Google’s John Mueller had to tell an individual that when Google makes changes to its search algorithms, those changes should have zero impact on your direct traffic. Yes, they can have a big impact on your organic traffic, but not your direct traffic.

Direct traffic are website visits that arrived on your site either by typing your website URL into a browser or through browser bookmarks. Google Analytics will also lump in traffic that it can’t recognize the traffic source of a visit into this category.

But the only thing that should really changes directly related to an algorithm update would be organic traffic. Of course, if your organic traffic drops, maybe less people are sharing your website on social and via email. But I can’t imagine it would have a huge impact on your direct traffic? Or maybe it does for some sites?

John Mueller of Google said on Twitter “Search algorithms can’t affect direct traffic — it sounds like either you’re not tracking direct traffic (and it’s more a total mix of traffic), or something unrelated also happened.” John said maybe something is broken with the site or the analytics configuration that is causing this but it would not be a Google algorithm update.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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