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Ranking problem after losing the database - how to recover?

 9:47 am on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

I got a website under google penalty for some months after loosing the database, when I restored it back it was with less posts and those pages that should have content were blanks but still with INDEX, FOLLOW metatag.
So from the 1 position the website was thrown to the 5-6 page for its most important keyword after a month.

To correct the problem I added NOINDEX to the pages that had no content, removed all the links that were linking to them, created sitemap with the current valid pages.
However google is still keeping my website on the 6th page for its primary keyword and bad in serps.
We respected every rule of google, no buyed links, spam, etc, except the error with the pages.

Any idea what else can I do to accelerate this recovery process?
Currently I see I had left 17 pages indexed, site:website.com, also it should have around 2500, as it was submited in sitemap.




 6:27 pm on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is there any way you can use something like internet archive to grab the text that use to be on those pages, and then recreate the posts exactly as they were, word for word, with the exact URLs?

You may have to go in and edit the database directly (as opposed to using the admin in your forum software). So if for instance it is a mysql database, you might have to use something like PHPMyAdmin.

Hope this helps.


 7:49 pm on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Do you really think you've been hit with a penalty, or rather you've just lost your rankings for 'natural' factors, such as losing your authority content? I think the strategy for recovery is different in either case.

The internet archive suggestion is pure genius. You should also try yahoo, bing, baidu, yandex, and any other search engine you can find that might still have a cached copy of your pages, ANY pages. Google's cache is likely useless as it updates far too frequently for this case.


 10:28 pm on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Note that the Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine" has not been updated for most of the past two years. They did just release a very limited update, and a much more complete update is supposed to be in the works.


 11:46 pm on Jul 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks a lot, Tedster :(

Having been married to the same women for 15 years now, it has been over a decade and a half since someone referred to anything I said as "sheer genius"

And you had to go ruin the whole party...


 12:36 am on Jul 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

couple of years might be good enough if his forum was long-standing. The cache I think will be more fruitful in the shorter term. Time is of the essence!


 8:21 am on Jul 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

The bad part is there were like 20.000 pages, as far as I know webarchive does a partially cache, not for the full website, even from 3-4 years back cache.
Good content was added as the same from then.

I've experienced the same thing 5-6 years ago with a website, by creating some backdoor pages (for fun back then) and after the website got penalty, I removed them, and after 3 months the website was back on its ranking position with good traffic.

Currently issue looks quite the same, but there has been 3-4 months since I corrected all the errors and inserted NOINDEX into those missing pages.

I can give the link if I'm allowed, maybe you can let me know.


 4:34 pm on Jul 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the offer to share your link, but that kind of SEO site review is not something we do here - also publicizing your link here could open up your site to hacker attention.

And that puts me onto another factor - have you really checked your forum closely for hacker issues?

The bad part is there were like 20.000 pages

it should have around 2500, as it was submited in sitemap

This is a much larger scale problem than it sounded like at first. 90% of your URLs lost their content? Let me think about that some more.


 7:52 am on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd really like some tips regarding how to get back in serps and for the primary keyword. :) As I mentioned I corrected all the problems that led to this penalty.


 8:04 am on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'd suggest you need to look at it a bit differently, because your current mind-set may be blinding you to what is really going on.

1. You lost rankings - that is not necessarily a "penalty", it's just lower rankings
2. If you had really "corrected all the problems", then your rankings would have returned.

So you start by knowing something is still wrong. Dig into your historical data for the best keywords that no longer rank and search for the patterns. Go through a thorough check. Look for technical errors, canonical problems, hacked pages, broken internal linking, anything you can think of. And use every tool you know how to use.

But start by knowing that something is still wrong - and then find it and fix it, however long that takes. No ranking tip is going to do that for you - it's going to take serious work.

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