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This 240 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 240 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 > >     
22-23 September Google traffic dropped dramatically
Google traffic

 10:38 am on Sep 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

traffic dropped from 2000 to 350 on my website and I cannot find my pages showed up on Google for particular keywords. PR=5 the same as usual. Anybody has the same problem ... any comments why that happened to my website?



 1:08 am on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

My secret? Haven't SEO'd the site. Haven't touched the site format (urls) since June or so. I expect will only get better with time the more I leave things alone.


I believe that Google may simply implements into practice its open statement that Google considers as spam all that is optimized for search engines *only* and had no benefits for human visitors.



 1:11 am on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

We should spend some time on this thread comparing notes and trying to understand what happened and what could be triggering our sites to nose dive. One of mine went from 12,000 uniques a day to 9,000 on August 6 and then now down to around 4,000 with the 9/23,24 issue.

How do you figure out if G! thinks you have duplicate content?


 1:16 am on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

< How do you figure out if G! thinks you have duplicate content?

I'm not sure if there's any way to tell for sure, but if you do a site:www.mysite.com command, any result that shows just a url, without a description, has been crawled but not indexed. My understanding is that this COULD be due to duplicate content.


 1:28 am on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

>>We're a content site that happens to use amazon for our affiliate sales. I'd hate to think we got nailed for our amazon store.<<

IMHO, Google is removing most sites which use any type of Amazon script. I see examples of this on several sites I watch.

Yes, one of my sites is an Amazon scripted site which has suffered the Google purge. The thing to keep in mind is that while Google may not like such a site, the other search engines do.

Since I have spent NO time or effort on this site since March 2004, I feel ANY revenue it generates is a bonus..
My September 2004 stats show you can generate some traffic from this type of site from the other search engines..

Links from an Internet Search Engine 23 different refering

search engines Pages Percent Hits Percent
Ask Jeeves 13455 78.4 % 13455 78.4 %
Ask Jeeves UK 1283 7.4 % 1283 7.4 %
Yahoo 905 5.2 % 905 5.2 %
Teoma 373 2.1 % 373 2.1 %
Excite 292 1.7 % 292 1.7 %
MetaCrawler (Metamoteur) 214 1.2 % 214 1.2 %
Mamma 174 1 % 174 1 %
MSN 137 0.7 % 137 0.7 %

Robots- 9 different robots* Hits Bandwidth Last visit
Jeeves 499819 6.87 GB 26 Sep 2004 - 21:32
Inktomi Slurp 952 15.84 MB 26 Sep 2004 - 21:21
Googlebot (Google) 403 6.96 MB 26 Sep 2004 - 20:06
Alexa (IA Archiver) 236 4.25 MB 26 Sep 2004 - 03:36
Unknown robot (identified by 'spider') 69 1.53 MB 26 Sep 2004 - 14:00


 3:36 am on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hmm. Disturbing (for me). Did some searches for amazon products, and it looks like there are only a few sites using the amazon product feed that are not penalized (ie, when searching for the site's name, the site doesn't show up in the top 3, yet the site has good pagerank).

I can see some sites filtered that don't use amazon product feed, but do use large datafeeds.

So, I'm off to move the amazon datafeed and all other datafeeds to another domain, then block them out on my site with my robots.txt file.

Perhaps I'm jumping the gun here, and it is still a glitch - anyone else have suggestions how they'd handle this?


 5:41 am on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

What would you consider amazon scripts? I have a wedding site which has links to register at amazon for wedding gifts. That link is on most pages. It also has links on many pages to books (amazon) about weddings. Neither of these links generate squat as far as revnue but I do consider them to add value to the pages on which they reside. This site hasn't suffered, today was one of its best days.


 6:24 am on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm with Powdork on this one. OK, me too.

I think you fellows are off base with the whole affiliate approach. Better yet, I hope you are. I've been looking at the top rank pages and what I'm finding are the most relevant sites have the most relevant backlinks, as well as the greater amount of backlinks. At least the several I checked. Those top sites also contain relevant links to several affiliates, including Amazon.

No doubt Google is tweaking a few things.. maybe the Gaang enjoys watching webmasters tweak, too. I left town last Thursday thinking I might come back to a disaster - after reading a few pieces of <another> earlier thread. Indeed, just the opposite. Don't believe that I'm all happy about it either... I won't get to sleep in until sometime next week.


 11:36 am on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

This is what happpened to one of my sites. A large content site with 4000 pages of original articles lost quite abit of google traffic some time in August. 5 days ago my traffic returned, but not only that it now gets 50 % more traffic than it got before the hit in August. Of course personally I am happy with this as my adsense earnings have dobled the last week as a result of the extra traffic. Though I understand that many of you are frustrated, I think it is only fair that all those sites with 90 affiliate content lose some of their traffic. But hey, in a month or so it could all be turned upside down again and I will once again be on the loosing team.

Btw, hello everybody as this is my first post here, have been lurking here for years so I though it was about time to make a post. Anyway, I better not turn this topic into my own welcome post so back to topic.

The extra traffic is not comming from my top key words but from thousands of new and kind of weird keywords like this one " barrel racing video game "


 12:30 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

One of my sites has also been hit by the new-and-tweak-algo. I used to have some good rankings in Google for a variety of related keywords and phrases. But the last time I checked (about five days ago) I was tanking, which was like going from 8 to 56, etc. Nothing on my site changed over the last month or so, and it still is the site G used to appreciate. So? Anyone know what my next "corrective" step should be?


 12:59 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

(optimized for search engines *only* and had no benefits for human visitors)
lets talk about site content here.
Lets say you have a hotel site and lets say it's about "cheap hotels in widget" and you just give the user a form to check availability and compare prices in cheap hotels in widget, now what kind of content needs the end user? to learn about the geography of widget? to learn about its attractions....ech?,he just need a form ,check prices and book, if he choice to go to widget he knows about it he just want to book a hotel, that's all. This page with the right key words its beneficial to the end user because gives him what he needs, I like to hear some comments if I'm right or wrong


 1:31 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> Are most/all of you who are feeling recent pain referring to aff sites?

Yup, mine are big aff sites!


 1:55 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> Are most/all of you who are feeling recent pain referring to aff sites?

My aff site is doing ok but my site with original content is just disappeared from google. The traffic of this site drop from 4000 to 50 and my adsense earnings are also down, down to earth.

But I can see different results on google for same keywords for last 4-5 days.
Is still google is tweaking with algo or its google dance.

I also observed one thing keywords in URI is doing well.

What's your observation?



 2:48 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

How can we define affiliate site? If each page contains 100% unique content, but also contains a link to an affiliate program domain, is it an aff site? Because this site would fit that description then, with banners at the top.

Lots of good, clean information sites have affiliate links, since they aren't in the biz of actually running a shop, but still want a chance to make $.

I can see problems if you are mostly using content pasted from the site of your affiliate though, with links to their site where the spider can find the duplicate.


 3:09 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

How can we define affiliate site?

Personally, I define one as a site that is sinply generated using a merchants datafeed, with the only difference between one page and the next being the H1 title/meta tags, etc.

I've seen too many of these types of sites to count, but I've also seen a large number in the last few days get tanked. It's about time.


 3:20 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)


by affiliate site, I am not referring to a site that only has a banner for affiliate programs on it.

If you have ever seen sites that use Amazon's product feed, combined with mod-rewrite. Using the script, you can create search engine friendly pages for all of Amazon's items - essentially creating thousands of pages that are dynamically generated from Amazon's content.

On my site, I use the script to target specific items relevant to my visitors, but the other items were getting indexed by Google and did get substantial traffic.

I also used datafeeds of information from other merchants to create search engine friendly pages to promote there products.

My main site, that has the Amazon product feed, plus a few other datafeeds, got hit the hardest. I am getting around 20% of the traffic I used to get, and it appears even for very specific searches, I'm not in the top 5 listings.

For my wife's site, that has a few sections generated by large datafeeds - her traffic is down, but not as much as my main site. She doesn't use the Amazon product feed at all on her site.

I also have a few small niche sites with no datafeeds, and those are still ranking the same.

I did some searches for specific amazon products, and it does look like several of the sites using amazon product feed are getting the same results as my main site - searching for their main site name does not show them in the top 5 results. However, when I do some other general searches, some sites using amazon product feed do show up in the results, and seem to rank without any penalty.

So, my conclusion is that this could be coincidence at this point, but it could also be a filter. For me, I've made the decision to block off all my datafeed generated pages, including the Amazon product feed generated pages using my robots.txt file. This is going to basically get rid of a lot of the 20% of the traffic I have left, but I'm hoping it'll get the main content parts of my site back into Google where they used to be. Overall, I've always felt that the datafeed generated pages would eventually get weeded out by Google - I assumed they would do it on a page by page basis, and not a site-wide penalty basis.

I'm really curious if anyone who got hit on Sept 23rd does NOT use amazon product feed or other large datafeeds on their site. Cutting them out of my site is painful - and I realize it could be a huge mistake if the drop my site is seeing is a glitch - as I won't have any holiday traffic to my datafeed pages now, either way.


 3:36 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi all ,
just a quick question if your affilliate based site traffic has been badly hit from G , have you also noticed the following

1 old page cache in serps from 1st week in september

2 reduced visits by traditional gbot since 5th september

I suspect there are 2 types of new filter
(1) An on page filter gbot still visits
(2) A site wide filter normal gbot does not visit
with differing penalties applied therefore affecting serps in slightly different ways



 3:44 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

if you do a site:www.mysite.com command, any result that shows just a url, without a description, has been crawled but not indexed. My understanding is that this COULD be due to duplicate content.

I tried this on sites with true duplicate content, the source site listed all pages, the duplicate sites are exactly as you say, I think you're right.


 4:08 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

< I'm really curious if anyone who got hit on Sept 23rd does NOT use amazon product feed

Rick, we don't use any affiliate feeds, and took a mild hit on September 23 (about a 10% drop in G referrals).


 4:10 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

To answer Rick M, I don't have any data feeds on my site, just HTML pages with clean w3C compliant code, and a couple of links per page to relevant products on another site (with my aff code of course).

I was on page 1 for lots of search phrases, I'm now appearing on page 7 kinda thing. All my pages appear to be in the index, and I'm being crawled still (more than usual). It's a 4 year old site with some solid incoming links.


 4:34 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

IMHO the rise of google coinsides with the dot.com bubble burst. I think that google has single handedly prevented the internet from growing beyond what it is. No serious business can run on the internet when you don't know if you will be in the serps the next week. How can you run a serious business without being able to forcast what your traffic will be. When google can add a filter and your gone from the serps and your traffic dries up in a day. There has to be a better way. If most traffic is going to come from search engines, there needs to be some stability, some way of knowing what your traffic is going to be and being able to count on that, otherwise the internet will be just a game, which is the way google seems to treat it.


 4:45 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

OK, I'm 180 degrees from most of you. My site, www.EXAMPLE.com, saw traffic increase by 30% on 22 and 23 of September. My site also saw positioning on key terms sky-rocket to 1 & 2 positions for over 9 keywords from 3 - 6 positions previously.

On Aug 5, some key terms went from 6 & 7 positions to 3, 4 and 5.

I've seen some people reference activity on Aug 23 and Sept 6 as well.

It would seem to me that Google is doing bi-monthly updates. Now the real question is are they updating PR or tweaking their algo?

Perhaps both, maybe their twekaing algo's on the 22 - 24th of every month and changing PR's on the 5 - 7th.

I'm willing to take bets that their is another wave of volatility around the 6th of OCT.


 4:48 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I believe the sept 23-24 is targeted specifically at amazon store sites. As far as filters go its pretty easy to implement if you search for "script by mr rat" on all the pages, or if the directory structure is based around ASIN #s.
I'm sure other datafeed based sites will folllow. I've heard its not just one-man-band sites starting to get hit. Companies like bizrate.com and overstock.com are also facing major duplicate content filter issues, and have been advertising for in-house SEOs to help them with the duplicate issues. Since they provide feeds to a lot of other major sites it is going to be a big issue this christmas.


 5:06 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

>> believe the sept 23-24 is targeted specifically at amazon store sites

Nope , Traffic went toilet in some of my 3 big sites , they are not amazon aff and also there is no way an algo can decide mine is an aff site since its not an datafeed site , no mention of merchant in the site and also no direct linking to the merchant site .

As some one posted here i beleive they turned the knob away from title tag and exact phrases on the body!


 6:26 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Our ecommerce company has experienced similar problems since August. Formerly #1 to #5 results are not showing up in Google anymore for product name keywords. Still top 5 in MSN and Yahoo for same keywords though.

One peculiarity is that a few of our products have managed to stay in the results on Google, though their rank has dropped considerably. The odd part is, they are displayed simply like this:

Similar pages

IE, our remaining results in Google are now missing the page titles and descriptions, and only showing a simple address and similar pages link. I have noticed other companies with results appearing this way as well.

Is this a related issue, or something that we are doing wrong on our end?

GBot has hit our site with vigor in the past 2-3 days so hopefully this will be resolved soon. Anyone agree with the earlier post that a likely time for a shuffle in results pages would be Oct 6?

Hope to see you all in VEGAS!


 7:37 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

My affiliate datafeed driven (not Amazon) site has lost 90% of its traffic since Sep 23rd. Page 1 rankings are down to page 8 or so. Non datafeed pages are also down, but maybe not as much.

For other affected affilate sites, what do you think there is on your site that may have made it suffer from the algo tweaks?

In particular:

    Do you use datafeeds?
    Are your links visible affiliate links or hidden with redirects?
    How much text is on the pages?
    Single page per product or multiple pages per product?
    Large number of internal links on each page?
    Long URLs including product names?
    Most inbound links reciprocal or not?
    Anything else relevant?


 8:09 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think they tried to go after the page scrappers this time ...Those sites tend to be big and rely on rankings from thousands of relatively less competitve obscure multi keyword phrases ...

This sites used to rank for this obscure keywords with the power of title tag ,body text and internal anchor links and now they altered something in the algo mix many of these sites are not ranking anymore!


 9:15 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

Just checked my stats, and traffic is still going up for my biggest content site. Today is gonna be an all time high, almost double my normal traffic.


 9:58 pm on Sep 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

My straight content pages have lost just as much ground as my affiliate driven pages - the whole site is hammered, gone from several thousand hits a day to "0" - my site is 5 years old with well over 2000 backlinks from other sites. Just the luck of the draw this time around, I guess...


 1:25 am on Sep 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

My Google traffic has gone up in the past week (about 20%) and my AdSense revenue is about about the same as a result.

My site is small (500 static pages) and almost all affiliate links. Links are not hidden or redirected.



 4:04 am on Sep 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I have seen a nice bump up since the end of Aug

Been looking at my stats - I would be lying if I said I knew why Aug went down and why the past few weeks are up . . .


 4:32 am on Sep 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Man - I just read this thread from last page to first . .

everytime Google updates - all the scotch in my house seems to go :)

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