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Google Organic Search Traffic is Reportedly Low Compare to Last Year

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

In the year 2019, organic search visit from Google are reportedly down compare to last year, while organic visits from DuckDuckGo are up significantly.

Merkle's digital marketing report for Q2 2019 shows that Google's organic search visits are down 8% from the same time period in 2018. Not forgetting that organic visits from Bing and Yahoo are down as well, with declines of 26% and 11% respectively.

The only major search engine that is able to deliver organic search visit growth last quarter is DuckDuckGo, with 49% more visit overall.

Reason being to why DuckDuckGo is being visited more is due to the privacy and history data which is not stored and kept compare to Google.

Source: Merkle

Moving over to mobile visits. DuckDuckGo is up 64% each year. The growth of DuckDuckGo's in mobile search is so strong to the point where its organic search search share on mobile is double from 0.3% to 0.6%

With the lack of Growth for Google in organic and search visit, yet they are still able to gain 1% of organic search visit share last quarter.

Source; Merkle

After looking at specific search engines, here's a look at the overall organic search market in Q2 2019.

Organic Search in Q2 2019

Organic search produced 23% of all site visits in Q2 2019

Total visits produced by organic search fell 6% year-over-year in Q2 2019, which is down even further from a 2% decline in Q1 2019

The organic search on all devices were down but it is worst on mobile phones as its growth dropped from 13% in Q1 2019 to 5% in Q2 2019.

The data is shown that paid search visits on phones are cutting into the organic visits. Tablets and phones produced a whooping 59% of organic search visits in Q2 2019, compared to 65% paid search visit.

According to Merkle, this was the weakest rate of growth for phone organic search since mid-2016

The two biggest share gainers in Q2 2019 were paid and direct site visits

There are 10 causes to why your organic traffic has dropped and its not Google Fault

1. Changing Your Domain Name and Not Telling Google

Source; Techwyse

" Whatever reasons you might have for changing your domain name, if you want to be sure that your organic traffic drops, do not tell anyone about the change. Especially Google." Indeed, not even a word. This way, you'll make sure that your new name, as well as your search engine traffic, will be like they don't even exists in the digital world.

Yet, if you do want to keep your organic search traffic and ranks, once you make a domain name change, let Google know by using a specially designed tool in your Search Console.

2. Indexing Everything Without Pruning your Content

Another thing that cause a drop in your organic search traffic, is to index each and every single page from your website and not prune your content.

With the constant effort from Google to improve its search algorithm and detect quality content. That was the cause they rolled out the Google Panda 4.0 update. This update deranks low quality content and boost the high quality one. According to Google idea of valuable content. As shown below, you can see what kind of content you shouldn't be looking into if you are really determined in making a mess out of your organic traffic.

If you do not want your search traffic dropped, in the Google Index you should only have pages that you've interested in ranking. This is because you will avoid polluting your website traffic. Pages that is filled with low quality or obsolete aren't useful neither it is interesting to the visitors. Thus, they should be prune for the sake of your website's health. Furthermore, low quality pages affect the performance of the entire site. Moreover, even if the website does play by the rules, low quality indexed content may ruin the organic traffic of the whole batch.

These are the steps to take if you do not want your Google traffic to drop dramatically due to indexing and content pruning. In addition, you should keep your Google Index fresh with info that is worthwhile to be ranked to help your users.

3. Redesigning Your Website & Not Doing 301 Redirects to Old Pages

When migrating your website from one domain to another, if you want to make sure you instantly lose any traffic to your website that you are currently enjoying and all your new visitors will be greeted with a 404 page, do not implement proper redirects.

Any good organic search traffic you experience at the moment can be just a memory if you fail to do 301 redirects.

With only a few lines of code you can transfer all the organic search traffic from one domain to another.

What the 301 permanent redirects do is to redirect any visitors, including search engines, to your new site. Along with the direct traffic, the age, authority and reputation of your old websites in Google is transferred to the new web address.

4. Moving from Subdirectory to a Subdomain

Source: Missional Marketing

Let's say that you want to move your blog from a subdirectory URL ( to a subdomain ( Although Matt Cutts, former Google engineer, said that "they are roughly equivalent and you should basically go with whichever one is easier for you in terms of configuration, your CMSs, all that sort of stuff", it seems that things are a bit more complicated than that.

Well, Google has made strides in their direction and got much better at identifying and associating content that's on a subdomain with the main domain. The problem is they're not good enough to rely on the factor yet and major organic traffic drop can come from this direction.

With the hope that his SEO technicality will change in time, the recommendation for the moment is to keep your content on a single sub and root domain, preferably subfolders.

5. Giving Up Creating Great Content or Creating Content at All

The best movies don't always win the best prizes. A similar thing happens in the digital marketing world.

The best content doesn't always have the best organic search traffic, however, search engines are really thing to rank sites in accordance to their content.

Just by looking at the latest Google updates we can tell that the search engine is constantly refining and improving its algorithm that automatically scores pages based on content quality. There are even quality rating guidelines and Google penalties content based.

Other metrics and factors count as well but content is among those top ranking factors; and you should not let your content get dusty unless you decided to leave the digital world for good.

You should not keep count of content only if you are planning to have sudden drop in organic traffic. And if you are already having a good web traffic, do not count on it very much. The SERP is volatile, tons of content is being written as you are reading this and you need to keep up.

6. Counting Your Links and Not Your Referring Domains

Just by looking at the number of links and having an ongoing concern of multiplying the links won't take you to the first page on Google. On the contrary; it will probably make you disappear for SERP

7. Ignoring Mobile First Indexing

It might now be news to you that Google looks primarily at mobile content, rather than desktop when deciding how to rank results

Its called mobile first indexing and, as Google stated, it means that algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site's content to score pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.

8. Moving Your Site to a Slow Host

A good hosting isn't going to guarantee you a spot at the top. But a slow host will surely lead to a drop in organic search traffic.

Cheap hosting might sound tempting and we cannot blame you for this. However, in terms of cost-benefits, it might "cost" you the traffic of your website, the revenue of your business.

Shared servers are a common solution and they do work well for most of the sites. I and you are on a shared server, as convenient as it might before you, one resource hungry neighbour can kill your site's speed and therefore your organic search traffic. The other better solutions when it comes to servers can be VPS (Virtual Private Servers) or dedicated servers. They are indeed more expensive but you get what you pay.

9. Ignoring Your Broken Pages and Links

It might happen to have some lost links from now and then or a broken pages due to some crawling issue or something similar. Yet, when your broken pages and links form up a figure just as big your phone number, then you might be facing a problem; in terms of site user experience and organic traffic as well. Your bounce rate will increase, your overall usability, you will be losing links and therefore you will start asking yourself "why did my organic traffic drop?"

The irony is that along with all the issues broken pages bring, there are some foreseen opportunities as well. If you are interested in getting back your lost traffic and that link juice from your broken pages, two was easy workouts can be done:

  • 301 redirects - this way, the link juice will pass to the redirected page

  • "Repair" those pages - you can create a landing page with dedicated content

A similar thing happens when it comes to lost links. As mentioned before, having a couple of lost links is not such a big problem. Yet, when you are losing hundreds of links on a daily basis, that should be an alarm signal for you.

These are the two steps that can help you out in the event you are experiencing a massive lost link drop:

  • Find those lost links. There are SEO tools that can help you hear. We recommend Site Explorer as it gives you instant results and it's easy to use

  • Contact the webmaster who has the broken link. Indeed, a bit of outreaching and networking is involved here but your traffic and keywords' ranking are worth all the effort

10. Duplicating Your Content - Internally & Externally

Putting it simple, duplicating content is content that appears on the world wide web in more than one place. Is this such a big problem for the readers? Maybe not, but it is a very big problem for you if you are having duplicate content (internally or externally) as the search engines don't know which version of the content is the original one and which one they should be ranking.

Can duplicate content get your website into trouble? The answer is yes.

Although is stated that there is no such thing as duplicate content penalty, the fact you have no unique content will prevent you from getting organic search traffic from Google. The trust is that search engines reward uniqueness and added value and filter duplicate content; be it externally or internally.


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