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I looked into it and I cannot find the reason at all. I signed up for google sitemaps but it does not report any errors or faux pas'.
So I don't know where to look now. Any input very much appreciated!
[edited by: engine at 1:33 pm (utc) on July 21, 2006]
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All listings disapeared. They got bumped way down and replaced with my root site that makes only one mention of the keyword. It seems that all the content pages are being hit with something. They are the only pages that lost rank. All other pages stayed where they were.
I really am interested in how everyone elses pages, which were dropped, were organized in terms of url. Were they all in the same directory of the site?
[edited by: Soze at 1:39 pm (utc) on July 27, 2006]
So yes, this may be a temporary glitch, although I'm sure I can't be the only one who's had the problem for a long time now.
1. Google is now referring to backlinks from 2years ago - even if those links do not exist today or have not existed for over a year.
2. Google is now recognizing backlinks from ads purchased through Yahoo and MSN partners. (This one got me snowed - a competitor has received 700+ back links from paid advertising. )
3. Google is ignoring any new backlinks it recognized in it's last backlink update. The backlinks have reverted to old.
I was up all night researching this latest data refresh, if you were dropped, you might want to try running a link:www.yourcompetitorssite.com on google, you might be surprised at what turns up.
In any event, this update/data refresh is very buggy, I'm sure Google will fix it over the next few days. I wouldn't do too much to change your current websites at this time until everyone is reporting a non-buggy update. Any major changes out of fear or panic might cost you more in the end. :)
Patience may just be the key to getting past this craziness.
Has anyone experimented changing stuff on their site and getting any positive result?
The only common thing I've found is that most of the affected sites have a drop of aprox. 70%
Now that Google is in very good and agreeing terms and with the Chinese government ... maybe it has hired a few thousand chinese to manually decide which sites should be affected.
A few years ago I was very enthusiastic about G: young, fresh, unpoluted, bright, unbiased "academic company". My feelings are more inclined nowadays to position G as the old Microsoft which by the way is getting some face-wash with the Bill Gates foundation thing.
My 3 unrelated cents
So in my opinion, I wouldn't make any changes for a while. This happened to me once before and I really didn't do a lot (you don't want to chase your tail) and within a couple of months, all of the sites gravitated back up.