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After months of up and down with Google, I saw it with my own eyes!
Three hours ago Google downloaded my sitemap.
Three hours ago I went into oblivion, and disappeared.
Google Sitemap controls report my sitemap is OK with only one error for January 23, which I corrected the same day.
According to all of my notes, every major drop has resulted right after Google accessed my sitemap, and today, I saw it with my own eyes.
My most serious drop-off with Google, that lasted almost two months, came immediately after I had designated domain within the sitemap control panel.
Maybe this drop won't last as long, or maybe longer. But I am convinced that sitemap retrieval by Google is implementing the beginning of the fall.
I also know that I have a solid site, no spam and no black hat techniques. Google is losing out bigtime on authority sites, as the roller coaster continues, and good webmasters go away.
One other thing...my page ranks reported in my sitemap control panel have never recovered from the first major fall, and show that most of my site has not been ranked.
In fact, 98% of my site shows google page rankings, and has for over three years.
I still think something is broken at google.
[edited by: tedster at 8:10 pm (utc) on Feb. 1, 2007]
[edit reason] create separate thread [/edit]
I'm MIA right now, so I guess I have to wait till my site pops up again (should be at #8) then if it goes MIA again, to check whether sitemaps was downloaded by Goog. Maybe 2 to 3 cycles of this would prove that it's not a co-incidence. If indeed it's NOT, then bye-bye, sitemap....
From the looks of my Google numbers, or should I say lack of them, they have shut down the Google mule train. I am left with the shakes and the cravings, with no hope of ever getting that nirvana first high where everything in the webmaster world was vivid, ordered and fun.
Oh, they send a few visitors here and there to my site, but the hits are so weak, they barely soothe my nerves.
Good news, though...this month I focused on the Yahoo train. While their hits do not seem to give me that pleasurable rush, they are consistent and trustworthy, and have brought me to a place almost half as equal to the Google good ol' days. Not bad for one month's effort!
Even the most addicted can break the habit and choose a lesser drug if they take it one day at a time, and hang out with friends that have been down that road too!
Hello, Friends! :)
FWIW, Googlebot has been hitting our site at the rate of 25k pages/day the past few days.
So of course I check our server and the files are there and have not changed since July of last year!
Why would google show them to be 404 after 9 months of finding them.
I also noticed that yesterday and today we have lost traffic.
Anyone else seen this type of phenomenon?
[edited by: tedster at 8:17 pm (utc) on Mar. 24, 2007]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]
I did not reupload any files as they were already there.
I did "resubmit" them in sitemaps tool, they have been downloaded by google and no errors were found.
This really concerns me that we have lost traffic potentially due to some google internal error and no fault of our own.
Reason i was wonsdering is that I notice that G is on same ip range as my site, the url that diagnostics mistakenly reported as an address on my server is on the same range. If my firewall thinks its still at Google when it visits sites (like mine) in the same range, perhaps Googlebot experiences the same technical difficulty. Chance my firewalls not working right but i would hazard a guess that ifa few of you checked the activity logs in McAfee or Sygate you would notice what i mean, just thought it might be a symptom of a larger problem than just G,but one that involved changes in Hostopia and/or one of their resellers.
Industrial espionage does happen.
We're still suffering from last spring as well. We have come back, but only about 50% of what we were doing last year. I'm really very very close to removing analytics and sitemaps. We were doing better when they had to figuire out our site by themselves.
I have deleted a couple of maps to some specific categories of products to see if there is an impact. Time will tell.. if I seem them ranking well again then I'll remove them all.
I'm going to wait a week and watch. I'll keep everyone posted if I see any dramatic changes.
I should note that our site is completely white hat... always has been. We have suffered ever since implementing sitemaps in early 2005. I'm done with it.
update. Just wanted to add that within 30 minutes of deleting the sitemaps, traffic quadrupled on our site. (havent determined the source yet)
[edited by: Bewenched at 2:51 am (utc) on April 9, 2007]
Has a rep from Google addressed this issue? Ever?
One can only imagine the number of folks who are affected by this.
Personally I never used sitemaps. It just makes a site more ugly.
I wish they were like robots.txt, never appearing visibly on site.
P.S. I read so many posts in this thread and never saw an answer to why sitemaps are supposedly so great. Tacky geeky cr@p?!
I waited until 4/4 to see if things would improve without a sitemap. They didn't. In the mean time I automated the generation of my sitemaps so they always have the freshest pages in the files when Googlebot rolls around. It looks like my sitemap files are getting fetched once every eight hours now. No change in traffic yet.
How long did you leave it off?
My sitemaps were always auto genereated and error checked.... Mine was also fetched every few hours ...
I thought that maybe I was triggering some type of "too many new pages" mechanism so I switched to automated generation. Now google sees new URLs every single time it fetches the sitemap. I have no idea if this will matter or not. I'm just trying to avoid the mystery drops in Google traffic that appeared to be related to Sitemap updates.
Since I started the automated updates traffic from google is still down overall but it hasn't dropped further. There also haven't been strange spikes and drops that coincided with to sitemap updates.
Only time will tell.
I'd been running sitemaps since November 2005 and have suffered because of it. Their tool would show errors when there were no errors. Broken sitemaps when they hadn't been changed in years. After that problem we saw a very VERY sharp decrease in traffic and it was not cause by us at all. This is very scary.
I eliminated all but one url (our homepage) in webmaster tools, I removed analytics (they need no more information about our site). We've been doing ecommerce on the net for over 10 years, very white hat and have had nothing but grief since sitemaps became involved.
We saw no other option but to cut the cord and stop hoping that things will simply get better.. they didn't. The only thing left to try was this drastic measure which will remain for a minimum of 6 months for a true picture of the impact.