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Dropping of positions overnight - Lost all my rankings
CaptainWolfy




msg:4665187
 8:07 am on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have been working on <competitive niche> website, the site is 6 months old. domain is <snip> and it's for local Serbian market so in google webmaster tools it's setup for Serbia.

I was not ranking domain for anything particular just it's posts. It was all good 1st page - 2nd page rankings for almost every posts till 1-2 days ago. Suddenly all pages dropped in rankings and they are no where to be found in first 100 pages.

The last thing i did was adding few smaller sites(new) that linked to that site, those links were removed now and disallowed (in case they triggered some kind of action).

There is no other info in google webmaster tools, no manual spam action, no anything. The only thing i am able to see in google webmaster tools is on the "index" there are only 3. But on the sitemap there are 186 pages submitted and indexed, so that is a bit confusing(this stays from march)- so that shouldn't be a problem.

Site is still on google even when i search for exact keyword mach on main domain it's ranking first.
There are 18 domains linking to me with 3.9k backlinks based on ahrefs, all natural and all links added on domains in 6 months period so 3 domains per month basically.


Did somebody have any similar experience, is there any way to determine if this penalty is temporary or not? How long should i wait to see if my rankings will be back, or is the smartest thing to get new domain and to move the site to new domain, will this take penalty as well or not? Meaning move it from google webmaster tools to new domain etc.. Any suggestion would come in handy.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 10:14 am (utc) on Apr 23, 2014]
[edit reason] Exemplified [/edit]

 

CaptainSalad2




msg:4665246
 12:24 pm on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

I was going to say could be a dance, don't worry for at least 7-10 days then I read

>>18 domains linking to me with 3.9k backlinks<<<

That sounds really spammy!

spreporter




msg:4665257
 1:02 pm on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

3.6k "natural backlinks" in 6 months website, you must be joking my friend..... thats a penalty my 2 cents, delete the domain and start from scratch.

RedBar




msg:4665259
 1:08 pm on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

There are 18 domains linking to me with 3.9k backlinks based on ahrefs


I assume that your backlinks are either from their footers or navigation of about 216 pages per site?

Are those 18 sites reputable?

Mentat




msg:4665275
 1:55 pm on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

I've saw 2 sites -90% this easter, all clear duplicate content.

CaptainWolfy




msg:4665276
 2:02 pm on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

@RedBar
all those 18 sites are reputable old sites, PR etc..
Only one of these 18 sites are giving me around 3k links that's from footer but that link has been up since december 1st 2013, if it was for that site the google would penalize me earlier?

@spreporter i have been in SEO game since 2005 maybe not so much lately but around 4k links are not much in my book with the amount of links we did in the past. You can't rank with 3 domains pointing to your site, can you for competitive keywords?

I can try disallowing the link that comes from that one domain that is giving us 3k links. And try to see if rankings might come back.

The other option is definitely start all over again

spreporter




msg:4665307
 4:32 pm on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Oh yes you can rank on top spot with 2 or 3 links....

aakk9999




msg:4665319
 5:36 pm on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

It was all good 1st page - 2nd page rankings for almost every posts till 1-2 days ago

When exactly was your drop? I am asking because it seems to be some update happened on/around 18th of this month. Some webmasters reported recovery on that date (see posts from 18-22 April in our monthly thread [webmasterworld.com...] )

bhukkel




msg:4665327
 6:16 pm on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

When exactly was your drop?


When i look at my Google Analytics stats i see a recovery starting at April 18 01:00 GMT+1.

nomis5




msg:4665374
 10:07 pm on Apr 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

Oh yes you can rank on top spot with 2 or 3 links....


And even less.

ravisharmaseo




msg:4665433
 7:18 am on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

First of all I can not say too much because I do not have any genuine data about your website though it is really hard to say what had happen with your site. As you have mentioned that I would not see any Google Manual Action in your WMT Account though it might be a Google Dance (SERP Changes). At this stage you must stay and wait for few week and monitor day by day happenings in your WMT and Analytics; because we can not say properly; is this manual penalty, algorithm updates (penalty) or something else; so you must wait for a while.

Keep checking your Primary Keywords on a daily basis and Keep Checking number of indexes for 15 days at least. At this time you have to analyze your data and need to compare with old data as well. You said there has 186 URL’s in sitemap and but WMT shows only 2 and 3 URL’s, please check each URL’s manually in the search.

Command line: site: http:www.example.com
Check how many URL’s are indexed yet? Is there 186 URL’s or not?

[edited by: aakk9999 at 10:29 am (utc) on Apr 24, 2014]

CaptainWolfy




msg:4665526
 2:58 pm on Apr 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

@aakk9999 the site dropped on 18th night - 19th early in the morning.

@ravisharmaseo, with site: there are 250 urls indexed (that includes the pdf's). The site doesn't have primary keyword as domain is a brand and it's ranked 1st on google for it.

The pages were ranking as that was the point of the site to rank the pages every single one of them.

@nomis5 - you can't rank new page on google without any signals pointing to that page, links, social etc.. not even close if there are hundreds thousands of links for that special keyword..

ravisharmaseo




msg:4665779
 4:31 am on Apr 25, 2014 (gmt 0)

@CaptainWolfy

Case Summary:
You do not have primary keywords just because you have taken EMD (Exact Match Domain) based domain only and just registered 6 month ago, and then you have created 3.9K backlinks (natural links) for the domain too.

Have 250 index pages including PDF published links as well, and your site got hit by Google on 18th night – 19th early in morning. Humm very interesting case!

Now I am very much sure you probably hit by Penguin (an algorithmic penalty). You do not have “Domain Level Penalty” because you still ranking with your domain name in the search.

You purchased the domain just because the name was a brand, ok it is fine then what is the problem? Because your domain still in SERP and it’s a brand name then I am very sure you are still getting good traffic (direct search by domain name) for your website and probably getting good conversion too.

Solution:
If your question is why you lost the indexed URL’s and Ranking of the posts? My answer is – you have created 3.9K backlins for your site within 6 months only and though got hit by Penguin. There has no possibility to generate 3.9K natural links within 6 month; there might be a thousand of Toxic Links, Bad Links, Spammy Links that cause the Penalty.

You already told, you have also created tiny websites for just link building purpose and further Disavowed that links.

1-Now the time is – analyze your backlinks again with Toxic Link Tool and export all link data in the excel sheet.
2-Check all the links manually one by one and find which one is natural (healthy link) and which one is not.
3-After fetching the correct data you need to process link removal request manually while contacting the domain owner of that particular domain where the link comes from.
4-Send link removal request to all Toxic Links (unhealthy links) to their domain owners.
5-Our main goal is here to remove bogus links as much as possible and the manual link removal process is always a better idea rather than to submit Disavow file directly.
6-Leave those links which comes from high authority domains like - .gov, .org, .edu etc and high PR sites.
7-After completing this process you will have the actual Toxic Link Data (spammy links) which is highly required to Disavow.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 11:09 pm (utc) on Apr 29, 2014]

samwest




msg:4666094
 2:14 pm on Apr 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have a site that represents a brick and mortar shop with real products and a nice responsive WP site. On April 15th, the small amount of traffic on this site got chopped in half. Also, no reads, just what appears to be two days of heavy crawling and no human visitors. On the 21st it has started to register reads again and traffic is climbing back very slowly.

Now, if I didn't know better, it looks like a "Google Punch" square in the face. I've seen this on other sites over the years...just when you think you're on a upward trend, they slap you with some unknown penalty as if to knock you down a peg or two. Nobody is going to ever be able to promote, or even sustain a viable business in this environment.

Funny how we all seem to drop 19% every year while Google is UP 19% over last year with 16.4 BILLION in ad sales. Can you figure it out yet?

If this was related to any know update, please advise. I suspect it's just another way to move a non adsense site out of the serps.

nomis5




msg:4666145
 7:36 pm on Apr 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

@nomis5 - you can't rank new page on google without any signals pointing to that page, links, social etc.. not even close if there are hundreds thousands of links for that special keyword..


Yes you can, with 1 link. Any site though will eventually also gain rubbish links from stat counters, seo analysis sites and similar analysis sites but I really don't think G counts them even though they are natural.

Spend all the time you like getting those 3.9k of "valuable" links and you are guaranteed nothing. The problem is that you may well be right that they are all natural but G might not share the same view. Shed loads of links are not the road to success any more.

CaptainWolfy




msg:4666164
 10:18 pm on Apr 26, 2014 (gmt 0)

@ravisharmaseo
I have already done exactly that, even removing the link from one site that have multiple pages. Also there are non toxic links left on the site. And i don't do comments edu, gov links etc.. been avoiding them ever since i am in the biz.

@nomis5 i don't know what kind of pages are u trying to rank.. you can rank new page where you don't have any competition etc.. post(page) that is linked only from internal links of blog site etc.. will gain ranking of course for some competitive keyword will never be in 1-3 spots on google i don't count ranking page on 10th page of google etc or random appearing after x amount of years... Also there is difference ranking exact keyword domain match and page on "brand" domain for exact keyword domain match. Or even pages on trusted domains.. not even considering those..

Also i have been in the biz since 2005, i have been trough panda, penguin, and other updates .. i have seen SEO changing but linking will always remain as a number one factor for ranking. Big brands become big cause of linking and it will always be like that buying links is part of the game for them.

And if you read what i have written in the first post, those are natural links, coming from link exchanges, a>b>c>d or whatever.. I don't do comment spamming, forms submitting and other crap( i am not suggesting that this shouldn't be done, i am just stating that this isn't the case here)

For example if i have fishing gear website and i want to link to some store or forum or whatever from my website, and i put link in the sidebar and i have 3000 pages, that store will get 3000 links yes, but one domain is linking to it! My website linking to that domain not all links from pages are instantly crawled they are crawled based on the google bot hitting my webiste, so the links are growing over the time period, if the site is trusted this shouldn't be an issue.

I agree it might be in the google eyes.. they have added 10000 different penalties and still adding them on daily basis so as @samwest said above google is doing everything to get their revenue up every year..

Completely whitehat sites get booted penalized etc.. and yet cloaked links or links from keyword stuffing pages are ranked pretty well.

Thank you all for brainstorming and smashing ideas left and right. I will keep the updates if something happen in the following days.

FranticFish




msg:4666220
 8:30 am on Apr 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just a quick pedantic correction on how to use the 'site:' command (and any other command like 'inurl:')

1) There should not be a space anywhere in the command. If you add a space you are actually searching for "site: + example.com"

2) You do not need the http://

site:example.com = all urls at the domain (www, non-www, subdomains)

For bigger sites you can include directories, and you can also exclude them using '-'. Again there should be NO space between the '-' and the second modifying command.

site:example.com -site:example.com/directory/

FranticFish




msg:4666221
 8:53 am on Apr 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

those are natural links, coming from link exchanges, a>b>c>d or whatever


Have you checked the link profiles of the sites that you are linked with? If you're exchanging links then you are vouching for the sites you link to. Have a good look at their sites, their incoming links and also what sites they are linking to. Check to see if they are ranking for their key terms. You could be seen to be part of, or at least associated with, a network of sites that Google doesn't like.

nomis5




msg:4666338
 9:57 pm on Apr 27, 2014 (gmt 0)

@nomis5 i don't know what kind of pages are u trying to rank.. you can rank new page where you don't have any competition etc.. post(page) that is linked only from internal links of blog site etc.. will gain ranking of course for some competitive keyword will never be in 1-3 spots on google i don't count ranking page on 10th page of google etc or random appearing after x amount of years... Also there is difference ranking exact keyword domain match and page on "brand" domain for exact keyword domain match. Or even pages on trusted domains.. not even considering those..


The above is your opinion, my view is fact because I have the sites to prove it. I wasn't just talking about individual pages having one link, I was talking about a whole site having only one meaningful link. Narrow it down to individual pages and I have shed loads with no links at all other than internal ones.

Just looked one page up in G and it has 255,000 results and I rank number 2 (on the first page). It's no EMD either and it is consistently number 2.

Your approach is different to mine, doesn't mean mine doesn't work.

The problem with masses of links is that it's nigh on impossible to analyse whether they are good or not in the eyes of G. I can analyse my one link in ten seconds and be reasonably sure that it's a good one.

Your job now is to analyse those 3.9k backlinks you have, one by one, and work out if any of them are causing your problem.

those are natural links, coming from link exchanges


That may well be your problem. In my eyes anyway, link exchanges are not natural links and I believe maybe you should consider if G thinks along those lines as well.

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