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Completely bummed out since Bourbon update

Traffic down 60-80%, AS revenue down by 75%+

   
11:32 pm on Jul 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have submitted a sitemap, made some changes to my site, sent an email to the address GG gave, nothing changed. Basically, my faith in Google AdSense has pretty much been rewarded by ruining my site and my plans.

Sure, this sounds like sour grapes, but since May 21, traffic and revenue dropped off a cliff. It's no longer worthwhile to update my site. Just as an explanation, I took what was once a subscription-based service in password protected pages and converted to publicly available pages with adsense. It was good, increasing income every month until Bourbon devastated it.

I've tried what I reasonably could but am at a point now that I am seriously considering chucking the entire site as the revenue isn't even worth thining about at this point. Anybody who has any reasonable ideas, please post or sticky me.

Bummed out and depressed...

8:45 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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catch 22...one of the things Google looks at is that a site is growing...as well as a "slowly" growing backlink group. We are spending so much time trying to keep up with Google that we don't have time to grow our sites and their links...which is detrimental to Google ranking....etc...etc....
9:36 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I find it a much better use of my time to basically ignore Google and work on getting rankings at Y and MSN. One of my sites gets almost 2,000 unique visitors a day and is nowhere to be found on Google for any keyword. Everyone wants good rankings at Google, of course, but you don't HAVE to have them. It's much easier to optimize for Y and especially MSN. Since I gave up on Google, I'm much more productive and just generally happier in my business.
11:07 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>"slowly" growing backlink group

So does that mean if you start using sitemaps and Google suddenly "discovers" 1000 new pages on your site (or even someone elses site) which were there for years, but which they just didn't know were there all along or index before, and of course they all link back to your home page as they did for years, and this suddenly raises your backlinks from say 300 to 1,300, that you'll get penalized for Google's former inadequacy?

Sounds like a major #$%& bug to me!

And as far as adsense (a dozen or so posts back), I'd like to point out that I was the first on this forum to suggest it as ONE of the mitigating factors and that my ex-employer (still a PR6) never had a problem staying in the top of the ranks until they added Adsense...

Just dropped by to see if anything had changed around here. It hasn't. :)

2:55 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My sites are finally coming back into some of the datacenters. They were gone since mid-June. However, I can't pinpoint why. I've made different changes to each of the sites expecting one of them to come back and that would tell me why. They've all come back. I'm not complaining, I'm just wondering if anyone else has noticed similar behavior.
3:02 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My sites are finally coming back into some of the datacenters. They were gone since mid-June.

Me, too. After disappearing from most SERPS on June 16, my "dead" site is back in full force. Since mid day yesterday, I have regained top-ten rankings and some of my old #1s. Google referrals are up by several hundred percent in the past 24 hours.

It's like a switch was thrown yesterday. Others will weigh in, and we will soon come to the conclusion if a major new update is underway. But in my little corner of the Google universe, big things are happening, no doubt about it. I'm psyched!

3:49 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It does indeed look like an update, my site is back to 1st and 2nd positions (i.e. pre-bourbon) and my forum is no longer penalized. I hope this isn't just a fluke. :)
4:06 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It looks like they started an update two nights ago where they reverted portions of www.google.com to the pre bourbon results. If you check the different data centers there is a noticable difference in the backlinks for sites that ranked well post bourbon vs. what's showing on google.com now. I'd love to know if this is just the beginning of another update with more data to be applied to the result set or if goog is reverting to pre bourbon results.
4:07 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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it's like a switch was thrown yesterday. Others will weigh in, and we will soon come to the conclusion if a major new update is underway. But in my little corner of the Google universe, big things are happening, no doubt about it. I'm psyched!


It does indeed look like an update, my site is back to 1st and 2nd positions (i.e. pre-bourbon) and my forum is no longer penalized. I hope this isn't just a fluke. :)

I am not seeing any changes :( I am really hoping you are right though.

My site (well, one of them) tanked in mid June as well.

My fingers are crossed for all of us.

4:10 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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My site that died on the 2nd July has come back in full force early today for no apparent reason.
4:45 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Our site which more or less disappeared on June 16th is also showing signs of life again today...back in the top 5 spots for many of our phrases...1st time since June 16th. Although not everything is back yet, just beginning.

Funny we made some small changes and were going to implement some much bigger ones over the weekend. Not sure what to do now, will wait and see...

5:29 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What is happening today must be the start of an update or just shuffling. But something is taking place today.

DCs also in movements.

Dayo_UK!

Do you see the same from where you are?

8:02 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I noticed we are back in place in the serps. Not exactly pre-bourbon...#2 instead of #1 for some keywords. Liking what I am seeing though...please...please...please stay!
8:17 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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www1 www2 and www3 have reverted back to post bourbon now, but the other country results are all pre bourbon, i hope this means they are rolling it out to 1 2 and 3.
8:20 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)



is this done or what? I seem to be holding still, and that's great. I need you google, at least till christmas :). Btw, there's nothing fishy on my main site; totally re-done with long term goals in mind.
8:26 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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In the past 30 hours, our site that took big hits from both Allegra and Bourbon (but mysteriously did okay for a while in May) seems to have regained its pre-Allegra and pre-12/15/04 rankings, nearly position-for-position, for a variety of keywords. I haven't noticed any major movement of other sites for those KWs, though. The timing of the update is pretty much in line with what others have reported here.

Here's something I've noticed over the course of the last couple updates: When we're ranking well, a search for "site:mysite.com someterm" usually returns what I would consider the most relevent page as the first result. When we're ranking poorly, the same search buries that relevant page under tens or even hundreds of pages on our site that may mention the term offhand.

Have any of you who are seeing changes today noticed this sort of phenomenon with your sites?

11:18 pm on Jul 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jomaxx is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



My main site, which was hit around March 22 and again harder around May 20, is now back.

Since May I've been scouring my site clean of links to questionable sites, removing boilerplate text where possible, redirecting domain.com to www.domain.com, etc. I actually had to rewrite 50 short articles because so many sites had copied them verbatim that I would never be able to get them all to remove that duplicate text. Got my fingers crossed that I never get hit by this kind of thing again.

12:05 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Its great to see some of you bourbon victims rising like zombies from your graves! Let's hope the good times keep rolling.
2:32 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Here's another Bourbon zombie checking in. Something happened late on Thursday night. My page impresstions began to improve and when I checked my mian keywords, I was back in #1 and #2 spots for many, if not all.

Now, I don't know whether it was anything I did, or just google reshuffling.

(and I did complain A LOT, so to those who chided me for that... raspberries!)

Looks to me like a manual fix as nothing moved besides my site, in one case from #168 back to #1.

2:57 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)



Looks to me like a manual fix as nothing moved besides my site, in one case from #168 back to #1.

There's been a fair amount of movement over the past day or two: some minor, some not.

3:20 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)



I got rocks.
4:19 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Amazing! My SERPs which were his around June 14th are all back. 90%+ of my traffic is back. As with everyone else who is experiencing the same thing, I hope it sticks.
4:29 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Not good changes for me! Bourbon hit me hard, then around the first of July, I came back in full force. Now back to Bourbon rankings for my sites. Pooey! I had a 22 days of pre-Bourbon top spots, now back to the Bourbon rankings : (
5:00 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It also looks very good for my site.

Got hit hard by Boubon. Also I thought I had a minor ban Eg. when searching for my "mysite.com" I was not no. 1.

I made some changes to my site:

- Fixed the "www" and "without www" in .htaccess.

- Added 100+ pages more unique content on the site.

- Removed any not closely related navigation from the main navigation and put it in groups more related to that subject to not confuse Google bot.

- Used my DMOZ title and description for my index page.

Thats all and now I'm back even more visible in the SERPS than pre Boubon. Also I am back in top spot when searching for "mysite.com".

Today is a good day:-)

Good luck to everyone else.

9:13 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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anyone in the UK seeing any changes yet? I am not.
9:42 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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No, nothing for me here (currently still in the UK)... Bourbon is still biting me...
9:55 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Bourbon is still biting me...

Lol, my SERPS were worse today - only one moving in the right direction!

I hope that your SERPS return nutsandbolts - but for the moment I am glad they haven't. I don't want to be alone *sob* :-)

Best of luck with it.

10:43 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have lost Google traffic twice, the last time on June 16. It came back yesterday as if someone had thrown a switch, but I will have to wait a few days to see if it's permanent. (I'm in the UK.)

My personal opinion (without any proof) is that this is a filter thing, where Google may have considered the site as over-optimized or spammy. Since June 16 I have got rid of anything that might appera "unnatural".

Perhaps Google checks these criteria on a periodic basis rather than continuously?

11:51 am on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Same here, no good news. Maybe we should write to google and apologize for all our 'misdeeds' before they allow us back into their main index.

Any new page I create ranks better than all the rest on my site. So perhaps we should delete everything and start all over again?

12:01 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Two months since Bourbon - time for another update?
12:03 pm on Jul 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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HarryM:


On June 16, at the tail end of the Bourbon update, one of my sites disappeared from most SERPS, and my Google referrals dropped to near zero ... Now, since about mid day yesterday, I am back in the SERPS ... I don't know if a "penalty" has been lifted (perhaps in response to e-mails I sent to Google last month), if the many, many changes I've made in the past 30 days are now taking dramatic effect, if this is a routine post-Bourbon adjustment, or if a major new algorithm update is underway.

Exactly the same here. This has happened to me twice now. My personal opinion is that this has nothing to do with PR or changes in the Google algo, but is due to changes in the filters applied.

I suspect I have accidentally exceeded some criteria (or criterias) that Google uses to determine "natural" sites from spammy or over-optimized sites. I have now made changes to make sure the site fits in to a more natural profile.

...

But whether this has brought my traffic back, who can say?

I suspect that if all of us who have shared a Bourbon near-death experience were to compare notes, we would still be clueless about what we did or didn't do to make Google unhappy with us, or to earn back their favor. From our perspective, there may not be any rhyme or reason to this. It could simply be that we were all incidental collateral damage in the war against scrapers et al. Google changed parameters in their algorithm(s), produced some skewed results, observed their mistake(s), heard (and maybe heeded) our outcries, then finally backed off some or many of their changes. There are probably many Bourbon victims who died then were born again and did nothing substantial to cause either result.

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