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Ranking drop, no message in GWT, huge task of finding the problems
pkKumar




msg:4570333
 11:33 am on May 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi, Its been more than 2 month my site has gone into cold i.e. major keyword ranking drop for main keywords. There was no message in GWT about unnatural link warning or any negative things. Its getting so difficult to find out what is the actual cause of this ranking drop. Even the new pages (with unique content) are not coming.. in the past my new page comes out in google search next day only after fetch as google... What should i look out for ?

 

tedster




msg:4570443
 7:30 pm on May 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Start with pinning down the exact date as best you can - within 24 to 48 hours is best. Then see what kind of Update information is available about those dates: [webmasterworld.com...]

Lorel




msg:4570493
 11:34 pm on May 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Search for text on your pages in Google to see if your site has been copied. Make sure there aren't any errors in your robots.txt and htaccess file.

pkKumar




msg:4570520
 4:29 am on May 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Start with pinning down the exact date as best you can - within 24 to 48 hours is best.
The ranking started dropping from mid march onwards.
Make sure there aren't any errors in your robots.txt
everything ok with robots.txt
The problem coming in google only, other search engine still ranking good.

Lorel




msg:4570604
 1:38 pm on May 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

on 3-11-13 Matt Cutts announced there would be a Panda update on Friday March 16 to March 18th.

Check your site for over optimization or any other spammy features.

Zivush




msg:4570606
 2:33 pm on May 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

A drop in ranking can happen gradually, or it can be sudden when their was an update. What is the scenario?
In may cases a gradual drop can be explained by any wrongful change on the site, while an update drop is not in one's hands.

Lorel




msg:4570646
 4:34 pm on May 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Putting too many of one word in the website menu/navigation can also cause a problem. Better to break it down in categories so you don't have to repeat the keyword too many times.

i.e., if you sell widgets don't say:

blue widgets
green widgets
yellow widgets

Set up a category of Widgets then

blue
green
yellow

Martin Ice Web




msg:4570654
 4:53 pm on May 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Lorel, siloing! It worked for me in correlation with canonical tag. Google did find certain widgets on conanical page and showed them for querires in serps. But since last 2 service and quality updates this is gone.

pkKumar




msg:4571006
 6:20 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Check your site for over optimization or any other spammy features.
Now this looks like a concern point. While developing a page i look out for three things: keyword in Title, keyword in URL, and keyword in page heading and in the first paragraph. Sometimes the page content is big or sometimes less based on the topic. Is this an over optimization.
aliasjk




msg:4571039
 8:55 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yesterday I spent allmost the entire day to figure out why my serps ranking in Google recently deteriorated significantly for search terms (keywords) which are important for my internet shop - it has been pretty good for many years. I didn't find anything on my own website which could be a reason for being penalized. Google's Webmaster tools says 'everything is fine'. But browsing through the top serps, I came to the conclusion, that a lot of quality content (in my case meaning detailed product descriptions for products the user is searching for in Google), which used to be in top (page 1 and 2) positions in the search results, have recently been replaced by low quality serps.

It seems to me, that it's becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the big players who can afford to pay a huge staff solely for doing SEO work all day long. Currently many top position serps for my important keywords are links to global players offering mass products with little relevance to the search terms, products from Zazzle, (which sometimes don't even have a menu link for the search term. Looks to me like page titles are generated in real time from the search terms. I name Zazzle here, because it's a Google company), third party content - like directories linking to original content showing up ahead of the original content, etc.

I just thought we all need a free (in order to make it popular quickly) new browser plugin similar to Adblock Plus, which automatically adds domain filters for unwanted search engine results when searching in Google... :)

pkKumar




msg:4571044
 9:38 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

It seems to me, that it's becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the big players who can afford to pay a huge staff solely for doing SEO work all day long.
Its not about the big players only, some sites come from nowhere with a nothing content and some links to the original content sites and hijacking the positions of genuine sites. This is so unfair, how google testifies that overall search quality has improved.
pkKumar




msg:4571523
 12:39 pm on May 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

The basic issue i have with google is that it should understand, not everybody around here is SEO expert. It has not send me any message about unnatural links or any negative things in GWT. Suppose if i have done anything wrong that is against guidelines then it should give me a warning message. If the action has to be taken, take it but provide appropriate reason for that also. Whether its an algo update effect or manual action by webspam team, mention it so that in future i should be careful of those things. Now at this point i have no idea what causes the ranking drop.

aliasjk




msg:4571560
 2:43 pm on May 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

A colleague yesterday said "Google seems to be out of order for the moment", so let's wait and see if all the drops in ranking become permanent.

BTW - the statement I made in my first post "Zazzle is a Google company" appears to be wrong. They seem to have received 16 million dollars, but were not bought by Google.

However, companies like that one recently have been flooding the Google index with millions of serps for just about every search term you can imagine - and they frequently show up in top positions. Just for fun type i.e.:
site:zazzle.com (or .de or co.uk or...) 'whatever keyword comes into your mind' and you will see...

Lorel




msg:4571928
 5:12 pm on May 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

#pkKumar

The reason your ranking may drop without a warning in Gwt is because it may be an algorithm that finally caught up with your site and if that happens Google doesn't leave messages for algorithms that affect your site.

They also don't explain their tactics to prevent spammers from being able to circumvent the algorithms.

pkKumar




msg:4572135
 4:15 am on May 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

The reason your ranking may drop without a warning in Gwt is because it may be an algorithm that finally caught up with your site and if that happens Google doesn't leave messages for algorithms that affect your site.
Then its a huge task to find out the exact reasons and what went wrong. Is there any chance that site will come back to where it was without doing anything substantial.
pkKumar




msg:4572137
 4:25 am on May 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

it may be an algorithm that finally caught up with your site
This is confusing thing. The site was doing well for past 1 year, if something went against guidelines then where were the algorithms till now.
pkKumar




msg:4572144
 5:11 am on May 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

I might sound little greedy but what is the difference in algorithm effect and manual action by webspam team. How can i know that keyword ranking drop is due to algorithm or manual action.

Lorel




msg:4572378
 3:57 pm on May 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Check your website for over optimization and your back links to see if you have repeated your main keywords too often in the anchor text/link (Google wants to see lots of variety in anchor text). If you have focused on one keyword/phrase too often (other than your business name/domain name, it may help if you get rid of some of them, especially if it's obvious they were paid for. Also check to see if any of the backlinks are from bad neighborhoods.

You said earlier:

Now this looks like a concern point. While developing a page i look out for three things: keyword in Title, keyword in URL, and keyword in page heading and in the first paragraph. Sometimes the page content is big or sometimes less based on the topic. Is this an over optimization.


If you take your main keywords for the page out of the title, etc., then it may harm your ranking.

Over-optimization occurs when you repeat your main keywords too often in the title, text, menu, etc. Just write it for people, not search engines. Ask yourself, "am I doing this so I'll rank better", and if so don't do it.

backdraft7




msg:4572402
 5:21 pm on May 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

Check your server based stats, like AWSTATS for bad referrals. Look for the word "prostitutki". If you find one, I'll bet you find many more.

Bewenched




msg:4572404
 5:26 pm on May 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

"Google seems to be out of order for the moment"


I second that opinion.

Seems like every once in a while Google likes to float the "Muck" up to the top so they can scrape it off.

Now seems to be one of those times.

pkKumar




msg:4572564
 4:49 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Just write it for people, not search engines. Ask yourself, "am I doing this so I'll rank better", and if so don't do it.
Do you really think its practically possible. Keyword in Title, url and content specially in the first paragraph is always considered as good afaik..
pkKumar




msg:4572565
 4:52 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Also check to see if any of the backlinks are from bad neighborhoods.
Do links from yahoo answers are considered as bad. Why not google just discard these links if it doesn't think if its valuable. What's the need of taking an action based on that.
pkKumar




msg:4572572
 5:38 am on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Check your server based stats, like AWSTATS for bad referrals.
I have checked my webstat from plesk-stat. Now here in the list of Links from an external page i found many domains i have never heard of, one of them is a chinese blog site. The stats showing i have 1 page link from many articles from that site. Frankly i have never heard of these sites and neither i have put any link on them. Why they are linking to my site i have no idea...
pkKumar




msg:4572691
 12:36 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Look for the word "prostitutki". If you find one, I'll bet you find many more.
Yes it is there and lot of others also. I find that is Referer Log spam. The best option is to just avoid them and not click or display them on the site. Also it was advised by wikipedia "A simple attempt at rendering this form of spam ineffective is to prevent the search engine spiders from crawling the site logs by moving them to a non-public area such as a password-protected area, by using a robot exclusion file, or by appending the nofollow value to the links" How its going to be implemented i have no idea, also google mentioned that these log spams doesn't harm your rankings.
colonelu81




msg:4572703
 1:47 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Russian #*$! like "prostitutki" is referer spam . They are not inbound links . John Mu and Cutts said multiple times that it will not harm rankings . .I have a lot of them and a huge drop on 6.03 ( 90% traffic from google ) . I put them in the Disavow links list to see if something happens

diberry




msg:4572727
 3:39 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have discovered to my great happiness that I don't have any weird domains referral spamming or otherwise showing up in my server logs... because my amazing host blocks them. Wow. Why doesn't every host do that?

skweb




msg:4572894
 10:31 pm on May 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

Bewenched, I hope you are right because right now it seems that the results are just weird. Assuming that we are in the midst of a major update and things will eventually settle down; otherwise, this is awful because I do not have an explanation why my traffic would drop so much despite the fact that all my keywords are holding steady.

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