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Weird Ranking Drop
Fern




msg:4281183
 1:24 am on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

(Not sure if this is correct category, so sorry if it is in wrong area).

My website ranked for a nice, short competitive terms. An example is 'widget for sale'.

My homepage can no longer be found in the top 1000 results for any of the main keywords it use to rank for. The only way you can see it in the serps is if you search 'mywebsite.com'.

Now, the part that has me confused is that the rest of my website is unaffected. It is as if the penalty is on my homepage, and nothing else because all my other pages rank fine.

Small info on my site:

*5 months old
*30k+ backlinks
*A number of site-wide banners from advertising on niche related websites/authorities.
*Website has sitelinks on google
*I was doing some restructuring with my site, and uploaded it to the live site February 14th, shortly before the panda update.
*Website has a TON of 404 errors because of new structure. I fixed everything I could with 301's.
*My site is quality and useful, and I know because I interact with the people who use it, and 99% of everyone loves the site.

Now my questions:
Does anyone have a clue about what possible penalty could have hit my site?
Do you think this is happening because my site is so young, and has too many site wide links, 404's, etc?


My initial response is that it will just take time for it to get back in the SERPs, but want some other opinions.

Thanks,

Fern

 

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4281258
 5:36 am on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

30k backlinks on a 5 month old site is quite a lot and getting sitelink status in that short amount of time is also an accomplishment.

Anyway, my gut feeling is that to have a ton of 404 errors you've abandoned old url's for new ones. In Google's eyes your site, or what Google knew of it, is gone. You'll have to wait for the 301's to do their job. I wouldn't change anything else until the site has settled down a little.

Fern




msg:4281263
 6:02 am on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree 30k+ links is a lot for the time frame, but most of them are from places where I advertise, and it brings great referral traffic.

Having ads on forums is where the majority of links comes from. I have around 350 linking root domains.

I too was surprised the site got sitelinks fast...but on the other side, I do have a lot of links from authority sites in my niche.

tedster




msg:4281266
 6:12 am on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Do those ads all have nofollow attributes, or go through scripts that keep PageRank from transferring?

Fern




msg:4281267
 6:24 am on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

Do those ads all have nofollow attributes, or go through scripts that keep PageRank from transferring?


Some do, some don't. Some use nofollow & go through scripts. There are a couple that don't use anything.

tedster




msg:4281268
 6:32 am on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

It "shouldn't" be a problem then, because Google usually ignores paid backlinks unless it's a big pattern. Are any of them text links? And do you have significant non-paid links to speak of?

Fern




msg:4281461
 3:45 pm on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

I do not have any paid text links. I only have banner ads, and some have alt text. Some of the alt text are keywords, but the majority are random variations of my site's name that webmasters used.

By far, the majority of my links are non-paid.

tedster




msg:4281478
 4:10 pm on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

When did this ranking drop happen?

Fern




msg:4281497
 4:32 pm on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

It happened Feb. 16th. On March 3rd & 4th I was back in my original positions for some data centers, and got a spike in traffic.

Fern




msg:4281516
 4:58 pm on Mar 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

You know, I just thought of something...

A day or two before the ranking drop, I started banner advertising on a forum that rotated banners from multiple advertisers. It is a regular banner/image link. It is nofollowed, but I am wondering if the rotation (appearing & disappearing) of the links every time google crawls could cause me problems?

In google's eyes, the link is there one time, but gone the next time.

Webwisemedia




msg:4283093
 4:31 pm on Mar 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google dropped a bunch of websites the past couple days due to changing around their website. After they get the flaws out then the Rankings for companies will go up again.

Fern




msg:4288308
 1:38 am on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Just as an update:

My homempage still can only be seen in the index by searching 'mysite.com'.

I had 3 site links, when I first posted, and now I have 4.

My subpages have been increasingly ranking higher for main keywords...

And...my homepage still has some weird penalty...

tedster




msg:4288316
 2:15 am on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does your home page show in first place for a site: operator query?

incrediBILL




msg:4288318
 2:20 am on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

My homempage still can only be seen in the index by searching 'mysite.com'.


That's a good thing so you know you weren't banned.

I would site tight for a week or two and wait for a bounce back.

Fern




msg:4288330
 2:38 am on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Does your home page show in first place for a site: operator query?


Yes, the homepage is the first position.

walkman




msg:4288339
 4:27 am on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Fern, it's quite probable that Google sent you to no man's land over the too many links.

Fern




msg:4288341
 5:01 am on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Fern, it's quite probable that Google sent you to no man's land over the too many links.


Do you think this is something that will just need to be waited out?

walkman




msg:4288342
 5:25 am on Mar 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

assuming it's because of the bought links, you can wait it out for months or a year or remove them and beg google for a reconsideration.

BUT, we don't know it's because of the links.

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