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Single Page Filtered From Index - after three years ranking well

 4:43 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hey Everyone,

A category page on our site disappeared during the last week of September. For about 3 years it was near the top of page 1 for a variety of competitive terms. No changes had been done to the page in about a year, except product additions.

I did a site: search and took a snippet of text from the page; we are no longer showing in the index. A product page from within the category is actually showing on page 2 for the same terms now. I checked Webmaster Tools and it doesn't show any problems and still shows it in the Sitemap. It still has Pagerank. It still ranks well in MSN and Yahoo.

Using CopyScape, I did find some scraper sites had copied a lot of the text from the page; they are actually showing up in the Google results when I copy a snippet of text. I went ahead and "100%-ly" changed the main content of the page.

Any ideas why this might be happening? We haven't built a lot of links directly to this page in quite a few months, but I would think it would have been penalized on a keyword level instead.





 6:02 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would think it would have been penalized on a keyword level

What do your logs tell you? If the page now gets no entry traffic from Google Search at all, that sounds like a page level flag. If it does get some search traffic but not for the important keywords that used to be working, then yes, it's a keyword filter.

I think I see Google tweaking the anchor text area of the algo. At least I've seen several examples where rankings were lost on a keyword when that word was "unnaturally" featured in backlink anchor text.


 8:27 pm on Oct 5, 2010 (gmt 0)

No one is landing on that page from Google Organic any longer. Still from Google PPC, Bing and Yahoo...but I am not seeing that page as a landing page from Google Organic.


 3:43 am on Oct 6, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, it sounds like your page is filtered because Google lost track of which URL is the original version. What a pity that you changed your content because you were copied. I'd rather go after the copier with some DMCA sauce. After all YOUR original page was ranking.

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