Major Traffic Drop
There has been a significant drop in traffic since January 10 for my Amazon Affiliate site (See earnings here for 2013). A picture is worth a thousand words so I think this explains the situation.
Primary Keyword Impact
My primary keyword went from #1 to #3 (or #4) so I was not too worried last weekend (Jan 11-12, 2014). However, I should have been! I normally get a LOT of traffic from long tail keyword searches but those were impacted too.
My traffic has dropped off a cliff.
The sales numbers on Amazon paint a grim picture as well. The earnings for the next couple weeks will be much lower than the previous months.
I am very glad that I made it through the November and December retail blitz.
Next Steps – Corrective Action Plan
First, I am remaining calm. My content is still solid and I can look back to see that working on this Amazon Site is well worth the effort.
Second, I will analyze the on page and off page SEO. I know that my anchor text is over optimized for a few terms when you consider the current guidelines. (See my conversation with Diggy.)
Third, I will wait. I know that sometimes there are algorithm updates, then roll backs to the updates.
Fourth, I will built links that I was planning on working on anyway. These are high quality links from either outreach or via a PBN.
Fifth, after I have waited for a few weeks, I will reassess the situation. If it looks like I need to fix up my anchor text to dilute the over optimization, then I’ll probably get a package from the HOTH <affiliate> to help on that front.
These are the initial statistics on the traffic drop due to the alleged Google update that was seemingly rolled out on January 9, 2014. The graphs and table below show similar information. Basically, you can see a significant drop in traffic over the last several days when you compare to the previous period.
Google Webmaster Tools Confirms Update
If you check your search queries view in Webmaster tools, then you will see the confirmation of an update. The following is stated:
You can see in the graph below the vertical line noting when the retroactive change was made. I’m pleased to see the number of search queries that bring people to my site. Of course, the drop in impressions is troubling…that is quite a drop.
Anchor Text Analysis
Here is an area for improvement – reduce the exact match anchor text. I headed over to Majestic SEO to pull some data on my backlink profile. I wanted to see the profile of the anchor text that links to the website. I like the format that Majestic SEO provides with a free account.
I see that a couple of my top terms are over optimized a little bit. The blue and purple pieces are at 13% and 12%, respectively, and that is a bit high. Years ago, over optimizing was a great strategy but it is not anymore and naked URLs are a better choice.
It is not that simple though…My site still ranks #3 and #5 for the terms referenced as over optimized. I also reviewed the backlink profile for all the other sites ranking in the top ten. Guess what – they have just about the same exact backlink profile.
Regardless, I will be making an effort to reduce the percentages of exact match anchor text to less than 7%. This might not be the total solution but I think taking care of this anchor text issue will be a smart way to improve the backlink profile. It will take a little time since I will need to change some of the existing backlinks. I will also need to add more backlinks with various anchor text to dilute the over optimized backlinks.