Is Avvo (coming) Back?
Back in early May, I wrote a post: Avvo in SEO Traffic Free Fall. One of the many questions fielded about this was, may the come back? The answer was “probably” – from everything I could tell (including Avvo’s pointed “no comment” to the question around what was going on with their traffic), this looked like a one-off SEO penalty, with a sudden and otherwise inexplicable drop in traffic. Note from that previous article that this was for a select set of high value, head terms; the fall-off in volume was also anecdotally corroborated by numerous attorneys.
I’ve been able to get my mitts on an Avvo email that suggests not only was I correct in the original assessment, but that (possibly) they are at the beginning of a rebound. This is (somewhat) corroborated by a variety of third party reporting systems that sync with the timing from this Avvo data – which shows a hitting the bottom mark sometime in the middle of June.
So here are the data points:
This is the graph circulating Avvo that shows a pretty impressive traffic growth – again, if this is accurate it would support my supposition that this was an SEO penalty (or a major major stupid technical whoopsie, which I doubt would go unsolved for this long). Note that this graph does not show at all these rankings are for – for all we know its “fuzzy bunny slipper lawyer” or just focused on Lincoln, Nebraska. Also note that the overall number of terms for which they rank top 3 is still minuscule. Finally, this graph starts at the beginning of May, which is exactly when I first published my study, which means it conveniently leaves out the cratering that occurred during February and March (read: its built to paint them in a very positive light.).
SEMRush & ahrefs
SEMRush and ahrefs (both spectacularly inaccurate albeit directionally helpful third-party tools) show a traffic turnaround coinciding with the data above from Avvo. Of note, these tools give us a chance to look much further back for historical context and suggest the directory is still a ways off from its former zenith.
But… Ranking Reports
I hate ranking reports, but it was Gyi Tsakalakis’ ranking report of 250 head terms that first tipped me off on the Avvo decline. So I circled back and the results still aren’t pretty. While this is a very very very slim sampling of head terms, there seems to have been no movement within this set:
My advice? Watch closely and as always, monitor success through your own reporting metrics, not your vendors’.