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




msg:751403
 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...

 

fearlessrick




msg:751404
 12:10 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just sent what is probably my last email to AdSense Support. Told them I would begin pulling all the adsense code from my site unless traffic and revenue were restored to April levels.

Like they give a S**T.

Looking for other ideas now. I'll never trust Google for anything ever again.

surfer67




msg:751405
 12:12 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Don't give up so fast. I see that you have a high number of URL-only pages listed by Google. I had the same problem and this is what I did to solve it.

1. Convert all your dynamic urls. ie. file.cgi?id=23, to SE friendly urls. I noticed you still have a number that haven't been converted.

2. Create your xml sitemap and submit it to google.

3. Create another sitemap page containing all urls for your site and link to it from the home page.

I believe it was number 3 that did it for me. The google xml sitemap was picking up about 100 new pages a week. However, when I created a sitemap page and linked to it from my homepage, my entire site, all 4000 pages were indexed withing 48 hours.

Give it a try. I hope it helps.

Radejr




msg:751406
 12:15 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

If your traffic is down that is your fault not googles.

surfer67




msg:751407
 12:19 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

If your traffic is down that is your fault not googles.

What do you mean? Google is so unpredictable, any site could get wiped off the map in a heartbeat. Keep your fingers crossed and hope that it won't be yours. Many reputable long standing sites have had this happen.

nanotopia




msg:751408
 12:23 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Many reputable long standing sites have had this happen.

Indeed. It happened to one of my oldest and very best websites about 4 weeks ago. All you can do is move forward, fix the things that need to be fixed, and hope that your SERPs will return.

Swebbie




msg:751409
 12:44 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google is so unpredictable, any site could get wiped off the map in a heartbeat.

Yes, indeed. And why would that be the case? Hmm... think maybe to jack up their ad revenues through AdWords? Think about it. If you were relying on organic SERPs to drive traffic to your site, you were essentially piggy-backing Google for free to make money. By making wholesale ranking shake-ups every couple months or so, who gains? Google does, of course. All those companies and people getting what was, essentially, a free ride now must consider paying for that Google traffic via AdWords.

It's a smart ploy by Google. They make more money, and no one can ever prove they fixed things to make it happen.

Zygoot




msg:751410
 12:47 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just sent what is probably my last email to AdSense Support. Told them I would begin pulling all the adsense code from my site unless traffic and revenue were restored to April levels.

You were hit by a Google algo update, the AdSense Support can't change anything about that.

Just keep publishing new content and try to find other traffic streams. It's hard but we should all try to be less dependent from search engine traffic.

Bourbon also hit me in May but since last month I'm again seeing lots of traffic from Google.

jetboy




msg:751411
 1:25 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

If your traffic is down that is your fault not googles.

What do you mean?

Probably that if the only way your business can survive is through free traffic from Google alone, then it's not much of a business model. You say it yourself surfer67; 'Google is so unpredictable'.

I've been hit by Bourbon too - a site that's weathered three years of Google updates without so much as a scratch. Like nanotopia says, you fix what can be fixed and move on.

uk_webber




msg:751412
 8:49 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Google is so unpredictable"

Thats what makes it so special.

I think the phrase all your eggs in one basket springs to mind!

taps




msg:751413
 10:29 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Give it a little time. After Allegra my site was gone until May, 22nd. It took more than three and a half months until my site came back.

Try everything to clean up code, avoid any duplicate content and check your site again and again.

Don't give up!

nzmatt




msg:751414
 10:44 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>If your traffic is down that is your fault not googles. - that's an Idiot statement.

Fault..?

Ends of the spectrum...

Rick, I'm sure yoursite isn't perfect, but I'm also sure neither is Google...but its the best we have and the rules are fairly clear.

nutsandbolts




msg:751415
 11:34 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

If I hear the phrase "eggs in one basket" again... Ecchh. I will scream ;)

Let's be honest, there are many other "baskets" but when the biggest basket of them all throws many good eggs out, it's quite understandable that people get rather stressed.

My advice is to keep going! Don't ever give up and build QUALITY content on a daily basis and (hardest of all for me) get good quality links. Things will improve over time....

arran




msg:751416
 11:46 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

fearlessrick,

Why not start a new site? If you created one successful site, you can create another. While you're doing this, subsequent google updates may reinstate your original site to it's former glory.

Clint




msg:751417
 2:27 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

If your traffic is down that is your fault not google's.

Geeze, in most cases it certainly IS G's fault. Obviously you're very new here and never read the past threads on this and how many totally innocent were slaughtered. I suggest you read them. For one:
[webmasterworld.com...]

Clint




msg:751418
 2:28 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why not start a new site? If you created one successful site, you can create another.

In one word, Sandbox. :(

Lord Majestic




msg:751419
 2:39 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you were relying on organic SERPs to drive traffic to your site, you were essentially piggy-backing Google for free to make money.

Actually this was true BEFORE AdSense -- what AdSense effectively does for Google is making sure that those sites that happen to find themselves in free SERPs will actually generate income for Google via AdSense where as previously they (natural SERPs) were the loss leader.

Above anything AdSense is a tool to turn around this loss leader. The reason Google might not be concerned about individuals totally whacked by change of algo is because someone else will take their position, and odds are they already have AdSense or will get it after they notice the kind of traffic they get.

oddsod




msg:751420
 2:47 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

In one word, Sandbox

Not as much of a problem if you can spare $100 to buy one of those sites listed in the DMOZ cat of your choice that hasn't been updated in years. Kill the DMOZ listing and Sandbox birds with one stone.

dauction




msg:751421
 2:51 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Rick , seriousely just forget about google , diversify your traffic .You are experiancing first hand what happens when you depend on any one search engine.

Google will get you again ..someday... but dont sit around waiting for any one engine..build for all 3

Take the paths of least resistance and you'll always have traffic

voltrader




msg:751422
 2:52 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

oddsod: do they recognize change in whois data and sandbox anyway?

oddsod




msg:751423
 2:52 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why bother changing WHOIS? Just change passwords.

I have changed WHOIS on some occassions with no "sandbox" effect kicking in. Buying and selling of sites are normal transactions that happen "in the wild" ;)

fearlessrick




msg:751424
 4:38 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Some hopeful suggestions, but I have to agree that Bourbon was NOT my fault. I ranked #1 for a variety of relevant keywords and still do on MSN and Yahoo. The problem is that 70% or more of all searches are done on Google.

It really makes little sense to me that Google would readjust their algo so much as to make so many people (I'm certainly not alone in this regard) unhappy. One would consider that an effective strategy would be to have happy, profitable publishers and advertisers so that when competition does arrive, both will not consider jumping ship. If there were a reasonable alternative I would probably have gone there by now, but that alternative simply does not exist.

It's too bad that our 21st century is shaping up to be a monolithic one, with a lack of competition in various businesses. i.e., ebay and Google.

I've made more changes thanks to some email advice, but the revenue and traffic seem stuck at these low, low figures. A little stability would go a long way.

nuevojefe




msg:751425
 4:51 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

while you're at it, have index.html and index.htm 301 redirect to [domain.com...]

jetboy




msg:751426
 5:01 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Good advice. I've used mod_rewrite to 301:

domain.com to www.domain.com.
index.htm and index.html to directory root.
Any URLs with parameters to the equivalent without.

Almost certainly it's the first one that's tripped me up in Bourbon, but it's a good opportunity to build some defences against future problems.

walkman




msg:751427
 5:09 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> Told them I would begin pulling all the adsense code from my site unless traffic and revenue were restored to April levels.

not the way to make friends over there. Before sending the email you have to think of the intended target audience. Do you think he/she cares about Rick's site? You lost traffic, someone else with adsense gained. Google loses nothing, and even if it does, the individual employee might not care because it's a very small amount. Not to mention that search and adsense are supposed to be separate anyway.

I've been there many times, barely making a living for 6+ months (livign with previous months' earnings), but quiting was not an option. Now I'm being rewarded for it.

WebFusion




msg:751428
 5:23 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just sent what is probably my last email to AdSense Support. Told them I would begin pulling all the adsense code from my site unless traffic and revenue were restored to April levels.

Hmmm...let us know if that tactic works. I wonder if I tell froogle I'll be dropping my feed unless they increase my natural traffic if that will work as well...

Having said that, let's look at what could be causing some of your problems (I assume we're talking about the site in your profile):

First...let's look at the invisible text at the bottom of your page (just above the two stars). Think that's a good idea? That alone could have gottne you the boot (and rightfully so).

Second...your dynamic URLs are a mess. Clean em up, and your site will be spidered that much easier.

More links, more content, more deep links, more content, more diversified anchor text, more content...etc.etc.

admanbb




msg:751429
 5:24 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Yes, indeed. And why would that be the case? Hmm... think maybe to jack up their ad revenues through AdWords?" by Swebbie

And I think this was accelerated by Google once they started to go public. Many companies do short sighted
short term profit things to boost their bottom line when they are in the process of going public.

fearlessrick




msg:751430
 5:34 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Actually, I had forgotten about that hidden text and I just removed it. Did a mod rewrite (if that's the correct term) on .htaccess this morning. Submitted site map and am linking to an html version later today.

As for my email, it was written more out of frustration than anything else. I'm admittedly pretty burnt out from this because I was just getting things going and then was flattened. I'm sure some of you can say what you say because you're doing better than I am, so while your comments may be smart and witty, they're worthless.

ltedesco




msg:751431
 5:51 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

fearlessrick,

I understand your frustration. We are in the same boat!
Let's wait for the next update and hope we get traffic back. ;o)

Does anyone think that the next update is coming soon?

berto




msg:751432
 6:03 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

One of my sites, too, was devasted by Bourbon, with Google referrals now near zero and with overall traffic to the site down by about 2/3 (the remaining 1/3 is organic, non-search traffic). (I have another site totally unaffected by Bourbon.)

I've implemented many, many changes in reaction to this challenge.

Some changes to fix what Bourbon maybe didn't like: requesting the removal of legitimate mirror sites (well, they were legitimate before Adsense came along); implementing 301 redirects; scaling back inter-site cross-linking; etc.

Other changes for things that I was never before motivated to try, or try hard enough: CSS (and using divs to rearrange my content for maximum SEO and Adsense effect); fixing my <title> and <meta description> tags; using h1, h2, etc. headers in a systematic fashion; scaling back perhaps excessive numbers of outbound AM links; refining my Adsense ad units and placements (scaling back the number of ad units per page, too); working aggressively (but not too aggressively) to increase my IBLs; etc.

(I have implemented these improvements on the other unaffected site, too, much to its benefit.)

I view Bourbon as a wake up call, and a challenge, a challenge I am meeting. When and if this one site recovers from Bourbon, it will be stronger, more highly ranked, and more profitable than ever.

Adversity builds character. Stay the course, fearlessrick.

This 327 message thread spans 11 pages: 327 ( [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 11 > >
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