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There's hope yet...

 2:37 am on Jul 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just a quick note.... I've been reading here on webmasterworld and learning where my site went wrong (after a few _years_ of not paying attention to what the engines wanted to see). I edited my entire site and sent emails to Yahoo!. I had been penalized for the crappy condition my site had fallen into, and lost all of my Yahoo! ranking. Seems that, even though Yahoo! didn't spend a lot of time replying to my messages, they gave me another chance. My 7 year old site is slowly crawling back into position, with the "fixes" and new code in place. I would have to say, there is hope... The return to position might not be fast, but my site is surely being put back into position, now that it is much more Yahoo! compliant than before. What I've learned here on this website has not only helped me gain position, but my site is in the best condition it's ever been in!

Thanks to all for the help you've given!



 10:36 am on Jul 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Anything in particular that you found the most usefull?


 11:47 am on Jul 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had originally built the site back in '98. Following what I had read, been told by others (I was _very_ wet behind the ears), and saw on my competitors' sites...I made a lot of mistakes. Since they seemed to work for years, I never thought anything about it, nor bothered to read about it any further (I had a business to run, and "webmastering" wasn't exactly my gig, heheheeh). I worked on the look and feel of the site, but employed bad stuff in the background like cloaked and hidden text (I thought that was the best way to get keywords stuffed into my pages, since my competitors were doing it and it worked). Heck, I didn't even know it was called "cloaked and hidden text", I just copied the methods I saw others doing on the web and used it on my site (_assuming_ it was OK). As the site grew over the years, I never bothered to fix the meta tags, meta descriptions, etc., so all of my pages had the same old description and meta tags.

Over the years, I learned about traffic tracking, and used it to learn more about my customers, what words they were looking for, etc. It helped me tune my on-site search engine (Atomz), and I could see where people were coming from (what engines were producing traffic for me, and where I ranked). When I saw that I was no longer getting traffic from Yahoo, I began to wonder why. I started searching the web and happened across this forum...boy, did my eyes begin to open! I never realized there was soooo much to being a good webmaster and neighbor on the web. There was a huge difference between making a page that looks good and making a page that is search engine friendly.

Anyway, I went back and rewrote every single page to fix all of these things, make my description and meta info unique and specific to each page, stop using multiple H1, H2 tags, etc.

I had sitemaps at the bottom of each page (I don't know why, it just seemed like the thing to do at the time I did it), so I stripped them all out and put them in one single site map...much easier to maintain, too!

I continued to read the various threads here on the forum and started testing my headers, and found that Yahoo! thought I had duplicate sites, because it had indexed the first page of my site via domain name, then it had done the same thing for the first page at my IP address...even though it was one-and-the-same. So, I corrected that via my .htaccess file with help from folks in the forum (I didn't have a clue how to fix it, nor even how to check for it in the beginning!).

Lastly, we had purchased many domain names to protect our business...in the past, we had companies to purchase domain names that were in our niche market for the things we manufacture, and some even bought domains that were practically the same (mispelled, etc). I had also been told in past years, that a good way to get extra traffic was to buy domains about certain specific products we build, write a little page about them, and provide a link from there to ur main site. I've since learned that these are considered "spammy" doorway pages, so I killed them off and used 301 redirects to point them all permanently at my main site.

So, you can see it wasn't one thing in particular, it was more about fixing everything for me, then waiting. My site, even though it looked good to the casual consumer, was obviously in bad shape, heheheh... I've learned a lot here, thanks to all of the discussions, and hope to give something back when I can.



 1:27 pm on Jul 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Dave: You have a very refreshing message.
I likewise learned a ton from these WW discussions, and I'm very grateful.
Its good to see someone learning from past mistakes instead of moaning
how they got booted out of [you name it] for doing [gawd knows what] - Larry


 12:14 pm on Jul 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Hi Dave: You have a very refreshing message.
I likewise learned a ton from these WW discussions, and I'm very grateful.
Its good to see someone learning from past mistakes instead of moaning
how they got booted out of [you name it] for doing [gawd knows what] - Larry"

'Morning Larry,

It was a lot of work on my site of only a few hundred pages, but I decided I might as well get with the program and fix things...they needed fixing in a big way. I can only imagine the feeling some folks have when they have thousands of pages that need work...whew, glad it's not me (ttok me weeks to fix my smallish site)! I noticed this morning, that Yahoo! had added a few more pages...seems that it's adding a few every day. What a releif! :-)



 3:27 pm on Jul 11, 2005 (gmt 0)

Dave, thanks for the informative post. After you re-designed (fixed) your pages do you still rank in google?


 9:45 am on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Dave, thanks for the informative post. After you re-designed (fixed) your pages do you still rank in google?"

Yep. sure do. Google is on my site every day, and updates show up within about 2-3 days. Yahoo! is adding pages from my site to the index every day, so it seems practical to have a site that works fine for both. I'll be watching this closely from here out, so I'll know if this is for sure, but it seems there was no significant change in my Google position.

One note...I'm not trying to optimize for #1 position, but rather placement on the 1st page. I've never seen a big change in sales/traffic, as long as I'm on the first page in my niche market (for the products we manufacture). I don't watch to see if a change moves me from #1 to #3, etc, so I don't know if the changes to "tune" for Yahoo actually moved me a little...but they didn't move me off of the 1st page :-)


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