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Drop in Search Traffic

zooki

Active member
#1
I have had my forum for many years, started with Vbulletin, and steadily grew the site till it reached 12,000 uniques daily mostly through Google.

I upgraded xenforo one year ago and the site is waning and has gone down to 4-5,000 uniques. I have no idea why this is the case. A lot of activity and posting has gone down since the last few years with users being on Facebook more.

I am wondering what could be causing the loss in traffic? And how to fix it?

I am using xenforo 1.2.4
 

Walter

Well-known member
#2
What exactly is going down - traffic from search engines (learn about Google Panda) and therefore injection of a new members or "only" activity of users (where Xenforo shines compared to vb)
 

imthebest

Well-known member
#3
Were you using the thread tagging system on your vB 3.8? If you were, granted you have lost a lot of traffic. XF by default doesn't come with a thread tagging system, this means that all of your tags.php?tag=content links indexed and well ranked in Google have been lost.
 

zooki

Active member
#4
What exactly is going down - traffic from search engines (learn about Google Panda) and therefore injection of a new members or "only" activity of users (where Xenforo shines compared to vb)
What do you mean about injection? I didn't quite follow..

Were you using the thread tagging system on your vB 3.8? If you were, granted you have lost a lot of traffic. XF by default doesn't come with a thread tagging system, this means that all of your tags.php?tag=content links indexed and well ranked in Google have been lost.
I wasn't using thread tagging so much on VB.
 

Walter

Well-known member
#5
What do you mean about injection? I didn't quite follow..
Usually, if traffic from search engines degrades, you also get less new members each month which directly leads to less activity as you always loose some of the old members.
 

RickM

Well-known member
#6
Check the timing - Panda gave a lot of sites a massive hit (mine included), so it's likely just that. That being said, moving from vB to XF does seem to cause a drop in some cases (no idea why / what the cause is). It happened to a forum we owned, and I've seen a few cases of it from members over at TAZ. It's likely a combination of different page structure and URI structure. If you've come from something like a heavily modified vB3.x instance with vBSEO (or similar) to a relatively fresh copy of XenForo, expect a drop. I dare say you'd have the same effect if you moved from vB > IPB or IPB > XF or vice versa.
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#7
Google constantly change their minds and tweak their algorithms... just get used to it. This year you lose, next you might win, the following you lose, the next you might go great guns... don't rely on Google to send you traffic, advertise and be proactive to meet user demands.
 

JamesBrown

Well-known member
#8
I've found that google returning us lower and lower for terms we have always rated high. Is Google dissing forums? I don't know; but I've noticed my forums that have a wordpress front-end are doing better than ever with many wp articles returned top or higher than similar forum posts ever were. So I am going to be doing more with WP.
 

Anthony Parsons

Well-known member
#11
One thing Googles history has... is an ever changing model that doing nothing (if your site isn't in the wrong) will normally see you come out the other side of decisions at some point. Whether it be a year, two or more, Google constantly change and things go in and out of focus with them. Blogs have been smashed before... and they got smashed hard. Those who kept on doing what they do, came out the other side and they do better again now. Forums will be no different. Google push out spammers and those running websites for the wrong reasons, being financial only... by doing exactly what they're doing. They achieved this when they smashed blogs some years back... heaps closed that were ok, but really only made for adsense, news feeds regeneration and such.

Google is quite cyclic from experience.
 

Chimpie

Well-known member
#12
I'm looking at our monthly Sessions from June 2012 till now. Our numbers have never dropped.

Is there a way to see the number of Sessions that have come from only a Google search?