Update 2nd August: Now in August their Traffic has been restored, making me think it was an SEO test that went wrong.
From 4.9 million searches per month in June 2018, down to 2.7 million in July 2018.
SEMrush sensors have been flagging up lots of UK activity in the SERPs during July, and it looks like the clothing giant River Island could be the victim of a serious organic search drop.
This could be due to an algorithm penalty, or perhaps the result of a large technical SEO fault.
This is the lowest their organic rankings have been since January 2016, which could have a big impact on their summer clothing sales.
After doing a quick overview of archive.org, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and a crawl with Screaming Frog, it’s hard to see any major changes that could’ve made this happen.
However they aren’t without SEO flaws, such as:
- The /inspirations section contains indexed tag pages, missing meta descriptions, thin pages of just images, and other clear SEO mistakes that could cause Panda related issues.
- The main site is indexing category filters, it has missing H1 tags on plenty of pages, missing canonical links, and other basic on page SEO issues.
If I had to put my finger on the biggest problem, it would probably be the combination of indexing the category filter pages and not having canonical tags in place.
Perhaps it was an SEO experiment that went wrong, or simply a Google algorithm update.
Maybe we’ll hear more over the next few weeks.