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This 196 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 196 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 > >     
Dec 7 - sudden drop in rankings
Anyone experiencing the same thing today?

 8:57 pm on Dec 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a site that yesterday ranked very high for many terms, today it is nowhere for any of them.

Things I'm seeing that changed, ...

In google sitemaps, it's saying many pages have low pagerank, or many pages have not been assigned pagerank yet, but the visible PR is very high across the site.

It has many high quality links, pr5 across the whole site.

The allinanchor searches used to show the site ranking high, now it is nowwhere for those searches.



 6:51 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Matt can you check if anything major happened on the 28th November also? Seems like a lot of webmasters noticed something significant on this date. Thanks.


 6:54 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

frakilk, not that I know of. It's been a pretty quiet month as far as ranking changes go.


 6:59 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

right now I'm not aware of any major changes yesterday, so right now I'd chalk it up to the normal daily changes in ranking as we refresh our index. I'll be happy to ask around, though.

Matt, I would be very grateful if you could do that. Something has happened in the last week for sure.

We just have a well established information site and never do anything to it except add pages from papers our collegues write every blue moon, and none recently. It is the most boring site ever for anyone here at Webmasterworld probably, because it is all text, but on Monday or Tuesday it just sank away on most searches. It would be good to know why. Surely an accident of some sort.


 7:06 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)


Did you see the first post I made in this thread? I tried to offer some observations.

I have a site that ranked fine Wednesday, was gone yesterday, and came back today.

It seemed like the links weren't being counted yesterday, the allinanchor searches stayed the same, but the rankings were gone.

Today, the allinanchors are the same, and the rankings are back.

This was across most datacenters, I checked many yesterday and couldn't find the site ranked anyhwere, but it was indexed.

The site command yesterday didn't show the homepage ranked in the top 10, today the homepage is first for the site command.


 7:08 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just to chime in, I have noticed at least 3 domains sinking for some, but not all, of their search terms. I think this started on the 3rd of this month, definitely very strange as the sites still hold #1 ranks for some of their other terms.

I also explored the duplicate content issues, of those pages which lost ranks, most of the had unique content and only those pages show up for searches on unique phrases from the pages.


 7:24 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

We also lost significant amounts of listings, to the tune of 175, all which have been in the top 5 for a couple of years.

The really scary thing is now all of a sudden we have thousands of listings in the supplemental bin of death. Has anyone else seen loss of ranks AND pages being tossed into supplemental results?


 7:52 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I miss GoogleGuy. I mean it's great that Matt Cutts answers with the authority he does, but if Clark Kent just got tired of wearing the tights one day and showed up with his suit on to save the day wouldn't we all be a little disappointed?


 7:55 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Umbra, right now I'm not aware of any major changes yesterday, so right now I'd chalk it up to the normal daily changes in ranking as we refresh our index. I'll be happy to ask around, though.

Hi Matt! Thanks for joining in so quickly! I hesitate to chalk it up to normal daily changes because of all these recent threads:

Datacenter Watch: 2006-11-09 [webmasterworld.com]
Massive change in SERPS - Nov 19 [webmasterworld.com]
November 28 Data Refresh? [webmasterworld.com]
And of course this current thread...

Sure, it may just be that webmasters are getting extra-frantic before the holidays, but there's seems to be no question that some SERPS have gone upside-down, ie., long-standing sites in certain sectors that have been hit hard with something like a minus 500 penalty on some datacenters. Even if it's only a temporary symptom of the usual index rebuilding, then it would seem very ill-timed to allow flux to affect websites just before the holidays so drastically and for so long.

Jordo needs a drink

 8:22 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, add Dec. 7 to that list and you have a change about every nine days. Looks almost predictable.

Wonder what's gonna happen on Dec 16th?


 8:23 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

These comments look like something from a black hat forum. Aren't you all running white hat sites and know a lot more about SEO than the average webmaster? If you can't get stable rankings with your several year old high trust rank sites then who can.

I lost a lot of sites too but they were manual bans: promoting an online store with a self made article is a sin according to Google. Even if it's a non-profit student information site and the affiliate link was there just to help cover domain+hosting costs. Thanks a lot Matt.

Notes: Pages and subdomains removed (404) sometime during the last summer have reappeared in the index as supplemental. For me it doesn't look like a normal data refresh.


 10:35 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yea, something is weird as sites that are redirected show up in the index now on TOP, nonetheless. So now this one site shows up TWICE. In other words, www.example.com (redirected for many years and redirects instantly) shows up and so does www.example2.com. Heck, if that works that well, I'm going to go on a domain buying spree...just kidding.


 11:12 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I may have a possible cause for the drop that happened to my site; I'm curious to know if other sites that experienced a drop may have done similar things? I have a site that reviews stores, and let users comment on them. Until two weeks ago, each store page contained my own review, plus the latest user's review.

In order to make the pages a little more fleshed out, I decided to include the latest TWO user reviews, which caused a good 80% of the pages on my site to be updated. I did that 2 weeks ago. Anyone else who dropped did something similar? Is this a possible cause at all?


 11:18 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

yannickl: Yes, the same happened with my URLs. Updating a lot of content = you are in big trouble.

[edited by: SEOPTI at 11:19 pm (utc) on Dec. 8, 2006]


 11:29 pm on Dec 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yup, same thing here, I guess G doesnt like content anymore...


 12:09 am on Dec 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I noticed that two websites that we ranking #9 and #10 for my search term are now completely gone since this afternoon.

I am glad to see this as these two sites were of very poor quality and I always wandered why they were in serps anyway?!

[edited by: Pikono at 12:09 am (utc) on Dec. 9, 2006]


 9:24 pm on Dec 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yup, same thing here, I guess G doesnt like content anymore...

Given that my site is just text pages and nothing else, I can relate to that comment. Last week and the previous 3 years Google thought it was cool, but this week it suddenly doesn't. It doesn't make sense.


 2:42 am on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

But why just the main Keyword?

what did I do?


 3:25 am on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Seopti, atlrus,

We just updated a lot of pages on the site too, possibly every page.

There might be something to that, but my site only dropped for a day, and came back the next.

It must be tied into trustrank or something too though, many sites update the entire site this time of year, and we're not seeing thousands of sites drop, or are we?

This site has a lot of high quality links, maybe that's why it came back?


 4:54 am on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

My reply to OP :

Yes, seem to notice a change too. Was at a solid #3 for a couple of months before Dec 7 saw a slip to #10.
Thought it might be due to my changes to the homepage which altered the KW density a bit. But we'll have to wait and see.

I reverted back to the old format as soon as I noticed the drop to #10.

Result : Seems my drop was self-inflicted. Going back to older version saw my site go back to pre-Dec7 rank. Hope everything works out well for all of you.


 6:33 am on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well, we didnt change all our pages, but we added a chunk of new - about 10% of the site, and although we are on Fast crawling - google hasnt cached anything for a week...But everytime we resubmit the sitemap - it gets picked up in a matter of minutes...

Also - we are having some weird things in our logs from GBot - read here [webmasterworld.com...]

We have regained our previous positions on main keywords, but still missing about 50% of the traffic.

Oh, and by the way, while I was looking trough the DCs - the links were updated on one of them (and we were down about 30 spots)...

Somthing is cooking...


 6:36 am on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

One of my sites has about 200 pages - it seems that half of the pages can't be found at all in Google on normal 2 and 3 word key phrases that have ranked well for years.

The pages are there - a site: command shows them in the index, but a search for the key phrase or page name doesn't find them.

My data shows this happened on about Dec 3.

Client had renamed many pages during the summer which had been doing fine (once I got htaccess in place) and now they all seem to have fallen out of the search index.

12/3 was the lowest traffic, about 1/10th of the last 30 day average, with the last 5 days at about 20% of the 30 day average.


 10:20 am on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've experienced exactly the same. Pages that have ranked well (original content by the way) have all but disappeared and the index shows old pages that haven't been on the server for a while. I am absolutely gutted as I have put a lot of work into one site over the last few months following all of Google's edicts. I hope this is a temporary glitch, nice Christmas present though!


 3:01 pm on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

We haven't changed our site for many months, so for us it definitely isn't related to change.

All we have ever done in fact is add pages every now and again to a pretty flat site, so even if I was going to try to chase Google I wouldn't know where to start! I feel we have done nothing wrong at all, so we will just sit tight and hope they can sort themselves out.


 3:12 pm on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have just done a check against all the data centers and found my original rankings in one of them. Is this a good or bad thing? I hope it is!


 4:20 pm on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

I got a bit worried about this problem, so I some research for the past days and created a simple list of 2do just to make sure that everything I have done ( and will do ) is cool to Google.

what I did is the following

html compliant
never exceeded on out bound links over 100
check to make sure out bound links are valid
checked my meta tags
checked my anchor
made sure I had a high percentage of text to code
looked for scrapers
checked my inbound links to make sure that they came to the right section.
checked my htaccess file and made sure it was right.
checked from overseas to make sure that my page loaded fast
checked my headers for any error codes.

then I went to webmaster tools and submitted my site, it passed with no errors.



 4:41 pm on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can anyone let me know more specifically how and what I need to look for in that list from the last poster?


 5:07 pm on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

We run a number of ecommerce sites and this only effected one of them, the biggest. All of our 1000+ rankings are gone and at the worst time of year. The only difference between this site and the others is we use subdomains for the different categories but I doubt this is the reason since the root domain no longer ranks even for its actual name.

I'm guessing its a data glitch and not an update since we haven't changed anything on the sites other than add new products and Matt is saying no updates were done.

I hope its corrected quickly because I can't even begin to calculate how much revenue we've lost.


 5:34 pm on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

old data - that's what i think this is. and yes, it annoys me.


 5:42 pm on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

So you guys think it may just be some sort of data glitch?

It got me too... on December 7th.

Dozens of keywords that I had on page 1 in Google were suddenly knocked back to page 5. No idea why.

Even my domain name got spanked. It's now sitting on page 3 (29th).


 5:49 pm on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

dazzlindonna, i agree with you on old data.

the thing is WHY do they do it when the holliday shopping season as at its PEAK.

What I see in my sector is that the 2 sites that are on topic and have 100+ hidden words on the page are back to dominating the SERP. One site was out for atleast a year, the other one 7-8 month.

#2 position is taken back (and well deserved) by a site that is old Authority on the subject. The problem is that TITLE and snippet belong to a different page on the site. The CASHED COPY shows Different Page, the URL its pointing is the correct URL.


 6:02 pm on Dec 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

If this is old data showing and your original data is fairly new, would this explain why most new data has just gone, yet is still showing in the site index?

This 196 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 196 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 > >
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