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My site has been First Now vanished from Google

My site has been the first of its kind, I drop off Google



6:35 am on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

For the past year I have experienced periodically being completely dropped off Google. My site has been the FIRST of its kind and is in all the natural search results on the first spot. I'm just a small business, but since spet of 2004 I have been vanishing off of Google every 6 weeks or so--recently it has been more often and for longer periods. Does Google discriminate against Older sites? Are they doing it so that we will advertise with them? Any help, advice, comment from a desperate single mother of 4!


1:35 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've had a top ranked content based site since 2002, and I've never been hit badly in any previous update. In fact, I've always managed to be number one, on page one, for my top keyword phrase (out of 27,000,000), and either number one, two or three for my next most popular keywords - also very competitive - with page one ranking for dozens of many lesser terms.

I'm not an SEO or HTML expert; far from it, but I've taken what I learned at WebmasterWorld and applied it fairly consistently with excellent results -- until now.

Now, I've gone from over 7,000 visitors per day to just over 3,000 - and my affiliate revenue has gone down the toilet.

I've read this thread, trying to figure out this stuff about duplicate content penalties etc. And I've done the &filter=0 thing on my site - and, yep, it's showing me right at the top when I do that, and right out of sight on many, many pages without it.

Ironically, although lots of my original content pages have hit the dumper, one page that still ranks well is one of a small proportion that I copied with permission from a free reprint group.

One possibility occurred to me...a couple of months ago, I added a php based affiliate product catalog to my site. I placed this in its own directory, linking to it from my home page and relevant places within my site. This brought my page count up in Google from about 350 pages to about 1,800 pages - but, of course, the 1500 extra pages were exact reproductions of the affiliate site. I hadn't considered this impact when I installed it, nor did I promote it heavily - it was more a service to readers than anything else. Now I'm wondering...could it be this catalog that has tripped the update filter?

From Google's perspective, I guess, I'm now featuring predominantly copied pages, and I've had a huge increase in pages in a very short time period. Makes me look bad.

I thought this experience might help us all to sort out the scope of this filter or penalty. And my question is: can I recover my respectability by dumping this catalog post-haste?


1:59 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


We have hundreds of thousands of pages from world news articles to info pages on movies, book, etc.

We don't get up to anything shifty with SEO, have thousands of inbound links (mostly direct to articles)in fact we are even a Google News source site. Until last week on the main page about 20 times a day.

However, whatever they have done has ripped our traffic down to our daily repeat visitors. I think currently we are getting next to nothing from Google Search or news. I also noticed our peers have all seen traffic drop like a stone.

So I would not change anything. I know I won't be, I will eat my hat if it stays like this...might have to as will be short of cash :-)

I will be interested to see what anyone from Google has to say about all this.

I did note a small change Sunday morning with another page of results showing on a certain search...so I think still things afoot. Also the fact that some questionable sites that went a while ago are back makes me think this is almost like a regressive change. I noted one of our peers who changed domains a year or so ago now comes up under their old domain, clearly how they used to be listed at that time and incorrect.

If it does stay till end of the week then I will contact adsense and ask them about it...



2:30 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Like FattyB and Kimkia, we also have a top ranked site. Dominated our niche for the past few years. Indexed by Google News. While we're still showing in the top 10 of our main keyword, we lost ranking in many of our keywords effectively reducing our Google traffic by 70%.

I don't know what to do. My adsense income tanked big time. The only major change I saw was that the number of results when searching the name of our site increased from 18,000 to 84,000. Site is totally white hat (I don't even use H1 and all; just develop good content).


2:42 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


There are tons of systems out there that can do a decent job of completely ripping off a site.

Several have been mentioned in other threads, it doesn't take a lot of effort to find them.

In fact if some of these have been turned on your site you can have your own form of fun.


5:50 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Calling Affiliate Program Vendors/Merchants

Wish to ask you whether you have noticed since 22nd September 2005 that your front page (homepage) or any other of your product pages are represented on the serps by one of your affiliates referral link(s)?



6:10 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

The drop in Google-supplied visitors to my site has tanked further across the last 3 days. The graph would look like a downward, exponential curve:
  • Jun pages/day = 2,270
  • July pages/day = 2,019
  • Aug pages/day = 2,002
  • Sep pages/day = 1,650 (average upto 21st)
  • Sep pages/day = 824 (22nd)
  • Sep pages/day = 630 (average 23rd + 24th + 25th)

I really did think that it was as bad as it would get, but no. It's getting worse.

On Sunday, for the first time ever, the number of people coming from bookmarks exceeded the Google-supplied people. Jeez.


6:38 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Hi Folks

Re: Affected sites since 22nd Sept 2005

We observe changes, suggest and guess in good faith. That's all what we can do.

But we need to be open minded too during any opdate, and look for all possibilities that might have caused a site to drop.

Fellow members have been focusing mostly on the duplicate (stolen content) issue. Fair enough .. power to you. But arenīt there other factors that we really need to look at?

- How about duplicates within your own site of your own making (in good faith of course)?

- How about the presence of javascript redirects?

- How about 100% frames pages with contents originated from other sites than yours?

- How about pages with "gibberish" texts?

- How about those "lovely" doorway pages?

- How about sitewide linking?

- How about...how about etc...

The reason Iīm asking such question is because I could read between the lines of our good friends at the plex GoogleGuy and Matt recent posts that fighting spam is becoming more and more as priority No.1 for Google.

If we assume that the main priority of the current update is fighting spam, then we need to look at all factors that Google mark as such.

Therefore this post ;-)

[edited by: reseller at 6:51 am (utc) on Sep. 26, 2005]


6:50 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

has anyone contacted google and got any non-automatic reply regarding the ongoing changes and the potentially new meaning of the &filter=0?

wouldn't it be better if google (GG or matt cutts)just exposed at least in general terms what they are trying to fight against so that all good-faith webmasters could try to follow such guidelines?

Just a thought in case GG or MC read this thread...


7:01 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Just a thought in case GG or MC read this thread...

Of course the thread is read...

..but G only reply if it is in their interests to do so!


7:05 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

AlexK, our story is amazingly similar:

Page impressions:

Mid month Wednesdays:

15 June 2288
13 July 1858
17 August 1065
14 September 937
25 September 639


7:33 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A theory.

Over the last year or 2 Google has realised that there is only a certain amount of "money terms" - they have the best information available on this via Adwords and Adsence. Lets say they have taken the first 10000 terms - they have 2 or 3 indexes that we cannot access.

For this example - lets say there are 2 test indexes and then the final index which is the public one - this public index is introduced via all the data centers as normal.

Index one is EVERYTHING no filters applied with new sites ranking etc etc. These are then manually reviewed and highlighted as "sandboxed" - I have seen evidence of this somewhere maybe from this forum (IE manual reviews). These sites appear in the public index but are automatically "sandboxed" for the SERPS IE indexed but filtered completely out of the SERPS UNLESS it does not trigger one of the 10000 (maybe its 500000) terms predefined (MONEYDICTIONARY). If a site appears in this process to "PASS" the SPAM guidelines it is released from the first index's sandbox. This now becomes index 2.

In index 2 the same process takes place except this time if the site "PASSES" its released from the sandbox straight into the main index.

This explains the 3 to 12 month - sandbox. I have looked at the "so called" google SPAM guide that was aparently released by Google to their reviewers.

A way around this is possibly to get the site through the sandbox - once its through keep on adding pages that automatically go straight through - I think this is what people are now seeing IE this manual review is now being switched to pages rather than sites - or even if content on existing old pages are altered to drastically it gets put back into the sandbox for review again.

The spam report if real does make sence - basically a site needs to be there because the user would want the information it provides. Not a bunch of text muddled together or stolen with affiliate links, or PPC.

I just wish google would give us a break and tell us how we should pass a manual rview if the above is correct. What are they looking for? They have told us in the past. They keep talking as if there are no manual reviews.


7:34 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

MSN has overtaken Google for me in referrals, for the first time ever. I get healthy hits from Yahoo also, thank god, without even trying. I'm telling myself that's what good content should achieve...nice traffic from deserving content. But this theory stops short with update? Is it named yet?

Bear sent me a message with some interesting hijack results on my site...but both links end up nowhere...one with an "account suspended page" and the other with a page not found...so i'm not sure if I can use the Google removal tool effectively for those.

Perhaps there's a combination of factors at play here, at least for me...the two 302 hijack links and the increase in links from the affiliate catalog (last time I ever take the easy way out and let an affiliate "create" pages for my site), plus whatever wierd dup content filter that Google has cooked up (seems to work in reverse for me).

I had removed one of the hijack links using Google's removal tool in March. But the removal tool says it will only remove the link for 180 days...thought I should mention this, in case other ppl might have hijackers coming back to haunt them after 6 months break.


7:52 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>It seemed to me that some dup filters (and related algo elements?) got scrambled really badly in December '04. They seemed to have it sorted in Feb '05, but then it all wigged out again in April, and got worse still in June.

I agree December 04 is the time that I think problems started - did not see much improvements in Feb for the areas I watch though.

GG did mention an update to the supplemental index was expected this summer - well summer is just about over in the UK and no signs here.

But as has been mentioned here - even if Google does update the supplemental index there is always the old supplementals that keep popping back.

Whether this is the root of the problem I am not sure. The supplementals are certainly badly thought out and a mess IMO - but with other issues of 302s, Canonical url problems, stupid page counts now embedded into the index (due to supplementals probably) I just wonder which problem causes the decline of good long standing sites. Probably all related of course - but how to come back if G just wont give up on the old 302s, the old supplemental pages and the old wrongly indexed sites (non-www vs www).


8:10 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You are right, this appears identical to an update mid Dec 2004 - see [webmasterworld.com...]

That time I got hit, and began to recover in Feb. The only change I made then was changing meta description on the home page.

I've never really figured out why it happened - but now the exact same thing has happened again.

There have been no major changes to my site recently, nothing out of the ordinary. I honestly think this is collateral damage caused by some seriously faulty duplicate content detection.

Hard to believe that it's nearly a year later and google still hasn't got it right. In the mean time I scratch my head and have no idea why my site suddenly plunges in the serps for no apparent reason...


8:26 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google does not owe anyone a living! When are you so-called astute business minded webmasters going to get this into your sorry heads?

I am sorry to be so harsh but this is business. It does n't always go your way.

There is far too much emotion here. Successful businesses do not get ahead by becoming emotionally attached.

If you have lost out becuse someone has copied your site then that's tough but whinging about it will not bring in the dollars.

If you cannot detach emotion from business you might as well go back to being a corporate slave.


8:33 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

We have attempted to be pro-active.

Our problem is/was that we are a large non-commercial site, of some importance in our niche area. Having had some staff research this over the weekend, we have concluded that the problem here is that we added an entire library a few weeks ago.

Many of the published papers in this had been published by our people elsewhere, as we don't restrict them, but many had not. We are assuming that this has 'tripped' the new filter in some way, either through duplication or through the simple addition itself.

For us the issue however is not the listing of the library, it is that the filter has hit the entire site and caused it to 'disappear' in terms of meaningful searches. We have therefore taken the step of restricting 'Googlebot' from all our library sections.

We frankly doubt that this will recover the situation, but it seems to be a sensible and simple step. We will not be contacting Google on the matter, as really we do not think we should be reacting too much to the vaguaries of an individual search engine, and indeed, it could be that they will correct whatever they have done here themselves.

Also, to prevent the same thing happening to other institutes in our niche we have this morning emailed them all, with a full explnation of what has happened, and how to restrict 'Googlebot' from specific website areas. Many of these will undoubtedly put that code in place before adding their own libraries, which at least will help them.

For us though now the chapter is closed, as I doubt we can do too much else. I do wish the rest of you well though, as it is clear that many quality websites have been unfairly penalized by this.


8:46 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Salon99: I think, this will solve your problem. However, it can take some weeks - or even months.

Maybe you can speed up the cleaning by using the Google URL removal console. But use it with care.
(I hope this URL is allowed here. If not, please delete...)


9:27 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


your post was a total waste of space, off topic and pointless. Id say anyone who gets so emotional over OTHER peoples emotions was the one needed to find a new line of work.


9:36 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month


Not to give a false hope to anybody.

But pls remeber that the update is still underway and rankings/positions on the serps could change, hopefully to the better for those fellow members who have been affected so far.


9:42 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Has anyone confirmed this as an update?

Seems just a cock up to me!


9:45 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't know if this is an update. (What is to be considered as update anyway?)

Maybe Google applied a stronger dupe content filter without changing anything else.


9:47 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

"your post was a total waste of space, off topic and pointless"

Calm down. Who's getting emotional now ;o)


9:51 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

this is my first post in your forum .Maybe i will find my self cimented in a chanel but...i would like to answer a member
---you are bad eggs like Google .Bad eggs rotten and dying.---
and to make some science fiction (or real fiction)thoughts.

One day if the FBI and Interpol take over to see where the organized crime have invest lots of laundry cleaning will find millions of ADSENSE PAGES........
#1:Since Google became a stock exchange company WHO DO YOU THINK BOUGHT THE BIG PORTION OF THE CAKE?
A couple of years ago the Porn @ Gumbling industry was the #1 internet business ...now declining...
Since the organized crime godfathers realised that is money out there to make legally (billions)...there conciliatory told them ...lets get that money...
#2:concilieries told to Mafia ...instead of pushing out drugs our pushers ,let them make adsense pages
# 3:organized crime buys (they got all the money you can imagine)Authority sites with an offer you can't refuse!and put adsense to them.
#4 having many seats at the Google stock holders they are able to tell to Googleplex bosses to give orderds to theres -nerds engineers- and stuf what to do every couple of months so thay can make more money.


9:55 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We can see MASSIVE changes in SERPs on for all of our search terms. We are in the travel industry btw.


10:07 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

What will be very interesting for you guys. We do travel sites europe and the states. All the european cities are in tact but for some strange reason the whole of the states got smashed. Looks like it is a filter in the States.


10:25 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Calm down. Who's getting emotional now ;o)

well, since you ask, you! Can you not tell the difference between a rational statement and the rant that you went into?


10:32 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


You are right looks like a genuine update - whats this one called - Update Brett I read somewhere


10:36 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Same deal here, we have old pages which have long gone appearing (cached 2004, no longer exist), dual indexes for our home page (301 redirect problem between non and www that we fixed ages ago) and a couple of redirect links from legitimate directory listings (not affiliates) are also coming up under results for our site. This has all happened just after the 21st.

Traffic from G dropped to a quarter, and has slowly fluctuated back up to about a half of what it was


10:37 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

My site is one of those affected and experienced tremendous drop of referrals from Google.

In response to reseller's questions:

- How about duplicates within your own site of your own making (in good faith of course)?

None that I know of. Site is static and I make sure that things are uploaded in the folder.

- How about the presence of javascript redirects?

The javascript I use are only from phpadsnew to serve the ads that we sell. And other ad networks like Adsense, etc.

- How about 100% frames pages with contents originated from other sites than yours?

Definitely none. We don't use frames, and we are so stingy with the free links we give to other websites.

- How about pages with "gibberish" texts?

Definitely none. The site's been around since 1997 and the site does not need these desperate measures just to earn and get traffic

- How about those "lovely" doorway pages?

I don't know how to do doorway pages (I'm a non techie who has heard of CSS but does not know how to use it and still does the website in frontpage)

- How about sitewide linking?

The only place where I have sitewide links is my navigation, which links to key sections of my site and is on all my pages.

- How about...how about etc...

I occasionally use articles submitted to us by other writers, but last I put contributed content was early last month. Could that have been the cause?


10:45 am on Sep 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


It's not just limited to the US. The UK has taken a beating too - plenty of people over at a4uforum have been hammered - including me.

This 1014 message thread spans 34 pages: 1014

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