SEO Breakdown: How to Diagnose Lost Traffic to Your Blog Post

Services for Real Estate Pros with Suplari, Inc.

Most bloggers are seeing tremendous changes in traffic to their blog posts due to changes in the Google Algorithm, most recent being the Google Hummingbird update.  Here is a quick SEO analysis of three blog posts on ActiveRain and how traffic has varied dramatically based on the quality of the content.  

On this blog post, The Flooring Girl Debbie Gartner of White Plains, NY asked what she can do to regain lost traffic to some of her FAQ's as she is seeing forums on larger web sites like taking traffic from her web pages.

Debbie Gartner Question

Caveat: I know no magic.  I am not an SEO expert, but I know enough to be dangerous.  I am pretty good about creating process to understand what is happening and thinking about what to do next.  

Here is my mental process:

1) Tools: Open up a subscription to SEOMoz/OpenSiteExplorer.  I use Open Site Explorer pretty frequently to understand what Google is up to.  I think there is a 1 month free offer.  The subscription is month to month so you can cancel at any time.

2) Basic Analysis: Put in your blog or web site.  Really understand the domain authority and the page authority of your top web pages.  Debbie is one of the top bloggers and SEO people on ActiveRain.  BUT, her domain authority is only 28 which is not very high compared to the sites she is competing against.  Her home page has a page authority of 39.  Social data is not showing up for Debbie right now.  Debbie cites City-Data as her competition.  You can see has a domain authority of 88 and better metrics across every category.


Flooring Girl SEO

City Data SEO

3)  Understand the Competition: Open up an incognito or private browser on Chrome or Firefox.  If you are on Google Plus or Google has cookied you, your search results won't be representative of the average consumer.  Do a basic search in a private browser and see who you are competing against.  See below for Oil vs Water Based Polyurethane.  You can see Debbie's web page has been pushed all the way to the bottom of page one of the SERP

4) Compare Page Authority & Link Metrics: You need to do this for all the key pages.  I am only going to look at the oil vs water based polyurethane page on Debbie's site and I compared it with the number one page in the Google results from (which purports to be the number one DIY site for home improvement).

Use the "Compare Link Metrics" tab comparing metrics for these web pages.

SEO Comparison Flooring Girl

You can see that SEOMoz ranks Debbie's web page only slightly lower than the web page from a page authority point of view with more backlinks to Debbie's page.   For some reason, Open Site Explorer is not pulling up the social sharing information on Debbie's page.   I would say that web page looks like a better to the eye, so I will assume it has a slightly lower bounce rate than Debbie's page.

5) Domain Authority: So I think the main issue lies with Debbie's domain authority.  When you do a quick glance down the stats comparing the web pages, FamilyHandyMan absolutely dominates only when you look at the entire web site in aggregate.  Unfortunately, the only solution is hard work to keep building backlinks from high quality domains and create high quality content on the site.  Google has shifted over the past two or three years to look more at the domain authority of the backlink as more important than the number of links.  When we compare backlinks to the domain, has significantly more backlinks from high quality domains with domain authority 80-90 range which Debbie only has links from Houzz,, and ActiveRain.  

Domains Backlinking to Debbie's

Domains Backlinking to TheFlooringGirl

Domains Backlinking to

Domains Backlinking to


1) High Quality Backlinks to the Web Page: Get a high quality backlink or two (80+, Non ActiveRain since she has so many already) to this web page.  See if that pushes your page authority up since it is so similar to the others.  We have seen even one or two high quality backlinks make a big difference in the SERPS.  Interesting to see the forum links from Yahoo Voices and the social links from Pinterest.  More investigation would be needed on whether those are followed or not.  I would do the basics of making sure you have backlinks in these "free" media, but also talk to the local and national press for backlinks.  

2) Social Marketing: Market your web page / content on social networks especially Google Plus.  Debbie has an incredible Google Plus following which should really help her attract consumers.  I can't see this for Debbie on SEOMoz, but she should take advantage of this strength.

3) More High Quality Backlinks to the Domain: Build more high quality backlinks to the  When pages are close in quality, Google defaults to the higher domain authority.  Look at your competition and where & how they are getting backlinks.  Contact those sites and see what content you can create to get high quality backlinks. 

4) Repeat 1& 2 for key pages on your site.  

Good luck.  Hope this was somewhat helpful. 

Posted by

Nikesh Parekh

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Comments (50)

Steven Nickens
Wailea Realty - Wailea, HI
R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii

Excellent info thanks

Jan 06, 2014 03:53 AM
Karen Crowson
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Rancho Bernardo, CA
Your Agent for Change

I will need to bookmark this post for sure. Moving to a new website, and I have a lot of work ahead of me. This for certain is an area I need to improve. Thanks!

Jan 06, 2014 04:37 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

It never seems to get easier. We need to stay on top of SEO changes and competition.

Jan 06, 2014 05:28 AM
AJ Heidmann ~ CRS
McEnearney Associates, Inc. - Alexandria, VA
YOUR Alexandria & Arlington, VA Real Estate Expert

Nickesh - Thanks for the detailed tutorial... it's going to take some time, but definitely worth the effort to follow up.

Jan 06, 2014 06:04 AM
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Nicki, very interesting data. Must go back and study it.

Jan 06, 2014 06:22 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Nickesh - so much for me to look at so I bookmarked it.  I had the same conversation with Debbie when we sat down and looked at SEO a month ago.

Jan 06, 2014 09:53 AM
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate


Good stuff but I need the time to digest it, with all the other things going on in real estate. Thanks!


Jan 06, 2014 10:00 AM
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

Definitely ALOT of good info to digest. Thanks for cracking my brain for the New Year. LOL!

Jan 06, 2014 11:49 AM
Nikesh Parekh
Suplari, Inc. - Seattle, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for all the comments.  I have heard grumbling about lost traffic from blog posts on ActiveRain.   The most important thing to realize is that ActiveRain as a blogging platform has gotten stronger with recent redesign and data schemas geared towards Google, but older content needs a update and nore high quality backlinks. 

Yes, it is a dense analysis, but here are the key takeaways:

1) Keep blogging.  Focus on writing high quality content that is targeted towards the right keywords.

2) Get backlinks for your blog posts.  On long-tails blog posts, one or two good backlinks can put you to the top of the SERPS.

3) Focus on quality backlinks. It is more important to get a backlinks from a high quality, high domain authority web site than lots of backlinks from weak sites.


Jan 06, 2014 12:42 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I suppose it's never too late for me to get better at SEO-- thanks!


Love and light and prosperity in 2014,


Jan 06, 2014 02:23 PM
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Man, you gave me a headache. I just wanted to be a real estate broker, not a computer programer and an SEO marvel. But it appears this is what is needed. 

I need a class on this! 

Jan 06, 2014 09:51 PM
Cheryl Dukes . . . . . Intown Atlanta
Solid Source Realty, Inc. - Atlanta, GA

Hi Nikesh, nice to meet you and learn who the CEO is of Activerain. Thanks for the SEO tips. Now I know what I don't know.

Jan 07, 2014 12:22 AM
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Nikesh...Now Just when we all Got Comfortable...Gish

Great Information, thanks Nikesh

Jan 07, 2014 12:35 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Return on the hunt and peck, to gain attention, gain greater reach without obnoxious frequency is a beautiful thing. The under the hood diagnostics tell the tale. And when there is a brown out, king in the views, clicks on one platform and increase on others, pay attention. Learn the why and made needed adjustments. All the time. 

Jan 09, 2014 10:39 PM
I like your site and will continue reading! Thanks! for more info bestseotraining
Mar 23, 2014 09:37 PM
This article is just what i need, thank you Admin..
Apr 13, 2014 07:18 AM
This really is a great web site article.
Apr 13, 2014 08:01 AM
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I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog for more info bestseotraining
Apr 15, 2014 05:13 PM
Barry Kessler
Pinnacle Estate Properties, Inc. - Simi Valley, CA
Barry Kessler


Great post and detail. I'm going to use that link and get the free stuff/analysis for the limited time and check it out.

Jan 04, 2015 07:23 AM
Nikesh Parekh
Suplari, Inc. - Seattle, WA
Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor

My pleasure.  Thanks Barry!

Jan 13, 2015 01:36 PM

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