The Year of the Panda
I am very happy that 2011 is over. Usually every January I like to look back over the past year and see the growth and progress our little business has made. This January I would like to just forget 2011 all together.
We were one of the many sites hit by the Google Panda Update. We didn’t see the change until mid-summer, but mid-summer is our busiest time of year. Our traffic fell 35% in just the summer months. Overall for the year our traffic was down about 30%.
I feel like we are back to the beginning when we were first starting out and I was just starting to learn about e-commerce. I spend more time now attending webinars, and reading articles about seo, social media etc. I had to remove a few bells and whistles from our site which aren’t needed if customers can’t actually find our site anymore. I spend a lot of time trying to create new content, original product descriptions, articles and social media posts. It’s my fault we were hit by the Panda Update. When we started out I did what a lot people did, I just used the manufacturer’s description. A few years ago I started writing original product descriptions on our new products, but the old products still had the awful manufacturer descriptions, just like millions of other sites. So of course we were hit.
I know it could be much worse but it’s very hard to see your business start to slide off the map, that map being Google’s search results. 2011 was the first year that we didn’t see an increase in yearly sales.
Our busy season is just beginning and I am starting to see a little rise in our traffic so I’m optimistic that we will survive this. Every business runs into bumps in the road and I can’t wait to get this bump out of our way.