I wrote and first published this article seven years ago. After a quick update, I think it’s well worth giving it another airing because it is as relevant today as it was back then.

Despite what many marketers think, Google is not God.  

A quick tweak of their algorithms can make your traffic plummet overnight, but it’s not always down to the big bad search engines. 

Years ago, Panda and Penguin caused pandemonium for many website owners. Forums were filled with rants about how these updates were killing their businesses because their traffic vanished. 

But was it really down to these little fellas?

Not necessarily.

Granted, a lot of websites took a hit when the updates happened, but not all the traffic dips can be attributed to these algorithmic changes. A lot has a lot to do with the lack of marketing diversity.

Understanding if you’ve been hit by an algorithm change

No one wants to see his or her traffic reduce or vanish. 

When this apparent dip coincides with a Google update it seems logical to point the finger in their direction. But they may not be the cause. 

If you notice a dip in traffic the first place you should look is your analytics. Take a look at your traffic sources. If they have dipped across the board (i.e. Google, Yahoo and Bing), the chances are it has nothing to do with Google. 

So what’s causing it? 

It’s more likely to be your search engine optimisation strategy. 

Sitting back isn’t an option

When you started out, you probably had a rigorous SEO strategy in place. But, as time moved on and you got busy, the strategy probably took a bit of a slide. 

But you were still getting traffic and business, so all was good. 

The problem with sitting back and resting on your laurels is that every day, a new kid will appear on the block. This fresh website will be working hard on its SEO and so will stand a good chance of ranking higher than you. 

As soon as your traffic starts to dip, it’s a warning sign that you need to up your game. 

But relying 100% on the search engines for your traffic is a disaster waiting to happen. Which is why it’s essential to diversify your traffic.

How to diversify your traffic

If you put all your eggs into your SEO basket, things will go wrong at some point. 

That’s why it’s important to spread your traffic by using:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Blogs
  • Pay Per Click
  • Email marketing 
  • Newsletters

All of these will help you drive traffic to your website without relying on the likes of Google, Yahoo or Bing. 

If you want a successful online marketing strategy, make sure you diversify.

Sally Ormond. Briar Copywriting Ltd.