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    Traffic Drop Due to Featured Snippet - Any Recourse?


    Hello all, and thanks for taking the time to look at this.

    We sell manufacture and sell dog doors. It's not a terribly competitive space from an SEO perspective, and we've managed to rank very highly for key terms (e.g. "best dog door" we're organically #2) with relatively simple SEO tactics. We have a product that's objectively very good, and we have a website with good content and structure.

    Over the last few months, there's been a roughly 20% drop in our traffic. I've recently noticed that Google has put a featured snippet from a shoddy review page on the SERP for "best dog door" that pushes our organic ranking below the fold for desktop and mobile. I have no way to know for sure, but I suspect this is a major contributor to our traffic drop. I can't say with certainty, but I think the products featured on the review page paid to be there.

    Any suggestions for how to recover some or all of that traffic? Our organic ranking hasn't changed (as far as I can tell), it's just the Google SERP structure. Some of the things I'm going to try are:

    • Contacting the author of the post that's featured (not expecting great results)
    • Changing our SEM spend pattern to places where we already rank well organically (frustrating!)
    • ?

    Is there something I'm missing? Has anyone else successfully dealt with an issue like this? I assume there's little that can be done to change what Google is doing with the SERP and what they're choosing to feature in a snippet. It feels like there isn't much of a solution to this particular problem, but I wanted to throw it out there to see if others saw something I don't.
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    Originally Posted by donaldjlove
    Over the last few months, there's been a roughly 20% drop in our traffic. I've recently noticed that Google has put a featured snippet from a shoddy review page on the SERP for "best dog door" that pushes our organic ranking below the fold for desktop and mobile.
    What I have learned over the years is what one considers shoddy, may be an incorrect observation.

    Fred was released around March 8th 2017 give or take a few days, and that seems to correlate with your drops in traffic.

    Let me ask you a couple of questions..

    Is your site a blog type of site ? Do you run a lot of ad sense ? Also have you done any link building in the last 12 months ?

    "Fred" targets these types of sites. Without seeing your site or the listing that you think is shoddy, not saying it is or is not, it will be hard to help you.

    But if pressed for an answer, I would say you have been affected by "FRED", this is just an educated guess at best!
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    The word best is a stop word, did you create a lot of links with that term?
    You should be going after 'dog doors' and let your content cover the phrases, I have a feeling it's your link profile. If you send me a private message with your url I'll check it out.
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    Originally Posted by KnowOneSpecial
    What I have learned over the years is what one considers shoddy, may be an incorrect observation.

    Fred was released around March 8th 2017 give or take a few days, and that seems to correlate with your drops in traffic.

    Let me ask you a couple of questions..

    Is your site a blog type of site ? Do you run a lot of ad sense ? Also have you done any link building in the last 12 months ?

    "Fred" targets these types of sites. Without seeing your site or the listing that you think is shoddy, not saying it is or is not, it will be hard to help you.

    But if pressed for an answer, I would say you have been affected by "FRED", this is just an educated guess at best!
    Point taken about the "shoddy" comment. I'm obviously biased, but it knowing our industry as well as I do, I think this was clearly just a list thrown together quickly with Amazon affiliate links. All that being said, I understand that neither a subjective nor an objective view on the quality will impact this much.

    Regarding your questions, the answer is "no" to everything. We're a brand / e-commerce website. We haven't updated our blog in quite a while (I know, I know), and we've never had a concerted link building effort other than what happens organically. Along those same lines, I don't think our organic rankings have suffered (as far as I can tell), just our traffic.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. It's very much appreciated.



    edited to add: we don't run any AdSense or other ads on our site. We only sell our branded product on the site.
    Last edited by donaldjlove; Aug 12th, 2017 at 07:27 AM.
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    We haven't done any specific link building exercises, so any anchor text should be fairly natural (since most of our backlinks should be truly organic).

    This did prompt me to go look at our links on Search Console, and there do appear to be a few fishy things. Unfortunately, I don't have a good way to compare this to what it looked like a year ago. It doesn't seem overly bad, but I'm clearly not an expert.

    Again, I want to stress that it doesn't appear to me that our organic rankings have suffered significantly. I could be missing something there, but I don't think so. Two of our key SERPs ("best dog door" and "dog door reviews") still put our site at or near the top of the organic rankings. But they both now have huge snippets taking up most of the real estate.

    I'll send the PM you requested. I really appreciate the time.
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    May I suggest you run this page >>>> hubnames.com/pets/best-dog-door/

    ( this may be the site of the featured snippet )

    Run it thur this tool >>>>> https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool

    Now you can examine the code ( this shoddy amazon review site, LOL ), used to help acquire that "Featured Snippet"

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