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Started a website on 2nd December 2017. Very unique in its space with comprehensive written content. No one else in the same space has the same quality, which is why Google's algorithms want to rank it high.

The pages started showing some traction after about 3 months. A sudden traffic blast came about and then every thing went down.

  • Zero back links or link building effort. Please do not tell me to "build links," because (a) it's unnatural (b) the links cannot be built easily in this niche, even if one is actively trying to build them.
  • This was a "brand new" domain with no history registered on 2nd December 2017. My guess is that it could be related. A google filter, but then they have categorically denied that domain age is a factor.

The rankings fluctuate but one can see a sudden burst of clicks

The keywords it's ranking for are very competitive and semi-commercial in nature

Question:

Ranking is fine but Google has reduced the number of impressions to zero, as if an algorithmic penalty has been imposed or the domain was put in an automatic filter.

It looks that although the content is worth ranking, Google does not want to give it any impressions.

The keywords are high competition (500K+ searches per month). The "positions" shown above in the picture are also for highly competitive "two to three word' commercial terms. Think "car insurance," just for the sake of an example. No long tail nonsense.

What could be causing this?

  • Oh Lord! Here we go with my favorite word again. Rank. Rank is a very specific thing. It has nothing to do with keywords. You are showing me search query positions. This is not rank. Any new site will not rank well at all. Also please consider it is possible to have a site with a topic few people are interested in. These site will enjoy good positions, but no one is searching or seriously searching these topics. The advice to go for niche assumes a lower volume site. It goes hand in hand. You have not told us the topic. Lastly, search is not about keywords. Search is about topic strength. – closetnoc May 19 '18 at 17:04
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    Google Search Console is absolute rubbish for rankings, not only is it often incorrect, its far from realtime... use Analytics. – Simon Hayter May 19 '18 at 20:35
  • The keywords are high competition; 500K+ searches per month. My only take is that although the "positions" are "ranking" high for the given keywords; the newness factor is playing a huge part in it, which is why Google is blocking impressions (actual showing of the page in search results). If age is the cause, then there is nothing else that can be done but to leave the pages as they are, and let the algorithm decide on its own. – Happy Brain May 19 '18 at 21:11
  • Please consider marking an answer as accepted if it is correct and addresses your question. – Willtech May 26 '18 at 1:13
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Anecdotally, I had a site which was eventually displayed on the first-page search results on Google (no, I will not discuss search rank here) PR7 for the best page on the site which happened to be deep, nowhere near the homepage. Previously the site was on the second page. I do not recall the specific search volumes for the keywords, but they were global registered trademarks and the owner's legal department strictly enforced their ownership (I was licenced). The difference between second and first page was about 0 clicks second page and about 30 clicks per month first page.

After a content update, Google placed my site in the first position on the first page for a particular keyword set (woot!). This increased traffic about 300% over just being front page (but, about 80%-95% of the additional traffic was SEO tools and scraper bots). The algorithm did its work and evaluated. Because I was not the key source company, people clicked back and made another choice after a quick scan of the page, not quite zero seconds but, apart from bots, a higher bounce rate. I eventually settled into a comfortable third position after some time, after initially sliding back to fifth, - which means that I can tell you even the first position offers barely any actual benefit, at least in my example, over being last on the first page. But, I made more sales in third position than I had in eighth to tenth.

Use a good SEO and site evaluation tool to discover how well your pages show up in the search engines for particular keywords. WebCEO used to be alright for a few things but, it has changed and I have not tested it since before then.

Backlinks are certainly organic in normal cases. Obviously purchased backlinks are not organic but (you hope!) that they appear so. Open a forum for your topic somewhere decent and make a simple signature linking to your site and help people with their issues. Not sure your topic, for example, Wilders Security Forum used to be extremely reputable and well indexed for security related topics (mostly security software support). That builds organic backlinks.

Also, instead of buying backlinks, pay bloggers to blog about the topic your site is about and show how your product/resource/information/whatever solves their problem/answers their question/etc. and link to relevant parts of your site or provide citations/referenced quotes.

Average position 19.6 tells me that you are mostly on the second (or later) page so actually, your clicks look okay to me. Try to reduce your bounce rate through any valid, ethical means to capture your audience once they reach your page, be relevant (at a minimum keep one topic to a page but, there is a longer answer requiring a separate post), and you will probably climb up the search rankings for your keywords.

Possibly in April you were on the first page for a while.

I am not affiliated with or a representative of any referenced products or sites.

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consider, first keywords in search console are brand name and if you are new maybe still users are not aware of your brand and don't search your brand name....probably you missed some key keywords that used to get traffic from ... you should have a keyword list by using google offer, google trends, AdWords, some tools such as MOZ or SEMrush and then you choose the first priority keywords for promoting.

  • This is an informational site. The keywords are commercial with high CPC value. – Happy Brain May 20 '18 at 14:54
  • The final assumption is just age. New websites wouldn't rank easily for high-end commercial terms. – Happy Brain May 20 '18 at 14:55

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