Website traffic is quite important. The more number of website visitors you get the more opportunities you have to build brand visibility and increase conversions. But, every website owner has experienced a sudden drop in search engine traffic at one point of time. There are many possible reasons for the decline in website traffic. This blog highlights sudden website traffic loss reasons and things to check when you experience a drop in web traffic.

Before looking out for the cause of website falling low in the search engine results pages (SERPs), check your website traffic statistics. The reason for a drop in traffic may be due to seasonality, holidays or other factors which might be relevant to your niche.

Once you’re sure that the drop is not statistical or due to reasons like holidays, the next step is to look at some common issues. These common issues might be the root cause of decline in traffic. You might be having the question of ‘How to check the cause of sudden drop in website ranking?’.

Mentioned below are a few common reasons which result in a drop in website traffic:

Penalty, Sudden website traffic loss: Things to check when website traffic drops suddenly

Penalty can be a sudden website traffic loss reason

In case the traffic drop is quite significant and your website is not visible in the result pages, there is a large possibility that you have got a manual search engine penalty. To check if the reason for website falling low in the SERPs is indeed a penalty, check your Google search console. Go to search traffic and then to the manual actions section. There, you will see a notice about the reason of the penalty. The reasons for a penalty may be:

  • Hacking: If your website has been hacked, you can check Google’s comprehensive guide to take the necessary steps to recover your website. This is one of the sudden website traffic loss reasons which are not in your hands. However, it can be overcome with necessary preventive measures.
  • Duplicate content: It is important to make sure that all of your web pages are information rich. Bear in mind, duplicate content is one of the 8 WORST SEO PRACTICES TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS. And, the worst result you can expect due to duplicate content writing is penalties. You can check out these really insightful content writing blogs to get a kickstart in writing authoritative and original content.
  • User generated spam: A website can be penalised for spammy links on webpages that allow user generated content. The solution to this is to go through web pages which have user generated content and remove such links. If you are a beginner, most importantly you should first read our blog on WHAT ARE OUTBOUND LINKS AND HOW TO CREATE THEM TO BOOST SEO.

Algorithm updates, Sudden website traffic loss: Things to check when website traffic drops suddenly

Algorithm updates

Google rolls out new updates once in a while. Major updates to algorithms are covered in search engine news. By going through them, you can find out what changes have been implemented. Then, you can figure out now what improvement your website needs. Accordingly, make changes to get your traffic back on track.

Server overload, Sudden website traffic loss: Things to check when website traffic drops suddenly

Sudden website traffic loss reasons include server overload

One of the sudden website traffic loss reasons is server overload. There are times when a website’s server cannot keep up with the amount of traffic coming to website. Therefore, it’s necessary to optimise for spikes in website traffic so that the server does not shut down and lead to drop in traffic.

Website changes, Sudden website traffic loss: Things to check when website traffic drops suddenly

Website changes

A common reason for a website falling low in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is website changes. Website migrations, redesign, updates etc, have a negative impact on SEO. Indexation and crawlability are the top reasons for a dip in traffic after changes are made to a website. Log file analysis is also a convenient way to understand exactly what search engines crawl for your website. Then, check for broken URLs, and run the site audit to pinpoint the reasons that are affecting website traffic.

Loss of backlinks

Loss of backlinks: Another sudden website traffic loss reasons

Losing valuable backlinks can negatively affect visibility and website traffic. Run a backlink check to see which backlinks have been lost. Try to fix the backlinks. Contact the website owners for it. Moreover, you can work towards building more backlinks.



An extremely common reason for website falling low in the search engine results pages (SERPs) is being outranked by a competitor. To find reasons, look for aspects in their website which are missing in yours. Maybe they gained new backlinks, updated content or started a new PPC campaign, which lead to drop in your traffic.

Other sudden website traffic loss reasons include an increase in bounce rate, technical issues, trends, redirects, etc. The reasons mentioned above are few of the most common reasons for a dip in rankings. To get back website traffic, all you have to do is find the root cause and take necessary actions that not only solve the problem but also prevent such happenings in the future.


Uni Square Concepts is an advertising agency located in New Delhi, India. By initiating The Uni Square Blog, we aim to provide a comprehensive portal where readers can educate themselves about the various aspects of advertising and marketing. The articles and blogs are written by our professional team of content writers, under the guidance of senior leaders of Uni Square Concepts including its CEO, Uday Sonthalia.