A Drop in Traffic, Changing My Goals and Bouncing Back!

It’s been quite some time since I reported how my goal experiment was going, so well I am going to delve right in and talk about it today. 🙂

A Problem

Something big has cropped up. For some reason, within the last 2 months, my traffic has dropped by over 50%!

Now that’s a large amount – and this change has occurred because of some changes that Google made in its search algorithm. Why has this traffic dropped? What can I do about it? These are the thoughts that are definitely deep in my mind.

While my goals are important to me, this traffic drop has forced me to reconsider them and take a peek at what I want to achieve by May 31.

Two of Google’s updates in the last two months – one called Panda and one called Penguin (interesting names 😉 ) resulted in these traffic drops. The first update Panda occurred BEFORE I set my goals. The second update Penguin occurred recently AFTER I set my goals. Both resulted in a significant drop in traffic.

Now how do these updates change my goals?

Here’s a list of the goals that I had wanted to achieve by May 31.

1 Optimize Google Adsense on this site using techniques learnt from the book ‘The Adsense Code’.

2 Post 8 genuine, heart-felt articles.

3 Revamp the Tier-2 pages (the pages that link from the home page) of this site and make them more genuine and interesting.

4 Write 5 WikiHow articles, build 5 Squidoo lenses, post 5 answers at Yahoo Answers, 10 blog comments, 10 forum posts and submit 1 guest post to promote this site.

5 Analyze the performance of the Book Store and the T-Shirt Store on this site.

6 Wake up at 6 AM for 10 days at a stretch.

7 Visualize my dream life every morning for 10 days at a stretch.

8 Post at least 1 genuine and inspiring update on Twitter and Facebook every day for 10 days at a stretch.

9 Work on this website for at least 2 hours daily for 10 days at a stretch.

10 Come up with the idea of at least one new monetization model and perform atleast one action to start implementing it.

Take a look at Goal 3. I had earlier thought that Goal 3 should be pursued because some pages on my site called Tier 2 pages were not up to my standards. I thought that these pages – which I wanted to change anyway were the pages that caused a drop in traffic as they weren’t AWESOME. But when I analyzed my traffic stats I realized that the traffic to these pages had actually increased after the traffic drop and the traffic to other more authentic and “true to myself” pages had decreased! 🙂

I know that’s weird but the point that comes out of this is that changing Tier 2 pages TO CORRECT the traffic drop is not currently required. Of course in the long run, I will make these pages even better but that will be because I want my website pages to be the best, not because of what Google says.

So for now, till May 31, Goal 3, looks irrelevant.

Similarly, Goal 4 needs to be changed because Google’s second update is about “building links” – that Penguin update. After Google’s update, I now want to carefully understand if I have been doing things in the best possible way or whether I have made some mistakes in my links strategy. Therefore, a change to Goal 4 is essential.

Here is how my goals list looks after I have modified the third and fourth goals.

1 Optimize Google Adsense on this site using techniques learnt from the book ‘The Adsense Code’.

2 Post 8 genuine, heart-felt articles.

3 Understand the Panda and Penguin updates well and also see how the website can now be more authentic.

4 Write 1 genuine and helpful WikiHow article, build 1 Squidoo lens,10 blog comments, 10 forum posts and submit 1 guest post to promote this site.

5 Analyze the performance of the Book Store and the T-Shirt Store on this site.

6 Wake up at 6 AM for 10 days at a stretch.

7 Visualize my dream life every morning for 10 days at a stretch.

8 Post at least 1 genuine and inspiring update on Twitter and Facebook every day for 10 days at a stretch.

9 Work on this website for at least 2 hours daily for 10 days at a stretch.

10 Come up with the idea of at least one new monetization model and perform atleast one action to start implementing it.

I know, all the information above is a bit too technical. 🙂

In simple words, what I am trying to say is that Goals 3 and 4 are now suddenly irrelevant and so have to be modified.

What The Drop In Traffic Has Taught Me

When I first noticed the drop in traffic, I was shocked. To tell you the truth, I was sad and dejected for many minutes.

That’s when I remembered an important line by someone great:

“Every problem has an opportunity hidden inside it”.

I could look at this traffic drop as a bad thing that happened to me and feel sad about it. Or, I could tell myself, “This traffic drop has occurred to teach me something. Maybe I am not being as true to myself as I think I am being. Google wants people to get the best content and I too want my readers to get genuine value out of what they read. Therefore, Google’s sending less traffic to my site means it is time for me to introspect, connect with the deepest parts of myself and be even more authentic in what I write.”

After whining for some minutes, thankfully, I did give myself the latter speech.

I also told myself that I could treat this drop in traffic as an opportunity to be more ME and more concerned about the people I write for than ever. This drop in traffic is the universe’s way of telling me to be even truer to myself and to my readers.

I believe that if I keep writing what I truly believe in, then in the long run, this traffic drop will automatically correct itself.

All the best to me! 🙂

Ah, And What About the Goals?

OK, so where have I progressed with respect to my goals until today? May 31 is now 15 days away…

Here’s my progress…

As you can see, while I have achieved some goals to some extent, there is still a lot to be achieved.

In fact, it is definitely going to be a tough journey till May 31. 🙂

Having said that, I won’t give up and will try my best to achieve my first set of conscious goals in life.

It will indeed be a happy moment if I really do achieve these goals.

How Are Your Goals Doing?

If you also set goals for May 31 along with me, how are you doing?

Are you tracking your goals regularly? Are you on target? Do you still have that focus intact?