| 11:42 am on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Was your ranking drop gradual or off-the-cliff type? If rank drop was sudden, have you analysed whether the drop correlates with any of known Google updates?
With regards to WMT list of keywords, I had a look at the branded site I look after and their brand name is also not appearing in WMT keywords list despite probably being the most used word as it also exists on every page.
This tells me that Google may ignore some words or some placements the words appear as the brand keyword on the site I looked at is in the header, footer and as a part of email address that is shown on practically every page.
Your equivalent of "green" - is it used in page text or is it also in header/footer/sidebar ?
| 12:56 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
First drop was April 2012 30-40%
Then October 20012 further 50% drop
Slight recovery April - August 2013 but dropped back
Today 25% of 2012 traffic
To be fair, site wasn't regularly updated (except for small changes) because not much needed to change except prices, etc., from time to time. No articifial linking campaign or anything black hat.
My equivalent of green appears in the footer because it is also the company name and also in the body as both company and product name.
If I search for company name and postal address I don't even rank on first page of Google which seems wrong. Someone who knows our name and address can only be looking for us.
Have now completely redesigned site and am adding new content regularly. Don't expect an instant fix, but just wonderied if that keyword not appearing on the list was an important indicator of where I was going wrong.
| 1:42 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|If I search for company name and postal address I don't even rank on first page of Google which seems wrong. |
This does seem like a penalty. Looking at the dates you provided, they fit with Penguin updates:
Penguin - April 24, 2012
Penguin - October 5, 2012
Penguin - May 22, 2013 (perhaps the cause of slight recovery)
Penguin - October 4 2013 (perhaps the cause of further drop?)
Your EMD domain which is also the company name - are both words just ordinary words (neither is branded) ? Perhaps too many links with EMD match caused the problem?
| 2:20 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Really appreciate your thoughts.
Re Penguin - definitely no cloaking or anything going on. Keyword stuffing - again not intentionally, but you have to mention the product / company name. On a typical page it might be 8 times out of 500 words. Is that too many?
Yes the emd is two ordinary words - like green trees - that is also the name of a niche product. The business is over 20 years old now and has always traded as "green trees". When it went online it was the obvious name to choose.
It is one of the oldest sites of its kind online. A few pages of its content have been respun by later competitors and they rank no problem!
It isn't a site that gets a lot of incoming links - a mom and pop type store to be honest. Those links it does get tend to be off the "green trees" or "greentrees.com" variety. It may have 50 total. Of those some are from discussion forums where the name gets repeated. I've disavowed them.
| 2:29 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
One more thing. Looking at April 24th, the site doesn't seem to have been hit on that date. Comparing April to March monthly totals sees the drop. April to May only a slight drop.
October's drop is more likely to be Penguin related imo.
| 3:05 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Another thing :-)
Just checked keyword density and 6.95% for "trees" suggested possibly spam.
BUT repeated check with top five ranking sites and number one throws up "possible spam" for more terms including "trees" at 8.2%. The same site also uses "trees green" enough times for it to be possibly spam and that phrase is meaningless! Aaargh!
Really difficult to write content about a genuine product without calling it by its name!
| 5:27 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|"Just checked keyword density..." |
Just a "hunch" here, but I think checking your horoscope might be more helpful in solving this than checking keyword density.
I have the impression that keyword density is assessed on a page per page / site per site basis, and that one site can get away with a higher keyword density than another site due to other (Panda-related) factors.
On one of my sites, I have an internal page that is the second most popular on my site but it won't rank at all for its targeted keyword (blue widgets).
Ranks well for lots of deviations on that phrase, but won't rank for "blue widgets".
It's a category page and links out to lots of product pages, and the products that it links out to have the words "blue widgets" in the title. So this category page might seem overly spammy.
Right now, I am trying to figure out how to de-optimize this page for the phrase "blue widgets".
Hope this helps.
| 6:15 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
:-) Yes the keyword density was in response to the Penguin update and spammy signals.
I think I have the same problem as you. My pages link to other pages, but all are related to "green trees" - we only sell the one product, but in lots of different formats, but each one is a type of "green tree".
It really is a minefield!
| 11:08 pm on Apr 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Just out of curiosity, did you read up on the EMD update?
| 7:08 am on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)|
I've not. I'll look for info on it now - many thanks. When was this?
EDIT: Did you mean the original EMD update to “reduce low-quality ‘exact-match’ domains” from 2012? If so, yes i am aware of that. My content isn't low-quality, although was not regularly updated. I'm trying to correct that by adding fresh regular content, but in truth there is only so much you can say about "green trees"!
| 12:50 pm on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Keep quality content and Check "site:domain space keyword".
| 12:54 pm on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|"I'm trying to correct that by adding fresh regular content..." |
My opinion is that people might do more harm than good if they add new content just for the sake of adding new content.
|"...but in truth there is only so much you can say about "green trees!" |
Maybe your site can be helpful in other ways to people who are interested in green trees?
| 1:28 pm on Apr 8, 2014 (gmt 0)|
did this site:domain space keyword
for keyword green, trees, and green trees
All three return multiple pages from my website. I'm not sure this would have been the case a few weeks ago before the website redesign - I wish I'd known to check it then.
What does this signify? No penalties?
In terms of helpfulness, we manufacture and sell green trees so the site allows customers to order direct. Most pages relate to this with examples, design tips and so on.
| 1:44 pm on Apr 9, 2014 (gmt 0)|
"What does this signify? No penalties? "
When I do the same thing as you, then the page that I am targeting for the keyword shows up at the top of the returns from my site.
But if I remove the site: operator and just do a search for "targeted keyword" then none of my pages shows up in search for that particular keyword - even though it will show up number 1 or number 2 for minor variations on a keyword - mostly with the addition of a third keyword to the normal two-word keyword.
| 3:06 pm on Apr 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Quick update - just checked my business name followed by address in Google.
Until today I was nowhere to be found (crazy on Google's part!), but today one of the key new pages that I added earlier this mont is ranked 1 for my name and address (it's in the footer of every page). Positions 2-10 are taken up by irrelevant sites, but it's a start :-)
| 4:12 pm on Apr 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
@joeking excellent news, and thanks for the update. Patience and you may see other pages restored to their former glory.
| 6:25 pm on Apr 11, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Thanks Engine, but I may have spoke too soon. It looks like a 301 redirect is ranking instead of the actual page - which makes me think that the domain name itself is stopping pages from ranking. Something else to fix, but maybe a clue to what is preventing my site from ranking!
| 12:40 am on Apr 12, 2014 (gmt 0)|
"(it's in the footer of every page)"
This MIGHT be a good place to start looking.
I sometimes wonder if having something site wide - even something that you expect to find - doesn't cause problems.
| 7:45 pm on Apr 12, 2014 (gmt 0)|
I'll definitely look at that then, but countless websites havve their addres in a footer. Are Google really going to punish you for having what is a unique postal address on each page?
I fully understand I may or may not rank for keywords, but I think when someone searches for you by company name and adddress, and Google serves up everything but your website, the problem lies with Google.
| 8:18 pm on Apr 12, 2014 (gmt 0)|
@planet13 - I maybe wrong, but that's very much my perception. Used to be the case that sitewide links would rank fast and strong, but I haven't seen that happen on my recent site. In fact, I wonder if it's not seen as duplicate.