sheffnet - 3:17 pm on Jun 1, 2013 (gmt 0)
Latest situation for my site -
this is a site that is www.keyword-keyword.com and the 2 keywords are the most important words for our business.
Note that there is a hyphen between the 2 words of the domain name. The first keyword is a city name - the reason being that the city is famous for the product and the product is known to be of high quality if made in this city (where we are located). The second keyword is the name of the produt type. A fictional example might be www.chantilly-lace.com.
About 2 months ago, the site was still at its long-held station of number 1 on Google UK and .com for the 2 word phrase. Then it suddenly disappeared from Google UK, shortly followed by it disappearing from .com. It came back briefly at number 1 on Google.com and then disappeared from there also.
I tried lewis1's recommendations a few weeks back and, a few days ago, I ticked the boxes to ask for a Google re-crawl, but the site has not responded in the results for the important keyphrase.
I can still see the site at number 1 on both Googles for a search for - "keyword alesserimportantkeyword" and some sub-pages also show up reasonably well in the results for keyphrases that are appropriate for the products on those sub pages. Therefore, I feel confident that the site does not have a penalty otherwise it wouldn't show up anywhere for anything.
After filing a reinclusion request 2/3 weeks ago, they told me that it wasn't excluded.
The only thing that has changed recently is that the results on Google, where the home page is shown in response to a search, now has a made-up title. I think that this may be a coincidence. The only place this title is also shown is on our Google Adwords listing. The title now being displayed by Google in the results is "Keyword Keyword and ALesserKeyword"
It used to show up in Google with the title that is programmed into the code in the header. It doesn't now.
I have changed the header title code on lewis1's advice but Google ignores it, preferring its own made-up title for our site. The new title coded into the site omits the 2 important keywords.
There is another site from one of our competitors that is the same name as ours but without the hyphen between the 2 keywords. On searching for "keyword keyword", their site shows up ranked at number 2 but for a sub-page: .../history.php. We don't show up at all. The difference between our domain name and theirs is that we have the hpyhen.
I am coming to the conclusion that Google hates EMDs, particularly those with a hyphen between the 2 keywords in the domain name. It has excluded my site from the results completely if I search for those 2 words together. Google seems to me to have changed its policy to blanket-exclude a site from the results if someone searches for the words that match the domain name (maybe if the domain has a hyphen).
I am now faced with the prospect of having to build a new site from scratch which has a non-keyworded name, just so I can optimise it for the 2 keywords which are perfect for our site's visitors.
I have had my site up and running since 2003. Now, it is useless for people who want to find it for the 2 vital keywords.
We have been turning over a multi-thousand pound income from this site but, due to Google's new policy, the site traffic has fallen off steeply and business is suffering. I know that Google might not care because they don't owe us anything and if we're not number 1, then someone else will be so they are the winners and we are the losers.
Oh, and we're still at number 1 on Yahoo for the 2 keywords. The competitor that I mentioned above with keywordkeyword.com is at number 2 on Yahoo.
We continue to sell the products that the 2 keywords describe. We are competitive on pricing for the 2 keyword products. We give a good service. We don't buy in links. We don't sell links. We don't cloak. We don't scrape. We don't hide content. We're not up to anything underhand.
I hope Google is proud of itself.