|Ranking Drop after Twitter Plugin Removed|
We have been ranking on page 1 for most of our main KW for some time now. This is our business site which focuses on geographical keywords for the services we provide.
The site is a customer WP theme and the main page has around 800 words of static content and in the footer had a twitter widget which shows the latest tweets on our twitter account for the business.
This twitter addin was causing the page to take an additional 2 seconds to load so we decided to remove this and instead have a feed that shows the latest blog posts on our site instead of the twitter posts.
in addition the above changes we also added the facebook and twitter "like" and "Follow" buttons that are static in the footer of the website.
This was done last night but as of this morning each KW has dropped around 10-30 places from where it was. I cant say for sure if this is a coincidence but i can confirm that the SERP positions have NOT changed for others so likely not a algo update.
Please note that no content on the main page that was related to our keywords, title tags, H1 tages etc has changed. Can this simply be a "Google dance" since it has detected a slight change on the site footer throughout the website? If so are wei likely to jump back to where we were before?
any feedback would be grateful as this is hindering our business and somewhat gutting.
|This was done last night but as of this morning each KW has dropped around 10-30 places from where it was. |
Considering the time frame, this drop does sound coincidental.
That said (if there is cause and effect here), instead of looking at what you removed, perhaps you should be looking at what you added.
|...and instead have a feed that shows the latest blog posts on our site instead of the twitter posts. |
Some thoughts off the top of my head....
Are you adding a bunch of extra text content to your footers? Are you duplicating material that's elsewhere on your site? Making your page template overly "heavy"?
Adding multiple links in the footer section might either defocus your site or make it appear to be overoptimized. How many (links to) posts are you adding?
Also... is your site marginal in any other way? If there's an aspect of your site that's on the edge, changes might prompt Google to take an additional look, which might put you into a testing queue.
I would revisit your timeframe because Google does not normally respond that fast. Look at your log files to see when Googlebot last crawled those pages and then look at when you uploaded the changes.
I doubt within a few hours you uploaded changes, Googlebot crawled it, and Google updated its index to change the serps. It is possible but unlikely for most websites. It is much more likely to be coincidence.
Thanks for your replys in this matter.
|instead of looking at what you removed, perhaps you should be looking at what you added. |
That is a good point as discussed I removed the twitter feed from one of the three columns on the footer and simply replaced this with a recent blog post plugin which only intenrally links to our latest blog post. In addition it will only show the last 2 posts (same as the twitter feed) so there is no increase in links in the footer in that respect.
Apart from that we added the facebook “like” and the twitter “follow us” buttons which were both linked from inside their own individual iframe. We also added a WP plugin for facebook comments which enables visitors with facebook to comment on our blog posts.
|Are you adding a bunch of extra text content to your footers? Are you duplicating material that's elsewhere on your site? Making your page template overly "heavy"? |
The content in the footer for the recent blog posts is part of the title and first line of the blog post which again is around the same as what the twitter feed used to take up. So there is no addition to the amount of content in the footer. All content on our website is 100% unique and well written, we would never use duplicate content on our website. in addition our wordpress template is unique.
|Adding multiple links in the footer section might either defocus your site or make it appear to be overoptimized. How many (links to) posts are you adding? |
Replacing the twitter feed with a new blog post feed did not increase the amount of links in the footer. We did however add 2 more external links for the facebook like and twitter follow buttons that we placed on the footer. Also please note that as this was all placed in our footer google would have likely picked these changes up fast as it only had to visit one of our inner pages to see all the changes…
|I would revisit your timeframe because Google does not normally respond that fast. Look at your log files to see when Googlebot last crawled those pages and then look at when you uploaded the changes. |
I would have thought the same, however we see the google bot visit 100s of times each week to our site and also as the changes are in the footer all it would need to do is visit any inner page and it would pick the changes up.
FYI for now I have disabled all social plugins in WP and I have removed the 2 iframes in the footer for the fbook like and twitter follow buttons. Im not sure if putting these buttons into their own iframe with the single outbound link to the buttons caused google to lower our “metric”?
In addition I performed a fetch as google and noticed that the plugin related to the facebook comments added 4 lines with links to the top above the <head> which may or may not have influenced the ranks:
<!--[if IE 6]>
<html id="ie6" lang="en-US"
<!--[if IE 7]>
<html id="ie7" lang="en-US"
<!--[if IE 8]>
<html id="ie8" lang="en-US"
<!--[if !(IE 6) | !(IE 7) | !(IE 8) ]><!-->
Would these have caused any issues? I have read a few posts where people install a particular plugin for WP and their ranks drop for reasons which are usually coding…
Yes, some plug-ins have caused problems - but usually when they are in conflict with another plug-in and the combined result creates a bad situation.
Either that or the the plug-in itself has been configured poorly by the user, The answer is to be proactive about how you apply plug-ins and notice the technical changes it makes in how your website works - rather than just assume everything is going to "play well with others." There are a bajillion plug-ins available these days and assuming that all combinations are tested for any possible conflict is an "operator error" in my view.
One example, I've seen a combination of incorrectly configured plug-ins start to generate a pile of "soft 404" errors when they should not be there at all. That will gradually undermine a site over time.
You've added some common Open Graph code for social media. It doesn't look like links at all -rather it is a set of namespace declarations. That should be no problem at all, whether the code is present or not.
The content of an iframe lives at its own URL. So far as I know, Google has not taken iframed content into consideration for scoring the parent URL - except in the case of an iframe injection that serves malware to a hacked page.
FWIW, some observations I've made with Wordpress sites:
--Adding social media buttons never seems to affect rankings
--Adding a "recent posts" plugin sometimes does, and I've never figured out why.
I haven't used that Facebook plugin. I really don't know how the bot would react to those lines of code it added - it could just ignore them, or it could decide there's an issue. I would suggest looking for another FB plugin that gives you similar functionality without the code bloat, and then you'll have solved that "problem" whether it really was a problem or not.
Thanks for your replys.
to confirm to play it safe we have removed the fboo kand twitter buttons and removed the facebook comment plugin.
we still have the latest blog post widget installed but we will remove and revert the old twitter feed if the ranks dont improve.
This will make it 100% back to how it was before the drop.
my question is will Google re-apply the previous metric assuming that the page layout and code is as before and thus move us back to our old SERPs or dose it kinda put you in a "testing" position to "prove yourself".
my assumption is that Google hasn't given us a penalty per say so all the change in rank is due to our page been re-calcualted with a lower metric and thus dropping us a bit.
Years ago your rankings would probably have reverted. Today, sorry to tell you, things are outrageously less predictable. Even a complete and exact reversion to a previous version will not usually recover the old rankings.