I can't figure out why my website traffic has tremendously dropped in the last few days. It started on Nov 17 to be precise. It's the direct/none traffic.

All other traffic seems to remain unchanged including the Ad traffic. I have not made any changes to the website. I have never had a drop of this percentage before. Can I do anything to fix this?

2 Answers 2


Panda 4.1 rolled out September 25 2014 according to:


To quote:

The latest update comes four months after the last, which suggests that this might be a new quarterly cycle that we’re on. Panda had been updated on a roughly monthly basis during 2012. In 2013, most of the year saw no update at all.

Of course, there could have been unannounced releases of Panda that have happened. The list above is only for those that have been confirmed by Google.

Some argue that the updated started before the announcement.

Here are some more links:





http://www.hmtweb.com/marketing-blog/panda-4-1-analysis/ The up-shot of the update is this:

Panda 4.0 while effective, did not solve the entire problem and some target sites were left standing. These sites were analyzed and Panda was updated to handle the tactics that allowed these sites to survive Panda 4.0.

Of note:

Based on user (and webmaster!) feedback, we’ve been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher, which is nice. --Pierre Far, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst

If your site fits the criteria for Panda 4.0, it is possible that you got hit. The link http://marketingland.com/panda-4-1-changes-content-performance-strategy-103850 gives clues to what is targeted in this update. This site goes into much more detail: http://www.hmtweb.com/marketing-blog/panda-4-1-analysis/

It is possible that you got hit by Panda 4.1 despite the announcement date. It appears that your Direct (none) closely mirrors your sessions. Not sure what that means exactly, but the timing may be there even though it is a month later.


It cannot be Google update as the drop is in direct traffic. See the country / location from which the traffic has been dropped, Is there any holiday? Or some other event?

See your landing pages, check all those landing pages where traffic has been dropped significantly. Check whether there is any change in URL or the analytic code in those URLs?

  • I almost went your route, but the overall traffic dropped and so I discounted the direct drop as a statistical anomaly having to do with GA. The metrics did not make sense in any way.
    – closetnoc
    Nov 28, 2014 at 2:08

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