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I have a website from which I analyse the traffic with Google analytics. Day after day the traffic (mainly from Google SE) incresed until I get a problem with my server. For one day the server has been offline and after that I have no longer had as much users as I had before. Now it's like the site is no more referenced on Google index (but when I type "site:mysite.com", I still have all the results).

Do you know if this is a normal behaviour and if the traffic will come back as before (the server has had problems two days ago) ?

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Just to clarify, you're saying that the traffic sourcing from Google in Google Analytics has declined, not just in general? –  Anonymous Sep 14 '12 at 15:49
    
Yes, the drop is exclusively for Google. I still have traffic from referring sites. I say "in Google Analytics" because this is my analytic tool, but it concord with my own tool to log the requests. –  Sébastien Sep 14 '12 at 17:05
    
No reply to my answer? Not even a comment? If either answer below is accurate, please use the checkmark to highlight which one. –  Patrik Alienus Jan 11 '13 at 8:30
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2 Answers 2

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You've clearly been penalized, thus the fall on traffic. A whole day with the server down its a lot of time.

For sites from about 2000 pages Google crawls some pages of the site almost every day for changes, several times a day. If no changes are found in time, it crawls them less frequently. So, all of the crawled pages in that day have changed from quality content to 404/500 page content.

Indexed 404's and 500's are really bad for SEO as they get very penalized by Google, even more if they are not informative (soft) error pages.

First of all, make sure you've fixed your server problems, you don't want 500's to get crawled again.

As time passes, your pages, will get back near to their original position, some in days, some in weeks, some in months.

A laborious trick is to change your site's appearance/distribution, Google will crawl way more pages a day than it does normally to keep the site fresh in SERPs.

Another thing you can do is to add your sitemap.xml (if you haven't done it already), Google loves them and may crawl the pages in it for the first time earlier than normal.

Ps: site:mysite.com is not updated in real time. It's just useful to give you an approach of your site's index in Google.

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Two possible explanations;

  • Your site is in quarantine. I.e. the site is still indexed, but it's not displayed (or ranking is significantly decreased). This is a temporary thing but it can last for months if you're unlucky. Google sometimes does this to sites that have been behaving "suspiciously", i.e. in the event of a takeover or so.
  • It could also be that your site is new and had a high position in the SERPs, but as a test. Google sometimes does this to test if their users respond well to new websites.

Those are the reasons I can think of. I suspect it's the first as the second is uncommon. In this case it will come back eventually, thought I have no idea on how long it will take. As I said, it can sometimes take quite a while. Just keep the site active and ranking will resume.

I do suggest you get a Google Webmaster Tools account and start analyzing your site there as well. Google Analytics is not great for technical analysis.

Hope that helps.

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