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After 8 months of ranking #1 for our main search term - 'blue widgets' - we are suddenly nowhere to be found (as from approx 8 days ago).
But now I discover we are #1 for - 'blue widget' - i.e. without the 's' - this is bizarre. Our competitors haven't been affected in this way and our site hasn't changed in the slightest.
I've never come across this before - it doesn't make any sense.
The site is NOT even remotely optomized for 'blue widget' - and to demonstrate this point we cannot be found in the top 100 for this phrase in alltheweb.com yet we are #1 for 'blue widgets'.
Why has google suddenly dropped the significance of the 's'?
Has anyone heard of this happening before?
I'm of the opinion that this is a problem with Google's indexing software (for want of a better name for it).
Has anyone else had this problem?
Perhaps there are some webmasters that don't know about it, its not something that I would have expected - I only found out by accident whilst looking through my logs. If your site ranked high in the SERPS pre-esmerelda and now its vanished, try a non-plural search on your usual key phrase (if applicable) - it may just show up.
our url *does* contain the plural - so if you are suspecting that this is only happening to sites with singular key phrases in the url, I believe this is not the case.
Subway, do all your incoming links use the plural key phrase in the link text? and do you include the plural key phrase in your title?
this is true in both cases for us. And this was not so much a conscious effort to optimise for that key phrase, its more a case of that being the *only* key phrase - the singular just isn't appropriate.
Take this for an example:
If you sold 'italian oranges' would you expect anyone to use the search term, 'italian orange'?
Two days ago, the singular dropped out completely.
Yesterday, the singular came back and the plural dropped out completely.
Both are very applicable to the site and both are optimized equally. Both have good internal and external anchor text.
Sure makes an honest SEO nervous. But I'll be patient :-)
On other topics I've seen &filter=0 and tried searching for this. Voila!
We're #1 for "country1 tours" and "country2 tours" :(
This means Google banned our index page for keyword "tours" but why?
Many people was talking about duplicated content, I checked with every phrase of my index page and found no duplicate at all.
So I'm totally confused now about how to describe the problem and find a solution.
I know GoogleGuy is very busy and will never take care of such an uncommon problem but still writing here, I don't know why.
"Hope is a waking dream" said Aristotle, maybe I'm just dreaming.
if a website is optimized for a plural key phrase, and then it becomes #1 for the singular, and nowhere for the plural - that is what i mean by a bug.
Okay this may not always be the case, indeed often it isn't, but sometimes you 'just know' when a site has not been indexed properly.