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This 95 message thread spans 4 pages: < < 95 ( 1 [2] 3 4 > >     
Site disappears - always seems connected to Sitemap

 7:59 pm on Feb 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

I found it!

After months of up and down with Google, I saw it with my own eyes!

Three hours ago Google downloaded my sitemap.

Three hours ago I went into oblivion, and disappeared.

Google Sitemap controls report my sitemap is OK with only one error for January 23, which I corrected the same day.

According to all of my notes, every major drop has resulted right after Google accessed my sitemap, and today, I saw it with my own eyes.

My most serious drop-off with Google, that lasted almost two months, came immediately after I had designated domain within the sitemap control panel.

Maybe this drop won't last as long, or maybe longer. But I am convinced that sitemap retrieval by Google is implementing the beginning of the fall.

I also know that I have a solid site, no spam and no black hat techniques. Google is losing out bigtime on authority sites, as the roller coaster continues, and good webmasters go away.

One other thing...my page ranks reported in my sitemap control panel have never recovered from the first major fall, and show that most of my site has not been ranked.
In fact, 98% of my site shows google page rankings, and has for over three years.

I still think something is broken at google.

[edited by: tedster at 8:10 pm (utc) on Feb. 1, 2007]
[edit reason] create separate thread [/edit]



 4:42 pm on Feb 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

The exact same thing happened to us. I uploaded a Google Sitemap (otherwise did nothing different and always was on page 1 for all of my keywords) it reported on error which I fixed immediately and then within hours of Google downloading my sitemap, we disappeared from the serps. Our site is 6 years old has always been on 1st page within the top 5 results and we are still no where to be found. This happened around January 12 or 14th. We are so disappointed. I hope we show back up soon, when is just the question.


 5:58 pm on Feb 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Serpent, did you just drop the sitemap or did you cancel the Webmasters Tools account?


 6:37 pm on Feb 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Don't care what people say, but I do NOT use any sitemaps anymore. It has been too much of a "coincidence" to use them anymore.
Like I have said before, what the EXACT reason for us to use it anyway?


 4:53 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

We deleted the google site maps files and our google webmaster account.


 5:03 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

*..and our google webmaster account.*

That's interesting, could your linkage be described as "enthusiastic"? ;-)


 5:47 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

I didn't hink you could delete your account just like that. Isn't AdSense and everything else connected to that account?


 6:41 pm on Feb 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

Whelp...Last night I saw the newest update to Google sitemaps placing a great sample of links that I can access from the webmaster control panel.

I'm wondering now if the introduction of their newest stats has caused the burp in the system, and jumbled up search results that we are seeing.

If that is the case, then good results should be forthcoming again real soon.

Too bad we gotta feel the pain on these ups and downs, and try to figure out how to fix the things we don't know are broken.

Hopefully one day, all the search engines will let us know of the problems, so we can fix them immediately, and get on with our lives.

Until then, my newest speculation is the Google update to control panel kicked in the newest of falls, and I'll think on that for awhile, until I come up with something else. sigh.


 3:23 am on Feb 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just to chime in here. My major white hat site had 900,000 uniques last month (even with the mid January 950 penalties) and I never submitted a map to Google for this site. However, I have been experiencing the same issues as those discussed in this thread, so I believe that you can rule out the Google Map conspiracy.

Google, I think, is trying to do something good by eliminating Spam sites. However, every time they make a change, Google kicks us in the teeth, even if we have been good Webmasters and have created nice, friendly unique content driven websites.

Spam site webmasters have the same access to information as we do regarding Google and SEO. They create their sites so that it tries to look like a Google freindly site. However, since we too are trying to create Google freindly sites, the penalty spiders are unable to distinquish between the good and the bad.

I have three suggestions if Google is reading this (1) Why not try your "modifications" in a smaller setting instead of across the board (2) Give us some real concrete information about what is going on and (3) Why not have someone from Google monitor these forums and provide feedback and comments on a continuous basis. If there is no connection between SERP changes and Google Sitemaps, then just post an answer instead of having us continue with this discussion and never discovering the truth.


 9:43 am on Feb 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

"Correlation and Causation
We must be very careful in interpreting correlation coefficients. Just because two variables are highly correlated does not mean that one causes the other. In statistical terms, we say that correlation does not imply causation. There are many good examples of correlation which are nonsensical when interpreted in terms of causation.

Since Google is a black box, correlation is all there is to go on. I wouldn't think of this as a nonsensical example at all. Seems like a pretty commonly experianced correlation to me. I think he's got pretty rational conclusion, based on the fecundity of correlations with this issue.


 3:59 pm on Feb 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, you can always look for counter examples. If you think factor A causes condition B, but there are many people who do A and B doesn't happen, then a cause/effect relationship seems unlikely.


 11:54 pm on Feb 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

Only in the case where all other conditions/parameters are the same, which is, actually, unlikely. ;)


 10:01 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yesterday, Google came back on my site just like the good old days. I was number one or two in every key word I worked for and even some obsolete ones I never even considered. For over twenty hours, I was getting hits a minute, instead of one hit every couple hours, and life was good.

I tried hard to avoid the temptation, but I had to know the truth...

I made a couple new pages on my site, recorded them on my sitemap at 2000 hrs, tested and validated the sitemap, then uploaded it as usual.

At 2116 hrs, Google downloaded the sitemap and gave me an ok for its status.

At 2116 hrs, Google sent me the last searcher.

For the last fourteen hours, the only Google traffic I have seen is from the overseas Googles.

When I wrote my suspicions last month, I received alot of neighsaying that suggested that I was comparing apples to oranges.

Today, I know I was right. Sitemaps (or maybe the recording of new pages) is triggering a filter in Google and knocking sites off the face of the earth.

Enough evidence for me to stop using the sitemaps, and should be enough evidence to the powers that be that something is surely broken.

[edited by: tedster at 10:11 pm (utc) on Mar. 8, 2007]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]


 10:24 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

We where listed for most of our major keyword for a couple of days.

Traffic increased 50%. Orders came popping in one after the other.. We where considering in highering new employees..Everything just seemed too good to be true...

Today at 10:17 am everything went down..

All of our keywords dropped..We didn't even have one single click from Google ever since..

Could this be a temporary thing?

We have not touched our site.. I have no clue why this happened..


 11:00 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

OH..By the way..

A few minutes before our site went down I went into our webmaster tools for the very first time in six months..

Does this have anything to do?


 11:49 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)


In your particular case: Are you sure that your prefered domain in Google Webmaster Tools includes "www" and it is the same in your sitemap?


 1:20 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

You betcha...

Both my sitemap and my preferred domain inside the Webmaster tools are listed as www.


 2:05 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Look at your sitemaps very hard, recently there have been reported "hacked" site maps.

Also, as you update your pages, make sure your sitemap is updated as well.

If you have a w3c compliant site, you do not need a sitemap because all your links will be 100% compliant.


 2:17 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am not sure WHY people are using sitemaps at all!
What is the REAL reason to use them?
Google says it is so they can find all your pages but that's got to be a bunch of BS. If they can't find your pages, then you don't have links to them. Isn't is as simple as that?
I don't think Amazon.com creates sitemaps, do they? And Google finds all their pages anyway.
Can't see ANY reason to use it and I have had similar problems that I say is related to sitemaps so I haven't used for eons and I don't risk use them again. Ever!


 2:51 am on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't use sitemaps and google analytics, both are causing problems with my sites as discussed here.


 3:18 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hello...I am a recovering googleholic.

My drug of choice has been the high that is granted me every once in a while as numbers soar above my expectations. The thrill of victory surges through my veins, and when I reach the highest levels, I am ecstatic and at the top of the world.

But then the google drug drains from my site, and I am left alone, desperately searching for more of the magic code that can purchase another round of google high.

I wish I hadn't taken that first hit of google. It would have been much easier to break the habit...but now...I must stop the drug google before it destroys me and my self respect.

So today, I am going to be google free, and focus on that first Yahoo step, with a hope that there are other recovering googleholics on the other side that can help me with my journey.


 3:38 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am experiencing some of the same "site disappears/reappears" issues as have been discussed here. I too have been using sitemaps/webmaster tools, and in an uncanny way, it seems like any time I do anything in there, my site takes a hit. Maybe it is a coincidence.

I do have a question or two to throw out. I have chosen my preferred domain in sitemaps to "www." However, I have added both versions of the site into webmaster tools - the [widget.com...] and [widget.com...]

Does everyone add both versions? Both say the preffered domain is "www"

I do this because by adding both versions, I can see if anyone is linking to the non-www version, etc.

Does anyone have a recommendation or insight as to whether you should add both non and "www" versions, or just have the one in there that you have your preferred domain set to?

I set my preference to "www" many weeks ago, but still the site: command shows results from both. I guess it takes several weeks to have the changes take effect.


 4:18 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

There are two sides to this debate "sitemaps seems to be the problem" and the usual "check out your site for problems", which i'm sure most have. I myself have been having google index my pages then completely drop them from the index a day later. Which promted me to optimize the sites with nofollows, make sure the site is 100% wc3 (something i messed up when I originally hacked an old template onto a new cms, template was 100% compliant, but I introduced more errors when I wasnt thinking). The site is now 100% compliant, now has less 'spammy' links and I fixed a little problem where 404s were actually redirecting to the homepage.

So we'll just give it a week or two and see how google likes the site now, then if that doesnt work sitemap goes... Guess its just trial and error at the moment

tbh I'm getting sick of this google culture thing, people dont design sites to be user friendly, its google friendly all the way.


 4:18 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'd be curious to know how many of the people noticing this correlation are using RSS-based sitemaps. One of the causes of all this turmoil is Google's attempt to kill off spam blogs, and because blog software often generates RSS feeds automatically, people commonly use that for their sitemap. The presence of an RSS sitemap could be a particular flag that a person is running blog software (even if the site isn't a blog per se).


 4:35 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yesterday, Google came back on my site just like the good old days. I was number one or two in every key word I worked for and even some obsolete ones I never even considered. For over twenty hours, I was getting hits a minute, instead of one hit every couple hours, and life was good.

I tried hard to avoid the temptation, but I had to know the truth...

During this exact same timeframe ( started sometime the evening of March 6th and ended sometime the evening of March 7th ) my traffic surged [10 fold] - then as suddenly as it started, it returned to a trickle... :(

I DO NOT use Google Sitemaps, Webmaster Tools, or Google Analytics.



 5:40 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)


See....that proves it!

I submitted my sitemap, and it broke your site too! ;)


 5:52 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Could it be, that some of you with the sitemap problem have duplicate pages due to missing url rewriting?
Maybe G doesn't recognize these as duplicates and so you get awarded for many more pages and links than you really have. Now by submitting a sitemap G gets a clue, how many pages you really have, and you get devaluated.


 5:54 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Does anyone have a recommendation or insight as to whether you should add both non and "www" versions, or just have the one in there that you have your preferred domain set to?

Use only one preffered 'root' domain. It doesn't matter if it is 'www' or '/', just stick with it and use it in all your links. Try to use the one Google already prefers in its SERPs.
I think some of you could kick yourself out of the SERPs by using wrong preference in sitemaps.


 9:32 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm a believer that something is wrong with the way G uses SiteMap data. I've had a SiteMap for many months. It's a big one, 500k+ links in it. I had forgotten to generate a new one for about three weeks. I generated a new one and submitted it yesterday afternoon. I added another 2500 pages in three weeks that weren't in the old sitemap. (We have a very busy site.)

My G traffic dropped 50% about 4 hours after submitting the new SiteMap and has been down ever since. This is enough to convince me that there's something wrong with SiteMaps and they way they are used to index a site. I removed my SiteMaps from Webmaster Tools this morning and will leave them off for at least two months two see what happens.


 9:53 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have also cancelled my sitemaps and analytics accounts. Nothing else has worked, so there's nothing to lose at this point by trying and seeing if it helps.


 9:55 pm on Mar 23, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm going to hold off on canceling analytics for at least a couple of months. If things don't improve between now and then we'll pull the plug on analytics too.


 12:25 am on Mar 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hmmm....Used to have this problem with Yahoo! Everytime I submitted an updated sitemap, poof! I go missing, so I'd have to say that it could be a possibility why I'm in and out for my main keyword with Google.

I'm MIA right now, so I guess I have to wait till my site pops up again (should be at #8) then if it goes MIA again, to check whether sitemaps was downloaded by Goog. Maybe 2 to 3 cycles of this would prove that it's not a co-incidence. If indeed it's NOT, then bye-bye, sitemap....

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