Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
I do ranking analysis troubleshooting consultations for Local SEO consultants on tough cases all the time, BUT I'm primarily researching penalties and problems on the local side and obvious on-site SEO issues.

When it comes to organic ranking penalties, an expert I'm not.

Often I see consultants coming here saying help I think my client was hit with Panda, but I feel that often they are just jumping to that conclusion without doing research to find out for sure if that's what it really was. I'm also starting to see folks say I was hit by Hummingbird, just because they had a drop around that time. (Correlation is not causation.)

So today I want to share what looks to me to be just a really excellent detailed guide about how to narrow down and isolate exactly where the problem is, so you can work on fixing it.

How to diagnose your traffic drop

So your traffic fell off a cliff…but what cliff? Before you flip the bird at Hummingbird or Penguin, let’s have a look at the all of the common causes for a drop in site traffic, and how to use the information from various tools to figure out what went wrong...

{TONS in the middle was cut out. Click above to read.}

...Final Warning

If you KNOW you have a very risky backlink profile, be aware that Google may update its Penguin backlink data and calculations without any particular announcement; it happens all the time. Google could decide to no longer count links from and that could suddenly affect your rankings overall.

As well, if you’ve got some article marketing in your checkered past, be aware that Google is hunting these networks down and slaying them on a regular basis.

What say ye?
Tons of great info???
Jul 18, 2012
Reaction score
Holy cow. This is a gold mine of information. Thanks so much for digging this up. If you find more stuff like this, please add it to this thread.

I have a client site and a personal site of my own that experienced a significant traffic drop and for the life of me I've been trying to figure out what's the cause. This one source alone should help me identify what the issue is. Thanks so much!!

Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
JoyHawkins Google Tool For Diagnosing Images Local SEO Tools & Software 3
Linda Buquet Cool Tool to Diagnose What Google Penalty you were Hit By Organic SEO 1
Rich Owings Does "near me" optimization bring more organic or GMB clicks? Organic SEO 4
H The weirdness of organic results for certain queries Local Search 3
S Best Tips for Organic Traffic Organic SEO 3
L Issues With Bulk Verification for Enterprise Organization Multi-Location Issues 1
B Ranking High Organically but Low in The Local Pack Local Search 4
F GMB Practitioner Listings vs Organization Listing Google Duplicates & Merges 7
A Help Client gets "Invitation failed (Role not allowed)" when trying to add Organization ID Help & Support for Google Local 6
S Three pack, reviews, organic search decimated for SABs? Google My Business & Google Maps 8
V Local Services Ad: Does using a different phone number in local services ad effect the organic ranking for my site Paid Search and Local Service Ads 5
P Organization Access Trouble Help & Support for Google Local 2
L Majority of organic traffic outside US Local Search 1
K How to attribute PAID MAP Ads vs a ORGANIC MAP / GMB traffic Google My Business & Google Maps 12
J Can GMB Listings Strengthen Organic Results? Organic SEO 2
P Business ranks 4th in organic search but 13th in GMB, way behind rubbish competitors. Google My Business & Google Maps 6
Ellen Ranking in GMB and Local Pack - Not Traditional Organic Results Ranking Puzzles 4
BipperMedia Reviews being removed from "Education" organizations? Local Reviews 7
onebox220722 Buk Verification Problem ( Organization Account) Google My Business & Google Maps 1
M News Section at Top of Organic Search? Organic SEO 0
Rich Owings Are you seeing declining organic traffic for lodging sites? Local Search 7
pwarrenseo Disconnect Between Organic and Snack Pack Rankings Local Search 14
SteinCoffee Vast difference in location page organic rank when I don't add the location Local Search 2
Ellen Organization Has GMB Listing but Serves No Customers Google My Business & Google Maps 4
jared.ray Irrelevant Location Page in Organic Sitelinks Multi-Location Issues 1
S Sudden organic drop after a year of stability Organic SEO 12
L Best Approach to Claiming Yelp for Enterprise Organizations Citations 17
S Organic drop with server down? Organic SEO 10
Yan Gilbert Phone number in organic search Local Search 12
S Client disappeared in 3-pack & organic after GMB category priority change Google My Business & Google Maps 10
R Free Webinar: Organic Facebook Marketing Tips for Local Businesses Events 0
PaulSteinbrueck GMB listing has events for other organizations Google My Business & Google Maps 3
Meguinness Organic star ratings Organic SEO 3
schmeetz How to Properly Organize Practitioner Listings Under a Company Citations 5
A Strong in organic, poor in maps (rank jumps when you zoom in or out) Local Search 3
Brittany Barkes Could Being in a New Shopping Center Affect Organic Visibility? Organic SEO 4
J Organic Rankings Recovering From Medic; Local Still Not Improving Google Algorithm Discussions 7
Caroline Locksmith images on organic results Local Search 2
S Review stars in Google Organic: How is it Done? Local Reviews 29
S Dupe Post: Dramatic differences in Google Organic results Recycle Bin 0
S Dramatic differences in Google Organic results Google My Business & Google Maps 3
G Why do some city/services pages rank organically and others do not? Local Search 17
Kyrton Organic #1, exact same copywrite/meta Local Search 6
Tim Colling SEM Post: Google Local 3-Pack Drops Organic Listing for Local Ad Local Search 0
J Great organic rankings, but hit by Possum Local Search 8
Y Manual Penalty for Organic, but why is GA flatlining for all other traffic? Organic SEO 11
D 4 Organic Results ABOVE Local Map Google My Business & Google Maps 5
S 3 Pack at bottom of page BELOW organic listings??? Local Search 1
Tim Colling Citations for a department of a larger organization Local Search 2
Marcus Local knowledge graph = organic position 1? Local Search 4

Similar threads

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

Most UpVoted Answers

LocalU Podcasts

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Google Product Exert

Top Bottom