White papers aren't crucial for online business, are they?

grald • 10 March 2020

Sometimes spontaneous decisions to restart a project can lead only to unsuccessful results. This case is about online shop, new owners of which made the site drop extremely low just in 3 weeks.

Preceding positions

The e commercial site had great rankings, 1st search pages and nearly:
  • 60 000 items

  • 80 pages of categories

  • 25 informational blog pages.

Even more: in 2019 the site gained 914k of euro.

Despite this colossal success, as the new possessors had come, they manifested the new shop seo strategy, which included absolute removal of redundant old intellectual property - informational pages. Their part in traffic took only 1%, so that initiative looked totally faultlessly.

Big outcomes of the big thoughtlessness

​​​​​During the first days no changes in traffic were admitted: the site kept having high rankings and it was getting a great number of visits via deleted pages. However, approximately after a week Google algorithms found out the absence of content - that was how enormous problems were brought. All rankings of those pages disappeared at once.

It was expected that those droppings wouldn't involve business oriented keywords and traffic, but, unfortunately, it really did. Moreover, overall site visibility was cut down on a third. The main page and categories left Google top.

Unobvious reasons of obvious consequences

Why did this happen? The most acceptable hypothesis is about lost link weight. There were lots of great domains, which had good direct links to informational content. As far as additional paragraphs pointed to categories, commercial queries had the biggest link weights. So, having the outer linkbuilding basis removed, the site dropped.

Nevertheless, there also is a less probable cause, so called "soft-404". It occurred when all informational urls started to direct only to homepage and, simultaneously, the connection between following-linking portals and the site lowered its relevance. Informational pages showed no more original content, so that all links became incorrect.

Reestablishing previous positions

In order to be sure that recent downrank was caused by information deletion, the company decided to republish all blog-styled articles. Surprisingly, three weeks after the site regained whole visibility. Even though highly competitive transactional queries weren't edited, product reviews and category descriptions were returned on top serp-s.


Lost traffic from informational pages.

Result: The removal of informational pages caused total site downrank.

Tags: Google SEO