Semalt:15 SEO Issues That Can Lead To Decrease In Site Traffic 

There are many reasons why website traffic can start to decline, or even crash altogether. Starting with technical problems on the resource itself and ending with external factors.

The good news is that if the problem is diagnosed in time, the downtrend can be reversed, and sometimes even the traffic increased. Although sometimes the task of finding the cause of the drop in search clicks can be quite difficult.

In this article, we will look at the obvious and non-obvious reasons for the drop in traffic on a site, and you can use it as a checklist for diagnostics.

1. No new content has been added to the site

Each page on the site is an additional entry point for users from search. The more well-designed landing pages on it, the higher the traffic will be. Even when it comes to highly competitive topics. It is logical that if new pages are not added, then the traffic at a certain point will start to stagnate, and eventually fall.

2. Existing pages are not updated

Any information ends outdated, just the rate of obsolescence differs depending on the topic. If you do not update again and again the content on the key pages in time, over time, better and more relevant landing competitors will bypass them in the search results.

Sometimes even a simple revision of titles and rewriting a few paragraphs within the text is enough to keep the TOPs consistently.

3. The design template has changed on the site

If you prepare well for the update and implement the changes carefully, then there will be no problems. But something can always go wrong and a redesign can cause a drop in traffic. Most likely, the reasons for the fall are as follows:
  • the developers accidentally changed the CNC template;
  • the addresses of traffic pages have changed, while redirects have not been configured;
  • the design is based on JavaScript, which makes indexing difficult;
  • some important content blocks were embedded in the old template and forgotten to migrate to the new one.
In any case, if a drop in traffic was noticed precisely after the design change, a detailed audit should be carried out to determine the real reasons.

4. There are many duplicate pages on the site

If the site contains several pages with the same content, it is difficult for search robots to figure out which one is more important, and as a result, the positions of all landing pages may decrease at once. 

Often, duplicates are generated by the engine itself, therefore, it will not be superfluous to conduct a technical audit from time to time to quickly fix the problem if it appears.

5. Significant changes on key pages

Let's say you changed a significant part of the page content (30-50% or more), or even completely removed SEO-optimized content. Search engines will not react immediately, but in any case, the positions of such pages in the search will be recalculated.

6. Problems with indexing

This is an actual problem for large projects with a multilevel structure. For example, online stores, catalogues, aggregators, directories, etc. Pages on such sites can have 4 levels of nesting or more. Without competent linking and other similar methods, you can wait for their full-fledged indexing for a very long time.

7. Loss of important links

This happens more often than you think. Moreover, the loss of even two or three links that transferred good weight, especially if they led to the pages that are key in terms of traffic, can lead to a noticeable decrease in traffic.

It is convenient to monitor the link mass using specialized services such as the Dedicated SEO Dashboard, which generate relevant reports at a given interval, allowing you to effectively monitor the dynamics of backlinks.

DSD explained

When you run your SEO, web development, digital marketing, hosting, or any other related business, you should have a strong competitive edge. The Dedicated SEO Dashboard is an advanced, white-label SEO toolkit that will offer your clients up-to-date analytics data and comprehensive website audits. The best part of it is that it will take only 15 minutes to launch the Dedicated SEO Dashboard on your domain, and you won't need to pay a dime for it.

So if you've ever wanted to manage a multi-task SEO platform like Semrush, Ahrefs, or Ubersuggest, the Dedicated SEO Dashboard is exactly what you need.

8. Growth of competition in the niche

If you have reached the TOP, this is not a reason to relax and rest on your laurels. After all, somewhere in the margins of search results, someone small but stubborn from your competitors can systematically work to move you out of your positions at some point.

This is especially important for topics with a high level of competition, and at some point, this can lead to a change in the dynamics of traffic from positive to negative.

9. Dropping out of extended snippets

Rich snippets of site pages can cause a significant increase in traffic literally overnight. But if extended snippets fall out, for example, if one of the competitors has created a better landing page, the traffic decrease will be just as rapid.

10. Change in search demand

One of the common reasons for the drop in traffic on sites is a banal change in search demand. This can be due to seasonality, changing user interests, and niche trends. You just need to figure it out - are we talking about a temporary decrease in demand or this is already a constant trend (for example, changes in legislation, the release of a new line of equipment, etc.).

11. Errors 4xx / 5xx

The appearance on the site of a large number of "404" and 5xx errors, as a result, can lead to the traffic collapse. There can be many reasons for this - from accidental edits during the work on the site to problems with the CMS or additional modules / scripts on the server itself.

12. Technical problems with the site or server

In addition to the next point, it should be noted that the number of potential technical problems on any site can be very large. After all, only that which does not exist does not break.

That is why it is so important to conduct regular technical audits and monitor the condition of the resource using specialized tools like the Dedicated SEO Dashboard 

13. Virus Infection or Hacking

Any site can be hacked or infected with a virus, no matter how good its protection is. Sometimes, due to negligence, developers themselves leave loopholes for attackers, which they use. As a result, garbage spam pages can be generated on the site, external links to phishing sites can be placed, and other manipulations can be carried out to obtain benefits at your expense.

Search engines lower such pages and entire domains in the search results, and users receive a notification that the site is infected with a virus. But it is better to secure yourself in advance by using scripts that regularly scan all pages and files for third-party code.

14. Decrease in positions in search

No one can hold a position in the TOP forever. If the site is focused on attracting a site for low-frequency queries due to a large number of pages, this will be little noticeable. But if the main traffic is generated by several pages with high traffic, a decrease in their positions by main keys will noticeably affect the traffic of the site as a whole.

15. Dramatic change of algorithms or filters

If the drop in website traffic occurred after a recent PS update, you are likely offended. Sometimes search engines take away some of the traffic on themselves due to innovations in services, and sometimes they impose all sorts of sanctions, for example, for busting with a link. And getting under the filter needs to be "treated" as the long-term consequences can be serious.


If you are faced with such a problem as a drop in traffic from search engines or a decrease in site positions, it is important not to panic, but calmly start analyzing and testing hypotheses about what could have gone wrong.

Sometimes the answer can lie on the surface, and thanks to quick and effective diagnostics, attendance can be restored, or at least the decrease stopped, and effectively dealt with.

We hope our article was useful to you. If you have questions or would like to add something from yourself - write in the comments!