This year turned out to be very rich in a variety of events, many of them taking place on a global scale. I have been promoting online stores for more than 10 years, but I really encountered some features from this case for the first time.
Also, at the end, we will discuss what trends are visible in Russian e-commerce, what patterns consumers behave according to, and where everything is going in general.
Introductory data on the project
Niche: online car parts store, there is an offline store.
Assortment: engines and gearbox, suspension elements, body parts, car accessories and electronics, car tools, alarms, etc.
- Geo: the city of Obninsk.
- Monthly traffic from search: ~2000 units per month.
- Domain registration date: April 2020.
- Problematic: there is no growth of organic traffic.
- Initially, the online store came with a traffic of ~2000 visits per month. As usual, at the start, I request all the data on the project and a list of what has already been done.
The client provided reports from the previous contractor and that’s what was there:
Introduction of information semantics: ratings and tops of auto parts.
Working with robots.txt , sitemap.xml , by Yandex.Webmaster and GSC.
Copywriting in the sections of the product catalog.
Adding emoticons to meta tags to increase CTR in search.
Buying links on forums .
And all this lasted about a year. To be honest, I was surprised at what nonsense customers can sometimes pay for, and for a long time.
At the same time, the result in terms of SEO, that is, commercial traffic with a return on invested funds, is absolutely zero.
In January 2022, full-scale work with semantics and the product catalog began. Filters were introduced and templates for generating meta tags in products and product categories were completely reworked.
The problematic places in the self-written CMS from third-party developers were instantly revealed, everything was identified and packaged in TK.
Separately, a section with brands / models of cars was worked out with the binding of auto parts according to these parameters. This is where the main stream of organic traffic in online automotive-themed stores is located.
Connected the feed for additional representation in the search. According to Yandex’s assurances, traffic growth can be up to 200%. Maybe it is somewhere, but not in the subject of spare parts.
It takes 5 months, it’s May, and the result according to the forecast should be a multiple of more, what’s the problem?
Search traffic dynamics
And then I noticed that since about April, notifications from Yandex.Webmaster about the unavailability of the scanned urls often began to arrive. Then error 502, then code 200. The increase in the number of notifications was directly proportional to the increase in traffic.
As the product catalog was updated and new categories appeared, a lot of work began on indexing and de-indexing new pages. This is how it looks like:
Dynamics of indexing of online store pages
After another parsing of the online store through a mobile proxy for problems with internal optimization, I noticed that for some reason the site stopped opening from my phone.
Experimentally, it was found that the web server for some reason blocks requests from ip addresses for an incomprehensible period of time, from which there are multiple requests, and search engine bots are no exception here.
I asked the customer who owns the server, and he replied that the developers who made the online store. Then it turned out that several similar projects were hanging on one VPS, and in order to save as much as possible on hosting, the developers configured blocking by ip and http headers so as not to create excessive load.
According to this logic, in order to drop the attendance of an online store, it is enough to pair it with mobile proxies of popular cellular operators. There can be several thousand users on one mobile ip at the same time. And the developer refused to disclose the subtleties of the work of this lock.
The customer is adequate, and we are not fools like, we sit and think, we have implemented quite a lot, it should already grow normally, what is wrong here.
We urgently made a backup of the project and moved to the customer’s server. We have installed Antibot.Cloud to protect the online store from:
- behavioral and spam bots;
- any parsers (proxies, http headers and user-agent do not matter);
- fake bots with user-agent like official search engine robots.
When conducting SEO work, one of the basic things is parsing and analyzing competitors. A lot of technologies and services for analyzing texts, structure, semantics, links and other things are based on this.
Now our client’s website is reliably protected from this, plus there are no ip locks, which prevented traffic from growing in full.
The result: steady growth of traffic of the regional project, correct indexing by search engines and full protection from negative fraud of the PF.
What happens to traffic in ecom in 2022?
The traffic situation was divided into “before” and “after” on February 24. It is necessary to clarify that I am talking about stable projects with traffic. Not new regs and not in an active growth phase.
Until February 2022, search traffic in ecom projects grew steadily or remained on a plateau, without collapses and sharp jumps.
The last days of February – the first days of March – a sharp increase in traffic in the product. Users began to sweep away everything that is plugged into the outlet, began to buy spare parts, consumables and oils for the future.
If the purchase has been postponed for a long time, then in March the very moment has come. There are several main reasons for this:
tomorrow is always more expensive than yesterday;
the most severe sanctions began to grow like a snowball, or you will buy today at a more or less reasonable price, or you will not find it at all, since the right brand will no longer be there.
It was in March that there was a boom in sales. Some niches were stretched until April, for example, auto parts: