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Am I the only one? -- ranking drop followed by spidering frenzy

Lost my rankings while Googlebot decided it loved my homepage.


Jordo needs a drink

4:06 am on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've posted about this a couple of times on the February 2007 Google SERP Changes [webmasterworld.com] forum, but no one has posted with similar circumstances.

On Feb 2, my site went from ranking 7 to less than 700, depending on the date and time for my main keyword phrase. While ranked 7th, it was the home page returned. Now it's an internal page around 700.

OK, we've all read how much that is happening. So be it. Google decides it doesn't like something about my site or my homepage.

But here's the deal... Ever since then, Googlebot is hitting my homepage 2 - 3 times an hour. It's crawling the rest of the site as normal, but it's hitting my homepage itself 50-100 times a day! It's also hitting an rss feed of mine about the same, but every other page is being hit normally. This site has about 22,500 indexed.

When I search for my website, the homepage is number 1. On a site command for my site, the homepage is number 1.

I'm seriously thinking there's a googlebot bug causing this, and my site's trapped in it. Whether the homepage is whitehat, blackhat, or a little grey, I can't understand why Google's bot will keep hitting my homepage like this. It's been 5 days staight that Google has been hitting the homepage like this.


5:56 am on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Maybe it's getting in a loop due to a mod-rewrite error in apache (if that's your server). Have you done anything, say, like a mod install on a bulletin board that needed a mod re-write?

Just a shot in the dark...


6:12 am on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

I had Slurp in a loop hitting a non-existent page every couple of seconds. It turned out to be an A-name misconfiguration on the part of the host.

I've also had some erratic things happen from an htaccess error on my part (which was easy to fix immediately), but when spider hiccups happen, my very non-tech guess is that could be at server level.

Jordo needs a drink

2:53 pm on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

That's what I first thought also, except I can't find anything wrong. No changes before this and the .htaccess file is identical to my other sites with just the domain name being different. My other sites are fine.

This isn't the first time it's happened either. It happened in early Dec, where I drastically dropped rank and then the home page was spidered like crazy. It only lasted a few days though, then it went back to normal spidering and my site went back normal it's normal position. This time, it's been 6 days and no change.


3:18 pm on Feb 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have also seen much heavier than normal spidering over the last month!

Normally, this site gets somwhat 'heavy' spidering every 4th or 5th day (been like that for the last year).

BUT in the last month (Starting Jan 6th) I have recorded 'heavy' spidering 20 out of the last 30 days!

Also, as of Jan 24th my site:search results started to "leak". I went from a steady '998 of about 1,540' to dropping - almost daily - i.e. '149 of about 1,490' to today's results '4 of about 1,480'

On Feb 1st my traffic dropped to a trickle!

I AGREE - I think Google is having some internal spidering problems i.e. - the left hand is dropping what the right hand is handing to it...

Something is really wrong here...

We are starting to discuss this in this thread...



Jordo needs a drink

2:48 pm on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Just a quick note to say that as of the evening of the 13th, the site is now ranking back where it was. In fact it's ranking a couple of positions higher than previously and is now around 5th.

The home page crawling is significantly less than prior to the 13th also, although the home page itself is still getting crawled about 5 times a day.

As I said earlier, this is the same thing that happened in early December.


2:54 pm on Feb 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

yeah , i'm also getting way heavier spidering. normally is around the 10,000 to 20,000 per day mark, but its shot up to around 80,000 per day over the last few days.

(i've got about 400,000 pages indexed)

Jordo needs a drink

5:11 am on Feb 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

yeah , i'm also getting way heavier spidering.

This isn't a heavy spidering issue I'm talking about. The site in question has been getting normal spidering... It's the home page that has been getting so many googlebot hits a day.

It's better now since the 13th, along with my rankings, but this is twice now in a little only 2 months that my site has lost all its rankings for the major keywords it targets with a simultaneous huge increase in HOMEPAGE spidering.


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