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Is my old SEO dude's explanation right?
kirikara




msg:4437429
 10:56 am on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi,
So here is the situation. Website is a non english website, selling and hosted in Europe selling widgets in a niche market.
My contract with my seo dude came to an end late march and after 2 years, I did not renew. We did not work well together (though he did improve traffic)
Just before contract ended, he used his usual practice of making great improvement and looking busy and concerned with our site and how bad it could get if we dont rehire him(so I would renew, he did that every year).

On march 28th, suddenly my main keyword dropped 1 or 2 positions.

His explaination: I made changes to a blog he had created that I was not made aware of.He wrote personal info about the company etc.. and unprofessional stuff. I demanded access to it. I kept 95% of it, but did remove part of one post that was especially bad. Post became shorter, I tried to keep all the links and all but had to remove some text including external links to his own site and text mostly relating to SEO not my widgets. I reworded some of what was relating to our company, keeping all keywords, highlighting, underlining, links etc.. Content is slightly less.

He is claiming the one blog change is responsible for the drop on the keyword. None of the changes made to the blog concerned that specific keyword.

I am thinking it could be due to the new panda update or something else.

What is your opinion? I am calling BS on his explanation.


To update all that, yesterday we dropped another position (number 4) on that main keyword. Today we are back to number 3.

So i guess my question is: Can a small change to content of poeple linking to a site really hinder positionning that bad or is it very unlikely.(there are other people linking to us)

I am guessing he is basing his explanation on something possible (changes=possible rank changes) but not likely in this specific case?

 

bwnbwn




msg:4437449
 12:21 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I doubt the change you did is the problem, what probably happened is he has removed some links he had pointing at the site. It is hard to tell you what's going on without looking the site over and doing some research. I would join WM (I get zit from this IMO if is money well spent, been a member sine 2005 probably stay a member till a cow lands on the moon), go into the review website section. Do as best you can to offer some good points to a couple other sites in review and then submit your site. You will have the top guys in the industry pick over your site and point you in the right direction.

I myself try to teach SEO best pratices to my clients so when they decide to take it over their not in the dark on were the site is and what has been done. Not knowing you had a blog on your own site tells me it really needs to be looked over in detail.

kirikara




msg:4437489
 2:09 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks Bwnbwn! Good advice indeed. I was guessing it might hard to tell.
Just sto clarify. It is not a blog on my own site :)
The blog was written on another platform in my name without my knowledge. It was talking about our biz to create content which was relative to what we sell and create links toward us.. (and his site).. I did not know WWW offered sections with site reviews for users. I will try to see if that is an option for us.,
thanks!

Marketing Guy




msg:4437518
 3:12 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

It sounds like he's setup a blog for link building purposes, so removing links from that site to your main site could cause your rankings to drop.

Essentially those links were supporting your rankings to a degree.

It's worth noting that although he's technically correct in his explanation, it would have been easy enough for Google to devalue the blog and remove any benefit your site gets from the links so the effect would have been the same.

Lesson learned here is to shoot for a diverse back link profile and not rely too heavily on one source of links (but given you only dropped a few places, it's not the end of the world).

MG

kirikara




msg:4437526
 3:36 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks MG.. Now I did not remove links to my site from the outside blog. The only things i removed were:
links to his website (his commercial seo site)
content relating to his performance as far as seo for our business (he was talking in "my" name)
and reworded infortmation relative to our sales/strategy that i did not wish to be worded in such way or put online. (he was not authorized by the way to share that info)

That is why I am wondering if this is really possible to lose position on my main keyword by making such changes on just 1 blog (amongst others)
I have trouble believing that such drastic changes are possible from such minimal actions.

On the other hand, I am wondering if it could be from:
-his shady practices being recognized by google/panda (signing random petitions linking to our site, commenting on random unrelated blogs with user name a keyword linking to us)
-Possibility that he added a whole bunch of backlinks in the last month or 2, that ended up loosing their boost (i am showing an increase of backlinks from 1500 to 1650 in the last month)
- a accumulation of reasons, hitting me now with panda recent update.(our traffic was severely hit last year, which we have recovered since)

The more I hang out, the more it shows me how I should have spent my $ elsewhere (he rarely shared what the H he was doing,, "professional secrets" according to him..)

netmeg




msg:4437535
 3:47 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

It could be one thing, it could be a lot of things. Really hard to tell just from what you've mentioned here. So many things are changing all the time with Google, it's easy to conclude that one thing is a direct effect of another, when in fact they could just be a coincidence of timing, and entirely unrelated. You have some digging to do, I think.

Rockyou




msg:4437549
 4:09 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am a SEO, I can confirm u the drop in the ranking is bcoz of panda update.

Habtom




msg:4437554
 4:18 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am a SEO, I can confirm u the drop in the ranking is bcoz of panda update.

You can't be serious. People got to stop blaming Panda.

kirikara




msg:4437558
 4:22 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

:)
OK, I think we can all agree that I need to work on it more, see how things are evolving and time will tell..

netmeg




msg:4437559
 4:23 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anybody who confirms anything off what we have here is ... well I'll stop there. But it can't be done.

bunltd




msg:4437560
 4:24 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree with Netmeg, you've got some digging to do. The fact that he didn't share the details of what he was doing, is not exactly confidence inspiring.

Also keep in mind that you just stopped working with him a few days ago and things he had in the works could still have an impact for your site down the line.

bwnbwn




msg:4437615
 5:37 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

kirikara what I said about joing is becoming a paid member then you can see another section of the form. I think it is about 190 a year or 17 a month somthing like that. Sounds like you are wanting to take the work over so I would join let the guys/gals pick it over the site in the review area (be prepared for some tough love) and read read read. Take it all in as information to digest and build your site for the visitor.

[edited by: bwnbwn at 5:44 pm (utc) on Apr 5, 2012]

martinibuster




msg:4437620
 5:43 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

The past week or two have seen some changes to the algo. The SERPs have been bouncing a bit. It could be some of the things he did aren't working as well. I doubt the small changes you made would have caused the change.

lucy24




msg:4437647
 6:43 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

Anybody who confirms anything off what we have here...

I think we can confirm that the OP was right to get rid of his SEO dude ;) In the long term, at least, even if the short-term picture isn't pretty.

FranticFish




msg:4437669
 7:34 pm on Apr 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am a SEO, I can confirm u the drop in the ranking is bcoz of panda update

< cough >

On a serious note, I would echo the advice to get at least one good pair of eyes on your site. And if you feel you've possibly been burnt by one provider, then a community review by knowledgable webmasters could well be the best initial option.

The drop seems a little bit sudden to be any links having been removed. Could just be bad timing. But you have to bear in mind that your site does not exist in isolation. Your page 1 result consists of your site and others too.

So, did the other sites change things?
Did their links change?
Did Google change the way it sees you - or your competitors?

There are lots of factors that go into building the top ten results for any phrase, and you also have to factor personalisation into it. What you see may well be very different from what others see.

Do your web stats show any significant or out of character changes?

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