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Page dropped considerably in Google, possible from title change?

     
12:24 am on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I had a page of my website in 5th place in Google for a phrase at the bottom of the article. I decided to beef up the page and add that phrase to the title and a few more times in the body of the article. Now the page is gone from Google and my article archive listing page shows up somewhere on the second page of search results.

My question is, could this be due to the change, or just Google's ranking of the page different a week later that would have happened regardless of the change?

2:32 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Based on my experience, Google is determined to drop in ranking pages that emphasize a topic. My former top sites are now low in Google (still high in other SE's). High sites in Google generally mention the topic only once, sometimes only in passing... although Google is VERY fond of directories of [widgets].

Other folks may suggest that you do good HTML, pay attention to your content, and your page rankings will improve. Making good content is good advice. However, it does not currently help you get good Google rankings in the real world I am living in.

2:43 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"High sites in Google generally mention the topic only once, sometimes only in passing"

I disagree, If I were allowed to post it, you would see the #1 site in my category stuffed with kw's. It is also a one page site with horrible design and html.

It does have a lot of backlinks though

8:36 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The reason I was modifying the page is because of the article on this website about retro-keyword design, etc...

Maybe I should leave the page as is, if it's getting hits.

8:37 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yes, leave it alone.
9:57 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I also have another theory as to why it got dropped yet the archive list remains.

The newest five articles are shown on the index page which has a PR of 6...since it's a dynamic site, and I add an article or two a day, they are only there for a few days at a time.

Maybe that's why it drops because it doesn't have a PR6 link to it?

But then again, I have one article that ranks #1 for it's keyword and it's been off the index page for two weeks now.

11:25 pm on Apr 14, 2004 (gmt 0)

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You had a page/url that no longer exists, and are trying to rank a new one? Completely different kettle of fish from changing the title of site.com/page.html
1:02 am on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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No, the page/url still exists but my index page lists the latest five articles in a preview form with a Read Full Story link (the actual articles URL). Google ranked the full URL of the article as 5 or 6 for a keyphrase.

Now about a week later, the article is longer linked from the main page due to new articles being there but it still exists (dynamic site). In order to get it you would click on say "This month's news..." and it is linked from there. Google has ranked the archive list 15th or 17th which now includes that keyphrase in the title of the article in question.

Have I confused you?

2:04 am on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Losing the link from the main page seems the likely culprit for losing ranking.
2:28 am on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Any workarounds for this?
3:00 am on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Link to it from the main page.

That's all it is. You can't have your cake and eat it to. Normally the pages you link to from your main page (like your article index) are more important than pages linked two clicks away from your main page.

If you don't consider a page important enough to link to it from your main page, Google follows your lead. It's not that cut and dried, but that is the idea.

7:45 am on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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georgiek50, I'm not aware of any scoring changes that would have really affected you, so I'm guessing it's either from tweaking the page title/content, or from the page not being linked to from the main root page. I'd agree with steveb and lean more toward the latter being the explanation.
3:56 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It is the latter because I confirmed it with other articles as well. What a shame, who knew that fresh content could be "bad" :)
4:25 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What was said about pages coming top of the results having only mentioned the keyword in passing is interesting. I have found this occurs quite a lot. Also, the opposite is sometimes true - I've seen lots of sites that keyword stuff and come top. It all makes it very confusing. For my target keywords about half of them have the passing mention sites at the top and the other half have keyword stuffers at the top.

Personally my Pagerank has been going up lately but my positions dropping. Very confused by it all. Getting bored with google now. I dont even usually use google for my own searches anymore. Today I did use google and I was looking for a popular product with 'meta' in its title. One of the top ranked results was something to do with meta editors at the odp. The results suck at the moment. More spam than ever, less relevant results than ever.

Also, I'm sure the recent backlinks update hasn't been taken into account in the serps yet. Anyone seen otherwise?

6:53 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>>georgiek50

Leave it alone that has nothing to do with G's updates. This outdates pre-florida changes because it's just how google is. Meaning if you did this a year ago you'd still fall a tad. Title's are a prominent tag just a little tweek will make you drop. But you will come back :)

8:17 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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For body text: Adding more keywords is disasterous in Google. If you have PR5 or higher you can get away with none at all! But use three or four phrases to be safe. More than that hurts.
8:42 pm on Apr 15, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the advice...so essentially, it's not really about stuffing with keyphrases. Use it a once in the title and 3-4 times in the article, followed by an outbound link with the keypharse at the end of the article?
2:59 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have a good update to this topic today. Those pages that were 5th or 6th, then dropped completely, are now in 2nd and 3rd place today...I can't understand Google.
5:08 pm on Apr 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

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> can't understand google.

That's the point. Just go back to building a good site and forget about them. Build the biz the old fashioned way. If you absolutly can build a site with quality unique current content, then you are probably going to have to buy the traffic.

 

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