It’s quite usual in SEO to see a small or large drop in traffic in accordance with certain algorithm changes, a new website going live or something similar.
What you wouldn’t expect is for Google to apply a Manual Action against your website by mistake, dropping your traffic by 90%!
90% is a huge loss of traffic. Especially for such a large company as Buffer. But even so, the fact that it was a MANUAL action and that it was also a Bug suggests that this was a serious error for Google.
Take a look at the screenshots from Buffer’s Analytics to see what a 90% drop in traffic looks like:
The team at Buffer reached out to John Mueller (Matt Cutts stand in) over Social Media and got the issue fixed. Upon the conclusion of this the Team at Buffer had the following to say:
Thankfully, our mystery has a happy—though slightly inconclusive—ending. Mueller’s team at Google found an issue and let us know they had fixed it. The manual action penalty was removed Aug. 28 and we began to see signs of recovery immediately after.
Blog Post by: Greg McVey