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One of my sites got hit.
1. One year old website
2. Niche terms with low competition and been number #1 for 2 terms for more than 6 months
In mid december my #1 got to around #6 position but fluctuating sometimes back and sometimes around #6 and now got stuck on #6
* I have keyword in the domain - e.g. www.keyword.net and that term got hit (+ some deep pages optimized for terms)
* The site is misspelling site - the site is ranking on mispellings of very competitive words. On these misspellings there is very low competiton and mostly forums/old sites which are not optimized for the misspelling at all.
* The site was entirely ranked on SEO. No PPC budget and no brand recognition
* Site was still getting some back links but the quality could be questionable - paid links but relevant
* All 3 terms that I was ranking for had lots of links with the same anchor texts and only small variations were present
* All the traffic went down, not only these 3 terms. Also my brand name - which is generic name ranks on #6
* I am using Google Analytics and other google products heavily. The site was interlinked with other of my sites but these have not been penalized.
* The homepage was changing constantly in last months and there have been relevant outgoing links to my other sites, which have not been hit.
* One of the deep pages that got hit, have been redesigned about 2-3 weeks before it got hit, with new content and template
[edited by: tedster at 6:05 pm (utc) on Jan. 5, 2008]
links is where i'm looking at
The idea of newly "released" supplementals is interesting, but in the examples I've looked at, the new results at 1-5 were not previously supplemental. They've been on page 1 all along and just moved up.
could there be a new influx of links valued to these site from the immerging supplementals. where it could be the profiles or even the quality of links to the sites that haven't dropped. causing the flux
Just trying to put some pieces together here...
We know that Matt is saying he didn't know about this (it was not intentional) and since he would probably know of a penalty, then we might be safe in assuming this is not a penalty of sorts.
Going back to the unintended consequence theory, it's not so much that the results were previously supplemental, it's the fact Google is treating everything as one big index now. So perhaps this tweak in supplementals twisted rankings elsewhere enough to pop some sites into higher positions (again, the unintended consequence theory).
I know we are seeing a lot more traffic (+45% on Google and 120% increase from AOL) especially on long-tail searches (4 + word phrases) than we were before, so something has changes for us.
also recently sub-domains are being treated slightly differently are you guys/girls that have dropped linked heavily from this section of the web or maybe the sites that haven't dropped are linked heavily from them? Was it the first week of December Google mentioned the change.
For people who are experiencing #6, what are your internal links like?
this might be what Marcia is thinking about?
just thoughts i was getting while reading the thread.
As an added are the sites affected from proxy pages? home pages are normally where they start the crawl.
[edited by: Vimes at 12:35 pm (utc) on Jan. 3, 2008]
I'm not suggesting that the DMOZ listings are the whole story but rather an important subset of a set of links that have been downgraded in value. I'm still of the opinion expressed earlier that the positiion six is actuallly a "transitional relief" extended to sites badly affected by the changes, but i'm aware no-one else seems to buy this.
This was an active site with fresh content 4 times per week that also added backlinks agressively
My assumption is they are monitoring the backlinks...but how to verify this? as there were maybe 30 added in the past 30 days, but similar keywords..
Sent a reinclusion request today to see if they will dislose why this occurred
<disclaimer>i have no evidence that this may have happened, i just put it out as a scenario not yet explored and may be a logical step down the road anyway</disclaimer>
Some of this may be based on query analysis. For pages that have been in the first 4-5 results or so, above the fold, if those pages have received fewer clickthroughs when compared to other pages listed within that set, it can cause a bit of a drop in rankings. So a drop to #6 in those instances could be a very real possibility and wouldn't be a "penalty" as such. It would just mean scoring bit less than other pages for that particular metric.
 According to an implementation consistent with the principles of the invention, one or more query-based factors may be used to generate (or alter) a score associated with a document. For example, one query-based factor may relate to the extent to which a document is selected over time when the document is included in a set of search results. In this case, search engine 125 might score documents selected relatively more often/increasingly by users higher than other documents.
[edited by: Marcia at 5:53 am (utc) on Jan. 5, 2008]