|Was #6 now #14 since the end of October|
I was ranking between # 4 and # 6 for the last 3 years. Since the end of October, I'm now between # 14 to # 18 for my most important keyword.
I know that's it could be a multitude of things but I updated my website in December and Googlebot crawled it but my ranking did not move.
My competitors did not really move and they don't have more backlinks and their sites have not been updated.
The only thing I noticed; Wally World (for a product) is now in the top 10 for that keyword.
Wikipedia is #1, like it was almost forever.
I did press releases and other stuff (forum posting and ect) to boost my ranking, my ranking is frozen.
Note: I don't even rank anymore for this keyword on Bing. The ranking on Yahoo is almost the same as Google.
Thanks for your time,
|I did press releases and other stuff (forum posting and ect) to boost my ranking, my ranking is frozen. |
That kind of backlink has long had a limited effect and it can only get you so far. And the storm warning is that soon it will have even less of an effect.
You need to attract backlinks from other relevant sites that are freely given because they think your content is worth their visitors' attention. So it's not something you can directly create - it takes good content plus getting the word out about your content effectively, through networking, professional contacts, social media, whatever you can do.
If you fell from #6 to #14 on that keyword, then there are 8 sites that Google now thinks are a better choice for their users - according to their mix of 200+ factors. Those factors include a lot more than links.
I'd be taking those 8 sites apart from top to bottom - really, all of 14 of them - to see what might be winning the game right now.
around October 22nd google rolled out an update which effected a lot of sites. Many sites saw a ranking drop. For one of my sites I was dropped from #3 to #10 for its main term, but 4 of the other competitors that were in the top ten were all hit and sent to the 3rd page and beyond. These sites were long overdue as they always offered little quality content and I was glad to see google finally noticing even if that meant my site had to take a hit as well.
My site has been stuck at #10 since that October day. occasionally a site in the top ten will get penalized and I will go to #9 but what google will do is pull a site from the 2nd page and test it out to see if its a good fit in the #9 position so to keep my site at the #10 slot.
Google probably sees a bit of over optimization and that is what lead to the penalty so I am in the process of deoptimizing, taking a step back and trying to see what google is seeing and I have many theories which I am always testing.
Tedster is right for the most part, but for a rare time, I am going to have to disagree since I am very familiar with this "penalty". I believe your site is stuck on the 2nd page until you can remove any suspicious links or over optimization so google can see you cleared this issue up.
Thanks Tedster as always.
Brinked, what's an example of over optimization ?
Playing with keywords in titles?
Might be helpful to read through the October SERPs Update thread [webmasterworld.com], too. The thread just exploded around October 22 with reports of ranking drops, and many were suspecting the backlink profile.
It's probably a wise idea for everyone to be very aware of their backlink profile, since a Google engineer with the screen name "moultano [news.ycombinator.com]" posted on Hacker News:
(thanks to tristanperry for spotting this.)
|Some really dramatic changes to how we use links are on the way. (Sorry I can't say anything more specific. This is a really sensitive area.) |
I did check my backlink profile on Webmaster Tools and I found 2800 links from a single forum that I posted around 500 times. It's a forum about electronics that I naturally posted but not for link building, not thinking about my website.
I think that could be my problem, Google see it like a link farm?
We are having similar issues as the OP and brinked. Around the end of October we saw a loss in ranking that continued to plummet, bottoming out around the end of Dec.
We have lost many of our keywords, some going from #3-#4 to not in the top 100. Some from #1 or#2 to #10 or 2nd page or worse.
however, around the same time as our decline began, we did a major site upgrade that added a dropdown menu to our main page and we experienced some problems with our meta data on our homepage as well.
We too have an oddly high number of links pointing in to our site from quite a few different types of blogs/forums. some we post in, some that happened naturally. One of them is even 65,000 links in because they have a static link on every page. But we could list 10 other things that we think could be the main culprit.
We have signed up to WebmasterWorld as a member and will be posting a detailed description that our developer will help us write, outlining our issues in the Site Review froum. Hopefully we can help shed some light because we seem to be having very similar problems as many ppl on the forums lately.
It does seem there was some "collateral damage" related to that Oct 22nd update, as many sites that were hit saw their rankings return around the second week in Nov. Other people who were hit saw their rankings return after posting their site in the Google Webmaster Central forums and asking for feedback.
So it may just be a case of getting your site in front of someone at Google so they can lift whatever penalty might have been accidentally imposed. If there really was something Google didn't like about your site, however, that probably wouldn't help much.
I would like to see that description from MelissaLB when it's ready though, because it did seem to affect a lot of people and no one's really clear what happened (at least that I've heard).
I was able to take a look at a handful of sites affected by the October update. Their backlink profiles across the board were heavy on article marketing and "guest posts" from what were basically article-type blogs with some low quality run-of-site links thrown in. Oh, and one had some heavy interlinking with a couple of other self-owned, not-quite-quality sites.
My best guess at the time was that many of the upstream links were devalued and when G flipped the switch it took out many of the downstream sites' rankings.
Links from legitimate forum and blog posts that "happened naturally" shouldn't harm a site in any way -- might not actually help, but shouldn't harm. Same with ROS blogroll links from legitimate blogs, maybe not too much help, but shouldn't hurt.
The backlink profile is the first place I would check if the drops happened around Oct 21-22. If similar to what I described I wouldn't necessarily try to get those links taken down -- while not contributing the juice they were before, they might still be contributing something (except in the case of a truly spammy self-linkiong scheme). Best bet, as always, would be to try to obtain new, higher quality links.
Sorry, this is not supposed to be a discouragement or making light of your situation but I'm feeling the need to inject a bit of reality here lately, so here's some numbers on your drop related to a 1,000,000 result term:
6th = 0.999996 top 99.9996% out of 100
14th = 0.999984 top 99.9984% out of 100
It's nearly an infinitesimal difference in positions for most searches...
I'd go with get more links and try to get back the 0.000012 loss.
|I'd go with get more links and try to get back the 0.000012 loss. |
This is the exact advice that gets people in trouble. Whenever rankings drop, so called "SEO" experts continue to say "well durr gee gosh you just need to get more links, make sure you get more than your competitors so that you can be number 1".
Usually if your site takes a hit in rankings, especially from the october update, its likely you were hit because of your links, so going out and getting the same links you have been getting will only hurt you further. Sure, getting more natural links can help you offset the negative backlinks, but most people stick to a certain way of building backlinks, you're likely buying links, so you feel the absolute need to get the most bang for your buck so what do you do? You keep injecting your top 2-3 keywords in the anchor text. Oh yes you are so smart, google will never catch on to you when every backlink to your site contains the same keyword somewhere in the anchor text.
If your site was dropped, its most likely due to something you have done to make google think you are trying to artificially boost your rankings. Start looking at your site the way google may be looking at it and only then will you start to learn from your mistakes and what caused your loss.
Thanks for your replies. I did remove my website link on my profile on the forum that Google webmaster tools was seeing as 2800 links.
I will see if that helps.
|its likely you were hit because of your links, so going out and getting the same links you have been getting will only hurt you further. Sure, getting more natural links can help you offset the negative backlinks, but most people stick to a certain way of building backlinks, you're likely buying links |
There's a whole bunch of assumptions in that paragraph... Personally, I can't remember EVER buying a link and wouldn't recommend it or say it's necessary... The drop seen could be from ANYTHING, because in the real numbers of page / results it only takes the 'twist of a knob' from .000043 to .000047 in weight to change the scoring by .000012 ... Good links add weight unless the algo has totally unraveled itself over the last couple months. The easiest way to add weight is with good links, imo.
Not sure what you would suggest for recovery, on-page changes?
Check out some of the threads in this forum like Competitor ranking with links from sites they own: [webmasterworld.com...]
Links seem to still be an important factor, but I guess I'm a 'so called seo expert' to be thinking that way? IDK, but everything I read says links still count.
TMS, Links are an important factor, but its the right links that are effective. Having a poor backlink profile, or one that looks highly suspect of paid links will get hurt.
On site changes can make the difference, absolutely. Many webmasters do buy links and or they hire someone to do marketing for them and they acquire the wrong kinds of links that can damage there rankings. When you advise a client to "get more links" they take is as just that, they think they need to go get as many links as quickly as they can which usually means getting the wrong kind of links.
The right advice for our friend Mr Intravino here would be: Did you acquire any links that may be seen as paid? Have you purchased any link packages on link networks or blog theme links or any other type of bulk link deal? Is your content unique and not over optimized? Read the google webmaster guidelines and see if you may be in violation of their tos.
I have read the google webmaster guidelines many times but when a site gets penalized, the first thing I do is read it again to see if anything sticks, I use it as a check list. If you have gone through your site and still feel you did nothing wrong, submit a reconsideration request.
Links are a factor, but they are not the only factor and there weight is not what it used to be, having an actual legit site is a major factor. Are you an actual business or is your website only for making a quick easy buck?
TheMadScientist, As far as the post for competitors ranking with links from other sites they own, what does that have to do with anything? How does 1 person know what links their competitor has? I like how people complain about their competitors and put down their links...how do you know all the links a site has? Yahoo/google etc do not report all links for a site. Do not worry what your competition is doing, focus on what you can control.
|The right advice for our friend Mr Intravino here would be: Did you acquire any links that may be seen as paid? Have you purchased any link packages on link networks or blog theme links or any other type of bulk link deal? Is your content unique and not over optimized? Read the google webmaster guidelines and see if you may be in violation of their tos. |
I never purchased any links but I do self promotion on forums in the same field of my website.
My content is 80 % unique but some pages are over optimized.
I will take a look at Google webmaster guidelines.
I did take out my website on the profile of one forum that has 2800 links to my website to test my theory. On Bing webmaster tools, the links were showing as intravino website
BTW, on Bing, I'm not even ranking for my most important keywords. I just rank for my secondary keywords.
More ideas or advise will be appreciated.
|On site changes can make the difference, absolutely. |
I highly recommend NOT 'tweaking' too much... Read through some of the older threads here...
It can hurt you, especially messing with the title tag.
|When you advise a client to "get more links" they take is as just that, they think they need to go get as many links as quickly as they can which usually means getting the wrong kind of links. |
Yeah, well if they're not smart about it, then there's not much anyone can do to help... Following my advice usually requires a degree of common sense, which I do understand many are lacking.
|TheMadScientist, As far as the post for competitors ranking with links from other sites they own, what does that have to do with anything? |
If linking from your own sites doesn't get you dropped then links from someone else's shouldn't (won't) either.
|I have read the google webmaster guidelines many times but when a site gets penalized, the first thing I do is read it again to see if anything sticks, I use it as a check list. |
Sure, I agree, but -10 places is not a penalty IMO and in reading here it's not a penalty in the opinion of many who post here... It's a change or drop, but not an 'outside the guidelines' penalty by any stretch.
### # ###
We obviously have a different approach to some things. I've been a member here for going on 7 years and through 2 user names... I can't remember a single post made in that time where I've needed to ask for info on a rankings drop... I usually post answers.
I'll leave this one with some food for thought and a rhetorical question:
My sites didn't drop in the rankings but your site(s) did...
Who's approach is better?
Not going to get into it with you. There are too many variables that can cause someones rankings to increase or decrease.
As far as being a member here, I have been reading these forums for nearly 14 years and have been running websites a little longer than that.
Because one of my sites took a hit on october 22nd means nothing, I have over 30 websites all in different industries and 5 that I really focus on. One site was hit for 1 term and has since recovered. Not to mention I have 14 loyal SEO clients and 4 of them which have been with me for over 5 years and they have never experienced any penalty. I take more risk with some of my websites, but this helps me adapt and understand googles changes better.
a -10 drop in my opinion can be a penalty, not all the time but if you dont think penalties can be applied on such a level then you certainly do not do enough studies which is fine, I am not putting down your methods. The advice to give to mr intravino is limited since we can not see his site or industry he is in so we can only go by the information he provides us.
He just stated that some of his pages are over optimized so he might want to take some action there.
I do not need to prove my level expertise. I am not always right, and I will always admit when I am wrong, SEO is never black and white, google is always changing so it is important to always keep an open mind, if you dont you are setting yourself up to fail. I am grateful for sticking with SEO and not giving up even through the worst of times, I am about to purchase my 3rd house all thanks to never giving up on my websites and learning from my past mistakes.
When someone like intravino posts his problem it is important to ask questions as there is no set of answers that apply to everyones site.
brinked I love a good discussion ;)
I'm actually getting out of this game and the semantics of 'penalty' have been argued here for years, repeatedly ... I think for clarity most refer to a 'penalty' as the time when you do a site search and are not included, but if you choose to call something else a penalty (like a 10 position drop) then so be it... We'll have to agree to disagree on the semantic correctness and clarity for other readers.
Congrats on doing so well with Google and SEO ... I've actually trimmed down the sites I run to 5 and am currently building word of mouth traffic rather than SE traffic to 3 of the 5 I just launched, which pretty much are the 1st sites of their kind online today.
Have fun with the search engines and again, congratulations on your success with SEO. I sincerely hope it continues for you!
A penalty can be defined a bunch of different ways. My definition of a penalty is any action either internal or external that prevents a given site from ranking as well as it should. I have done many many trials where when I remove certain backlinks I move up, and when I re add those links I move back, I have over 20 such studies that are well documented. Over optimization is a real penalty. There is not only 1 penalty or 1 severity level. Penalties can range from moderate to severe to the point where you can be removed from googles index.
We may have different definitions and different techniques, but at the end of the day I think we can both agree that good SEO is when you get good results. If you're website is getting great quality traffic from google, then that is my definition of good SEO, its not the path you take to get there, its the fact that you get there at all. If you practice good technique that is all that really matters.
Focusing on less sites like you mentioned is a great idea, especially today when you really need to pay attention to your sites and not neglect them too much. My problem in the past was I had too many websites I was not able to focus all my energy on something I really enjoy.
Thanks for the kind words and I hope that intravino can take some important information from this thread.
|I think we can both agree that good SEO is when you get good results. |
|Focusing on less sites like you mentioned is a great idea, especially today when you really need to pay attention to your sites and not neglect them too much. |
Thanks! Yeah, I've definitely cut down and am really moving to be independent from SEs because so much can go wrong overnight... It's one of the few places where what was not an error yesterday can be an error today, which makes it a very unstable way to make a living.
|Thanks for the kind words and I hope that intravino can take some important information from this thread. |
Np and me too... I really do wish everyone in this game the best and feel for those who have put their time, energy and efforts into following the guidelines only to have a change in weighting cause them to lose their positions and feel as if their work was for nothing.
|I did check my backlink profile on Webmaster Tools and I found 2800 links from a single forum that I posted around 500 times. It's a forum about electronics that I naturally posted but not for link building, not thinking about my website. |
On Google Webmastertools, Links to your site: The 2800 links were finally removed.
Now, I have to wait to see if I'm going to loose ranking.
How long do you think it should take?
Maybe Google already discounted them so you never know. Google does say '[insert type of link] will not help you] but frankly in competitive areas most have paid and dodgy links.
My guess is that we will see another recalculation by starting last week of march. My call is that on March 25 we will see another substantial shuffling.
Just thought id add my two cents in here, but I highly doubt that losing a few spots and moving to the second page is a penalty. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, we had been experiencing something similar and we, too, though it might have been a penalty. It was, in fact, a re-ranking after our site upgrade. We made an error in using a hover menu that created too many on page links. We corrected this with the use of java script as well as implementing 301 redirects and rel canonicals where they were needed. Btu the real issue that solved the problem was the additional links we added to a static menu on every page. and Just like that, our old rankings were back to where we had become comfortable with them just a day or two later.
I should mention also, that we too had a very high number of links pointing toward our site from various forums as some of them actually partner with our site and this did not hurt us. Some of them were as high as 7000 links from one domain. We solved our issue without having these links removed.
|We corrected this with the use of java script as well as implementing 301 redirects and rel canonicals where they were needed. |
Out of curiosity, did you "notify" google (through a reinclusion request) after you cleaned up the links?
Or did you just kind of sit back and wait?
MelissaLB, This movement to the second/third page is the most widely reported outcome of this panda update.You seem to have experienced this before the panda update and that could have been for totally different reasons.
to clarify, it was the addition of a hover menu rather than a static/clickable menu that caused the problem. It is the main navigation for our website that lists all categories and when you hover, a lost of subcategories pops out. It had previously been a menu of clickable links only where you would click the main category and a new page/url would upen up with a list of sub-categories. This menu is static throughout the entire site on every page and it caused all pages to have over 500 links on any given page.
We had 2 options, go back to the old, clickable menu or take our chances with java script (we were told by many experts that this might not work as google is keen to java script) but we decided on the java script as it took us down to aprox 100 link per page. When we opened our homepage and viewed as text only in Firefox, these links were not visible.
And it worked. Although, we're not out of the woods just yet and we've submitted a follow up thread in the Site Review forum which should be another interesting battle.
And Planet 13, yes we did contact Google through their site reconsideration form. But to be honest, I don't believe that our site reconsideration request would have been read within the time that our rankings returned. It happened too fast, we fixed the problem and 2 days later we were back. Also, from my experience it takes usually around 2-3 weeks to receive notification that a request has been read.
This sounds like the Mega Menu problem [webmasterworld.com] that we've discussed on and off since 2008. I'm happy to hear you recovered, Melissa - even if it's not "all the way."
Hover menus with many options diffuse PR throughout the website can hurt the site's key pages and even drive deep product pages into a "supplemental" status, making it hard for them to rank at all.
It's also a kind of usability nightmare - overwhelming the visitor with options that they cannot see all at one time. That has the effect of lowering visitor metrics and thereby can create a secondary ranking problem, too.
Deep internal backlinks can help to boost this kind of information architecture problem somewhat, but it still geneerates a sub-par ranking issue - and that's for all search engines, not just Google.
I've just been N/A on #*$!'s ranking tool on Google for my most important keyword. This append the during the first weekend of April.
Maybe,I should put back my website link on my profile on the forum that I had 2800 links on Webmaster tools.
I'm lost now.