Google update reduces visitor numbers by 1,000 a day

In common with 12% of websites visitor numbers on biblicalstudies.org.uk were adversely effected by changes to Google’s search algorithm on 1st April this year. The update was successful in downgrading sites, known as “link farms” that are loaded with repeated content in order to score more highly in search engine results. Unfortunately being a bibliographic website biblicalstudies.org.uk’s content is superficially similar to these link farms and the new algorithm cannot tell the difference. The unfortunate result is that visitor numbers have dropped from almost 60,000 to just under 40,000, with corresponding drops in revenue from Google ads and Amazon affiliate links that pay for my web hosting. It is as if two years growth has disappeared overnight. Read more about this change on the SEO Desk blog.

All is not lost however, as the fall in visitors has caused me to undertake a crash-course in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques. The best advice, represented by such sites as Seobook.com, is that it is extremely unwise to rely solely on the vagueries of Google for the vast majority of your visitors. The key is building quality links from similar sites. It is also clear from my logs that most of my visitors brought in by search engine results “bounced” off the site straight away. Visitors arriving through links from sites of similar content/subject matter are more likely to stay.

What you can do to help

There are a number of ways that my regular readers can help to restore my ranking.

1) Add a link to the site on your websites and blogs where relevant. When adding a link the highlighted text is important as it tells the search engine the subject matter that is to be found on the site being linked to. For example:

The article on the book of Daniel by Rob Bradshaw is worth consulting and can be found here.

is not as valuable as:

The article on the book of Daniel  by Rob Bradshaw is worth consulting.

because the linking text “here” is not relevant.

2) I have added Google “+1” button on all the pages on the website in the left hand sidebar. You can use this to vote for the site to receive additional attention in Google’s rankings. Because these are “organic” recommendations +1 is expected to be an important innovation

3) Recommend the site and individual pages on Twitter and Facebook as opportunity arises.

4) Feel free to make other suggestions in the comments section.

Thanks for your ongoing support.

3 thoughts on “Google update reduces visitor numbers by 1,000 a day

  1. Hi Rob,
    I’ve found that in the facebook group Christian Apologetics Alliance, when I posted your link, there were a few people that know of this site.

    I’ll try to keep up the traffic on my end!

    Blessings,
    Lisa

  2. I’ve found your site invaluable and have recommended it to friends, but this post has left me feeling a bit guilty. I subscribe to your RSS feed and so don’t visit the site itself every day. How does that affect your rankings? Your site is well worth supporting.

  3. I wouldn’t want anyone to feel guilty about that. I don’t suppose that it changes the rankings at all if you don’t visit the site, but as I mentioned there are other ways to help, if you use Facebook and Twitter for example.

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