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This 32 message thread spans 2 pages: 32 ( [1] 2 > >     
Poor ranking in Google but fantastic on Bing
lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 1:23 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

My 10+ year old site has slowly tanked over the past 18 months - 2 years in Google, slipping slowly but surely for all keywords.

Over this period, we made a number of improvements to the site and rank really well on Bing (page 1 - top 5 for everything).

My question is; is Google broken? Or is Bing just not as good / extensive as Google meaning it's easier for us to rank well?

 

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 1:31 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's not a question of better or worse, as much as different.

bwnbwn

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 3:29 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

lee_sufc if you take a look at the serps now there really aren't a whole lot of 10 year old domains left. It probably has something to do with the way we built links back then and these links are now the issue. The vast majority of your links are probably keyword related and this is IMO the main culprit. New websites with no history of link manipulation have now taken over the spots. Bing isn't using the same ranking/algo as Google as to why your still doing so well in it. This will change as Bing (if they survive) advances in link detection.

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 4:03 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn do you think it's worth me contacting sites that have linked to me to re-word the anchor text.

EditorialGuy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 4:14 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

lee_sufc if you take a look at the serps now there really aren't a whole lot of 10 year old domains left. It probably has something to do with the way we built links back then and these links are now the issue.


Or it could simply be that a domain's history and longevity don't count for as much in Google as they did before Panda arrived on the scene in 2011.

superclown2

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 4:28 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn do you think it's worth me contacting sites that have linked to me to re-word the anchor text.


If you re-word the anchor text you could make things worse. Google are paranoid about manipulation and if large numbers of links were changed quickly it could throw up a red flag.

If you do want to go down that route I'd advise doing it slowly over a period of months.

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 4:36 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

superclown2 - I did wonder that. Annoys me to think that from day one we followed Google's guidelines, now it comes back to bite us in the... (if it is this causing our issues).

ohno



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 6:35 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

lee_sufc, did you check Bing wondering what you have done wrong?! As that is what I did & thought Bing's results looked what I used to see on Google prior to all the "quality" updates. Trouble is Google IS the internet right now.

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 6:55 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ohno - EXACTLY!

ohno



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 7:11 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Lol thought so! I looked at Bing's results & thought to myself "where did it all go so wrong?!". At least their results were some comfort that it wasn't my site so's to speak. It's just Google suddenly decided it was junk(on some days,others it can be back where it was, up & down..repeat...repeat..I feel sea sick!). Now "all" we need is more Bing users....

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 7:16 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

this is exactly what I have been experiencing - my rankings have been all over the place for a long time...up and down by sometimes 100+ positions.

bwnbwn

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 7:23 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

lee I would not do anything with the old links you were able to generate. From the read it was pretty much like we use to do them. What I would do moving forward is get as many links in every format word, phrase, text, image, that you can. What you don't want to do is suggest the link format. Let the user do it naturally Google knows when a website link format is being suggested.

This maybe why we have such an effective negative seo issue.

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 8:30 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

My 10+ year old site has slowly tanked over the past 18 months - 2 years in Google

Have you checked to see if there is any correlation between points where your site lost traffic and any Google updates?

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 10:17 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn do you think it's worth me contacting sites that have linked to me to re-word the anchor text.

This question misses the point of what's happening.

Google is wanting to rank sites that have received freely given editorial links. Links that are self-placed, which you control (or have controlled), are considered manipulative... ie, spam.

If you go back and change the anchor text, this is a sign not only of control, but also of further manipulation. I suggest removing all links from any site that has given you such links. In all likelihood, they won't do you any further good and can probably hurt you.

If all of your links were built this way, chances are that removal will leave you not ranking very well, so you may be starting from zero in terms of building new links.

The quality of your site and its ability to attract natural inbound links, and the promotion likely needed to do that, becomes another discussion.

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 10:26 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Robert

Thanks, however, the links coming into my site were built the 'right' way (when Google 'decided' it was the right way!) Now, they've moved the goalposts, its sites like mine that suffer. I don't have any spammy sites (I link out to about 10 sites that I feel benefit my users, ad have about 2-300 incoming from related sites, originally created using a range of anchor texts).

I don't understand how they (Google) can tell 2 related sites not to link to each other - particularly when the links benefit the site's users (which they do in my niche). How is that their choice?

I am on the verge of throwing in the towel, to be honest...just feels like I spend 99% of my time trying to appease Google rather than doing what I am good at in my day job! Truth be told; I'm not sure I can be bothered any more.

bwnbwn

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 10:33 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

I suggest removing all links from any site that has given you such links. In all likelihood, they won't do you any further good and can probably hurt you

Robert you have a crystal ball that will tell him that. I highly doubt a website 10 years old the links are all generated, if they are he needs to be tanked.
I disagree with the rush to remove links just not good sense that I do the best I can to "start over", leave them alone and add to the website profile dilute the ones I generated with natural one.

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 11:33 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

To put my remark back into context, I'm talking about the kind of links where you control the anchor text, or have placed the links yourself. Sorry if I over-interpreted your comment about asking that the anchor text be changed.

I don't believe Google ever suggested building a lot of links that contained the same anchor text, though, so in terms of the "'right' way", I'm sure the suggestion didn't come from Google. That said, there are Google materials I could point to where wishful thinking might suggest that repeated anchor text was the way to higher rankings. There's also Google material that strong suggested the opposite, and where wishful thinking might have suggested that they really didn't mean it.

I know that repeated anchor text has been something I've been careful to avoid over the years... and that many of my SEO efforts have in fact been undoing the over-optimization of clients. This goes back well before Penguin.

Some of the earliest SEO discussions I had online concerned avoiding excessive keyword repetition... be it in onpage text, in title elements, or in anchor text, so it's not exactly that this is a new idea.

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 11:39 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

Hi Robert - no worries - don't think I was too clear in my original message.

When building those links years back (via reciprocal linking), I was aware then of the need to maintain a mix of anchor texts so I *don't think* they were over-optimized? (I could be wrong though). I stopped reciprocal linking around 2/3 years ago and ever since links have just grown naturally. I also used to have a large 'link page' - this has now been reduced to a small selection of what I class as decent outbound links.

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 11:49 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

You know, you're talking about links, links and more links, but you really, really don't know if they are the problem. They very well might be the problem, but you haven't done anything to analyze what's what. Until then whatever is said here is pure conjecture and we're all just spinning our wheels.

What you have to do is dig deep into your analytics and find exactly how your traffic is being impacted. Also, take my suggestion above about correlating dates of Google updates, if your problem is link related it should be readily apparent.

frankleeceo



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 12:21 am on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think Bing is placing more weight on EMD relative to Google. Maybe 10+ year old sites usually have domain names in their vertical?

google I feel place more importance on semantics and site's overall content pages. Which can hurt a long term site as a site grow out of specific topics over the years.

SevenCubed

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 12:40 am on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

@lee_sufc

Here's a very simple suggestion. One of the most common over-optimization problems are too many internal onsite intext links pointing to your homepage. Do you have that type of an internal structure?

Links to the root homepage are okay where ever they are part of the overall navigation that appears from page to page. But too often people think (so did I at one time) they can boost their own site by pointing over-optimized (repetitive keyword groups) intext links to their own homepage. Consider trying something simple like removing those types of internal links if you have them before trashing external links.

A website is like a book. Imagine being within inner chapters and the author tells you to close the book and look at the cover to learn more. Unless you have something very unique on the homepage that isn't contained elsewhere there shouldn't be any internal links pointing to it except for a typical "return to homepage" non-descriptive navigation link. If you also have footer links to your homepage, ditch 'em.

Heed jimbeetle's advice, we're all just spinning our wheels so consider all suggestions carefully, including what I've just offered. Begin with the less painful options first. Trashing external links is not a good place to begin. When your homepage begins to regain some trust it will probably trickle down to your inner pages too. IMHO it's a risk-free way to possibly help you out of the pit.

If that doesn't make a difference then begin assessing your next options.

The key is to not make too many changes at once so you know which ones are producing results (or not).

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 3:35 am on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

you're talking about links, links and more links, but you really, really don't know if they are the problem.

jimbeetle is of course correct about this, and his suggestion about correlating ranking drops with Google updates is a must do with regard to diagnosing the problems.

I took my cues from the OP and his comment about repeated anchor text, assuming that he was telling us something about the history of his backlinks in his post. Additionally, though, I assumed it might be links because the weighting of backlinks is one of the differences I've seen between Google and Bing. Generally, Bing will let backlinks pass that Google wouldn't, though that's oversimplifying quite a bit, and attaching a judgement to them that might not be correct.

frankleeceo's comment hits one specific difference between the two engines that I've noted...

I think Bing is placing more weight on EMD relative to Google.

I've watched sites that don't rank at all in Google, which are #1 for exact match domain searches in Bing.

Here's an interesting WebmasterWorld thread about some of the observed differences between Google and Bing from August 2009, too long ago to assume that it's still relevant, but I do find it historically interesting.

Google versus Bing - from someone who watches very closely
Aug 16, 2009
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3973107.htm [webmasterworld.com]

...So this is a knowledgeable commentary from someone who sees a lot more data that most of us can even dream about. I've extracted four observations out of many, many more.

  • Bing had 2.9% spam, Google had 2.56% spam, while Yahoo had 4.9%
  • Bing prefers URL matches more
  • Bing seems to prefer pages where the term occurs with its first letter capitalized
  • Bing does less term-rewriting than Google.

Tom's Blog [cuil.com]

(Unfortunately, the Tom Costello blog article cited in tedster's post is no longer available, which suggests why it's generally not good practice just to link to something on the forum without establishing some context. At least here we have Ted's selected quote and initial reactions.)

But, whatever the differences there are now between Google and Bing should also enter into lee_sufc's calculations. These of course do include Panda and Penguin, and numerous more recent Google spam and quality updates, which are unique to Google. Taking a look at the algo change dates as jimbeetle suggests is clearly a good idea.

ohno



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 7:05 am on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am on the verge of throwing in the towel, to be honest...just feels like I spend 99% of my time trying to appease Google rather than doing what I am good at in my day job! Truth be told; I'm not sure I can be bothered any more.

I'd pretty much decided to do this. However I sat here & thought "nope, I'm NOT going down without a fight"! Thankfully repeat customers kept me going. I changed every page on one domain, traffic went DOWN however it is sometimes well UP! It could of course have done this without changing anything but at least in my mind I knew I had cleared up the site for USERS. I said Google IS the Internet which is true, however they may not be forever. Reason for post-don't give up, carry on developing your site for users, try & forget Google. Google have turned on us, time to do the same to them.

Re: links, we have links from lots of user forums to our product pages, we are also members on some forums & reply to said posts to point people in the right direction. If Google now classes this as "spam" so be it. We are slowly getting more & more DIRECT traffic from these links which equate to SALES.

A few months ago we were too scared to post & link! That is just NOT right & NOT what the Internet was built on.

Lets get back to grass roots here.

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 8:08 am on Nov 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks Sevencube - that's a good point. I do have a fww internal links to the homepage using anchor text (nothing too major) so will remove them.

Ohno - Your point about Google 'being' the internet is so true! I also 100% agree with you about the link issue; and this is what annoys me so much. It's like Google are being a dictator - telling us how to run our sites / businesses - and this is where I start to lose interest in continuing.

n0tSEO



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 10:43 pm on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's like Google are being a dictator - telling us how to run our sites / businesses - and this is where I start to lose interest in continuing.


In continuing with your business OR in continuing to try to please Google?

Your business can survive and thrive without Google if you expand your marketing plan to include more sources of traffic (including Bing and other search engines; but don't just stop to search engines). E-newsletter still convert a lot.

np2003

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 10:47 pm on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

This is what is happening to all our sites as well. Rank top on Yahoo, Bing, others but on Google it sucks after the big update last year.

It seems Google is good for question searches but when it comes to popular keyword searches, the quality is bad compared to Bing?

I believe they are purposely turning up junk results on popular keywords in a bid to get people to pay for Adwords. As long as people still see releveant answers for "question" type searches, then Google will still be the default search engine to goto.

[edited by: np2003 at 10:51 pm (utc) on Nov 21, 2013]

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 10:48 pm on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

@n0tSEO; trying to please Google.

I have tried to diversify over the years via Facebook, Twitter, etc; however, as much as these help, nothing can even replace the traffic that comes from Google.

With regards to a newsletter, I think that depends on the industry. For us, once a customer has used our service, they'll likely not need us again for another year (or more) and we're looked at as more of a help service (which then leads to sales) so people tend to find us via 'how do i...' searches.

np2003

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 10:57 pm on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

Someone who worked at the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium), linked to our website in one of his "useful links" pages. Google sent me that URL as a sample "unnatural" link when we tried to get our penalty lifted. It now seems they consider people who work at W3, spammers.

lee_sufc

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 11:01 pm on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

I honestly believe something is not right with Google - particularly in the UK.

I know I'm going to say that if my rankings are poor but some results shown for particular keywords just don't make sense. Results on other Googles (such as France / Germany), look much better - and they're in different languages!

lucy24

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4624483 posted 11:40 pm on Nov 21, 2013 (gmt 0)

some results shown for particular keywords just don't make sense. Results on other Googles (such as France / Germany), look much better - and they're in different languages!

Which keywords? No, you can't get specific, but:

-- keyword such as international brand name or technical term that has the same meaning everywhere
-- word that means something in English and something unrelated in French or German
-- word that has no meaning in French or German but does mean something in English ... or vice versa

If you search for a word that has no meaning in the search engine's currently selected language-- especially a word that has no meaning anywhere-- they have to activate some entirely different algorithm. I don't know if there exists published information on how this works.

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