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Very Odd - Big Drops in SERPS Today April 26, 06

Big SERP Drops - Odd Fresh Dates

     

Hollywood

6:35 pm on Apr 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Very Odd - Big Drops in SERPS Today April 26, 06

A site we have has seen decent results for over 2 years, all of a sudden today all SERPS have dropped for us by about 4-10 pages lower all at once.

This is very odd, we have worked very hard to put out decent content and relevant content.

Any reasons for this, is their some sort of weird dance taking place?

We adjusted the page two days ago to make it better for the reader and seems we got slammed very badly for this.

Google fresh date (on serps) shows a date April 24, 06 but when clicking on the "Cached" link on the results page it shows a date of April 18, 06

Curious to what the webmasters think of this out there.

petehall

11:00 am on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



It is a sad fact that systems like vBulletin, PHPbb, osCommerce, and a whole range of popular scripted sites, have a large number of SEO-related design errors built in to them. The designers are clever programmers, but have no clue about SEO or how their site will interact with search engines; and the situation isn't getting any better.

This is true... but it's the reason we do so well!

What is worrying about all this is it's clear to me a lot of people from this board are now losing faith in Google.

da95649

11:07 am on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Actually I wonder if my guestbook has anything to do with the problem, Im using the advanced guestbook, shall I put a nofollow so that bot dont spider the guestbook?

g1smd

11:36 am on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Put noindex on all the Guestbook pages, so that what is indexed, will soon be de-indexed.

In my post above I missed off one thing: Session IDs. Just don't, alright!

Silent_Bob

12:22 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Ok, one thing I've noticed - google seems to have the description for a lot of my site's pages in the serps as just the meta description. I have this the same for every page because its a template driven site. Could this be a factor/issue? I always thought google didnt bother with the description and keyword tags.

g1smd

1:05 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Make sure that the title and the meta description are different on every page of the site, and that they accurately represent what is on that exact page.

jrs_66

1:21 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



--- I always thought google didnt bother with the description and keyword tags.

I believe the meta description is very important to google. So important that i believe its mentioned specifically in the webmaster guidelines.

Hollywood

1:30 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



simonmc

I agree 1000%

Like I said earlier, we suffer losses due to this drop of 4 pages, I know Google has thier disclaimers but any other search engines would not be doing this and any expert would agree, thus we are loosing due to them being the broken way they are.

It has grounds!

tedster

1:39 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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



I always thought google didnt bother with the description and keyword tags.

Unique meta descriptions do seem to be, at times, very important to Google. Just this year I have seen two "supplemental problems" fixed, immediately after making the meta descriptions unique and relevant to each page.

That said, in recent months Google also seems to be experimenting a lot with what they present in the SERPs, whether meta descriptions, DMOZ descriptions, snippets from the page. But given recent experience, I would strongly advise unique meta descriptions for each page.

A unique meta keywords tag doesn't seem to matter for G, but it's still a good practice, IMO. There is some evidence that other engines may, at times, test it out as a useful factor. So why not use it as a place to "keep notes" -- a short list of which keywords your page is relevant for?

da95649

1:44 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



G1msd - Put noindex on all the Guestbook pages, so that what is indexed, will soon be de-indexed.

will this do it:
Disallow: /guestbook/

in the robots txt, or is the .htaccess better?

In my post above I missed off one thing: Session IDs. Just don't, alright!

With session Ids how can I find out if im using them, i checked my header and it shows this:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK =>
Date => Wed, 10 May 2006 13:44:23 GMT
Server => NOYB
X-Powered-By => PHP/4.4.2
Set-Cookie => PHPSESSID=06ecf3e67ca1435cb06899749ea4894d; path=/
Expires => Thu, 19 Nov 1981 08:52:00 GMT
Cache-Control => no-store, no-cache, must-revalidate, post-check=0, pre-check=0
Pragma => no-cache
Connection => close
Content-Type => text/html

Does this mean I have the session IDs problem?

g1smd

1:47 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



When you do a site:domain.com search do you see plain URLs for every page of the site, or has every one of them got a long session ID in it?

If it has a session ID on each one then make sure that you turn them off for bots, and for visitors that have not yet logged in.

da95649

2:00 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



when i do a site:www.domain.com

most of my urls are clean, however my guestbook entries show:

www.domain.co.uk/guestbook/comment.php?gb_id=131

and I have some supplement results:

www.domain.co.uk/page. php?PHPSESSID=52909a4aa2f74b0460a701a21d40f252 - 12k - Supplemental Result

however these seem to be my foreign pages where I have nationality flags depending on what languages?

dangerman

2:26 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Agree with rants from Hollywood: 'Everyone ask yourselves, does Google care?'; Simonmc: 'We are all running around chasing our tail when in fact the problem of solution lies with Google'; Konrad: '..what happened is not "some" problem - it's a tragedy; Petehall: '..a lot of people from this board are now losing faith in Google'.

My view now is this: Google plainly do not value webmasters and their respective sites particularly high in their priority list:

1. Shareholders
2. Employees
3. Adwords customers
4. Other paying customers
5. The searching public
6. Lastly: The poor webmasters who toil daily to produce quality, updated content for their sites - which ironically form the meat and veg of the behemoth's business.

However we scream and rant, we cannot get away from the fact that this company has the biggest chunk of its market. We have to play the game or wither away.

My view is that on April 26th Google let loose a particularly vicious, not brilliantly thought out and, dare I say it, evil (from webmasters and users p.o.v.) algorithm update.

All possible factors on a site that google consider 'offensive' are accumulated and a resulting value quantified. These factors could range from duplicate page issues as recently discussed, to excessive javascript to spammy titles etc etc. If this value exceeds a given threshold, wham! - the site is hammered. It seems the 26 April algorithm change lowered the bar and therefore had a dramatic effect on a number of websites.

Guess the best strategy is to analyse the entire site, get others to analyse the site and clean up all potential issues one by one. What more can you do?

decaff

2:50 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



"...Make sure that the title and the meta description are different on every page of the site, and that they accurately represent what is on that exact page..."

This was true in 1997 and is still true today...make sure each page of your site is distinctively unique and accurate at the <title><meta tags> level ... and into the actual body content of the page...(not so easy to do accomplish with CMS or database driven sites...)...but very worthy to strive for...

Typically you can "set it and forget it"...(oops...the guy who trademarked that may ask me for a royalty payment...anybody know who that is?)

...and even more important with Google's recent recalc of interior page PR.....let those interior pages become your valued working associates...bringing in targeted traffic based on their unique characteristics ...

F_Rose

2:52 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Just clarifying..

The fact that G is showing only 24 pages indexed out of 500 pages, means that our site is the problem and not Google?

thatphonesite

3:09 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



What do you know, check Google today, and i'm back up top in the index where I was before I had this problem!

What did I do?

Ensured 301s were in place for all subdomains on my account, and resubmitted a reinclusion request via sitemaps basically stating I had fixed a couple of 301s, explaining why it was crazy my site was missing from searches for particular terms...

I also mailed my Adsense representative, a sitemaps contact and everyone at Google I could find / think of.

No straight answers as to what the problem was, but it's fixed, that's good enough for me.

Keep hope people, it does get fixed...?

P

PS Total time out of the top of the serps approx 10 days...

dangerman

3:31 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



What do you know, check Google today, and i'm back up top in the index where I was before I had this problem!

Good for you, bud!
Though I would feel better if you were part of the 26 April club..

thatphonesite

3:51 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



26th April is about when I lost my position, 1st May is when I got back from holiday and found out about it, so yes, I suspect I am...

P

AustrianOak

5:26 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It has to be exactly on the 26th, no estimating.

JimLahey

5:47 pm on May 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



thatphonesite - does your index page still show as the second entry on:

site:mywebsitename.com

and is your site back on at least page one for the search of:

mywebsitename

thatphonesite

7:15 am on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It still shows in second position for site:mysitename (but that's fair, as a subdomain site is very popular in it's own right), and yes, we're up to top position for our own name again!

P

da95649

10:37 am on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Guys,

when I so a site:www.domain.com (my main is .co.uk)

I have 24 results. My concerns are:

www.domain.com is cached, is this effect my rankings as www.domain.co.uk is also cached, due to the duplicate content rule?

I have about 10-15 pages as Supplemental Results, which when I click on them goto all work, however some links show PHPSESSID in the url and all the cache results are a year old?

Can any one advise?

g1smd

4:42 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member g1smd is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



If you already have the 301 redirect in place for those URLs then you are safe.

Anyone clicking on those results will arrive at the correct page, and Google will eventually update their index with the corrected information.

da95649

5:05 pm on May 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



right, could you confirm that my htaccess file is correct?

php_flag session.use_trans_sid off
Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteEngine on
RewriteBase /
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST}!^www\.domain\.co\.uk$
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ [domain.co.uk...] [R=permanent,L]

da95649

10:51 am on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Ok got a msg from Google:

Title: Reinclusion Request
Thank you for your reply. Please be assured that we have passed your
Message on to our engineers for review. Please note that we are unable to
provide updates for individual sites. If a change is made to the way your
site is indexed, you will see this change reflected in Google after some
time. We are sorry we cannot be of further assistance in this matter.

Regards,
The Google Team

Iím still down on the SERPs, for my keywords, and company name, however I have just noticed something that maybe killing me....

~Question,: Re the duplicate content, if you have a completely different domain name that has a search facility and shows part of a page which is similar to something on your homepage, then links users to my homepage, would this be regarded as duplicate content? Will this be enough to get banned, also when you get banned arenít you supposed to be wiped off Google entirely, or just drop in serps?

Also the underlying issue here which I think I havenít understood is that all of us have exp of a drop in SERPs.

However:
I still have page ranks, I still have pages indexed, so am I right to assume that I have not been banned due to duplicate content or any black hat SEO?

Iím just really stuck on trying to investigate this drop in SERPS and cant accept/wait that Google may have a problem with their Algo/updates.....why is it just me and none of my competitors, surely there must be a problem with my site, or another site maybe that has copied my content>?

Guys any help would be great as this is doing my head in, its now approaching a month, and adwords is killing me!

Silent_Bob

10:13 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



In the same boat here. I've implemented a 301 redirect, changed meta tags to be different on each page and google has now indexed three times as many pages as were there before. No return in the serps yet though. No change in page rank, no notification of a penalty in sitemaps. I cant believe its a penalty. I still believe it must be a glitch which is triggered by some common factor that the sites affected all have.

Whats the best way to contact google about this issue? I dont want to do a reinclusion request as that requires acknowledgement of wrong doing, which I dont believe I should have to do (as the site is completely clean). We now rank even lower in the serps for our own company name, which is ridiculous.

da95649

10:27 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I cant belive there are not any more people on this thread, why has it gone so dead:(

AustrianOak

10:44 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Probably cause there is nothing much new to report.. we're all just waiting for some glimpse of hope or someone who has solved the royal-screw......

F_Rose

10:49 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



"I cant belive there are not any more people on this thread, why has it gone so dead:( "

Because this thread is extremely boring for the past few weeks. Checking every day..Hoping for some kind of change..but so far it's the same old boring discussion over and over and over again..

Do you still wonder why it has gone dead?

JimLahey

10:54 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



>>>I cant believe its a penalty. I still believe it must be a glitch which is triggered by some common factor that the sites affected all have.<<<

Agreed, but I sent off a reinclusion anyways as it seemed to work for thatphonesite. Not holding my breath. Still massive drops on major and minor keywords...with the biggest glove slap being ranking pg.3 for

mydomainname

...it not a case of mydomainname being generic / competitive. All the serps above me are simply directory listings, links to my site or mentions of my site.

konrad

11:36 pm on May 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"I cant belive there are not any more people on this thread, why has it gone so deadsad "

I'm still here, looking at this thread, waiting for something new. And I think lots of people do the same. By the way - my previous theory that this is a "slow penalty" is rather wrong - number of indexed pages in my case increased to over 1000, so still fully indexed, no penalty.

Google just doesn't like me. Us.

This 236 message thread spans 8 pages: 236
 

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