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Site disappeared from Google around December 10, 2007
gomer




msg:3524754
 4:07 am on Dec 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

A site of mine site 'mostly' disappered from Google around the time shown in the title and site: command is displaying odd behaviour. I am posting this to find out if others have experinced something similar.

I should explain 'mostly' above. My site had thousands of pages indexed.

Now when I do site: Google does show an accurate page count (in the thousands which it used to have) but when I try and scroll through the pages, Google only shows me about 150 page are in the index.

These lost pages are not in the index (despite the accurate site: ) because when I search for snippets that are unique to those pages, Google returns no results.

My homepage is still in the index along with those 150 pages. My homepage still ranks for a very competitive term. It is second for a query with 240K results (last week this same query showed 2.4 million results).

My referrals from Google are now less than 1% of what they were prior to 7pm EST.

I am hoping this is an issue of Google temporarily losing a site.

I really don't think this is a penalty issue, just a lost site issue. Would like to know if anyone else is experiencing the same thing.

Thanks
gomer

 

Hemanth




msg:3530017
 5:49 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

@superbitz:

Reading the discussions in most of the forums, I'm also thinking so. That's why I'm trying to remove the backlinks from various sites. I don't have any paid 3rd party links to other sites, so i don't think my forum hit for link sales.

About a reconsideration request i have no idea? Anybody sent that kind a mail to google and get positive results? Since our sites are not deindexed, we can't file a reinclusion request. More over how do we know the backlinks are the problem for sure?

@gomer: That's intersting. In my case only my forum url name (without .com) is the only query giving a No: 1 position. Most of the other Page: 1 Key words and many No:1 Key phrases are no longer in the results. Are you sure you don't have any suspicous backlinks?

[edited by: Hemanth at 5:49 am (utc) on Dec. 18, 2007]

tedster




msg:3530023
 6:06 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Since our sites are not deindexed, we can't file a reinclusion request.

My understanding is that you can submit the request even for an apparent penalty that leaves your website still in the index. Confusion on this issue in the past is one reason why Google renamed the link "Reconsideration request"

[edited by: tedster at 7:14 am (utc) on Dec. 18, 2007]

gomer




msg:3530024
 6:07 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

jgold454 posted in this thread. His site disappeared, came back, disappeared again, did not rank when it came back and then finally ranked about where it did before. (Correct me if I'm wrong jgold454).

I'm waiting it out.

Did anyone notice how the number of results Google is returning for queries has gone up in the last few days. Not sure if it is for all queries but it is for the ones I follow. Not sure if this is related to sites disappearing.

Do I have any suspicious backlinks? None that are suspicous looking to me. And I don't know why Google would feel that way if they let me rank #1 for a 3.2 million search term.

superbitz




msg:3530025
 6:08 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Gomer, I am not sure what you mean by this statement:

"since our site is not deindexed we can't file a reconsideration request."

Actually, that is incorrect. The whole point of a reconsideration request is to address ANY perceived penalty that may be applied to your site. That includes any recent suppression penalties targeting rankings that you may have experienced last week when sites dropped out of the index, then reappeared 3 days latter 5 pages lower then where they started.

If you have a penalty any perceived penalty, then yes, you are going to need to file this reconsideration request. I just don't think what happened last week is a "timing penalty" and thus waiting for things to improve, probably isn't going to do you much good.

superbitz




msg:3530027
 6:10 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Tedster beat me to it, but yes, Hemanth (sorry Gomer), that was what I was trying to communicate in this last post.

gomer




msg:3530028
 6:10 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Oh, and the crazy thing is that my pages that are -50, they are in the primary index, not the supplemental.

No traffic but I will take this over the pages not being in the index at all. Today marks 1 week since I my site disappeared and this thread was started.

superbitz




msg:3530030
 6:19 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Gomer -- you and I, same boat. We should compare "reconsideration requests" as we remove those "questionable backlinks" that apparently triggered this recent update.

One week ago today that the site initially disappeared.

Hemanth




msg:3530035
 6:34 am on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tedster and superbitz. I was a bit lazy for a few months as my sites traffic improving by week and tones of adsense money. So it's the time for me to read the Google guidelines again and logon to WebmasterWorld every day. :)

Same here Gomer. It's been 1 week since the traffic down to a big '0' from Google. My alexa rank still N/A.

I'm still not able to find out if i'm hit by a -50 or -950. I'm unable to find any relations in results for different queries. In addition to this any ideas why even the Forum title is not bringing my site at No: 1 position.

Please keep us updated if anybody is going to file a reconsideration request.

Thanks

aok88




msg:3530177
 12:24 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

My aged website PR5, 9k pages also suffered a -50 or so 'penalty' and we're considering a reconsideration request as well. Are you guys going to change anything before you do this? Are you definitely planning on doing this? And will you do it throguh Webmaster Tools? We don't have an account for this site on Google, should I create one in order to submit a reconsideration request?

James45




msg:3530193
 12:44 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Here is what I noticed....

Last week several of my main competitors finally tripped a filter. They involved themselves in hidden links, paid links, keyword stuffing, duplicate pages, doorways, hidden text, image spam, off topic linking and so much more. Just about everything Google says not to do, they were doing for years. These sites were the definition of spam. They are completely gone from google unless you type in the domains. I'm not talking about -30 or -950 or getting stuck somewhere in the 40-60 range for various keywords. For years they've been 1-10 on some very competitive terms and now they're not in the top 1000.

If your site went missing last week it is probably in deep do-doo. Whatever google did, they most definately followed that list of "don't do it" on their guidelines page.

In my opinion, Google finally nailed the right websites across several industries with few if any exceptions. Now if they could just lighten up on my de-optimized sites with this 40-60 range it might be a good year in '08.

gomer




msg:3530297
 3:05 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

superbitz, you've got me confused with another poster as I never said:

'since our site is not deindexed we can't file a reconsideration request.'

superbitz, I won't be filing a reconsideration request or trying to adust anything on my site. Sorry, but there is nothing for us to compare. I am going to give this at least a few weeks.

I have not signed up for the Google Webmaster Central - I haven't done so so far and won't be doing it. I don't believe you have to sign up with Google to run a website.

Here is something I find odd. From my logs, I do get some traffic to those pages, the old type of terms that I used to get. When I do the same query in my logs a few hours later, my site no longer has the same position for the term and it is generally -50. This trickle of traffic that seems to disappear a few hours later does have a slowly increasing trend which I think is a good thing.

Thanks James45 for your very righteous view on all of this. Thanks also for making the blind assumption that all of us that lost our sites are in the same league as your spamming competitors.

aok88




msg:3530317
 3:25 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks James45 for your very righteous view on all of this. Thanks also for making the blind assumption that all of us that lost our sites are in the same league as your spamming competitors.

Agreed.Don't assume we did anything wrong in Google's eyes to deserve this -50 or whatever - some maybe, others no.

Anyone else going to consider doing a reconsideration with Google?

Do you have to have your site registered with Google Webmaster Tools to file one?

Stiphen




msg:3530330
 3:39 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm noticing a strange tendency now with our site. We lost 5 sub-directories of our site that we did very well on. The main domain and a few other sub-directories that were less important were never de-indexed. With the five sub-directories we are as most of you at position 40-60 however our homepage is starting to gain in raknings for the same terms as our subdirectories had their rankings.

before

example.com/directory/ keyword1 "3"
example.com/ keyword1 "16"

after

example.com/directory/ keyword1 "45"
example.com/ keyword1 "9"

and it's the same for a lot of the keywords we have. Anyone seeing similar behavior?

superbitz




msg:3530385
 4:38 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

aok88 - yes, you have to have a Google Webmasters account to file a reconsideration request. That is the only current way to submit a request.

James45 - making blanket assumptions like the above really does no good for anyone on these boards. When such assumptions are clearly unreasearched and provide no concrete data to support such an assertion, the statement becomes that much more idiotic.

I can list 10 sites right now that were penalized last week that clearly are within Google's guidelines, have been in the index since the last 90's and provide incredible value to Google's search community. They aren't violating any guidelines that I can see. It is certainly easier to believe that they were "mistakenly" caught up in this latest fishing net by Google -- then that they really were in "deep do-doo."

[edited by: tedster at 4:48 pm (utc) on Dec. 18, 2007]

JoshN




msg:3530434
 5:43 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I am one of those sites that was penalized last week. We are a 100% white hat company that manufactures actual products and we were top 10 SERP for most of our industry's top keywords, then last week sometime we dropped 30 positions for our top keywords.

One thing we do on our site is have folders and filenames that have keywords in them, i.e.:
widgets.com/red-widgets/red-widgets-with-trim.html

Could this be the source of the penalty? We had been doing this for about 2 years with no negative consequences. I'm wondering if we should remove those keywords from the filenames and/or folders.

Everything I've been reading on these boards and others points to "over-optimization" as the likely culprit, but, I don't want to under-optimize and lose what ranking we still have.

gomer




msg:3530454
 5:57 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I can list 10 sites right now that were penalized last week that clearly are within Google's guidelines, have been in the index since the last 90's and provide incredible value to Google's search community. They aren't violating any guidelines that I can see. It is certainly easier to believe that they were "mistakenly" caught up in this latest fishing net by Google -- then that they really were in "deep do-doo."

Thanks superbitz, that firms up my conviction in a wait-and-see attitude.

JoshN

widgets.com/red-widgets/red-widgets-with-trim.html

Could this be the source of the penalty?

No, don't change any of that as it is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

JoshN




msg:3530464
 6:06 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks Gomer, I will take a wait-and-see approach, although it's difficult to be patient.

developerfood




msg:3530465
 6:06 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

In reviewing the Google Webmaster Tools, I looked over this section:

Dashboard > Diagnostics > Content analysis

where I discovered that G was telling me about hundreds of duplicate title tags, duplicate meta descriptions, and short meta descriptions.

Amongst the duplicate title tags was my home page, which has fallen to the second page in a search for "example.com". It's title tag was shared with 177 other pages. Yes, I'm an idiot.

I'm planning to fix all these issues before I call a foul. I recommend you review this area of GWT also. Can't hurt.

I still have my PR5, I'm still having my friend GoogleBot come by every day quite heavily, so I'm confident I can get out of this mess by fixing the site according to G's specific recommendations.

Is the "Content analysis" section new? Have I just not noticed it all this time? Anyone else showing problems there?

lorien1973




msg:3530484
 6:21 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)


Is the "Content analysis" section new? Have I just not noticed it all this time? Anyone else showing problems there?

I read about it today and visited. My site disappeared in October, came back on the 14th (of this month), dropped again today to where it dropped to in October.

My "content analysis" shows exactly 1 problem - which was easily fixed. I don't think fixing all the issues there is going to help out of any sort of penalty situation, honestly.

JoshN




msg:3530486
 6:21 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes Developerfood, I also saw problems there for our site, which I have now remedied, and am waiting for our site to be re-cached in hopes that it will be bumped back to our previous high position in the SERPs.

Perhaps the Content Analysis tool was launched at the same time as sites with problems in these areas analyzed by the tool (duplication in titles and descriptions) were penalized.

superbitz




msg:3530502
 6:31 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

lorien1973 is exactly correct. The new "content analysis" section that was added into Google Webmasters earlier this month is certainly a nice addition. Its Google's not so subtle way of saying "hey, we noticed these problems with your site, you might want to address them."

However, it will have no effect at all if you are under a penalty. Fixing those issues is a great idea, but if you are under a current Google penalty, don't expect it to make any dent at all. This is just Google's way of ensurinr your site is as "optimized" for its index as possible.

Supposedly, that is is.

developerfood




msg:3530556
 7:56 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, it can't hurt. Gives me something to fiddle with.

If Content Analysis came about one month ago, that does correspond with my site's fall from grace. My site is 100% white hat, and since GoogleBot and PR are maintained, I'm going to operate on hope and do my best.

After that I'll blame G.

developerfood




msg:3530607
 8:40 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Besides, I've been sitting on my hands for almost a week now, without power, lights, internet, the works.

Greetings from Oklahoma City.

eileenw




msg:3530680
 10:18 pm on Dec 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing this penalty from the opposite end of the spectrum where a relatively new non-optimized site with very little backlinks had a huge index count jump and traffic jump out of nowhere.

IMHO, Google is doing one of the following:

1. They could be doing a little testing to get impression data and/or quality rating data on new/questionable sites, which means authorities might lose traffic temporarily to let the others rise to the top.

2. They could be doing some data restructuring and their engine could temporarily lose the index of certain sites during data clean-up/transfers, etc. In this case, the A-list may lose traffic while the Z-list gains it.

If you have a quality site that disappeared for no apparent reason, I recommend sitting on your hands and only fixing what needs fixing anyway. Chances are you will return to your regular position or close to it after they are done doing work in your sector.

Back to making some quick optimizations on that non-optimized site...

Hemanth




msg:3530857
 4:44 am on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

@developerfood:

My position is exactly same as yours. I have noticed a number of duplicate titles and metatags in the Webmaster central's Content analysis tab two days ago. Fixed all the duplicate issues. The removal of the nasty looking backlinks in progress.

My PR is stable & googlebot visits just normal. My index improved a bit but the ranking still far down. And for the first time i'm seeing the Sitelinks being generated for my site. I was not there yesterday. I'm sure something big is happening. Gosh..

@eileenw:

Intersting ideas. But I don't think google will just test the things out by completly removing traffic for established sites.

developerfood




msg:3531086
 1:44 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hemanth:

I finished the problem fixes last night, and resubmitted a sitemap. Since it took a few weeks for this thing to fully degrade I'm going to give it that much time before I make a judgement. G's indexes and GWT are slow moving and slow to report.

However, AdSense is very fast to respond. While page impressions are unchanged (still very low), my eCPM is +75%, which means that the ads are now becoming relevant again. This is a very good sign.

James45




msg:3531482
 9:12 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry if I came across as righteous but... I've seen penalty after penalty on some very good sites. Sometimes google reincluded, other times I ripped a site apart and never found out what the problem was except underoptimization. All the while my spammy competitors did everything Google said not to do. As of today, my guideline compliant websites hover in the 40-60 range with caches dating back to Feb 07 and my competitors are gone.

So, what else can anyone conclude except Google finally took their own guidelines seriously and nailed these sites to the wall.

Hemanth




msg:3531707
 4:26 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hmm.. For the last 1 week I didn't have the guts to login to my adsense account. My traffic down 100% means earning also down by 100% => $0 - $5 a day! I don't know how'll I find the bucks to pay for the server in the coming months if this continues like this. :(

@James45:

In your case it may be true. But it didn't mean all the sites hit by this latest penality are spammers. We are here to discuss and find out the possible reasons for the dislike of big G and not to blame anybody. Be cool man :)

superbitz




msg:3531747
 5:51 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just as an update to all you fellow -50 penalty suffers. I have confirmed 1 link shared by a minimum of 5 sites that suffered this recent penalty. This site in question is a "polish" site that offered links through DP for sale.

As another clue, this site is a .info site so some of you "may" want to check your affected sites for this specific link profile and report back.

I have removed the link and several others that may to Google appear "suspicious" or as they would say "unqualified." I am waiting on one more site link to drop off one of my affected sites then will be submitting the reconsideration requests if not on Friday, probably next week after Christmas.

It is my professional opinion (take that as you will) that at least with regard to my 3 affected sites, this was backlink related. Though I did find and block hijack proxy sites on two of the sites as well. I think that was just coincidence though.

In the case of my 3 sites, they did purcashe a small % of backlinks over the last 90-days and unfortunately, it would appear they bought 1 that was on Google's radar. They obviously won't be doing it again.

Needless to say I have had to go through 100's of backlinks and spend a relentless amount of time on this board, on DP and in the Google Webmasters Forums to really arrive at this conclusion, but I am pretty much 100% sure I have the problem identified and will now just have to leave it up to the reconsideration request.

Stiphen




msg:3531827
 8:47 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

" Just as an update to all you fellow -50 penalty suffers. I have confirmed 1 link shared by a minimum of 5 sites that suffered this recent penalty. This site in question is a "polish" site that offered links through DP for sale."

I checked trough 20 sites that had links on that site yesterday and a few were down for sure but others weren't affected. I think it's too easy to jump to gun and say 1 single site caused this problem. If that would be the case I think we would see a lot of people buying links for their competitors on that specific site. However the sites that were down had link profiles that indicate some link buying so this could still be the issue. On the other hand even when I cross check a couple of the sites that were banned with others sites that weren't affected they still can have similar link profiles with paid links. Leaving us with the knowledge that some sites with paid links were dropped -50 and some aren't experiencing any discomfort at all even though they have similar profiles :)

I think there is one important conclusion one might draw from that particular site. All the links added there caused the in body text to mutate which as a clear signal of something fishy going on. The site I have the most problem with in traffic loss was not featured on the polish site.

I have set up an experiment since yesterday were I mutated pages from an old site that is fairly trusted. The mutation is new links to another site of mine so that I can monitor what happens. The most likely scenario is that nothing happens, but then again who knows.

Hemanth




msg:3531841
 9:11 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

" Just as an update to all you fellow -50 penalty suffers. I have confirmed 1 link shared by a minimum of 5 sites that suffered this recent penalty. This site in question is a "polish" site that offered links through DP for sale."

superbitz: OMG... I had a few backlinks from a site with a similar background except it's Italian. It's also a .info and url is the name of the author. Is the site in question is related to adobe products like photoshop (just for confirming)?

Anyway I already contacted the author in DP and he removed all the links. :)

[edited by: Hemanth at 9:13 am (utc) on Dec. 20, 2007]

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