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Completely bummed out since Bourbon update
Traffic down 60-80%, AS revenue down by 75%+
fearlessrick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 11:32 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have submitted a sitemap, made some changes to my site, sent an email to the address GG gave, nothing changed. Basically, my faith in Google AdSense has pretty much been rewarded by ruining my site and my plans.

Sure, this sounds like sour grapes, but since May 21, traffic and revenue dropped off a cliff. It's no longer worthwhile to update my site. Just as an explanation, I took what was once a subscription-based service in password protected pages and converted to publicly available pages with adsense. It was good, increasing income every month until Bourbon devastated it.

I've tried what I reasonably could but am at a point now that I am seriously considering chucking the entire site as the revenue isn't even worth thining about at this point. Anybody who has any reasonable ideas, please post or sticky me.

Bummed out and depressed...

 

reseller

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 8:16 am on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

It looks like Google engineers are running some experimental algos/filters in real-time. I guess that this is going to continue as such the rest of the month of July.

The DCs are still moving.

And the top sites on the serps for my testing keywords/keyphrases are changing accordingly.

Dayo_UK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 8:35 am on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>It looks like Google engineers are running some experimental algos/filters in real-time.

Yep, agreed :) - G seem to be testing different thing IMO too. Obv they still have one major bug to fix which I have reliable been told they are working on.

However, whether they think they have got it right is another question - as they dont seem confident enought for the tweaks to spread. And IMO it still looks like it is on a sub-set of results.

Obv a crawl is needed too - when the amount of errors page returned in the Yahoo results starts decreasing and getting re-indexed then perhaps they are happy with the crawl.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 8:45 am on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dayo_UK, have any of your SERPs returned? Mine are still sadly missing. I am seeing some weird stuff on some other sites though. I am starting to think that if my SERPS don't return when everyone else is seeming to I must be missing something.

Dayo_UK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 8:58 am on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi - I have had seen one home page return (Woo hoo ;) - not) but internal pages dont seem to rank.

I just have the feeling they are dealing with a sub-set of results - so if some pages do return and yours dont I would not panic until it becomes clear that they have applied whatever they are doing fully.

Just IMO of course.

Essex_boy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 10:24 am on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Last two days have seen a traffic drop of 40 % returning on Sunday.

Is this as a direct result?

HarryM

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 11:32 am on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

It looks like Google engineers are running some experimental algos/filters in real-time.

Yes, unfortunately.

I have completely lost all Google traffic twice this year, the last time on June 16. It's now back again - but very erratic. I have a .com site hosted in the UK, but my US traffic still hasn't returned, although traffic from the Far East (to my Chinese pages) is going strong. I am now getting traffic again from the UK, but sometimes when I duplicate the search referral only a few minutes later my page is nowhere to be seen.

The inability to duplicate searches seems to coincide with fluctuations in the ongoing toolbar PR update. Some internal pages were showing PR4 last week, then PR3, PR4 again, PR3 again, and now are back to PR4. My best serps results seems to coincide with when the internal pages are showing PR3. So there is obviously changes going on.

vinylrecordsuk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 1:19 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

My website was effectively turned off by Google.com towards the end of May, like they flicked a light switch.

Unique visitors plummeted from 13,000 a month to less than 4,000 a month overnight. I remain in the top 10 for my chosen keywords, but my site no longer produces any significant traffic from google.com

I have run out of ideas and now simply rely on someone from google reading this posting and flicking the switch back on, otherwise my business will not survive and 7 years of work will go down the drain.

I also got the standard google email, telling me NO penalty has been applied to my website.

If there is anyone out there who can help - please, please do so, I am tired and at my wits end.

Kind Regards
Nick

TinkyWinky

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 2:03 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Don' forget holidays up now in UK.... defo 20% traffic down...

fearlessrick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 3:18 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I've looked at all the variables for which my site - ranked #1 for certain keywords before May 20, then lost in the SERPs, now #1 again - has changed over the past 4 months. Three elements stick out:
1. Corrected cannonical (www, non-www) issues.
2. Submitted a site map.
3. Complained repeatedly and quite vociferously, even going so far as to threaten pulling tyhe adsense code off my pages (coincidentally, a week after that threat, my site returned to #1 in the SERPs for a variety of key phrases).

So, take your pick, though I suggest all three as solutions to G problems if your site is lost, I would complain, and make no bons about your displeasure. I did and if my site gets lost again, I will complain again, mostly because the other 2 options mentioned above will have been exhaused.

In the meantime, create new, relevant content and don't go overboard on optimization. My site ranked #1 before I added a bunch of pages which I may have overoptimized.

Now, to respond to Badger37, who didn't mean to offend, but looked at ONE PAGE on my 1200+ page site and complained that it was insufficient or spamy or both. I'll admit that the page he looked at was junky, and that was my fault. I had originally intended the site to be more newsy, but could never quite keep up with the setup I created. That has changed.

Now, had Badger actually taken the time to find the portion of the site for which most people visit, he might have found a wealth of information, but that's his loss.

This brings me to another point about these forums. There should be a warning posted that all information is strictly opinion and some of it is just plain gibberish, or wrong or false. That's what I've found, especially from a couple of posters in particular.

So, you've been warned. Google will do what Google likes, and if you don't like it, complain. The squeaky wheel usually gets the grease, as they say.

jomaxx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 3:47 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rick, congrats on getting back to #1, but complaining vociferously did not help you get there, and threatening to pull AdSense off your site probably accomplished nothing other than giving Google employees a good laugh.

Please do not suggest that everyone who thinks they should rank higher in Google come here and vent their spleens about it. What are you trying to do, destroy WebmasterWorld? There's enough of that wasteful, self-centered griping as it is.

If anything, by implying that webmasters can improve their own sites' rankings this way, your suggestion tends to discredit the legitimate discussion and criticism of search quality that goes on here.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 4:01 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

vinylrecordsuk, your key phrase count may be too high. I counted the phrase <blue widgets> a total of 38 times on the first page - that's without the odd peppering of <blue> and <widgets> not joined together.

Remember googleguy said there were 3.5 changes. a .5 change could have been tightening the thumbscrews on keyword density. Whichever way, yours is so high as to not read very nicely so you may want to consider cutting down a little. (hope I got your site!)

good luck. Jez.

Added - vinylrecordsuk, what's going on with the .com and .co.uk domain names? Is one redirected to the other or is it a mirror site?

[edited by: ciml at 4:57 pm (utc) on July 25, 2005]
[edit reason] No specifics please. [/edit]

fearlessrick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 4:10 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rick, congrats on getting back to #1, but complaining vociferously did not help you get there...

There's no proof that it did or didn't, though my hunch is that there's been a certain amount of "human involvement" in the recent tweaking of the SERPs.

Your assumption that complaining is not a legitimate tactic for regaining SE ranking is without merit.

The point I continually made to G was that I could see no logical reason why my site went from #1 to LOST during Bourbon. Maybe that struck a chord with an engineer or two, or three.

Even you might admit that a very relevant, original page with four keywords in the TITLE should come up before some of the other non-relevant results. Maybe a few of the engineers looked at this and other simiar complaints and decided that their algo was not perfect and made some changes.

To sit back and just watch your business become non-existent because of somebody's algo without complaining, to me, seems a complete folly. Let me ask you, if you had a store on a high traffic street and the municipality decided to close the street or divert traffic, would you complain? My bet is that you would, and loudly.

So, to suggest that complaining is not a legitimate tactic is completely false.

As a matter of fact, the United States of America would never had come into existence if not for complainers like Jefferson, Paine, Franklin and Madison.

You go ahead and just take it. I'll continue to complain and fight for what I think is right. When something threatens your existence, you SHOULD complain, annoy and revolt. Otherwise, you'll just be plowed under by forces greater than you. WAKE UP!

(AND BTW, I never suggested that anyone vent here or on any WebmasterWorld forums. I complained DIRECTLY TO GOOGLE and more than once.)

Swebbie

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 4:35 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I complained DIRECTLY TO GOOGLE and more than once.

For every Rick out there who complains, there are probably 100 or more who never say a word to Google. Know what a lot of them do? They start PAYING Google (AdWords) to get their lost rankings back. Cha-Ching baby! Connect the dots.

vinylrecordsuk

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 4:48 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have lowered the word count for <blue widgets> as suggested.

uk.com has a htaccess 301 redirect to .co.uk

Kind Regards
Nick

[edited by: ciml at 4:59 pm (utc) on July 25, 2005]
[edit reason] No specifics please. [/edit]

chopin2256

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 4:57 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rick, congrats on getting back to #1, but complaining vociferously did not help you get there, and threatening to pull AdSense off your site probably accomplished nothing other than giving Google employees a good laugh.

It's obvious that your own (main) site was not affected by Bourbon, otherwise you probably would realize how hopeless it is to get back into the SERPS without some kind of intervention. I agree with fearlessrick, and to say that his complaining made him look like a fool or that it did not work, is more improbable than the fact that it helped him. Even if it was obnoxious. This is not to say that being obnoxious is the way to go, but hey, you can't say it didn't work for him.

I also agree with him that complaining sometimes is necessary. I have complained once or twice, then forgot about everything, and guess what, my site is NOT back from Bourbon. Maybe it is a mistake for you to say to people to not speak up for themselves. It can't hurt right? Rick's site IS back, that's at least one fact we know. We also know that getting back from Bourbon is pretty impossible until the next update. Put the two together? You think it was a coincidence? You think it was luck? Maybe, but obviously complaining didn't hurt him in the least.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 5:00 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

For every Rick out there who complains, there are probably 100 or more who never say a word to Google. Know what a lot of them do? They start PAYING Google (AdWords) to get their lost rankings back.

And some of us just sit tight until Google corrects the wilder swings in its algorithm.

"All good things come to those who wait."

HarryM

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 5:24 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

"All good things come to those who wait."

But what if they don't? "Time and tide waits for no man."

When my traffic disappeared for the second time I took a good hard look at my site. Although I have always thought of it as white hat, I saw that there were certain elements that, in combination, might trigger an over-optimization filter. So I removed them.

Now my traffic is coming back (although there appears to be big regional differences), but of course I cannot say that the changes I made did the trick. But they may have, and they did my site no harm.

Atticus



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 6:09 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wait for the Google gods to smile upon your site? I don't think so.

Instead, take a look at referals from other engines, identify which of your sites they spider and update most often and start building out more content along those lines.

I've been following this strategy for a few months now and I'm gaining traffic at a rate of about 5% per month.

For what it's worth, the main difference I see between my sites which have been trashed and those that are still page one on Google is use of a hyphen in the URL. Before 2000 most of my sites didn't use hyphens. After 2000 almost all my sites used hyphens (because it's almost impossible to find a good domain name without hyphens that's not being sat on by somebody and because I like the spaces between the words in a multi-word phrase).

My sites with no hyphens still rank page one, my sites with one hyphen draw a little Google traffic, but sites with multiple hyphens (fuzzy-red-widgets.com/maintanance/special-lubricant.html) do not rank at all.

mikeD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 6:17 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Atticus i have a website with two hyphens ranking the best (my oldest) and another with one hyphen not ranking so well. So I assume age is more of an overiding factor than hyphens.

[edited by: mikeD at 6:19 pm (utc) on July 25, 2005]

flicker

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 6:18 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'm far from an expert; but don't you think it's possible that some of the wild fluctuation in Google SERPs from update to update could be the result of, well, wild fluctuation in who's linking to you from update to update? Ever since these scrapers and adsense-pseudo-directories and link-exchange-spammers hit the scene, the educational site I work on has had more of those fly-by-night links than real links (and we have a LOT of real links). How many and which ones must vary on a week by week basis, since the link-exchange-spammers always add a link and threaten to take it away if you don't link back, and since the scrapers are continually losing sites to spambusters, ditching them, and opening some other one, and since brand-new adsense-sites are being tossed into the ring every day.

Seems to me the hundreds of thousands of opportunistic links blinking on and off must be introducing a certain amount of instability into the equation. If Google takes a snapshot at a time when you have 500 of those links that "count" and your competitor has 3000 of them, their ranking is bound to look different than two weeks later when the snapshot shows you with 3000 of those links and him with only 500, right? No penalty or anything would REALLY be required to explain the kind of fluctuation that puts a site at #1 one week and #17 the next. The way the net is right now explains that much all on its own, I bet.

mikeD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 6:21 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think there's alot of truth in that flicker.

Atticus



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 6:47 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

MikeD,

Thanks for the feedback -- I expected to hear that some folks are still ranking with hyphenated URLs (if for no other reason than that G doesn't seem to apply any one standard across the board), although it's still good to hear (but my next domain will be unhyphenated, for testing purposes, if nothing else).

Flicker,

Don't know if it's due to the links or some other factor but those damned scrapers seem to have something to do with killing my most popular sites. My sites which have been scraped the most have suffered the most and often a search for a unique phrase in quotes from one of my sites yeilds a slew of scrapers above me.

Maybe it's time for another knock down, drag out "Death to Scrapers" thread.

jomaxx

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 6:55 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

rick: Yeah, complain directly to Google all you want. I was reacting to the idea of webmasters coming to this forum and lowering the signal-to-noise ration even more with self-serving kvetching.

Anyway I do agree about the manual involvement and I agree that contacting Google can possibly have benefits, if your site is unreasonably caught up in some kind of filter or penalty. But you'd have to make a pretty good case since every webmaster on Earth thinks they should be on page 1. Also I really don't think that complaining "vociferously" and threatening to drop AdSense (or ban Googlebot or recommend Yahoo to your visitors or whatever) would be a successful approach.

theBear

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 6:57 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

flicker if that was the major reason then I wouldn't expect a page 1 to page 100 knock out when the sites that replace you carries far lower PR. Links being part of the factor in PR.

Now if Google is filtering for actual inbound link text then yes.

Then you have the following filter = penalty and you are back to square 1.

If Google is saying the site acquired or lost IBLs at an improper rate and applied a filter you are at the same point square 1.

Then we all should understand that there really is no site just pages in Google world and more to the point just a server return chain that ends in a found or error condition.

There ya go more data points to ponder.

flicker

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 7:04 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

It seems to me like if there are 3000 links to a site from PR1 scrapers and link-exchange pages and adsense directories, that's likely to give a significant anchor text boost even if it does squat to its PR. And since those links and sites shuffle around so much, I'd be more suprised if the SERPs *weren't* volatile.

But of course, this is in response to the "How can Google keep shifting sites from #1 to #17 to #3 to #23, can't it make its mind up about what's relevant?!?" question. When sites go down to the 200th page and don't even rank for their own name, that's an error or a penalty or something. It's just the idea of perpetual shifting in the SERPs that I'm musing about. (-:

theBear

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 7:20 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

On the everflux situation, that can be the intersection of minor PR/link text/on page factors as content gets tweaked or changed, and pages come and go. Even a changing date at the top of a page can result in serp wobble (but like webbles, I wouldn't expect it to result in a fall down, especially across multiple sets of keywords which is what has happened in a large number of cases).

It be an interesting thing to watch, but just between us critters I've had enough for one year :-).

fearlessrick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 7:44 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I really don't think that complaining "vociferously" and threatening to drop AdSense (or ban Googlebot or recommend Yahoo to your visitors or whatever) would be a successful approach.

Well, I did all three of those things and my site is back at #1. My case was obvious and I pointed it out repeatedly. I ranked #1 AND sometimes #2 on MSN and Yahoo for a variety of my niche keyword phrases while being hammered down in Google. Now, suppose my name was maybe Steve Jobs, or Lance Armstrong or some other well-known, respectable person (not to say I'm not respectable, just not well-known), do you think maybe Google might consider a slight shift in their algo, rankings, etc., and on a little bit quicker basis? The company is, after all, run by humans, used by humans. Humans make the critical decisions, not computers or software.

Flicker: I think you are on to at least part of the answer.

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 8:11 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, I did all three of those things and my site is back at #1.

I didn't complain to Google, and my referrals came back after a 90% drop. So which works better--complaining or not complaining? Neither, in my opinion--adding a www to non-www redirect in .htaccess may have helped to bring my Google referrals back from the dead, but it's more likely that the reason for the death and resurrection was something that Google changed on March 23 (when the drop occurred) and modified again in late May (when my Google listings did their Lazarus impression).

My case was obvious and I pointed it out repeatedly. I ranked #1 AND sometimes #2 on MSN and Yahoo for a variety of my niche keyword phrases while being hammered down in Google.

What do MSN and Yahoo rankings have to do with Google rankings? And why should Google be expected to use MSN and Yahoo SERPs as benchmarks of search quality?

The company is, after all, run by humans, used by humans. Humans make the critical decisions, not computers or software.

Yes and no. In April, Ronburk posted some interesting thoughts on Google's possible (probable?) use of data mining here in the Google News forum. See his remarks at:

[webmasterworld.com...]

mikeD

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 8:17 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

yep ive gone unhyphenated now Atticus, gutted that I've used hyphenated for any, especially my main sites. Ah... well

sailorjwd

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 9:10 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

I:
Complained to Google
Complained here
Complained to GG directly
Complained to Adwords
Complained to Adsense
Told my mother on them
Bought Adwords
We-wrote my entire site boiler plate (stripped to near nothing).

I have about 10-15 pages which have come back to the top 3. Coincidently none of these pages are scraped in any form since they have little Adsense value. 1/2 have adsense on them and 1/2 don't.

I blame at least 50% of my problem to scrapers and the huge link count increase/fluctuations they provide.

fearlessrick

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 30370 posted 9:12 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

EFV, I don't think using your site is a good example only because of your constant pro-google comments and other instances of associations with google which others have pointed out on other threads.

I also don't believe for a moment that you didn't complain to, or at least, contact, Google.

Basically, I take everything you say with a large dose of salt. Not that I have any kind of axe to grind with you, but your mindset is fairly well known around these parts and may or may not have something to do with your rankings.

I do recall you being hit for a few days by Bourbon and then suddenly bouncing back. Any explanation for that?

We are all in this together, so to speak, though separate. No one opinion is better than another, though some may be closer to the truth. In reality, neither you nor I nor any other webmaster really knows what the truth is about how Google ranks sites, so trying to deflect someone's opinion becomes an exercise in futility, just like this post.

It should be noted that Google does have feedback forms at various spots on their sites, and I don't think they put them there just for show.

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