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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]
Like so many others it has been badly affected by this recent 'change/problem' with visitor numbers down by 50%.
One thing in particular has got me really confused:
1. I have 2 'widget suppliers' that subscribe to my site, one sells 'blue widgets' in area A and the other sells 'red widgets' in area B.
2. They each have a dedicated 'optimised' page on my site and each page is constructed and optimised in the same manner.
3. The content, whilst similar in some respect (they both sell widgets), is different, and so are the keyword phrases - 'blue widgets in area A' and 'red widgets in area B'
4. Up until last week each page acheived similar top 10 placements in Google for the relevent search phrase.
1. The 'blue widget in area A' page is performing better than ever acheiving #2 in Google
2. The 'red widget in area B' is now down on page 4 and getting no traffic whatsoever.
Why/How is Google's filter or Algo or whatever it is rewarding one page whilst punishing another when they are formatted/constucted and optimised in the same way.
Has anyone experienced anything similar?
I would appreciate any advice on how I should explain to my 'red widget in area B' client why he is no longer receiving traffic from my site :-(
googles new strategy appears to be to change the results every so often
they are doing this as and when they feel like it, probably randomly
we had a bad two weeks at start of jan, 5 good days, another 2 weeks of rubbish, a great february and then this morning we are now back exactly where we were at the start of the year
so exact is it that the same strange search terms that were generating traffic for us during the 'black' period are now returning once more
it is interesting to see that few of those who shared this forum (and our concern or in some cases desperation) are commenting now because for me it is as though they have turned back the clock 6 weeks.
I wouldnt worry were I you. If your site is good it will return.
This is the future of a free relationship with google I reckon
<I wouldnt worry were I you. If your site is good it will return. >
I appreciate your optimism - unfortunately I'm the eternal pessimist :-(
I would really love to know what is happening and why - I think Google should at least 'have the courtesy' to inform us of 'work in progress' and to expect 'changes' in results and whether or not these changes are likely to be temporary or permanent - this would at least reduce specultation, minimise the inevitable 'rumour' mongering and enable me to either sit back and wait for normal service to be resumed or to start re-thinking my strategies etc...
You're right of course - did'nt think about that one long enough.
I suppose I'm just p***ed off at losing 50% of my traffic overnight for no apparent reason - I still think there should be some way of 'getting the message out' though - possibly a subtle hint via Matt Cutts' blog - after all I do not imagine that your average surfer has ever heard of him let alone read his blog - Ok...it would never work...I'll shut up before I dig myself a deeper hole here :-)
No, I think someone SHOULD approach Matt Cutts and ask what's going on. If anyone is ready to step forward and "out" themselves. Given that we went from making enough each day to buy a gourmet dinner for 4 to buying a cup of Starbucks for 1, I'm just about there. Because if my style of site is done for, I'd sure like to know now.
I expected trouble in the future. I was trying to diversify, obviously not hard enough. Last place I expected to get in trouble was from Google by doing what we've been doing for 4 years. We're losing more and more pages, and nothing's coming back.
[edited by: Play_Bach at 5:02 am (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]
I thought exaclty the same as you until my site dropped again - then came back - then dropped again - then came back only to drop again - Almost to the day each week. I expect there might be some corrupt data floating around out there or something. I hope you stay in so let us know how it plays out for you. I just hope things settle down soon.
[edited by: tedster at 7:43 am (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]
[edit reason] moved from another location [/edit]
Sorry that such difficult circumstances brought you here. You can see from this thread that many people have started to have a similar problem, but so far there's no direct answer for it.
I expect there might be some corrupt data floating around...
I'm thinking bigger than mere corrupt data, kidder - more like a buggy infrastructure change. They may be trying to accelerate the pace of indexing and are not getting the coordination of events handled properly. That's pure guesswork, by the way.
If the search for both pages is equally competitive, then the answer to your question must be that both pages are not optimised the same way.
>I'm thinking bigger than mere corrupt data, kidder - more like a buggy infrastructure change
If google had no bugs or achieved it's goals perfectly, there would be no need for SEO. Seo is all about understanding the inefficiencies of google and exploiting them.... bring on the bugs, this is why seo exists and we have the opportunity to beat worthy competition. The infrastructure change probably does have bugs, but sadly less than before.
I've never understand people wanting google to get better.... affiliates, directories and (lets be honest) our 'average' content probably would never make it into the top 10. When you see google make a mistake, rejoice. When it's you they have hit, seize the challange, don't whinge. Forget the worthyness of your site, it's all about seo. If it wasn't, then bottom is probably where you should be.
I've never understand people wanting google to get better.... affiliates, directories and (lets be honest) our 'average' content probably would never make it into the top 10.
So far, things seem back to where they were pre-March 7th for my sites. As with the Florida update, my keywords were affected in such a way that my sites would not be returned no matter how many Google pages I clicked through trying to find them - and I clicked through a lot! Then all of a sudden, yesterday there they were again back on page one and two. I would add that unlike with Florida where I scrambled to find anything in my sites that may have caused the problem and change them, this time I didn't change a thing. Not that I have a lot of evidence to back it up, but I suspect changing sites during an update is not the best idea and may actually make things worse.
there have been 3 sites within the serps i monitor that has been coming and going for a while. they are all back as of today.
whether this is the result of an update or a rollback is a good question. the serps i am seeing now LOOK like a rollback.
I'm a novice at this... but, I noticed something strange with Google last week that may play into the idea that there is a bug in the system.
Our site, after being ranked in the top on many competitive keywords, took a sudden and drastic hit on March 7th (I personally didn't think this was possible, until I saw it with my own eyes).
At the same time, I noticed in Webmaster Tools - that in the external links there were hundreds of links from legitimate, off topic sites, that did NOT, in fact, link to us. I actually checked with one of the site owners, just to be on the safe side.
In a day or so, these links disappeared from Webmaster Tools, but our rankings have not returned yet.
I don't know if these things are related, but I thought I would share this with the hope that someone else can make some sense out of it.
[edited by: Fugazi at 2:59 pm (utc) on Mar. 13, 2007]
How many of these sites were ecommerce sites, strangely enough the sites of mine that have been hit are all ecommerce ones
It's a site I plan on working more on, what I put up was more or less the place holder.
It now ranks number 4 for it's primary keyword and is generating sales!
Sure that's great, but I admit it shouldn't be there. I can't for the life of me figure out why it's ranking. There's nothing on it.
Meanwhile another site I have, targeting the same keyphrase, and is a PR5 with many backlinks is sitting two positions behind.
Tedster - history tells me that your guesswork is a safer bet than mine. I will add that today my site has popped back into the top of the serps just like clockwork - that makes it now 3 weeks in a row it vanishes on a Monday and then is back by Wednesday. It's almost predictable, something new that I have not seen in the past.
My site was listed in the top 5 positions for certain keywords for more than a year. Recently the site ranking is fluctuating. At some point of time , it is in top 5 position, while at other time - it is no where in the top 100 positions. Please advice how to get my ranking back again.
leeparker - Several things here. If your site is just vanishing and then jumping back, with no movement in between, it's likely that you're seeing results from two different data centers.
When you get the results where you're gone, try adding &filter=0 right after the Google serps page url in your address window... so that the url ends with...
instead of with...
Then click the "Go" button up by your address window. Don't click the "Search" button on Google.
The addition of &filter=0 will show the serps with duplicate pages included. I've been observing that when Google's dupe filters are set high, a page that's been scraped a lot might drop out if Google encounters what appears to be a well-linked dupe. This is one way of detecting that.
If this happens, you'll want to locate the duping pages as well, to confirm that that's what's happening.
In my experience, Google sorts out such dupe issues in two or three or four days. Note that the drop-out is query specific, and happens in particular when Google's link authority "dial" is turned down. At that point, pages ranking by virtue of junk links seem to rise to the surface. This is conjecture, but that's what I think is happening.
It can also happen if your links to a page for a given query are a little bit iffy. It might also happen when Google is re-valuing links, as I think it does periodically, to check algo variants. Again, this is conjecture, but it's based on a fair amount of observation.