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22-23 September Google traffic dropped dramatically

Google traffic

10:38 am on Sep 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

traffic dropped from 2000 to 350 on my website and I cannot find my pages showed up on Google for particular keywords. PR=5 the same as usual. Anybody has the same problem ... any comments why that happened to my website?
6:31 pm on Oct 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Now I really am confused. I was told by an SEO expert 2 days ago that the title attribute was the most important and that heavier weight was given to the first 2 words of the title. I have spent the last 2 days modifying my pages. Please somebody, say this isn't so.
7:18 pm on Oct 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hermosa, the title is important but I don't have any reason that it is resonsible for this problem.
8:52 pm on Oct 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'm trying to figure out how to undo the recet damage. Maybe this will help.

1) It may be something other than just repetative content as all of my subpages are gone (some were totally unique pages in foreign languages with no similar content on any other page with the exception of the overall page structure). However, most competators with a very large number of virtually identicle pages survived and structure very close to mine survived.

2) All of my sites and all pages still come up when I type in site:www.mysite.com

3) My site was about 125 pages and no pages except the index are still in Google SERPS.

4) No external links on 90% of pages that disappeared, around 5 internal links.

5) Internal link structure where all pages were linked from index, but they for the most part did not link to each other.

6) Many subpages had numerous links from external sites pointing to them.


P.S. WebFusion - thanks, but not especially helpful. There is nothing free about building up a high PR site that gets good traffic.

10:05 pm on Oct 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

how's your site's theme? are the "related" sites, related?
did you buy text links? Be honest, we don't know yor site. If you did, how recent was it?
10:28 pm on Oct 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi Walkman - The incoming links are a mixed bag, some directly related, others from more general business sites that don't share keywords with my site. I generally go for a few links from high PR sites rather than many from lower PR sites. This worked well in the past.

I do have some outbound links from the index page to sites that are unrelated, but no such links from the pages that were removed.

I'm analyzing my competators sites, but I still don't see any major differences. My site was hand built and theirs are highly repetative content managment sites, they have less internal links on their index pages. Not much else.

I hope I covered what you were getting at...

10:47 pm on Oct 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

go to google and put this on the search box:


see if the sites that coem up are related to you or not

11:50 pm on Oct 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

"there is no such thing as an seo expert", exactly what g intended.
They can guide you in the right direction, but that is all they can do. A good seo "expert" will not make unjustified claims.
G's alogos are based on factors, no chance - maybe, or melting pot.
You need to get in the maybe or melting pot category, if you do this then g's alogos will throw up a random number generator, if it picks your url at random then you made it to the next stage. Then the secondary random number generator comes into play, if all goes well you make a good show on the serps.

G likes to play arround with alogos, and is complete bs, hence "trying to beat g" is not possible, you would have more chance of beating the bookie.

Sure there are sites what i say does not come into play, linux, or very niche search queries. But get into real "money words" forget it, play arround with keyword density, anchor text etc etc all you like, bottom line is luck. There is no known criteria, g will love all the bs "how to make top spot" lol. you go into a big bin and the hand of god delivers results; or randomized.

And the next g dance randomized again...
It used to be fairly simple a year or so ago, not now with the new "randomized alogo"

12:24 am on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Randomized algo is the only theory that seems to explain why some sites have been burried while others, very similar which are practicing same interlinking/same content techniques are still not affected. I agree.
12:51 am on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It doesn't seem logical to me. If Google mucks around with a randomized algo, or human intervention, it will never be able to tell if its algo changes work or not.
12:51 am on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google traffic has been dramatically down for me for some months now. In my case, the drop is directly attributable to the fact that Google no longer returns my main database-driven information pages (e.g., mysite.com/portrait.php?plantid=99), which represent 95% of my site's content. The hits I do get are for non-parameterized pages (not static, e.g. mysite.com/plants.php), which contain summary information on MANY plants, with links to the specific pages. Of course these hits don't show up particularly high in the search results. I guess I could get around this by maintaining static versions of each of my portrait pages, but that seems like a waste of server space.
2:26 am on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

P.S. WebFusion - thanks, but not especially helpful. There is nothing free about building up a high PR site that gets good traffic.

I think you missed the point. If the ONLY way your business can remain profitable is by receiving free traffic, then your business is probably in more trouble than you realize.

By devloping your site to the point that is maimizes it's sales potential (i.e. high conversion rates), then you can stop having sleepless nights worrying about your postition(s) in the serps (or lack therof) and know that EVEN IF you have to PAY for your traffic (i.e. PPC), you can STILL turn a nice profit, as you'll know exactly how much to pay for those visitors to turn that profit.

As far as not beinge "free" to build a high-PR site....I'm sorry, but that's just bunk. Other than the time you have to invest in marketing the site, it's still not hard to build a PR6+ site in under 18 months (took us 4 months).

2:44 am on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Perhaps this randomization that people are seeing is a new "Iocaine Powder" algo

Personally, I don't see any reason to include randomization - there seems to be enough quirks in the algo as it is that randomization wouldn't add much.

3:29 am on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Rick_M, I think you have the right of it. The known facts already were -- Google tests dozens of new weighting factors every month, and factors some of them into the algorithm every month. Since we don't have a complete list of those experimental weighting factors, it's apparent that much of Google behavior is going to look random.

And note there's no reason the weighting factors for all of these have to be positive. If some Googletech gets a bright idea and tries it out, and it turns out the results are worse than useless -- then the negative results are useful!

People here have made several guesses -- but you'd have to do a great deal more than a handful of guesses and compare two websites for each, to tell what's actually going on.

And, of course, if you found out what's going on, it would be catastrophic for Google if they did not change it immediately.

6:34 am on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There seems to be another filter applied today, this one really hurts....
10:51 am on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

RobBroekhuis, all you have to do is use mod_rewrite to change your page names to search engine friendly URLS.
11:17 am on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Aloha, Guys let me be frank with you. We have a bunch of sites through which we run academic experiments and we have noted some very interesting results with google. One observation is that they haven't updated the page rank shown on their toolbar since july. In august they dropped one of our site (say X ) and the traffic went down by a factor of ten. One of our sites (say Y) actually got a boost due to this update because all the SEO's got flushed out. That site(Y) was hit last week of sept and we saw the investigative googlebot (the one with mozilla user agent) trying to find similarities between X and Y. we had some similarity and so cudn't help being hacked by google and being detected as a part of the "ring". Immediately after that we removed the similarities and links from Y to X. Y used to rank most of the times in the first page of search results but now Google seems to have put a hold on us and although we target precise phrases they never let us up on the first page. We still have a pilot site (say Z) which is going good on the rankings. But Z doesn't have good content and is just a placeholder with some smart scripts doing the job. As for all the people who are promoting products, I must say that google is promoting real product sites and they have a Bias. For those of you who were thinking of making money during chirstmas, its a far fetched dream because a consistent trend comes up confirming the biased rankings. Search for "snow boots" or "cordless tools" in google and you'll know what I mean. Amazon is consistently ranked the top in their rankings if it has a page for that phrase, although the snow boots page isn't even relevant and shows up despite more than 2 million matches. Another interesting statistic is google has 4,285,199,774 pages in total with 2,840,000 pages from amazon. That's 1 in every 1500 pages on the web is from amazon. (Give me a break given there are millions of sites out there). There is a definite nexus between google and amazon. So after all the latest so called algo changes of google its the amazon and not your product sites that are going to be up there. But we are confident some Anti algorithms will succeed to break this incestual relation.


If you are not on the first page of SERPs you are in the middle of nowhere, so just wait for a rescue Chopper.

11:33 am on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for the suggestion. I would if my hosting service would allow mod-rewrite. I'm working on another workaround. But up till a few months ago, Google didn't have any problems with the querystring-url's. They still spider them (although not as frequently as before), and they show up in the site:www.mysite.com listings, but don't get listed at all in search results. The majority of traffic for me now comes from Yahoo, who finally got their act together a few months ago.
12:27 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, all I can see is the slow removal of affiliate sites with big name brands and that's the way it was always going to go.

I follow a lot of UK based money keywords and my competition as been hit just as bad as me. For most affiliates I think their days are numbered or a least very difficult. :-(

12:42 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

You all talk about affiliate sites, but what does that really mean?

Im building a.... 'guide' and to make a little cash i thought about adding affiliates... would this harm my ranks?

The website is on 2 months old or so, and doesnt get the traffic so i cant drop any at the moment! but again will it harm my ranks?


1:12 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

compsingh makes a good point about Amazon - Why does Amazon do so well. I checked "power tools" sure enough there they were number one.

Surely it is either a failed or rather assumptive algorithm that assumes I want to buy power tools, maybe I want to actually know about power tools.

Anyway, how do Amazon get to the top so consistently. There are plenty of large retailers out there who are far more specialised in the whole range of products but they aren't at the top. Many of these sites are dedicated to their product (or range) and have more content than Amazon. If you look at Amazon books for example, half the books don't even have a synopsis.

I don't know if I subscibe to the belief there is a relationship between Google and Amazon but there is definitely a favouring in the SERPS. If this is solely due to the size of Amazon (and their site) it doesn't seem to be a particularly good reason for ranking that high.

1:20 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

There has been another update yesterday. My traffic now dropped too.
1:30 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I would recommend reading this paper, related to using structural and content identities, if you're using popular scripts and datafeeds.


(Going back to Iocaine .. )

[webmasterworld.com...] (I am still standing by my theories in message #355.. start applying game theory to this problem, don't look for one specific solution).

1:51 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Shri"I would recommend reading this paper, related to using structural and content identities, if you're using popular scripts and datafeeds"
well about the structure there are millions of pages using
1 frames
2 tables
those 2 are the most common html design templates,is that article say that all those pages are identical structural or mirrors?
take an exmpl that several webhosting companies offer free page builder for people the doknow to edit in note pad or .........whatever.
are those people dubcats?
comn now,thats tooo much.
1:57 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

surfgatinho, would you buy it if I say there are key VCs who are on the list of both Google and Amazon because i keep up with the business world too(you can find out too after looking at corporate histories) and its a definite connection which I inferred after running a series of experiments. Google has a tainted index and they have no right to brag about being fair.


2:18 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

instead of start a new thread that's going for long (sandbox or penalty or limited Google index) and wait for aprovement,i post here ,yesterday between a couple of beers we suddenly come across a new factor....what about from January 2005 the .eu domains will be active(dont forget .eu will be equivalent as .com)....can you imagine how many zillions of new pages,sites,domains that have already preregistrate there .eu domains have ready there zillions of pages just waiting the green light. Question .How Google Yahoo Msn will deal with this new deal?...well a new thread will be great.
2:29 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My traffic's up even more. :)
2:35 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Good for you, that's some helpful data.

Has anybody affected since the 23rd seen a comeback?

2:54 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Let's get back on topic. As I understand it, this thread is about sites that have pages currently in the Google index, but no longer rank well.

I would like to work together with other people who have been hit to determine what the problem is. I know thousands of other sites are doing well. That's not news.

3:02 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>> stuctural identity ... thats tooo much.

Ok, if you insist, I'll stop looking at city maps which use streets and intersections, to identify where I am.

3:17 pm on Oct 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My sticky mail doesn't seem to be working. Sorry to have to post this in public. How do I stop receiving notifications every time there is a new post to this thread. I don't see any button to click to edit post I made. Somebody HELP!
This 240 message thread spans 8 pages: 240

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