When was the last time you seriously considered what would happen if you lost all the organic traffic on your site?
This year, my good cause was to help a small business get rid of a spam penalty on its website. The reason I wanted to help? Google’s penalty occurred more than a year ago. The small business has cleaned up the spam mess that three search engine optimization firms (SEOs) have created for it, including (but not limited to) a network of “bad neighborhoods” pointing to its website. Then I thought, what would I do if my website was hit with a spam penalty, and I lost qualified traffic on search engines for over a year? That’s a good question to ask, isn’t it? Impacts of search engine traffic lost professionally, I have witnessed some of the effects of loss of search engine traffic due to spam penalties. Some sites were online publishers. The majority of their online traffic came from search engines. The loss of this traffic resource has led to a decline in advertising revenues. In addition, because the only visibility of search engines that sites could obtain came from advertising on paid search engines, advertising expenditures increased. Both of these elements are quantifiable.
- How much revenue would your site decrease from losing all the organic traffic from search engines?
- How much will you need to increase your advertising spending to maintain qualified search engine traffic?
Just those two numbers alone could be illuminating. I also ask customers the impact of their online reputation on a scale of 1 to 10. Of course, it’s a bit emotional. Almost all customers say their website’s online reputation is very important.
In the case of web publishers, being known as the first online news resource is essential to their success. Why am I talking about some of these impacts? I would prefer that website owners calculate the financial and reputational impact of loss of qualified search engine traffic before they choose to implement a specific search engine tactic or hire a SEO company.
If your website is currently getting qualified search engine traffic Assuming your site is currently getting qualified search engine traffic, calculating financial risk should be simple.
Be sure to include:
- Direct sales
- Short-term or one-off sales
- Checksales or orders
- Advertising expenses
- Outsourcing fees (if used)
- Validation (what if no one could find your site by querying Google or Bing?)
Don’t forget to include expenses such as staff time and associated costs. The idea behind this exercise is not to get a specific number to 100, but to arrive at an approximate range so you can really see what might happen to your organization’s online presence if you lose that traffic. If your website currently receives little or no qualified search engine traffic No risk here, you might think.
But there are costs that you might not have considered in these circumstances. How much time and money have you spent creating, launching and maintaining your website? You have hosting, design and development costs, connectivity costs, etc. Even if your website only receives traffic from browsing queries, what is the impact of losing that traffic? Note: A navigation query is a search engine query in which the researcher wants to access a specific website or web page on a website.
Not a scary tactic, but a reality I didn’t write this article to scare anyone. I wrote it because I regularly observe the negative impact of not following the search engine guidelines. I also observe the general distrust of companies towards all SEO professionals following a spam penalty.
For example, I think domestic violence shelters in every state in the United States should be interconnected. This kind of network of links could help victims of domestic violence find the nearest shelter online. But to a person whose site has received a spam penalty and lost traffic for over a year? If you are talking about liaison partners, this person may not consider a legitimate and desirable way to show researchers and search engines that the content is valid (as in the example above). It’s a shame, because so many search engine optimizers follow the quality guidelines of Google, Bing and other search engines.