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This 54 message thread spans 2 pages: 54 ( [1] 2 > >     
Sudden Drop in Organic Traffic on 18 July 2014
unikat




msg:4689392
 8:07 am on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hello everyone,

My website is in the travel industry. It's 3 years old. I have original content - unique descriptions and pictures mostly for the offers in my region, but also many affiliate descriptions and images for the rest of the country.

Initially my website was hit by Penguin 1 on 24.04.2012.

Back then my website lost it's rankings for it's main keywords (the webpages targeting those keywords disappeared from the SERPS or were at the end of the SERPS, e.g. position 700-800+).

Also many long tail keywords containing my main keywords jump from 1st or 2nd page to 5th to 10th page. It was page and keywords specific demotion.

Also then i noticed that "related:my-site-dot-com" doesn't return anything at all.

No matter what I've tried the situation didn't improve until Penguin 2.1.

My website successfully recover on 04.10.2013 - in my opinion thanks to the Google Disavow Links Tool.

Now on 18.07.2014 suddenly (overnight) my traffic drop to the lowest levels ever.

This time most of my pages are nowhere to be found - they still exist in the index - but are not shown in the SERPS, e.g. 900+ pages or are in the Google supplemental results.

I wasn't doing any changes at least for the last 6 months.
I don't see any toxic links pointing to my site, or Russian referral spam.

I have around 28 000 pages in the index - according to GWT and using "site:my-site-dot-com" command.

I was getting 2000 (in the winter) to 5000 (in the summer) page views (mostly from Google), but after 18 July 2014 it is barely touching 1000 page views!

Almost 90% of my pages are demoted, still some pages are ranking on the first page of Google and even first position.

And I'm still performing very well in Bing and Yandex (my website is translated in Russian).

I've checked some of my unique pages with Copyscape and they're not scraped, also I saw that I haven't been assigned a manual penalty in GWT.

Is anyone else noticing this?

Thanks.

 

Errioxa




msg:4689476
 12:33 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Me too!

-My site is small, 600 urls

-Not link building

-Health industry

-Not penalized before

I have a warnings in page Speed https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Eliminate render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in above-the-fold content
Your page has 2 blocking script resources and 2 blocking CSS resources. This causes a delay in rendering your page.
None of the above-the-fold content on your page could be rendered without waiting for the following resources to load. Try to defer or asynchronously load blocking resources, or inline the critical portions of those resources directly in the HTML.
Remove render-blocking JavaScript:
...
...

Optimize CSS Delivery of the following:
...
...

CaptainSalad2




msg:4689480
 1:01 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

@Errioxa this wont impact your rankings but is easy to fix if you want to! Instead of using external style and JS sheets inline them in the head of the pages!

Not great from a manageability point of view but you can still keep them as separate files if you know how to SSI (server side include) which in lines them when called but also maintains them as separate files for easy maintenance!

Errioxa




msg:4689483
 1:15 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

@CaptainSalad2 I know it :)

I don't think that this is the cause of 90% traffic dropped, but is the only point I see as cause.

I also see a possibility of penalty for Payday Loan, this site isn't about #*$!ographic or gamming, but it focuses on very particular searches

Rasputin




msg:4689494
 2:29 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

@unikat

many affiliate descriptions and images for the rest of the country.


although I have not noticed a change on our own travel sites on 18/4/14, if a significant proportion of your content is affiliate descriptions that appear on several different sites or if your pages are based around affiliate links it will prove difficult to maintain rankings.

Presumably the affiliate links are already 'nofollow'?

EditorialGuy




msg:4689497
 2:51 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have around 28 000 pages in the index - according to GWT and using "site:my-site-dot-com" command.


"Thin" content, maybe? Are you targeting keywords with 28,000 lightweight pages? That could be your problem.

Planet13




msg:4689565
 7:11 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

""Thin" content, maybe? Are you targeting keywords with 28,000 lightweight pages? That could be your problem. "

Exactly.

How many writers and editors would one need on staff to have a decent-quality 28,000-page site?

OTH: A forum could have 28,000 pages, but we have all seen how google has been treating forums lately:

[webmasterworld.com...]

Andem




msg:4689575
 8:32 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

How many writers and editors would one need on staff to have a decent-quality 28,000-page site?


It all depends on their knowledge of the subject matter and how long it takes to do some real research. Over 1 year, a small team of part-time writers can actually achieve a lot, provided there is a competent editor.

iammeiamfree




msg:4689616
 10:26 pm on Jul 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Its a tricky business dealing with these algo tweaks. I did notice something on Friday but not a big drop. I'd guess that it could be panda related. Looking at the serps there seem to be more gov, edu and org sites sneaking in. I would suggest adding unique content stuff that has never been done before.

unikat




msg:4689669
 7:33 am on Jul 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I also think that this is Panda related, although my website has never had a problem with this animal before.

There are so many pages because the structure of the website uses "tabs" to separate different information about the offers - like the booking form (which is a separate tab) and the Map.

I understand that this isn't the best design decision, but why this is happening now? As I said I didn't do any significant changes on the website for the last 6 months. The content and the code are the same?

tabish




msg:4689686
 10:30 am on Jul 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Social networking website (12 years old).. saw same drop 15 days back.. the drop continued for 15 days then traffic back to normal..

now.. dropped again.. looks like it will be back after some time.. but what is going on with google?

90% drop again..

And no one is able to explain about these drops in any forum :(

netmeg




msg:4689717
 12:25 pm on Jul 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I understand that this isn't the best design decision, but why this is happening now? As I said I didn't do any significant changes on the website for the last 6 months. The content and the code are the same?


Because Google made changes.

unikat




msg:4689733
 2:00 pm on Jul 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

@netmeg
Sure. But am I the only one to experience this on that date? I mean is this really the reason for the de-ranking of the website.

The only logical explanation to me would be if the website was manually demoted, but I don't see any message in GWT.

Also whats so wrong with this website architecture?
For example for every travel site in our database we have a Gallery Tab (a new page) with 20 images.
Do you think that I should move the pictures and the Map tab to the main description Tab of the site. This way I'll have one long page instead of separate Tabs with focused information.

webcentric




msg:4689734
 2:12 pm on Jul 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'd ask how your tabs work i.e. are your tabs simply natural links laid out in an unordered list (UL) or are you using javascript for tab navigation?

netmeg




msg:4689750
 3:13 pm on Jul 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Also whats so wrong with this website architecture?


Don't know because I haven't seen it (and don't want to) but if it were me, I'd get some neutral eyeballs on it, plus look at my user metrics in whatever analytics I'm running to see how the users are engaging with it.

Rasputin




msg:4689769
 3:45 pm on Jul 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

Nothing usually wrong with tabs when used 'normally' ie all tab content is within one html page, but if every tab opens a new page eg for a map there is very likely to be a problem with thin content.

I get the impression you are referring to html links as tabs just because they look like tabs?

Galleries are a special case IMO - if you have 20 photos in a gallery and each has alt text and a separate descriptive sentence then the gallery page should be ok, but if it is an automated gallery generated from a directory so pictures are all without alt text and descriptions then I wouldn't make a new page for it.

As netmeg says, no point wondering why something has suddenly changed - could be for any number of reasons outside your control, eg your link profile changed slightly or panda was rerun with slightly different criteria or the % of 'thin' pages changed slightly...and hundreds of other possibilities.

topsitevn




msg:4690262
 3:38 am on Jul 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

Maybe Google change their algorithm.They remove backlink as spam, and reduce keyword this site

unikat




msg:4690315
 12:08 pm on Jul 24, 2014 (gmt 0)

Actually after 4 days all of my rankings returned to their original positions.

One thing that I've noticed is that several months ago the "related:" operator has started to return incorrect sites like government, banks, news, classifieds, etc... and not the usual travel related sites.

Even now this is still the case, although I haven't seen any new links from such sites pointing to my website.


Forgot to say that my Tabs are simply natural links laid out in an unordered list (UL).

The idea behind my Tabs is that i can focus the content so for example if someone is just looking for the location or gallery of a given travel site he will land just on that Map/Gallery page and not in one big/long page.

unikat




msg:4692422
 5:13 am on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hi all,

I just want to report that my rankings are again 90% lower.

It all started on 18 of July when I lost my rankings for 4 days.

Then on 22 of July all of my rankings returned back to their original positions again for 4 days.

And finally since 26 of July again most of my pages are nowhere to be found.

No manual actions reported in GWT so i guess it's Panda? What else it could be?

It's so frustrating.

tabish




msg:4692423
 5:17 am on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

@unikat same situation here.. looks like mine and your site is on same datacenter or on same index...

austtr




msg:4692458
 11:10 am on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

@unikat....

You are possibly looking for a tech solution when the problem may lie elsewhere.

Three words jump at me from the OP..."travel industry" and "affiliate". In my niche (same 3 words) the Penguin ver 1 update wiped out all the small to medium affiliate sites and not a single one (of about 15-20 individual businesses) has ever come back, despite doing all the recommended remedial actions. That was the arrival of the big brands domination.

I've seen quite a few comments from folks who believe that travel has received special treatment to remove competition from Google Flights and Google Hotels (which arrived a few weeks after Penguin ver 1.) Whether that is true or not we will probably never know.... but

If you have been depending on free traffic from Google and at the same time siphoning business away from Google's own properties, then maybe you need to focus on commercial reality and not some magic SEO bullet that will return you to the glory days.

For most commercial niches. the days of making a living off free traffic are over.

fastdev




msg:4692476
 3:28 pm on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have same problem here!

EditorialGuy




msg:4692483
 4:54 pm on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Three words jump at me from the OP..."travel industry" and "affiliate". In my niche (same 3 words) the Penguin ver 1 update wiped out all the small to medium affiliate sites and not a single one (of about 15-20 individual businesses) has ever come back, despite doing all the recommended remedial actions. That was the arrival of the big brands domination.


I think it's important to distinguish between "affiliate sites" and "information sites that have affiliate links," since Google apparently does.

Google has made no secret of its objection to "thin affiliate sites" and to the need for providing "added value" in the form of original, useful content. Does your site with affiliate links sell to exist, or does it exist to sell? If it's the latter, your goals may be at odds with Google's.

austtr




msg:4692508
 9:15 pm on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

important to distinguish between "affiliate sites" and "information sites that have affiliate links," since Google apparently does.


My portfolio of sites fall into the latter category, being destination guides (2000 - 3000 word pages) with a few affiliate products, along with Adsense, to help pay the bills.

The worst affected sites still rank for their key informational search term BUT all the affiliate pages within the sites no longer see any traffic. My experience (and yours may vary) is that Penguin put the skids under ALL travel affiliate activity, not just the "thin" ones.

EditorialGuy




msg:4692511
 9:41 pm on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

The worst affected sites still rank for their key informational search term BUT all the affiliate pages within the sites no longer see any traffic. My experience (and yours may vary) is that Penguin put the skids under ALL travel affiliate activity, not just the "thin" ones.


We get a lot of traffic on our pages that have affiliate links (they aren't "affiliate pages" per se), but most of the traffic is generated internally. Our affiliate topics are so competitive that I'd be surprised if we got more than a trickle of search traffic for those topics.

Planet13




msg:4692538
 11:15 pm on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

@ EditorialGuy:

We get a lot of traffic on our pages that have affiliate links (they aren't "affiliate pages" per se), but most of the traffic is generated internally. Our affiliate topics are so competitive that I'd be surprised if we got more than a trickle of search traffic for those topics.


I am not sure I understand you.

When you say that "most of the traffic is generated internally" in conjunction with "a trickle of search traffic for those topics" are you saying that your affiliate pages don't get many LANDINGS (i.e., that your NON-affiliate pages are the main landing pages at that they in turn drive traffic to your affiliate pages)?

Or am I misunderstanding you?

EditorialGuy




msg:4692540
 11:40 pm on Aug 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes, that's exactly what I mean.

Planet13




msg:4692576
 5:14 am on Aug 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

Ahh... ok. Thanks!

unikat




msg:4692668
 3:47 pm on Aug 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

@austtr
I don't think that this is Penguin - first, because it's site wide (no keyword specific) and second, I didn't heard of any Penguin update on 18 or 26 of August, did you?

Also I don't beleive in conspirative theories about Google.
I don't sell tickets. My target are private rooms, lodgings, etc (in my native non-english language). I don't think Google will ever add these travel sites to their Google Hotels database.

@EditorialGuy
Its affiliate site (no links to source) but for sure I've added value to my customers - a booking engine, ability to make payment with cards online and customer service.

Most of the landlords doesn't even have an e-mail which I provide for the torists to contact them. Except for some super unique pages (which are still positioned number 1, but aren't driving much traffic anyway) Google doesn't display my website anywhere near the top positions even when you search for the name of any travel sites that exist only on my website. Strange, huh?

Not sure what to do now - wait for some more days and hope that the traffic will return or starting to delete the affiliate content?

EditorialGuy




msg:4692679
 5:14 pm on Aug 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

Its affiliate site (no links to source) but for sure I've added value to my customers - a booking engine, ability to make payment with cards online and customer service.


I suspect that's your problem. What you call "added value" and what Google regards as "added value" are two different things.

With Google, it's about the content on the landing page. Ask yourself whether your pages would have value for the user even if you stripped out the booking links.

This 54 message thread spans 2 pages: 54 ( [1] 2 > >
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