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Added New Content and now No Longer Ranking

Our pr and alexa rating have not changed

     
1:45 am on Aug 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Last week I added a lot of pages to our site (~900 new pages) - and not even a day later I saw googlebot doing a deep crawl on all of the new pages. However, ever since it started its deep crawl a week ago...our traffic keeps on dropping and today I noticed that we weren't getting any traffic from Google - so I tried some keywords that we normally rank #1 but now we don't come up at all for any of our products!

I have started checking other search engines that use google results and we’re not coming up in them either.

Google still shows about 254 backlinks and we still have our PR6 - and our Alexa Rating has improved slightly to ~74,000 – and when I do site:www.domain.com google shows it has 3,620 of our pages indexed.

Is this just a temporary anomaly that I should not be worried about (anyone else experience something similar)? I'm just panicky because our sales have plummeted BAD. This has never happened to me before. Should I yank the new pages or should I calm down and expect things to get better soon? :-¦

10:15 pm on Aug 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Regarding the new pages - they are actually product pages that I restructured and added text and then put them into a much easier to read and follow directory paths for both bots and users. So basically by doing this I had a copy of each of my product pages (not duplicates...but very similar in content). I put 301 redirects in place on the old product pages. Should I yank the 301's and let Google have both the old and new product pages? I wasn't sure if there would be any sort of "duplicate" penalty when the pages reside on the same domain - but from what I've read I think Google won't mind - it will just give credit to the fist page it saw.

Anyway - my main concern is with our traffic & rankings falling.....HORRIBLY [virtually non-existant]! Is something triggered when Google finds a lot of new content on a site? I'm just wondering if Google yanked us temporarily while it re-analyzing our site... Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

5:29 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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<bump> Just curious if anyone have any insight on this issue?
5:35 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Did you change many of the file names?
7:14 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yes - the complete paths changed

I used to use the URL path as variables (looked like directories) - but with this old way it didn't really look like there was a file name because in the url string was the php page I wanted to use (a mess I know...but worked well)
Example of old product URL:
www.domain.com/pdd/psomepage.php/dsomedirectory/ccategory/scsub_cat/sksome_sku/sid/

So I changed it to something VERY simple:
www.domain.com/directory/product-name_sku.html

7:41 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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If I understand correctly then this is a brand new page; www.domain.com/directory/product-name_sku.html

This is just my 2 cents, and hopefully others with greater insight will chime in for you, but I see two potential issues. If these are new pages, and you have made a lot of them, they will cause a couple of problems. One, you have now linked to a whole bunch of pages that are PR 0. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but it will detract from the overall strength of your site, PR wise. Thus you could see a drop in rankings for say the home page, which may not have been altered at all.

Second, the new pages are now subject to the infamous “sand box” and will not rank on their own, for anything for a couple of months. This phenomenon is just a fact of life these days with Google.

7:54 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it will take a few months to get the rankings back. once Google finds all the links/backlinks to the new pages, they will start to rank again. until that time, you will lose your traffic. Instead of going back to the old page( I don't think you will), stick with the new ones and wait with patience.

I wouldn't recomment having both old and new ones. From my experience, one of them could be taged as "supplemental" and do not show up in SERP. If your new pages are tagged as "supplemental", you will lose a chance to rank in the future with new pages.

8:08 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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:-¦ Oh No! Sounds like I shot myself in the foot!

Well, does having the 301 redirects in place help pass the PR from the old pages to the new pages?

Also, are there some steps I could do to help the healing process? or are the 301's as much as I can do at this time? I'll do anything to get things going again!

8:53 pm on Aug 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Well, I feel your pain (because I am in the same boat for one of my sites.)

I tried it once with one of my sites and lost the whole Google traffic and went back to old pages. However, this time, I am determined to wait...It has been about three weeks with no change of backlinks or something. Luckily the new domain got its PR (PR4) from the previous efforts. It doesn't have enough backlinks to rank on Google. It will take a while to get back the previous backlinks.

And of course I did 301 redirects to old pages but it doesn't seem to help much to speed things up. Yahoo still shows old pages after three weeks of change. Google dropped all the old pages and do not show any new pages for about ... two weeks now.

Get as many links to those product pages through site map or external links. and ... wait. and get the links ...and wait...

Good luck!

1:47 am on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I think adding 900 new pages is a flag for Google. Typically sites adding 900 new pages in a week are not legit. I understand yours is, but I have a feeling this is a safeguard.
3:27 am on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>> Second, the new pages are now subject to the infamous “sand box” and will not rank on their own, for anything for a couple of months. This phenomenon is just a fact of life these days with Google.

Sorry, I don't agree with that. I've added about 200 new pages over the past month to my site, and already with this mini-update I've seen these recently added pages appearing near the top in Google searches.

If the sandbox exists at all (and I'm not 100% convinced it does), it is for new sites - not new pages on existing sites - especially those sites with decent PR.

Jim

5:55 am on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Might be a little off topic but I did a test these past few months. I bought a domain about 5 months ago and set up a link to it right away. All it was was a parked page. Well when I got around to building the content for the site, it ranked extremely well right away. Other sites who have virtually the same links aren't even on the radar.
7:40 am on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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jimh009,

How long was it before you noticed your new pages ranking highly? Also, when you added your 200 pages - did your other pages drop in ranking for a while? I'm just curious if Google is "re-thinking" my site.

I still wish I knew if doing 301 redirects was a good thing to do. I left the 301's in place...just in case (unless I hear a strong argument to yank them)

8:20 am on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The 301s are the problem. Most SEs have problems with them. It takes a while for Google to sort them out then you will rank again.

I would have just left the old pages dangling (no more links from your site) and add the new ones, without any 301s. This could have provided a seamless transfer of ranking and traffic.

9:22 am on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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agree with jimhh 009 in the question
"Second, the new pages are now subject to the infamous “sand box” and will not rank on their own, for anything for a couple of months. This phenomenon is just a fact of life these days with Google."
i did the same with about 150 new pages ,though they are PR0 they are all ranking high and thats because my homepage is very old,the fact is as many others say good anchor text links
4:23 pm on Aug 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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<< How long was it before you noticed your new pages ranking highly? Also, when you added your 200 pages - did your other pages drop in ranking for a while? I'm just curious if Google is "re-thinking" my site.

About two weeks from the time they were uploaded to the time they appeared in the SERPS. Other pages stayed just fine in the rankings.

Jim

4:43 am on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So far it sounds like I should keep the 301's in place then. I guess I will do so unless I hear otherwise.

I actually didn't get the 301's in place for a couple days after I added all of the new content - and our traffic plumitted before I did the 301's - which makes me think some sort of flag went up with Google when it found all of the new pages. :-( I sure hope I doesn't take a couple of months to get back to normal.

If anyone else has any wisdom to provide - I'm ALL EARS! :-)

10:20 am on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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> and our traffic plumitted before I did the 301's

Of course it did. The old pages where suddenly orphan pages and the new ones weren't indexed in time.

The 301 will take some time but eventually Google will sort it out.

10:27 am on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"If the sandbox exists at all (and I'm not 100% convinced it does), it is for new sites - not new pages on existing sites - especially those sites with decent PR."

I would expand on that and say sandbox is for new external links. A new link pointing to any site, old or new, will be sandboxed. An internal link to a new page can rank well or not dependant on other factors.

11:38 am on Aug 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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> I would expand on that and say sandbox is for new external links.

There was a thread on this topic, switching domains with a 301. So same content, same links etc. and the site is still buried deep.

This could disprove the "new external links" theory. Though there are some cases that prove it.

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6:37 am on Aug 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

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As this has been the only issue on my mind lately - I'm now curious if having the old product pages linking to the new product pages is better since the old product pages have a PR (unless a 301 will eventually pass the old PR to the new page... is this so?)?

Then again, our site rankings dropped just before I even did the 301 redirects - so there was something about adding the new pages.

This is a difficult issue to research as I did not switch domains...all this took place on the same domain - I can't find any similar posts.

7:40 am on Aug 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

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[Sorry, tried to edit the previous post but was too late]

Questions I wanted to ask in my last post:

1) I'm now curious if having the old product pages linking to the new product pages is better since the old product pages have a PR (unless a 301 will eventually pass the old PR to the new page)?

2) Does Google pass the PR from old page two new page with 301s (remember, this is on the same domain)?

3) If Google doesn't pass the PR, wouldn't it be better to leave the old pages so their PR still exists for the site?

8:02 am on Aug 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

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AprilS, I think your focus on the site for PR is the wrong approach. The 301 is a re-direct, yes the old PR will eventually be restored on your new pages. At least mine were. You will have to wait for that to occur.

1) I don't see a reason to at this point. As it seems to stand, your old pages are out of the index, and you are waiting for something to be indexed again. You might consider adding a meta redirect on your old pages. You've got to have faith and patience at this point. Double check everything you did. Consider advertising for a while.

2) In my experience, yes. i know nothing about Google or PR

3) See 1.

8:16 am on Aug 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

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and.. off topic but relevant.

You might want to get started on a new link campaign.

If you can, keep an eye on your daily log traffic and track the number of 301's. You might need to leave those redirects up for a considerable length of time.

8:31 am on Aug 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I would stick now to what you have done, it will be allright. Makes no sense to change your strategy every week (if it's a sound one).