember 19, 2023
I got headshots taken and they turned out so well! The lighting was amazing.Tessa ChanMay 30, 2023
We used Appture to build a lodging website, and they were awesome! Dan went above and beyond to show us the functions and make all of our changes. Appture is our go to for web design from now on!Abigail HaleOctober 26, 2022
Dan did a fantastic job making me feel comfortable while shooting. He also made me look great! I don't photograph well, so I am very pleased with the results and speed at which I got the final product.Lily GostinSeptember 13, 2022
Appture knows their business and will go the extra mile for their customers. They do high quality work and provide great ongoing support.Chris McCorkindaleMay 24, 2022
Anita CauthornMay 24, 2022
It’s so rare in these times to find one man with so much wow factor and more rare to find men with similar interest and passion in their life journey as myself . Dan Elliott has been introduced to many in what is now considered as the Terror Dome , a place where many dreams are not deferred they are detoured to routes that lead to dead ends , he comes in full of optimism so infectious that he, maybe with out knowing is energizing those who have ventured where others would fear going with just the right jolt to forge on in the way of helping fallen humanity … His various fields of expertise has helped many in my region and I can only imagine the number he has effected beyond those I know … from day one I knew “ this was a man of kindred spirit “ Dan Elliott is a Gem and adds glimmer to things he touches … I’m a Witness ….and eternally grateful….L.Rashaan RichMay 21, 2022
Dan and his group are highly capable and knowledgeable. They work fast and get the job done. I highly recommend Appture.Justin FrankMarch 26, 2022
They are highly specialized in their work and constantly seek innovation.Ismail YenigulMarch 14, 2022
Dan is a marketing wizard. Honest, Experienced and a read deal. I am blessed to have him in my journey online :) Highly recommended.Sabbir HasanMarch 7, 2022
So much to say. Creative, Intelligent, Talented, Limitless, Affordable. It's amazing what these guys can do.Hack mackMay 17, 2019
We'd used some other agencies before, but man, they simply knocked us all over. After being in business for 30 years, I wonder how much more business we'd be doing if we'd hired them earlier.Rebecca HoneaMay 17, 2019