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Major Ranking Losses on 2008 June 4 - 5
confuscius




msg:3668367
 12:34 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can now join the catastrophic loss club! UK site, PR6, rock solid rankings, 400k pages indexed, fast loading - 90% loss of traffic since 2 days ago. Last time the site went AWOL was early February for a couple of days.

Looking up what I used to rank for approx 20,00 medium to long phrases then all top listing just disappeared BUT results can now only be described as awful - in fact on one query results 11-20 contained sites from Poland, Germany, Czech, .info and not a single .com or .co.uk - when will Google admit that they really screwed up big time this time?

As my site is a .com hosted on uk servers then it seems that I have now moved to the index for Mars. Time to move to the dark side methinks rather than stay in the Google lottery.

[edited by: tedster at 7:08 pm (utc) on June 6, 2008]
[edit reason] moved from [webmasterworld.com...] [/edit]

 

doughayman




msg:3668438
 1:51 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Without any appreciable details to add, add me to this list as well. Traffic down 90 % since 3 days ago. Extremely frustrating. Nothing appreciable done except for adding some new minor content. Sometimes I think Google has gotten to be too big a corporation, with too many people turning the knobs.

JamieC




msg:3668529
 3:05 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd like to throw my hat in the ring here too... <our site> has PR 7, with millions of pages indexed. We've noticed a large drop in traffic starting a couple of days ago.

What I'm seeing is not a drop ranking of our pages. Instead, I see that a swath of our pages that no longer appear in Google's index. And we haven't made any significant changes to the site in quite a while.

Is anyone else seeing pages actually dropped from Google's index? Any suggestions?

[edited by: tedster at 5:40 pm (utc) on June 6, 2008]
[edit reason] no personal domains please [/edit]

confuscius




msg:3668566
 3:27 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think that this affected higher PR club may well grow! I have had a dig in my logs and it looks like my tap was turned to off around teatime on 4 June GMT.

Those with higher traffic sites (say top 10,000 alexa for your country) then please have a dig in your logs to see if we can link the drop to a specific time.

Of course this could be part of the Google masterplan to fill the results with loads of tiddlers to suffocate the bigger fish into buying air from Google!

kcguitar




msg:3668582
 3:43 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Me too! Lost 90+% of Google rankings on Wednesday. Pages are still indexed but are not found in serps. 5 year old site which hasn't changed much in the last year.

sahm




msg:3668761
 7:18 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

My 12-yr-old, PR5 site was also hit on Wednesday, losing almost all Google traffic. What's curious is that from what I can see most of my pages are still listed, but instead of ranking 1-5, they are on the next page of results. I have been hit by the 950 penalty before, but this is definitely not the case this time. The results above mine seem to be mostly good sites, but they are much newer and smaller sites than mine.

HuskyPup




msg:3668780
 7:41 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

For those of you who are seeing this loss:

1. Are you referring to product pages also available in similar guises on many other sites or are we referring to unique informational pages?

2. What has happened to your competitors?

SEOPTI




msg:3668802
 7:59 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think it's some kind of -950 which maybe affects thin pages/link pages. I have added more text ... maybe it will help.

My sites consist of local infomational pages (state, city). All of them got hit.

[edited by: SEOPTI at 8:04 pm (utc) on June 6, 2008]

bwnbwn




msg:3668873
 9:14 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

something is really off with google right now. I am doing a 4 term search that really doesnt have many pages in the index and the results are horrible nothing what I am looking for. Do the same search in yahoo same junk the do it in MSN and the results are spot on.

Well this is a new one for me but I see the results and hope they improve from what I am seeing.

Kristos




msg:3668880
 9:26 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

one of our sites was hit hard. it was a "landing page" looking site, without css.
most were not hurt,
one with really great css, (the page looks like old style internet informational pages without css), it has PROPER use of H1, h2 and h3 with videos on most pages and lots of properly tagged images (like for the blind person who HEARS the screen) and it was not hurt and has climbed!
G said they were going to start paying a whole lot more attention so sites with great user experience including video and properly tagged images.

I guess its time to make sure all our sites concentrate on great user experience and contain videos and properly used alt tags

SEOPTI




msg:3668897
 9:56 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

So what is the pattern with all of those sites hit? The two patterns I can see with my sites are

- there are some URLs which for the most part contain links only
- it hits big sites

SEOPTI




msg:3668908
 10:08 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some more:

- sites are hosted in Europe but target US market
- no outbound links
- high PR

[edited by: SEOPTI at 10:09 pm (utc) on June 6, 2008]

edd1




msg:3668910
 10:12 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

High quality
unique
decent PR
lots of quality inbound links
clean programming

in other words - awesome content and usability

Vespasian




msg:3668919
 10:34 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Mine clobbered, as well.

Six years old.

4000 pages of content, about 10 links going out with more than 500 coming in, many from other good sites.

White hat SEO.

Only thing that is perhaps unusual - it's editorial info but many pages have photos and about 50 words of text.

confuscius




msg:3668936
 10:59 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a few mini-sites and one of these has seen its traffic go up 20 fold and it simply does not deserve to rank for what it is ranking for - no SEO effort whatsoever - a blog with about 20 pages of content!

Perhaps the solution is to take the 400,000 pages of content - yes they are product pages and turn them into 2,000 x 200 page websites, crosslink them all and buy lots of cheap backlinks as this seems to be the sort of site that Google now favours.

The silence from Google is deafening on this one - we all know they have had UK geo problems and my guess is that they have attempted a fix that is wreaking havoc in some areas.

As an aside, I noticed that Google spider stopped spidering some of my other sites early on Wednesday like it was on holiday or something but today the crawl rate on the PR6 site seems to be running at 3x its normal rate - it is like Google lost a whole block of indexed pages and is now trying to get them all back ASAP. The loss of 100,000 pages would clearly hit ranking if internal support pages were lost and the unusual spider activity is certainly something that I have not experienced before - the one thing a large site has in its favour is the remarkable predictability of activity so when that predictability disappears then one notices the impact pretty quickly.

Time to chill for a couple of days, touch nothing and see what happens.

[edited by: confuscius at 11:03 pm (utc) on June 6, 2008]

doughayman




msg:3668937
 11:00 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

My site is comparatively thin, relative to most of yours. Have had top rankings for better than 5 years. And 2 days ago....poof ! Gone !

It is an affiliate site, with lots of content. Lots of internal linking from subordinate pages to main page. No repetitive (or redundant links). Some, but not many, outbound links.

I'm hoping that this is just another Google screw-up !

oasisfan




msg:3668945
 11:18 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I know Iv'e replied on other threads but our site too has been hit.

Good solid site, 10 years old, NO recip links despite lots of requests,

White Hat (in fact no Hat as we just don't do anything at all just write our site)

iInventedtheinternet




msg:3668958
 11:53 pm on Jun 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

Lost 90% of Google Organic last week on one of our country TLD sites. Daily 30K organic traffic dropped to 3K, so Google is STILL sending some traffic. We have a network of sites all hosted in the US. All other sites are fine. One application runs the whole network. Network of TLD sites in each country of a major continent.

Only one country was hit. Our oldest and largest site (4 years). Go figure.

1,000,000 pages still indexed for the lost country site though. No obvious penalties.

I can search for some of our unique titles and find a high result other are gone. That being said we are a long tail site so we have 1000s of keywords constantly changing so not beholden to a few keywords.

We do very very little linking out without a NOFOLLOW.

Emailed back and forth with Google, they said they couldn't see anything wrong. (shut off our AdWords account so I could get someone to talk to me)

No link exchanges or link campaigns. We're web standardistas. Absolutely no black hat strategies. We try to escape out any UGC trickery. Some users could have slipped something by us and we're still checking but its unlikely.

We have a footer that links to each country site. Had it for a long time. It's not an SEO trick, it's a legit navigation so our users can jump countries. Could be that?

confuscius




msg:3668961
 12:00 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

A few more interesting observations.

Firstly, the number of search results being reported on some popular UK products seems to have fallen dramatically - my guess would be 80-90% reduction.

Secondly, and I find this one amazing, I am starting to see sites where the total number of NON SUPPLEMENTAL pages being reported in the serps is significantly more than the total number of pages INCLUDING supplemental pages - the numbers are nonsense.

Thirdly, for say a five word search then the cache reports say two of the words on the page and say three of the words in links pointing to the page BUT the words linking to the page seem highly unlikely. Could this be the effect of all of these external search type query parameters being hosted on remote sites? If this is the case then it seems that the spammers may well have found a way of unduly affecting the Google algo.

Very interesting times. I am now going to chill!

ziajunu




msg:3668972
 12:11 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

We have also lost huge traffic in our 2 sites. Both 10/12 years old, stable traffic for years, alexa 15,000 sites and now will be alexa 200,000. Still getting some image search from google. We are not doing any changes in these white hat sites, there is no way to recover by changing sites. Emailing to google will not work.

oasisfan




msg:3668974
 12:13 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes, hopefully we will bounce back. Its frustrating as we spend a lot of money going on research trips for our site to take photos and get the feel of somewhere but when this happens you wonder if you should continue.

By the way Adesense is our biggest earner with a few affiliates.

I'm going to forget about it for a while and just continue to get excited by the new iphone on Monday.

SEOPTI




msg:3668980
 12:24 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

This "penalty" for sure is not about affiliate links, we have never used affiliates, 100% Adsense only.

What are they trying to accomplish with this step, hurt innocent sites so they get more Adwords money?

[edited by: SEOPTI at 12:27 am (utc) on June 7, 2008]

potentialgeek




msg:3669013
 3:03 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Wow. This sounds like a big one. Haven't heard of this kind of Google drama since the 950 penalty.

CainIV




msg:3669023
 4:19 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have a few questions for those have experienced this drop.

Are the websites that experienced a massive drop hosted in the US or Europe?

Have you noticed a significant change in the number of supplemental pages listed in Google.com for your website?

I have noticed a significant change this week in the numbers of supplemental pages for one of our websites. Most of our traffic came from the top 5 listed pages anyway, so we did not experience the same level of traffic drop.

[edited by: CainIV at 4:20 am (utc) on June 7, 2008]

Whitey




msg:3669028
 4:32 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are the websites that experienced a massive drop hosted in the US or Europe?

One site i watch is hosted in US with UK TLD

.... I still continue to think there has been a major algorithmn adjustment to Google which is applying to some sites . See [webmasterworld.com...]

Initially, I thought there were some problems with the geo filtering being screwed up with regards to the UK, but I'm not sure about this statement in isolation. Maybe it's a bug and maybe it's not.

Since it's hard to pinpoint we really need a lot of information to decipher the problem or adjustment that G has put in place . If it is only UK related sites, then my hunch is that this could be rolled out in other regions with more aggressive filtering.

Some things I'd like to know or qualify , especially from the long established members here or folks with long established sites, are things like this :

- is this purely selective
- is it only high PR sites and if so what level of PR
- is it only UK related sites and does that mean the TLD and/or hosting [ chief suspect is geo filtering issues ]
- do these sites have an inbalance of linking techniques e.g. lot's of navigation IBL's , footer IBL's ,
- do these sites publish frequent content

My observation so far is that it has been

- highly selective in a competitve niche to a minority of sites
[ total stability around the site i watch ]

- effected by a combination of factor
[ not sure what right now ie one factor in isolation isn't enough to send a site down, more one event combined with another is. This is because I'm observiing others using the same techniques which are unaffected ]

-effected by introduction of high PR link/s , leading to
- recent upward PR increases [ not visible on toolbar ]which have caused a re assessment of the site's "trust" rank.
- it only effects UK TLD's [ need more info on this ]
- a further discounting of low value pages bringing the overall PR down
- thin affiliate sites or sites with aggregated content been only effected [ not 100% on this - just some sites I'm watching ]
- linking stagnation or momentum altered
- lack of fresh , original content

Actually, my feeling is that it's nothing new , it's just more aggressive in it's selection of sites

In the case of one site I'm observing, for any phrase or content [ exact match and broad match ] the whole site has been tanked to between -40 to -60 on phrases that should rank. Not one single exception. When it initially disappeared from Google it was completely off the index for 3 days.

This might correspond to recent discussion by Googler John Mu about the - 60 penalty which appears to have been acknowledged , which would seem to be based on a recent change at G. Some folks have reported improvements coming back quickly with a site clean up.

But there's not enough reports to be sure.

My concern is that the recovery could be indefinite and have effected the trust rank of effected sites - and of course communicating with G through WMT leaves webmasters are exposed to hand checks which could expose other inadvertent nasties and one way communication.

[edited by: Whitey at 5:00 am (utc) on June 7, 2008]

sahm




msg:3669037
 5:00 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

My site:

- is a large, authority niche site
- main page PR 5 - PR has not increased or decreased in years
- is hosted in the U.S.
- has many incoming and outgoing links
- contains original and reprinted articles; no product pages
- is updated several times a week with new content
- is linked to from many of the smaller sites ranking above mine

My competitors seem not to be affected as far as I can tell. The top 10 sites for my main search term are same as usual except mine is missing.

There is no rhyme or reason to the positions of my pages that are still ranking in the index. Each term is ranked at a different position - my main term is currently ranked at #15.

Whitey




msg:3669043
 5:04 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

is hosted in the U.S.

Is it a UK TLD , .com or other ?

Have there been reports of these issues prior to June 4 -5 ? Our observation relates to events starting 24 May. Alterations were 8 days prior.

[edited by: Whitey at 5:10 am (utc) on June 7, 2008]

sahm




msg:3669045
 5:23 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

My site is a .com. My site has been bouncing around in the top 5 results for its main keyword for months. Right before it got bumped to #15, it was at #1 for several days for the first time in months. My site has not had any major fluctuations in the search results since July of last year when I finally escaped the 950 penalty.

oasisfan




msg:3669052
 6:13 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)


I have a few questions for those have experienced this drop.

Are the websites that experienced a massive drop hosted in the US or Europe?

Have you noticed a significant change in the number of supplemental pages listed in Google.com for your website?

Hosted in US but our theme is non US

Sorry, we don't follow supplemental results at all as we just see our traffic in our logs, don't really take much notice of keyword eitehr.

To be honest we just write our site and don't bother about anything elese.

Site is 10 years old, 100's of pages, all original articles and photos .
Google adsense on most pages.

Traffic is pityful right now.

Kristos




msg:3669056
 6:34 am on Jun 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

" I have a few questions for those have experienced this drop. Are the websites that experienced a massive drop hosted in the US or Europe? "

our ONE site that disappeared is in the us

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