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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]
I'm seeing some terms at #5 ..shhh
I'm seeing some terms back at #1 ...shh
I observed this yesterday for some terms, then today it reverted back. I have actually seen this bouncing back and forth two or three times in the past week. I think it boils down to different data on different datacenters, yada yada yada
Unfortunately the filtered results are back this morning for all IPs I watch.
Also, these were not exactly pre position 6 results; these were new result. Not all keyword phrases came back exactly to where they were before this started.
I just checked some datacenters and saw that these two datacenters (below) are showing results from the "pre #6" era. Yea! Hope this is a sign of things to come.
Seeing similar results. We are sitting at #2 on these datacenters but still #6 on others.
Also, remember that this site has not been #1 on G for almost a year now but it was for about 4 years previously.
No on-page of off-page changes have been made since the #6 lock in. So maybe this is just a "toggling" of the filter on/off on certain datacenters.
I think Google's motivation with this penalty is to throttle traffic to our site. For all those rankings we very much deserve to be on page 1 and google's results would be worse if we didn't show up.
By pushing us below the fold they can severely reduce the traffic they send us, but not be embarrassed by an authority site on the topic not showing up on page 1.
Any thoughts why google would want to throttle traffic to some sites?
I found one term that is #7 on live and #5 on these datacenters, the rest were #6 (back to #3 in my cases). So I can't say it's a '#6' penalty, unless this datacenter is more current and that is why my #7 site is #5 there.
I think I confused myself with this post.
or those datacenters are just still processing data I don't know, but it is great for comparative testing.
And this is why i'm absolutely Pi$%ed at Google!
Anyone who studies how Google "rolls out" testing/tweaks and watched this #6 penalty get rolled out, will understand exactly what happened...
So what happened?!
Some Google engineer at the 'Plex simply FORGOT what they were testing!
It started right before Christmas, which might be a lame excuse for why they forgot. But it's very lame at that.
In my original analysis, it looked like they were testing "something" and then just rolled out the whole thing without the normal "vetting" process of studying the results.
This has been a constant complaint about Goog since they started.
First the complaint was, "Why do major shake-ups right before the Christmas holidays?"
So it seems they did realize that was extremely unfair to many of the websites AND their visitors.
This year, they waited to roll-out major testing/updates until after Christmas. However, one(or several) of their engineers went on "vacation" and those of us hit with this penalty were literally stuck in the middle of the testing.
I have an idea for "super-smart" Goog...
Why not start AND finish all the major testing, tweaks, etc AFTER Christmas like people and companies for the past 2000 years have ALREADY figured out is the most efficient way to do business.
Or they could simply fire the dope who started this testing and forgot they never finished until 3 weeks later.
If memory serves me right these were the last two DC's to go to #6 position and now they are the first two to return.
Donna, you are right. I remember seeing these two datacenters show the lowered results and thinking to myself, "hmmm thats odd, at least its only on those two."
The only thing is as soon as they appeared, they were very quick to infiltrate the other datacenters. Unlike we are seeing with a possible reverse.
So far the only other datacenter I can see that shows the non #6 results other than the two listed above is this one [188.8.131.52...]
Also I tested the theory of "adding more text" "adding picture with alt text" etc and making the page better and it is still stuck in the 6th spot on the affected datacenters.
[edited by: Timetraveler at 3:50 am (utc) on Jan. 23, 2008]
Big City Widget Service
It has been untouched for several months. No Google Analytics, no AdSense.
When the Position 6 issue came to light, I checked all my sites and found it at...you guessed it...position 6. A few days ago, it reverted to #1. I did nothing to the site while it was sixth.
[edited by: Beachboy at 6:48 am (utc) on Jan. 23, 2008]
1. The term affected is the #1 big $ adwords term for your niche.
2. The term has "Searches related to:" at the bottom of the SERPS.
3. If you use a plural word in the search term it pops back in to #1 or #2. For example search for blue widget #6 but search for blue widgets and back to #1.
4. If you reverse the term and search for widgets blue rather than blue widgets it pops back into #1.
In each of the cases in 3. and 4. "Searches related to:" no longer appears at the bottom of the page.
It seems to me that Google (or a misguided Google employee) could deliberately manipulate the organic SERPS for its own financial benefit. We know that they manipulate Adwords for this purpose so it is not such a big step to believe that they could do it to the organic results.
What I see is:
- few weeks ago these sites lost 4-5 position ( eg. from the 4th position to the 10th position); in the meanwhile, the number of results diminuished a lot ( about 10%; eg. from 10 millions to 1 million).
- now they are gaining position 8 better than few weeks ago ) and the number of results is still less than in the past, but about the double (eg. from 1 million to 2 million results)