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22-23 September Google traffic dropped dramatically
Google traffic
maxidrom11




msg:53552
 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?

 

Spine




msg:53762
 6:34 am on Oct 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

Take a look at this thread Deva.

[webmasterworld.com...]

I'm no expert, but it sounds like the same thing to me.

Spine




msg:53763
 4:58 am on Oct 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, all I can say is that this new algo (or whatever it is) is much more tolerant of spammers - good one google.

Spam spam spam dominating lots of keywords. On page repetitive garbage, with or without lots of guestbook and blog spam links must be what google wants now.

Hope they choke on this update, because my non spammy stuff is being slaughtered, and my content used to help people, as well as paying my bills.

Die google, die.

Rollo




msg:53764
 3:36 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Has anyone made any progress or discoved anything definative about the Sept. 23rd change? This thread hasn't gotten much attention lately.

Sheppy




msg:53765
 3:53 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Nothing changed for us. Even less traffic. We are seeing different keywords every day that we havent seen before but no keywords that get steady traffic. Maybe something will change next update? And when is that?

Spine




msg:53766
 4:05 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Pretty well the same here, which is to say, crappy. Still looks like there is something very 'off' with some results.

stuartmcdonald




msg:53767
 4:10 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

We saw a hug fall on the 23rd - aroud 50% off. Site is a travel related site focussing on three countries.

Within a week it bounced back to old levels.

Within two weeks of that (ie., around now) we're seeing traffic levels of 70-100% above what they were before the fall, our highest traffic levels ever - we're very happy...

Vec_One




msg:53768
 4:17 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Good for you stuartmcdonald. I wish I could say the same. I lost almost all of my Google traffic. My site ranks #1 for the company name but nothing else.

Did you make any changes to your site before it bounced back?

stuartmcdonald




msg:53769
 4:34 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, after I got over the cardiac arrest I had when I looked at the stats on that September morning, we made one change that was rather substantial.

Previously, the left nav bar was always the same with around 30 links off to various areas of the site (all internal), and because of how the content was organised I was concerned about duplicate content and thought that may be one of the reasons we got smacked by google.

So we reworked the navigation so it was substantially different across the site - not 100% different, but went from 100% identical to about 30% identical, with more relevant links for the users.

That was the only major change and it was made within days of the belting received by google - we're adding new content into the site regularly - at least once every day or two - but we've been doing that for the last 12 months, so can't imagine that is the reason.

Looking at the serps it seems Google lost us, as about 90% of the links from Google now have no description (where pre Sept 23 they all did) and that still hasn't returned to how it was before. Yet the stats show that the surge in traffic is definetly coming from google - its a bit weird to be honest.

Its not a Pagerank issue, as we're pagerank 4 and always have been.

I know none of this probably answers your question - my feelings at the time (23/9) was that we had been unfairly penalised - caught in the wash that grabbed scrapers like tripadvisor etc - someone on this board suggested it was just a case of google losing an index and be patient - I tried that with my bank manager - she is still laughing... but it seems there was some truth to the comment.

Sheppy




msg:53770
 4:46 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

We have tried taking a whack of affiliate links off to see if that would make a difference. Rather than have 2 or 3 links to the product (1 on pic, 1 on product name ect) but has yet to make a difference. We dont want to go to far in reworking our site in case it is just a glitch on googles part. We are trying to figure out if it is an affiliate thing, which we have our doubts, lots of sites in our area are affiliate sites and are still at the top of the serps.

Rick_M




msg:53771
 5:27 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've had no real change since Sept 23rd. I am guessing (hoping?) the reason I dropped is because I was using the Amazon Product Feed on my site. I checked all other sites I could find that use it, and they all appear to be penalized. I am guessing it is nothing specific to that particular script, but something that Google identified about it that it doesn't like. It could of course be a blip and a botched index, or part of a process as they convert over to a new way of indexing the entire web.

I now remember back before Florida Update that a similar blip happened to my site, and as Google "adjusted" the knob over the next few weeks/months, my listings gradually improved. The hit last year was not as big of a deal as what I experienced Sept 23rd though.

It stinks for me that I had to cut out my Amazon feed pages, as I had them customized to fit into the topics I was promoting / writing about on my site. I just hope I didn't cut my leg off only to still get eaten by the shark.

I'm hoping that they make whatever corrections sooner, rather than later. Of course assuming they don't get worse.

garyr_h




msg:53772
 6:22 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure if this was mentioned or not but it seemed like Google rolled back its listings to an earlier point from Sept 22-23. I saw some sites cache being listed from June 1st although I know google has had a more recent one.

Also my site was listed as August 3rd and some others as July.

Most of the pages that are now on the site weren't put on until several weeks after August 3rd and their search terms were not to be found during the rollback but before and directly after the pages were found in the search engine.

So the only thing that I can think of for the low amount of visitors is some sort of a rollback which occured. I'm not sure if this is isolated to one area of google or not.. but I am about 80% positive this is the case.

Spine




msg:53773
 7:02 am on Oct 20, 2004 (gmt 0)

Stuartmcdonald, your post is encouraging.
Glad to see this thread still going, meaning I'm not the only one still stuck in this rut (for now).

tomsyboo




msg:53774
 8:41 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi, This is my first post. Just to let you all know my traffic from Google dropped over 90% on 22nd / 23rd September and it is still missing. Has anyone who suffered this problem got their traffic back? Has anyone discovered a solution? If anyone does implement a solution, would the traffic come back straight away or would you have to wait a few months?

Rollo




msg:53775
 9:43 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

My pages (about 100) have dorpped from mainly top 5 to SERPs ranging from page 7 to oblivion, well behind dozens and dozens of unrelated junk sites for the various keywords.

I was wondering if anyone thinks that we can just link their way out of the problem... and which is better, a couple high PR links or many lower PR links from sites with relevant keywords in their content? We have one PR8 and can get another if need be, but they are pretty much unrelated from an SEO point of view in terms of keywords (though not with regard to business, they actually have an advertising value beyond PR).

Anyhow, I've made several changes to content incuding reducing the % of duplicate content and changing the internal linking structure, but haven't seen any movement. The site has been anchored to this point by a couple high PR, but largely unrelated links, and a handful of lower PR, more relevant links. Maybe that is why we got sandboxed...

Your thoughts...

Spine




msg:53776
 9:53 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

I waited for a bit, then started tweaking some things. I've gone without pushing the keywords too hard, and not using meta desription and content tags for a couple of years, but recently I've started using them again.

The sites above me that are relevant all have more on-page use of the KWs and aren't shy with using them in meta tags either.

The sites in coming up before mine that really aren't very relevant, or the ones that are just auto generated spam, those are another problem.

Vec_One




msg:53777
 10:03 pm on Oct 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

My site was hit on Sept 22. I had added a lot of pages this spring, which caused my site to grow significantly. There is a lot of internal linking, which was presumably one reason my ranking was so good.

My current theory is that the PR of the newer links was devalued on Sept 22. Consequently, the newer pages sucked PR from the older pages, without returning the love. I'm just speculating here but I have yet to come up with a better theory.

WebFusion




msg:53778
 2:03 am on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

My pages (about 100) have dorpped from mainly top 5 to SERPs ranging from page 7 to oblivion, well behind dozens and dozens of unrelated junk sites for the various keywords.
I was wondering if anyone thinks that we can just link their way out of the problem... and which is better, a couple high PR links or many lower PR links from sites with relevant keywords in their content? We have one PR8 and can get another if need be, but they are pretty much unrelated from an SEO point of view in terms of keywords (though not with regard to business, they actually have an advertising value beyond PR).

Anyhow, I've made several changes to content incuding reducing the % of duplicate content and changing the internal linking structure, but haven't seen any movement. The site has been anchored to this point by a couple high PR, but largely unrelated links, and a handful of lower PR, more relevant links. Maybe that is why we got sandboxed...

Your thoughts...

That sounds like a carbon-copy of what happened to us in late march of this year. Here's what I've been doing to get that (always nice) free Google traffic back.

1. Started a tightly focused, on-topic only linking campaign. This hasnt been easy for us, as we're kind of a niche, but in the last 6 months we've gone from a handful of inbounds to over 300 (and our pages linking to these sites also rank well, which helps attract more traffic partners).

2. Reduced keyword density slightly. This was done more to add associated words/phrases to expand the keywords that our pages come up for.

3. Used Ask.com to search for the kinds of phrases/questions that our potential customers were asking about the product we carry, then wrote articles specifically answering those questions. This has single-handedly broguth in an additional 500 or so visitors per day. If you don't have time to write, just hit up elance for a ghost writer.

4. Optimized our Froogle feed: This wqas simply a matter of taking a look at our competitors titles/descritpions that were coming up #1 in froogle for similar products and using that as a model for ours. The result: An additional 3-5 froogle generated sales per day (not to mention we now appear ABOVE the #1 result for the majority of our targeted phrases).

So...having said all that, you're probably wondering if we've regained our top 10 postions that were lost in march.

Not quite. However, we've gone from page 30+ for most of our categories to no further back than page 9 (again, this is only google, everywhere else we're rocking!).

The biggest thing I learned is that our site will never be "finished", you can never have too many incoming links, and if you take the time to write article that answer your potential customer's questions, you can really clen up on the traffic.

Now, here's the kicker:

Prior to our "fall from grace" into the sandbox (or whatever caused us to drop into search oblivion) we were getting roughly 3000 free uniques per day from google. Now, since doing all of the above, even though we're far short of our previous positions, daily uniques exceed 4000!

Iguana




msg:53779
 12:17 pm on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Regarding previous experience:

I lost 1 site on Aug 10 - traffic came back within a month. Another site was lost to Google 22nd Aug - 28 days later traffic sudenly returned. Don't panic yet.

Spine




msg:53780
 3:51 pm on Oct 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

Heh, I've been 'calmly panicking' for 4 weeks now. It's almost a month, so fingers are crossed.

In this month I've seen google find the www again for some of my pages that were being listed without it right after Sept 23rd.

For some search terms I follow, I'm on page 8, but if I hit the page refresh button a few times, I'm on page 1 or 2 again. I only see this 1 out of every 10 times I hit refresh though, not sure if it's from an old index or a dancing new one.

And lastly, one of those terms that pops up when I hit refresh had an indented listing last night.

More postitive signs than negative, but still down around 1/6th of my normal traffic.

Rollo




msg:53781
 4:46 am on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

A quick question... did most of you that got hit on the 23rd do a lot of crosslinking from other sites you own?

Vec_One




msg:53782
 5:05 am on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I had quite a lot of cross-linking, especially between my two main sites. Only one site got hit.

The site that got hit was bigger and a little newer (two years old). It also had more internal linking. Otherwise, both sites have a lot in common.

Spine




msg:53783
 6:31 am on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Haven't cross linked in about a year, and before then it was very little.

MHes




msg:53784
 8:58 am on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Spine - "1 out of every 10 times I hit refresh though, not sure if it's from an old index or a dancing new one. "

Sounds like your hitting different datacentres. Google is creating a 'fog' making seo more tricky. This may be intentional, but a result of a rolling index constantly updating.

Webfusion - "we were getting roughly 3000 free uniques per day from google. Now, ....uniques exceed 4000! "

Classic case of 'content is king'. Major keywords bring in good traffic, but often all the millions of combinations of keyword searches one never conciously targets bring in a lot more. The important bit is are your 'sales' up. Is it relevant traffic? A close look at your google referer logs may help you identify which types of phrases you are getting your traffic for. For instance, you may have put the sentance "we do not deliver widgets in the UK" and the traffic is coming from the search phrase " widgets in the UK". If this is the case, you need to rethink your delivery strategy!

tomsyboo




msg:53785
 11:37 am on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Spine - "1 out of every 10 times I hit refresh though, not sure if it's from an old index or a dancing new one. "

I have the same thing when I hit refresh for given key words. It looks like a kind of filter applied over the top of the search results that means you only get one tenth of the hits you used to for a given search term.

I think a dancing new index is more likely - if it were due to different data centres, wouldn't the dance only last for a few days, not a month?

WebFusion




msg:53786
 12:58 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

Classic case of 'content is king'. Major keywords bring in good traffic, but often all the millions of combinations of keyword searches one never conciously targets bring in a lot more. The important bit is are your 'sales' up. Is it relevant traffic? A close look at your google referer logs may help you identify which types of phrases you are getting your traffic for. For instance, you may have put the sentance "we do not deliver widgets in the UK" and the traffic is coming from the search phrase " widgets in the UK". If this is the case, you need to rethink your delivery strategy!

I agree. Most of the traffic has come from a verbose "fleshing out" of our FAQ section. In simple terms, we simply allow our customers to come up with the subject/content of each enw article we write/have written (i.e. "how do I change my widget?"), etc.

So...the traffic is most definitely targeted, and sales are up about 3 fold over last year.

Having said that, it's a never-ending process, and we're looking to "speed up" to addition of new content. We'd like to keep each new page we add to our FAQ in question form, but are having difficulty coming up with new material (i.e. we want to answer a broader series of questions beyond what our customers ara asking, but don;t know where to look)

Our natural (main-keywords) listing have all risen (as of 48 hours ago) to the top 120 or so in the serps, and we hope that in another 6-8 weeks or so, they'll rise back to the top 10 ;-)

If not, our adwords campaign keeps chuggin along an about a 3% conersion rate, so no worries ;-)

scenpro




msg:53787
 9:01 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

I hate to say this but i think something's about to change. I did a search about 'garlic' this afternoon and all that came up was the big boys amazon, buy, bestbuy ect. The last time i saw this (a while ago) soon after there was a big traffic increase and a lot of my pages were getting hit
lets hope

scenpro




msg:53788
 9:32 pm on Oct 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

PS all my Supplemental Results, which were gone (old pages-no longer exist) are now back
using and old data base maybe?

Drreggae




msg:53789
 11:13 am on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

Anybody view any improvements in traffic since the 22-23/9 drop?

andystowell




msg:53790
 1:46 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

No improvements at all from this end. In fact the set of SERPS I monitor seems to have pretty much stayed the same, unfortunately for me :-(

One thing I have noticed is that for certain phrases my site keeps bouncing back into the SERPS. This doesn't appear to be from one specific data centre so not sure exactly what is going on here!

wellzy




msg:53791
 2:01 pm on Oct 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

I had improvements starting on the 22nd. I got good traffic before then, but it shot through the roof starting then. I have estimated a jump in traffic of about 30%. I had just uploaded about 30 new pages and restructured my internal links about 2 weeks before. I had attributed it to that until I saw this thread a couple of weeks ago.

wellzy

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