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Many webmasters in the thread above are reporting significant drops in traffic, up to 80% in some cases within the last 24 hours. In contrast others are reporting significant rises in the SERPs which indicates a big change (which imo is not sandbox related).
Rather than having a "I've dropped/risen too" thread, perhaps it is a good idea to attempt to work out what has been happening. I personally have seen big changes on numerous travel booking related sites. One of the theories appears to be too high keyword density. This may have some merit, as on some sites ranking drops are not across the board on all themes/phrases. So it could be that templates focusing on one term have a much higher density than others. I'll certainly be looking into this. I'm also wondering if this is somehow theme related as as I've mentioned it defintely has affected the travel theme. or perhaps it is based on just highly competitive terms as a whole.
It would also be interesting to see if there is a concensus from those sites that have lost traffic on..
1. Are they affiliate sites with many links to the affilate host.
2. Do they have satelite domains which they cross link/one way link with sites particularly on the same ip c-block.
3. Are the drop in serps keyword specific or site wide.
4. Are some inbound links on mass from single domains. For example, a great number links from a footer link on a major site.
5. Have changes been made to keyword density recently.
6. Is there a distinction in ranking between major and minor terms.
7. Has there been any PR changes or backward link changes.
Google isnt likely to give us the direct answer, but maybe they wont need to if we work together in cracking this change.
If your site has been affected from wednesdays update, it would be helpful for all, if you could perhaps answer the 7 points above relating to your own site.
I have been running an experiment on local search optimization for several months and it hit a snag last week (I believe it started the week of the 18th, and has gotten slowly "worse".
It is related to place names and would definitely impact travel sites and local directories.
Page 1 results are now scattered page 2-4, with almost none of them on page 1 any more.
Liane, re your kw density post, is there any chance your problem is related somehow to your link structure, not kw density? Or perhaps a combo of those two measures?
@caveman, thanks for getting the thread back on topic.
I thought the postings from page 13 on the thread Google PR -- Next Update? deserved a new thread as it was getting off topic and imo is important enough to merit its own thread.
It sure is important enough for a thread specifically to get into analysis.
Rather than having a "I've dropped/risen too" thread, perhaps it is a good idea to attempt to work out what has been happening.
LOL.. I call those "I'm up, I'm down" posts scorekeeping posts!
Those make it practically impossible to follow along with a thread and to get a discussion going with any serious analysis of what's happening getting done.
If subpages with more internal backlinks are suddenly outperforming the ones with not so many, this could have several reasons, including:
(1) Google has turned the PR knob up (lesser internal backlinkss == less PR).
(2) Google has turned the internal anchor text relevance up.
What do you think?
Has anyone tried altering their internal linking? It'll take a while to see, but I made a couple of on-page changes on one page and saw a change in a very short time. Only a few spots up can make quite a difference.
Also think about the presence of outbound anchor text on pages, even if it's going to other pages within the same site. Anyone been adjusting that besides me?
Just to add a 'strange' observation. My main site basically dropped from Google, and Googlebot did not make a visit recently. This site has a 'mirror' site that I hardly look at. Every three, four months I update (remirror) the site. The thing is, my main site has 300++ inbound links, some quite relevant. The mirror site has few inbound links (I never promoted it), coming from my own sites. Well, the last week, traffic on the mirror site has gone up significantly. This does suggest that recent changes are not related to internal links, inbound links etc. After all, the mirror site I have looks the same, and has far less inbound links. Is it something about giving new sites, lower listed sites, a chance?
Interestingly I also have a site on widgets, the result directly below the above search is a single page on my other site on the history of blue widgets!
Does this suggest perhaps an attempt to devalue links a little in favour of page content?
I am also noticing in my area that a higher KWD seems to be playing a bigger part than before, judging by the SERPS.
I just pushed a site up from #7 to #1 - just a minor keyword phrase but very targeted so it *works* - but mind you, it's a site that got hit with the Florida debacle from great & climbing rankings to zilch on good keywords - and hasn't been touched since December until just recently. ONLY on-page and minor title changes, that's it. The site has never been promoted or gotten links, it's been living off Yahoo all this time. I'm not *scorekeeping* the point is that it was *only* on-page changes.
I know most of what's wrong with it (aside from lacking links), a few things on the site are the same as another site that got hit - the other was fixed and is doing great. But I'm very interested in all the theories, because it's a perfect test-bed to try all these things out, as long as the Yahoo rankings don't get messed with.
Actually, it's a lot of fun to try to figure these things out. Aggravating sometimes, but that's what keeps it so fascinating.
It feels like we're all of us missing something. What is there that never gets mentioned in discussions about Google optimization that may be carrying weight now without us even thinking about it?
1) It seems that a more general keyword - "red widget" -- used to come up on a page - "red widgets in the dark" --- and now you need to enter keywords much closer to the full title of the page
2) I am also noticing a bit more theming -
But #1 seems to have hit me . .