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Rankings dropped from page 1 to nowhere
awaisashraf




msg:3796054
 3:39 pm on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi,
My client has a website, whose ranking dropped at the beginning of November.

It was ranking on page 1 for its most competitive keyword and suddenly was out of SERPs

Website has a unique IP.

Below is the detail, i wonder what could be the reason:

Site wide links coming from two other domains of the same client with more than 1000s of pages. Some pages are linking to internal pages of the website and some are linking to the home page.
No content present.
A lot of JavaScript is used in the code.
404 pages in webmaster tools, few of the pages are not present and that pages are getting free links from other websites.
No link building is being done since ever.
Redirect loops are present on few pages, which is now fixed.
Website has more than 10,000 pages indexed and is still present in Google's index.
It is ranking for few keywords, but not for the major keywords it was ranking for.

Any help would be appreciated.

 

SEOPTI




msg:3796138
 5:38 pm on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

The first step is to check if you rank for your domain name. If you don't rank for your domain name the PR has been davalued:

domain (important should always rank #1, if not your index has been davalued)
www.domain.com
domain.com
"domain"

gouri




msg:3796186
 7:16 pm on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

SEOPTI,

If your ranking for a keyword has dropped, but when we type the four options that you mention and we rank for our domain name, does that mean that it is not a penalty but a drop in the rankings for that keyword?

SEOPTI




msg:3796191
 7:32 pm on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

You can rank #1 for the the domain queries and also have a penalty at the same time. Ranking for your domain name does not mean you don't have a minus penalty.

gouri




msg:3796228
 8:10 pm on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Can you have a penalty for some terms and not for others?

tedster




msg:3796235
 8:22 pm on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Absolutely - this happens all the time, especially on "big money" terms where people tend to push the envelope. The question that awaisashraf asked may even fall into that category.

Checking the domain name search is a basic step to begin learning whether there is a penalty - or technical problem - against the whole site. Also not every ranking drop is a true penalty, it can just be an algo change. But in the case of a dramatic drop such as awaisashraf describes, it often can be some kind of penalty.

Robert Charlton




msg:3796267
 9:03 pm on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

gouri - You might want to catch up on the Penalty, Sandbox, and Trust discussions referenced in the Hot Topics [webmasterworld.com] area, pinned to the top of the Google Search forum home page.

Take a look at this thread as a good summary introduction...

Google -30 & 950 Penalties - brief summaries
[webmasterworld.com...]

Can you have a penalty for some terms and not for others?

Yes... as has been observed in various -950 threads, generally it's the most competitive terms that are affected, and on-page optimization and inbound linking are both important factors.

I'd also suggest looking at the Yo-Yo Effect discussion, though it sounds like you're not up that high in the rankings. It's perhaps different from what you're experiencing, but it should give you another perspective on the kind of churn we're all seeing on Google.

Yo-Yo Effect - Observations and Understandings
[webmasterworld.com...]

As the duration of some of these discussions should suggest, there is no one simple explanation.

I'd recommend as well that you do some reading in Google patents, also referenced in Hot Topics.

Robert Charlton




msg:3796269
 9:24 pm on Nov 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Site wide links coming from two other domains of the same client with more than 1000s of pages. Some pages are linking to internal pages of the website and some are linking to the home page.

awaisashraf - Top of my head reaction is that the sitewides from the same client might well have something to do with it. It's possible that they boosted you up temporarilly and then were discounted by Google.

awaisashraf




msg:3796323
 12:04 am on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

SEOPTI - I do rank for the domain name on # 1. This tells me that my client's website is not out of Google's index.

A URL rewrite was done on February and appropriate title and description tags were added. The website started to rank on page 1 for its major keywords.

After Google update in November the website lost its rankings.

What i think is:
As the website has no content, this could have been a possible reason for the drop in rankings, because Google now lays more emphasis on On-Page after the update.

There was no link building done by the client, all incoming links are natural and 2 site wide links from the clients websites, but they are of different IPs.

Site wide links can also be a problem.

What do you say?

awaisashraf




msg:3796324
 12:09 am on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

SEOPTI - I have tried all the four searches you have mentioned.

Here are the results:
domain - Ranks 166
domain.com - Ranks 1 with site links
www.domain.com - Ranks 1 with site links
"domain" - Ranks 154

tedster




msg:3796339
 12:46 am on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

No content present
As the website has no content

I missed that the first time I read your post. Yes, this would be the first place I'd address. Google would not want to return a search result to their users if there is no content there.

But I am not clear on what you mean, since you talk about 10,000 pages indexed, javascript in the source code and so on. In what way is there "no content"?

Reno




msg:3796367
 1:53 am on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

domain (important should always rank #1, if not your index has been davalued)
www.domain.com
domain.com
"domain"

Thanks SEOPTI for this very useful test. Is it fair to say however that you should rank # 1 for domain if your domain is truly unique, such as "bbigbluwidgtss". However if your domain is two or more popular keywords strung together -- such as "bigbluewidgets" -- then a person should not be surprised to see that the listing is lower in the rankings than the #1 position. That, at least, is my experience.

...........................

awaisashraf




msg:3796381
 2:27 am on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Tedster - By content i mean that the pages contain no articles, no information for humans to read or we can say no text.

Each page has optimized title and description tags, but there is no text present on any page.

Only product categories, sub categories and product pages but no description about the product with keywords is present.

Hope my point is clear now.

tedster




msg:3796387
 2:44 am on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yes - thanks. That is a problem for stable rankings. Rankings can be achieved, as you already experienced, but lack of text a serious handicap.

Quadrille




msg:3796448
 6:43 am on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree - with little or no content, there is nothing for Google to 'get its teeth into' - in such circumstances, the pages look - to Google very much the same, and so it sees no reason to rank them (why would they?).

Remember, Google sees - pretty much - the code, not what you see on screen; so if you have twenty pages with the same bulky code, the same menus, the same links to the clients other sites ... and a couple of lines of 'unique text', then all your rivals, even those who use just two sentences, will do better. Now consider what happens when those identical-ish pages get into the thousands ... not a lot!

The site-wide links from the clients other sites probably don't do any harm - though that's possible - but they almost certainly carry virtually no benefit.

Compare your site with a few of those that rank well for 'your' keywords. Can you see Google's point of view?

1. get some content
2. clean up the navigation - xenu is your friend
3. remove the javascript - put it in external files where you can; if it does nothing useful, then get rid.

I'm wondering how old the site is? If it's fairly new, then the previous high ranking is probably the transient 'sandbox'-type effect. If it's older, I'm wondering what changed for Google to remove those rankings?

awaisashraf




msg:3796524
 11:02 am on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks all for this great help.

Quadrille - Website is 8 years old, so probably this wont be an issue.

I have an idea about what to do. So, thanks again for all the help.

awaisashraf




msg:3796577
 2:42 pm on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

A little bit misunderstanding, the website has approximately 300 words of unique content on every page.

When i said "no content" this might have given a different picture.

It can also be a -950 penalty.

Over 2500 pages were added in a day, and the very next day the rankings dropped.

potentialgeek




msg:3796590
 3:05 pm on Nov 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yeah, thin pages or sites have been smacked hard in the last year with 950 penalties, etc.

Thin is not in.

The opposite may also be true. Very long pages (of mine) have more recently got killer rankings.

Over 2500 pages were added in a day, and the very next day the rankings dropped.

Google considers lots of new and empty or nearly empty pages a signal of spam. (They look like auto-generated spam pages.)

p/g

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