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The website is listed in DMOZ and Yahoo and I only optimized the links once and never cared about it anymore. I never changed any links, nor did I play around with any kind of linking. The site has no hidden content or links and it is all high quality - not a junk site that is part of a link farm as many others that are now on the first page.
on the 3rd of February 2005, my google traffic collapsed
and my website is basically dead...no new members register anymore as there are no new visitors.
How could that happen? Apart from that competition rose too...what on earth can make a google listing go down that quickly?
It is really annoying :-( I would only be half that disappointed if the other website that are consuming my previous traffic now where not any contentless linkfarms diverting the traffic to affiliate websites of bigger once.
Unless you have lost some type of backlinks or credited site link that you do not realize. That is your first step, try to find out if anything has changed between your links. Then I would say see the exact day that the traffic dropped and search the forums for that timeframe. I am sure you will find someone else who experienced the same.
I have been seeing drastic changes both ways since mid december.
I'm in the same sinking boat as you.
Question for you -- when you search on your domain name (without the dot com, dot org, etc.), are you #1? Did you used to be #1 but now you are buried below a bunch of weird pages? That's what happened to me. Just can't figure it out and it's very, very, very, very depressing.
The bot would only come to the home page, and the google description text disappeared for a while. Then one day I was litereally flooded with the google bots, and they still haven't stopped.
I would say give it at least a full month or two before making any drastic changes.
As with any site, every situation is definitely different. So if you want to sticky me your url, I will be glad to check it out and give my input.
on the 3rd of February 2005 ... Google Referrers Dropped from 1500/day to 80 day
Experience on my own site has been identical to yours to the day, except that the drop has been less ("only" over 50%). If you have not yet already realised, you have been hit by the so-called `Allegra' update.
Symptoms on my site prior to Allegra, which remain true now, are:
I have not yet seen any credible explanation for the mechanics of the algo change (and therefore no means to affect it), although 100's of pages of speculation and cries of pain. In general, G's SERPS appear to have improved, but at the cost of many clean sites being amputated. It is a bit like 18th Century surgery:- they appear to have cut more deeply into the good flesh than perhaps they meant to.
GoogleGuy has published an email address to give feedback, but that was only for 1 day, and was published 20 hours ago :(.
Just as a matter of interest, how were your sales affected?
We dropped about the same proportion as you mentioned, however sales have not been proportionally effected.
Ad revenue is down about 50% across the network, however I was stunned with the sales thing.
Forgot to mention, sales only dropped by a few percent, and while ad impressions are lower on account of the drop in traffic - CTR and conversions on those ads are up significantly. This signifies that Google traffic is not on the same quality as MSN, Yahoo or any other of our referrers.[/edit]
Overall, my Google traffic is down 90%, although traffic from Google Images has remained steady. I've never done anything that would generate any penalties (that I know of, anyway).
I found a couple of things that could have hurt me, a couple of images on my index page weren't optimized, and the page size was huge. They've since been replaced, cutting the file size in half. I also found a couple of outbound links that were DOA, and removed or updated them as well.
Other than that, I can't think of anything that would cause my site to perform so poorly in Google Search, especially after doing so well for so many years.
My site is not in a highly competitive area, so there isn't normally a lot of movement. Google just seems to be broken right now, and they don't appear to know how to fix it...
Before Allegra, I was #9 on Google for the term "medical supply". After Allegra, I am now #571. (I am still in the top 40 on Yahoo).
I also show up as #4 from "mycompanyname", right under an "AsSeenOnTV" web site that doesn't have a link to me or my name anywhere on their 3-page web site.
Here's what I believed caused it: I have been working on a link exchange program for the last 6 months, using the term "medical supply" for the incoming text.
I think Google is punishing webmasters who engaged in link exchange programs to try and improve their pagerank. That's what I seem to be experiencing!