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I have been struggling with our Google rankings since mid-March. I have read much in this forum about similar situations, but I have not found anything that quite matches the problems we are having.
We run a web store with about 50k unique products. Our Google referrals were gradually increasing throughout 2004 by applying much of the advice I have read in this forum. After making some changes to our site map and doing a few URL rewrites we saw record referrals (and business) in January, peaking in February. We continued our backlink campaign during this time, but did not make any significant changes to the site.
Sometime in March our referrals dropped off by about 50%. Around this time our PR actually went up. From then until now our referrals have continued to steadily drop as have the number of pages that are indexed. Currently we have about 40% of the number of indexed pages as we had at our peak. Furthermore, most of these are listed with URL only (no title or description).
I should also note that during this time googlebot has been visiting more than ever. Last month we were visited more than 300k times which is up about 35% from our previous maximum.
The first thing that I was concerned with was duplicate content. I checked for the www/non-www issue by searching Google and it did not seem that it was an issue. I still added a rewrite for it, just in case. I did find that some of our affiliates links to our product pages were being indexed in Yahoo!. We added some redirect logic to our product pages to address this and they have since been replaced by the correct pages. I doubt that this will help with our Google ranking since googlebot does not seem to visit the affiliate links often.
The only other thing I can think of is that we have another site on the same subnet that we do some cross-linking with. There is no duplicate content and we only link where it is relevant. This site also has seen the same URL only problem in Google. I thought I read that this should not be an issue any longer.
Is anyone else still experiencing problems from this far back? Should we wait it out or is there anything that you would recommend doing? Any idea how long this could last?
Thanks for the help,