My site is quite large and has a lot of indexed pages. 75% of my traffic comes from Google Search clicks and has remained quite consistent for most of this year.

Two weeks ago I noticed considerably smaller numbers on the site for a few days, this has continued and is still happening.

Nothing has changed* on the site and Google Webmasters has no notices or messages for me.

* = I know something has changed. I'm referring to things within my control changing; theres been no patches, no updates, no new or old traffic, etc.

I've been quick to fix any issues in the past that Webmaster Tools have suggested and any issues from DFP are resolved immediately.

The only issue that I can think of is my sitemap submissions, regularly seeing '0 sitemaps' when I log in, then next time I see the proper sitemaps. This has been the norm all year though.

Some graphs;

Pages crawled seems to have dropped a smidge.

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Search clicks is the killer. Only 2 weeks ago it was ~210,000.

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Probably the most telling graph is the sharp drop in the number of indexed pages.

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  • 2
    You do know that Panda 4.2 is out? Many site owners are seeing hits from Google since this March, May, July, and so on with Quality Update, Newsy-Trend Update, Panda, and more. I rather suspect that Google is over optimizing the SERPs and punishing sites that are ligit. This would not be the first time. G has a long history of these over-reaches that I was hoping was over. I could list some of them if G has forgotten and needs a reminder. – closetnoc Sep 22 '15 at 1:16
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    It is. No one really knows what is going on. But if you read the first few comments here: seroundtable.com/google-panda-42-reversed-20837.html you will see a sample of what I am seeing. I did a quick survey one day and there seemed to be some fluctuations and down-turns that I wondered about. I think people are as confused as I am. I guess we will just have to wait to see if G reverses course of explains some of this stuff. My personal opinion is that there are too many updates too close together to make sense of and correct. – closetnoc Sep 22 '15 at 2:10
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    I do not see anything obvious I can point to. Your site looks good to me! I do have some activity in my spammer, hacker, scraper database for your host though- looks like compromised systems hacking my site. Ooopppsss... but not your IP address specifically. (for what it is worth) I think that Google is just pinging large sites with a ton of pages largely machine created even if it is user based such as your site seems to be. Mine, for example, reports on spammer, hacker, and scraper activity and yet I get lumped into the whois market. My site is very much a manual process as is yours. – closetnoc Sep 29 '15 at 1:07
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    I have not seen any new information on the net, but I get the feeling that Google is targeting very valid sites that are very large and at least somewhat automated even if it is user based or contains unique data. I have to say I am very disappointed. – closetnoc Sep 29 '15 at 1:10
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    Found this: mariehaynes.com/algo-changes-and-more ... September 16 (approx) – iOS 9 was released along with a feature to allow users to block ads. It appears that this feature also blocks scripts that track analytics. If you see a drop in Google Analytics traffic around this time, compare your mobile traffic to desktop to see if there is a big difference. It may be that you’re not actually seeing a traffic drop, but that visits from iPhones and iPads are no longer being tracked. Interesting... – closetnoc Sep 29 '15 at 1:47

I don't trust GWT data as much as I trust analytics data (rank tracking bots/queries show up in GWT data); I trust analytics data (that requires JS) less than I trust server logs.

Check analytics, then cross-reference server logs; is the traffic drop sitewide or page specific?

Check your backlink profile and make sure you haven't lost any significant backlinks.

None of those actions are definitive but they do help narrow the scope of what is going on.

  • There is a drop in traffic from Google in analytics also. Search clicks is now down to 167k. There is definitely less traffic coming in. – Christian Dec 21 '15 at 8:10

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