Yeah, well, this was an attention seeking headline! You got us straight off the bat! But the reasons why we wrote this, are well validated for us to feel this way. Over the last 6 months, we have been monitoring the traffic for our industry (Local SEO), and SEO in general. Apart from our competitors, few of the major SEO tools that we use, and a couple of SEO gurus including guys like Neil Patel (famous for Crazy Egg and Kissmetrics) and Brian Dean (famous for Backlinko) have faced drops in traffic amounting to 46% and 69% respectively.
If these 2 fine gentlemen, with all their knowledge of SEO, have seen such a huge erosion of their organic traffic, what can the rest of the industry expect? We are not sure, but certainly do hope that whatever voodoo has caught the industry in its grip, meets its end this Halloween, and we can march happily towards the festive season.
What made us start searching for SEO industry-wide traffic drops?
As a firm that started this year, we have been trying to grow our business like crazy. From the marketing standpoint, that involves three major things:
- Looking at our competitors
- Reading up as much as we can from marketers
- Making use of the marketing tools for getting ahead in the game (No Triple H)
That being said, checked out one of our competitors last week, and realized that their traffic has taken a hit. As glad as we were, something about the drop told us that we should research more. We started looking at other competitors and noticed an almost similar level of traffic drop. Then came marketing tools like SEMRush and Majestic, and finally the websites of Neil Patel and Brian Dean.
No need to say, but all the traffic data was taken from SimilarWeb, which is accepted as the leading traffic source across the internet.
What other sources did we check while trying to track down the SEO industry-wide traffic drop?
Even though we searched for reasons across the tools like Ahrefs and SEMRush for backlink trends and organic keywords, we weren’t able to figure anything out. We then started to search for a trend in the industry and decided to open up Google Trends to have a better idea of what was going on. We searched for both SEO as well as Local SEO and realized that neither of them seems to be facing a drop across the USA, the market in which we operate.
Just to be sure, we cross-checked the trends across the world for both the parameters.
And that made us wanted to hurl ourselves across the wall faster than Hulk has ever punched Thor (anybody else excited for the launch of Thor: Ragnarok this week?)
Did we try and search for any industry-wide hoopla on this?
Well, yes sir, of course, we did! However, we failed worse than Wile E. Coyote ever did while trying to capture Road Runner. The closest we ever came across something were 2 occasions.
Upon combing through the Google SERPs (where else would we go), we stumbled upon these 2 links that caught our eye. One was from Search Engine Journal and spoke about the Hummingbird update and the impact of Machine Learning on SEO. The other was featured in Hoth, claimed that Google has upgraded its animals has launched an updated called “Gorilla” in which top 10 results are all ads and thankfully turned out to be April’s Fool Day prank by the firm.
What does it lead us to conclude?
To be honest, we are not very sure here. On one hand, refuting the data from SimilarWeb would mean refuting the tool altogether. And yes, while the tool provides us with an information that has an error rate as high as 20 to 30%, it is still the most commonly used and well-accepted tool there is. And therefore, we are at a loss to say what is going on in this industry in general.
If you are an industry expert, SEO consultant, or any member of the team which was listed above, we would love to hear from you. But as of now, we will go back and watch Courage The Cowardly Dog. Considering the situation, it seems to be the most apt cartoon available.