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This 498 message thread spans 17 pages: < < 498 ( 1 ... 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 [16] 17 > >     
traffic from google has dropped

 5:51 pm on Aug 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

anyone seen the drop in traffic from google?
I am seeing that the traffic has dropped nearly 50 % in a day while the pages in index are the same and also the SERP have not changed that way.

I am talking about traffic of nearly 7 k from google everyday and hence its a sizable decrease.

Looking for early answers on how we could check the things



 3:05 pm on Aug 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

"The site affected was our oldest, most established site with the most links and a PR6."

Exactly the same here!


 3:51 pm on Aug 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

ok, well, now that everyone has seemingly knocked my ideas... my point was that I have been doing extensive research round the clock and overall, all of the techniques that we use to get listed well and properly seem to be devalued. I still have a PR6 site, and I don't have links coming from these link-monger sites, and I don't have any crazy internal linking. Up until now I had done things pretty much by the book. My point was, after studying about 50 pages per each of my 20 main search terms I follow, I have found lower pr, no h tags in the majority of them, no or little anchor text, shorter image alt tags (2 words or less) and overall the keyword density of the kewords and phrases per the top pages were less that 15 percent. I don't know if this whole change is a permanent one or a temporary one and I know what I am doing goes against the better teaching and protocols for an SEO, but I also know that dumbing down the techie side of my pages that I am testing made them jump as little as 10 to as many as 35 spaces up the SERPS! Basically I am saving my a** here as I have until Sept 10th to correct the situation and get us back on the first page, or I am fired.


 4:01 pm on Aug 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

erykalefrak I sympathise with you.

Luckily my situation is not quite as severe.

We are number 1 for most phrases on all other search engines, of which make up 50% of our traffic so unfortunately I am not prepared to test your findings (although I would like to).

I'm now of the opinion; Google lost us, we did not lose Google ;)


 4:29 pm on Aug 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

On the 13th of August, I've added the H tags to article names - I've got 6 H3 tags on my main page.
My position went from 112 to 89th place.

After that (13th/14th), I've altered alt tags from "pix" or "spacer" to be keyword relevant. I've added H1 tags to the article titles (in article page) and modified the TITLE tag to contain article title. I also changed the title on the main page to contain three keywords + the title site.

the keyword density went to about 6%.
My site dropped from 89th to 124th place.

Is this a problem because of the changes or the google_SERP/google_SERP_algo upgrade that happened on the 13/14th?

erkylefrak: Are you saying that H tags, image alt tags and other stuff (like the changes I made) have to be removed?

p.s. Google has indexed 9100 pages on my site.

[edited by: Phiber at 5:03 pm (utc) on Aug. 16, 2004]


 4:52 pm on Aug 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

{quote] I have until Sept 10th to correct the situation and get us back on the first page, or I am fired. [/quote]

Sounds like it's time to either educate your boss about the benefits of PPC, or the reality of free traffic (or both).


 5:08 pm on Aug 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Sounds like it's time to either educate your boss about the benefits of PPC, or the reality of free traffic (or both).

I suppose you could say its not free for his boss if he has to pay someone to engineer the site for Google.

Something people forget - unless you can do it yourself it is far from free.


 8:35 pm on Aug 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, I get paid to do this stuff so it's not free for him.

It goes back to that same problem... the competition... 3 different sites, have not moved from their positions in the SERPs through this whole thing while we have... oddly. I think maybe they shifted one or two places back and forth.

So no matter what I tell him, prove to him, show him, he thinkas that if they can stay we should be there, end of story.


 12:28 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

How about this! The number 3 link in the SERPS for let's say "long Island blue thingamabobs" has not one single instance in code or copy that mentions "blue thingamabobs" or for that matter "blue" or "thingamabobs" and 7 instances of "long island" for a density of 13%. How did they end up number 3?

And,BTW- link:thisdomaininquestion.com brings only 18 links, none of which are "blue thingamabobs" related.

Patrick Taylor

 12:35 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have until Sept 10th to correct the situation

"Correct" what situation? The situation that needs correcting is that your employment seems to depend on short-term Google SERPS and a mad rush around this forum to keep your boss afloat. I would start looking around for another one.


 12:55 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Normally I would agree with you...
Seeing as the contract I have is pretty good for me right now, I am looking to get other clients together, but I am trying to keep this one. :) Is it possible that one of the competitors is linking us to bad links? I have found some links to our site I didn't set up.


 1:22 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

OK, from further research, I am lost, but I will say the comment someone made about the length of h tags seems much more logical.


 1:35 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have been asked to not plea for GG

[edited by: erykalefrak at 2:27 am (utc) on Aug. 17, 2004]


 2:01 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have one idea that seems explains all.

The idea is that Google has decided that self-description have little information value because is always biased. The only information value is what independent sites and persons tell about you. So Google assigned to self description pages the rank coefficient close to zero.

It explains why:

1.Many index pages got PR0. Just because index pages naturally describe their own site and hence has 0 information value. I believe the most good inbound links are not to index page also.

2.The value of cross-links in the side become close to 0. Again because it is biased self-description.

3.The value of outbound links increased. If you link to other good sites it shows that you try to be objective and not biased

4.Many optimized sites suffered. Just because all optimization based on self cross links (e.g. keywords in the links, keywords in <H1> in index pages) lost its value. No banning or punishment.

5.Many good sites have suffered. It may be illusion. As I mentioned mostly probably index page have suffered because it is self-description. Also the values of inbound links were recalculated.

Bottom line. Google now more trusts what others say about your and what you say about others but not what you say about yourself.



 2:23 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

that is a very interesting, relevant, and scary possibility.


 3:07 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Fantastic Post.

Only one thing i have to argue against this theory.
I would think that all sites would be effected by a change as discussed. Many people have sites that have seen no impact whatsoever from this change (were not even aware of an update).


 3:26 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm reading posts that state the SERPS are changing as they change things within a few days. But we have not had a deep-crawl in months now, nor have we had a PR update.

When did you guys mainly notice traffic drops from Google? Is it within this week/month/2months?

I personally have optimized my site with ALT tags, bold <h1>s, and the meta and title descriptions. I was thinking of using the "summary=" tag for every table as some competitors have done, but I am afraid of having too many of the keywords on the page.

If you do a search for "SEO" on google you will find that some of the top ranking sites don't seem to be penalized for these actions. They also have <h1> tags and <b> tags throughout their main pages.

I tend to get really nervous and screw with my pages quickly, but in this instance I think a lot of it is speculation.

The truth is, using <b> is normal, using <h1> tags is normal, and linking to and from sites that are related and unrelated is normal, which indicates to me that Google will probably not penalize you for it.

If they simply de-valuate these techniques, i don't really care. I'll just move on and do what needs to be done.

As of yet I have not heard really any reliable theories on what is going on with Google, so I am sitting tight.


 3:34 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)


interesting but i would question how much relevance the home page going to pr0 has to anything being discussed here.

googleguy himself just explained in another thread that google's algorithms try to determine the home page and they can get confused if you accidentally point to a different form of the home page (i.e. if you link to www.example.com/index.asp in addition to www.example.com).

if googleguy's silence on the recent changes is not just laziness or because of vacation and is instead strategic - i.e. ipo silence or unwillingness to divulge trade secrets or whatever - then i think his breaking his silence to announce this problem with home pages is pretty darn significant. he must have been itching at the chance to correct a lot of wild theories without divulging too much more than he needed to. so i would be hesitant to base any broader theories on a home page problem of a few.


 4:17 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> not just laziness

Jeez. I'd re-read at that statement and think about it. Think real hard as a grown up. Accept the fact that you're playing with the big boys and no one is going to watch your back.

I can assure you, if you're relying on advice from Google in any form, you and 200,000 other webmasters are going to follow the same techniques and it will be put on a future devaluation list.


 4:27 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

"if googleguy's silence on the recent changes is not just laziness or because of vacation and is instead strategic - i.e. ipo silence or unwillingness to divulge trade secrets or whatever - then i think his breaking his silence to announce this problem with home pages is pretty darn significant. he must have been itching at the chance to correct a lot of wild theories without divulging too much more than he needed to. so i would be hesitant to base any broader theories on a home page problem of a few. "

why should he tell you (or me for that matter) how to beat google's algo?


 4:37 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)


i think you're right on. i speculated about other reasons googleguy might not be talking but the very best one is that google is quite happy not revealing details about what they did recently because they don't want the spammers to know.

as for shri's comment, i really think that's horribly unfair to googleguy. i think googleguy has been trying to give constructive advice where he can. googleguy does not give webmasters tips about how to game the search engines, just basic info that will help them avoid sure pitfalls.

how advice on properly doing 301 redirects or making sure your home page is consistently listed is going to get you banned along with "200,000 other webmasters" is beyond my understanding. shri, i for one would be happy if you did exactly the opposite of what googleguy recommends as best practices.


 5:50 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)


Interesting, very interesting, but then wont ALL index pages have something nice to say about themselves and commmon, you ought to.



 7:11 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Links from other domains have only a very small higher likelihood of being unrelated than links within a domain. Google is not going to ignore the reality of the web, let alone play so obviously into the hands of template/duplicate spammers. This one phenomenon is far more likely to be an anomaly than anything else since it runs against the tide of most everything Google has tried recently.


 8:45 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Decius I think you have hit the nail on the head.


 10:42 am on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

the idea that external links are going to be more authoratative seems to be a little suspect given that many SEOs have loads of sites that they can cross link any way they like.

so, by devaluing internal links and boosting external links, that will only play into the hands of people with a large network of sites.


 2:17 pm on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is my theory: Google is tracking multiple sites from the same owner, specially with AdSense. Google gets the oldest and most structured site and penalizing it. Why Google is doing it? I don't know. But it is the only thing that makes sense to me, since my sites have the same structure and only my oldest site has droped. Maybe that explains why we can only open 1 AdSense account and also the creation of channels(even without the channels Google would be able to track sites on the same account). If you do not have AdSense and you are in the same situation that we are, so maybe just try to change the WHOIS of your site and wait a for the results. Any suggestion is very welcome.


 2:22 pm on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi ltedesco, as mention previously we do not have adsense and are in the same situation as you are.


 2:26 pm on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do you have all your sites on the same name and information on WHOIS?


 2:53 pm on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Yes, we sure do!


 3:13 pm on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

Have been away and just seen this topic. Gave me quite a fright, but I think our experience is interesting:

No change whatsoever in traffic, apart from increase commensurate with additional pages indexed. We operate quite a few big sites (50,000+ pages) and no small sites.

What has been a problem since early August is getting google to index additional pages created. Then over last weekend google visited these new category pages and traffic took a big jump on Monday (about 20%).

I have not the faintest idea why people have lost traffic - I look at the SERPs and I honestly see no difference between results I saw a few weeks ago.

There are 2 things though that should be considered:-

1. Recent posts in PPC forums about a drop in espotting clicks. Espotting, along with a few other US PPC engines, derive a huge amount of their income from directory-style affiliate sites that are several hundred thousand or several million pages, with each page focused on a search term, and they perform in google results and users click and the affiliate gets paid. At SES in London Matt Cutts made clear that these sites were in their sights. How many of you posting are these types of affiliates or are other affiliates who closely resemble in structure and content these directory sites? Having said that I cannot see a whole lot having disappeared but there are so many of them that google could have got half of them and we wouldn't even notice

2. Google turning the optimisation screw, and in particular the links screw. For a long time we have been saying, do not do reciprocal links, don't link from within networks etc etc. As we don't I cannot comment on whether google has now even more heavily targeted this area, but I would not be surprised. So again, have many of you relied on these types of "artificial links"?


 6:33 pm on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

So whats the final summary then?

Chickens coming home to roost for Google OR
Just a google tweak that has caught peole out?


 6:54 pm on Aug 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

My summary is that my 70% loss of traffic for one of my bigger sites is googles problem and not mine.
My peers would not know that my site is suffering because it still retains its positions for main targetted kws.I am not comfortable with the "dampening of the internal link" theory as its my internal pages that are ranking which do not have a lot of outside links to them.But i have lost all traffic for all the minor kw phrases that typically make up 70% of the searches.
The wierd thing is when I type in a paragraph of unique text from any of my pages, they do not show up in the first 100 results,yet when I break down the paragraph in lots of 2 words I have top positions.
So I am hanging out for google to correct itself and i see that I am slowly regaining some traffic.

This 498 message thread spans 17 pages: < < 498 ( 1 ... 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 [16] 17 > >
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