It looks like Google rolled out an update to the algorithm that decides how highly pages rank in their results over the weekend or early this past week, and it has taken a serious toll on this site. Put simply, while I was celebrating our having surpassed 100,000 visitors yesterday (which I didn't notice for nearly a month) I noticed something else that I had also missed -- this time a few days ago --.namely that we lost about a third of our traffic on Tuesday, and then half of that on Wednesday.
As things stand right now, this site has lost about 2/3rds of its traffic over a 48-hour period, and unless Google rolls back their changes, this site just went from barely paying for itself to being dead within 12 months.
I'm going to take care of some other things this weekend and let things idle here, and see if I can't come up with a plan by Monday. I need between 250-300 visitors per day for the site to pay for itself so what I'm looking at now all of the sudden is having to find a way to triple my traffic. Problem is, if I knew how to do that, I'd have done it already and had a heck of a lot more than the 250's.
I like Google and all, but their minuscule tweak to their search algo's intended to improve results has a huge impact on small sites such as this one. If it had this big of an impact here, I imagine the result of this update is that in the end, it will have snuffed out hundreds of thousands of not millions of small sites just to get a tiny little improvement in search results. Is that what Google really wants? I hope it was worth it.