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Our site is bouncing up and down in the SERPs. One minute its #4, then the next it's vanished...I'm off to check the datacenters, I can't imagine what else would be doing this.
[edited by: tedster at 5:49 am (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]
Today we were back in as normal then I started tracking back my Google traffic only to find we have dropped again - I did some digging and I am now finding my results around the 700 - 800 range. So we seem to go from number 1 to the very end of the results in the blink of an eye...
Is this related to the size of the site? Big sites dont seem to budge in term of ranking in Google?
From 3500 visitors per day to just 350 visitors per day.
What the hell is going on with google.
I made no big changes in site, i just added more ads.
They say adsense won't change ur ranking, but i guess it do, cos people hit the back button if they site full of ads.
Hopefully things get fine soon. I am loosing 30$ per day.
[edited by: Thaparian at 4:16 pm (utc) on Mar. 18, 2007]
My advice is wait out the rollercoaster. Whatever is happening, its too soon to determine exactly what's causing it.
I was banking on a pretty slim amount of money for next month. High time I used the extra money to diversify.
Jill Whalen recently posted on Search Engine Land
There's no doubt that duplicate content is a problem for search engines. If a searcher is looking for a particular type of product or service and is presented with pages and pages of results that provide the same basic information, then the engine has failed to do its job properly. In order to supply its users with a variety of information on their search query, search engines have created duplicate content "filters" (not penalties) that attempt to weed out the information they already know about. Certainly, if your page is one of those that is filtered, it may very well feel like a penalty to you, but it's not -- it's a filter.
Read the Full article from Search Engine Land
Furthermore my articles are longer than those of the nearest competitors, and more on-topic than some of the pages beating them.
What I mean by the latter is that if some searches for "blue widget", the result from my site will be a page explaining blue widgets.
Some of the pages beating me have incidental mentions of blue widgets on a page - e.g. "we also have some blue widgets".
In spite of this, I have been very hard hit.
I wonder whether on-page factors are becoming less important. Has anyone else seen any indications of it.
We got whacked massively starting around March 6. I can look at the graph of web traffic and see a significant drop. We've been on the net as an ecommerce site since 1996 and sell physical items. We are not a directory or affiliate type site.
What we've experienced is pages that were in the top 10 are no longer in the top 1000. They are completely gone. Some pages are at the very end of the SERPs. Some pages are not affected at all. Some pages it is just the singular or plural search that is affected.
Has anyone noticed what the quality of the SERPs for your keywords / items are like? It seems to me that the quality has gone down. Where there were 10 quality results there are now informational and off-topic pages showing up mixed in with the quality sites.
I see absolutely no pattern.
I have noticed that Google seems to be chopping up the searched term into individual words and searching on these seperately. For example: big blue widgets = Big is searched for, blue is searched for and widgets is searched for. As a result pages that are not as accurate are showing up. For example: A page about big blue frogs with a link somewhere on the page for widgets. A search for: big blue frogs might find a completely different page. Anyone else see this?
Is there any way to let Google know about this crazy drop in SERPs? I would like them to verify one way or another what is happening. I would just like to know whether this is a fluke or a penalty of some sort or what. I don't want to mangle our website pages unnecessarily trying to fix this only to find that it wasn't a problem on our end and now that I mangled and changed the website I create a whole new set of problems.
And before anyone says "You shouldn't have to mangle your website to get good rankings" I am saying that somewhat cynically. Because, taking a look at the current top 10 websites for some keywords, in order for me to emulate them I would need to reduce the usablity of our site by putting tons of unreadable yet informative (to a search engine) text (text that should be on individual pages for each product) all on one page.
Of course, what good is a usable website if the the search engines prefer unusable copy over usable copy.
I'd like to add something interesting today. I have one article on "orange widgets". G. took us from obscurity to # 1 on that yesterday, and we had 95 visits to the page. Checking the competition, "Orange Widgets.com" is # 2 to us. But Orange Widgets is a single page, NO content domain holder page. It has the phrase in the title, keywords, bottom of the page, etc.
And below us are actual sites that sell "orange widgets".
So if anything I have to wonder if G. is reacting to pages with keyword phrase repetations. As in, I've got the max # right, the Orange Widget contentless page has a bit too many, and below us come the sites where all the content is on the same general theme.
Though in my defense, our page is pretty useful. It breaks down all the variations of Orange Widgets, and other than the AdSense ads, there's no other links or affiliate bits. Whereas some of the industry-themed sites are replete with these.
I'm just surprised, because we're not a site on that single theme, where there are other themed sites below us. I guess that does't mean they have the best content, though. In fact our page has more info, and naturally written, than the other 9 pages.
What will tell the tale is in a few weeks, if we're still there, but the content-less "Orange Widget" page is gone... or if we get zapped, too, in favour of themed sites.
From 3500 visitors per day to just 350 visitors per day.
It is difficult to attribute any one cause of loss of ranking. It would be nice if someone from the google god would pop in here and put a stop to the guessing, but that's unlikely. I have several sites which pay the mortgage etc in a variety of ways. One has been hit badly and I can try to guess why but honestly don't have a clue what would really be the best course of action. It's down from about 3K to 500/day referrals. Revenue decrease is almost exactly in line with this.
So what is it about this site which is different to the others which seem ok just now [touch wood]?
 It was hit in the Jan update but recovered completely.
 It's in a crowded market worth $$$$ for successful players, but it's [or was] about #4 against some players which I guess turn over 6 figures.
 I've found duplicate content [some exact, and up to about 600 words], not in scrapers but in other competing sites where my clients also advertise... so I guess they have joined up and done a copy-and-paste as it's the easy way.
 As I've not had my eye 100% on the ball [due to it being #2 in a stable of 5] it hasn't had the attention it deserves re concatenation issues and possible internal near-dup content issues.
 It includes a couple of affiliates, one of which is very big but only has 5 on the XML, the other is used and abused by thousands.
Sorry, this won't answer any questions for anyone. But if anyone has constructive suggestions, I'm looking for a way forward. If it doesn't recover meaningfully in the next 2 weeks it's a 100% rework -- throw it all up in the air and see how it lands.
Does this mean the site is banned? Does the PR bar become greyed out if the site is banned? (it's not.. just curious if that was fact or fiction)
Thanks for the help.
what about plural vs. singular..?
For some of the keyword phrases on an older project I used to work on..(3.5 years running till last Dec 2006...I still watch it because I kept this site at the very top of its sector for the entire duration of my involvement and for its main "money phrases"....)
This one site in particular clues me into some very specific moves that Google is doing...
I see that Google may be pulling apart the singular / plural .. which for some sectors and searches would affect traffic, sales and revenues...(at least in this sector for sure...two word phrase...very competitive and absolutely spot on for searches by users)...
Another factor for sure is that Google is now running localization testing in the organic SERPs across some sectors...you can count on this upsetting some of the established SERPs (this is in conjunction with Google's recent interest in the cell phone business ... ;-)
Susan - Well I am like many of the others here and hoping it's a glitch but that did not stop me from making some pretty big changes that I thought might help and certainly would not hurt. In terms of "on page SEO" I did not think that we were perfect so while we bouce in and out I will continue to make adjustments - If your happy with your "on page" then I would be sitting tight.
I haven't seen any dramatic difference as we are still getting many more sales (percentage wise) here in our own state which blows my mind since they have to pay taxes.
For a last 4 months or so my site has been comming up and down on an almost monthly basis.
When the March update happened on the 6th, my site made a recovery.
But now just 20 days later my site is only getting 10% of the traffic.
20 days seems to be a strange time to be ranking well, as there didn't seem to be an update on the 27th.
Did anyone one else notice anything on the 27th?, or an explanation for this?
I thought I was out of this woods, I *thought* I had fixed all the problems.
[edited by: tedster at 2:59 pm (utc) on Mar. 29, 2007]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]
Im curious what you guys link profile looks like. I was guessing that was the cause of what I was seeing on this other site. Essentially to me it looked like a devaluing of their links.
I don't know how to explain my link profile but I am linked to from a number of fairly large sites, with PR6 site wide and also a number of deep links to many of my articles.
webmaster tools is saying 7,000 external links.
I am thinking of removing private from my domain name, as it need renewing shortly, and renewing it for two years. whether this is a factor I doubt it, but who knows.