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Huge Decline in SERP - after changing title and meta tags



9:13 am on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I am facing heavy decline in click from Google since last 17 days. Sudden decline in click starts form 12th of April. For one week Google Webmaster Tool shows me pages are not indexed. But now it’s showing me that my site is indexed. But.... heavy downfall in SERP for some good keywords.

One of my good keyword raking my site in google at 9th or 10th place but now it’s at 200th place.

I had this problem before 3 months too. At that time traffic stopped only for a week, after that it became regular.

I changed my title, meta desc. and meta keywords at the staring of this month. Is there any effect of this change?

Can you please help me out? What can be the reason for this effect? What I have to do to increase SERP and Click from Google?


2:57 pm on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think you have answered you own question - IMO if you have recently changed your titles and your serps have dropped - then it is likely that this had a negative impact.

Did you by any chance make the titles shorter and more KW focused?

kamikaze Optimizer

3:34 pm on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

What I have to do to increase SERP and Click from Google
I would'nt touch anything, give it some time and see what happens.


3:55 pm on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Too late!

You should've read ALL these threads before changing anything:


Whatever you do now will only likely confuse and exacerbate the issue more.


9:02 pm on Apr 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Unless your website falls under the "very trusted" rule ie. 6+ years old with authority links, then lately Goog has been very cranky with Title changes/tweaks.

As said above, only thing you can do now is give it 2-3 weeks to settle down and see if the changes ultimately help or continue to suppress your rankings.


3:12 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Make sure that the Title is indeed the issue. I always document changes, often you will find that in fact other changes may have caused the problem. Without visual documentation, you are running in circles.

I have never seen a demotion that far from Title changes alone, but then again there are title changes that would of course cause that kind of drop if they were overly excessive or too lean on keywords.


6:08 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

This has happened to me as well, perhaps this is my problem..I have been adding some new second page content to other content and linking it together, so as I go to the old content to add a link i have been tweaking the meta's and titles and now my site has gone off the map...

My more trusted older site is staing pretty well through this update, by this more new untrusted one has dropped off the map....

anyone have any ideas on what to do? Just relax and keep adding content as usual and some good links pull it back you think?

The thing is I really need to tweak these pages as well, i am not happy with them...should I try to recover then tweak a page here and there? i have been tweaking a page a day for a couple weeks...

and now thinking of it, like an idiot pinging google after I rebuild the page....

I bet that is it....


7:28 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Right soxos, I made title more KW focused. I did this for kw which is ranking in second page & I want that to first page.

Can i switch over to old one?


9:41 am on Apr 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

SmEr0 - Do you keep logs of when / where google bot comes?
If there are any pages yet to be found then you could change this back, obviously it depends on the size / stucture of the site.

As for the pages which have already dropped I would not change these titles back.

I think the only thing you can do at this point is add more fresh content on to the existing pages that have dropped. Do this one page at a time if you can and don't over do the keywords in the text - in fact I would go as far to say in any new text add to the pages avoid using the exact KW in the title completely, instead use other words which relate to the matter - for example if you KW is WOODLAND, make sure you have TREES, LEAVES, BIRDS etc in your new text.

Thats what I would do anyway.

Failing that get a themed high PR / trust link direct to one of the problem pages often this will not only drag this page up, but other similar pages - finding them though is not easy.


12:48 pm on May 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It is very lucky that i am now out of the similar situation.
One of my page had gone nowhere when search the related keywords for about 3 month as i did the "keywords stuffing" in titile and meta. About a week ago i changed the title, eliminated some meta keywords, rewrote the description and revised the page document to make it looks more nature, when the Googlebot accessed my site three days ago, my page returned to the SERP and ranked at the 20th.


7:39 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Whenever I have to make changes to a title I expect a drop in the SERPs and it always happens but eventually the site comes back up again. I wonder if G needs a bit of time to re-assess the site content's relevancy to the new title.


10:00 am on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This happened to me three times.

I tested the different titles and found that the addition of a specific keyword flipped everything out of the SERPs.

Altering or maintaining the titles and removing those keywords fixed it every time.

My guess is that if the inbound links match the titles too much, Google doesn't like it. There is no hard and fast rule - but I would definitely, definitely revert back to the old ones. Each time it took about a week to re-propagate, which I know is a stressful pain.


11:47 pm on May 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

"My guess is that if the inbound links match the titles too much, Google doesn't like it"

Hmmm. taken to it's logical conclusion this could perhaps mean that a competitor could damage a site's ranking by creating inbound links that were the same as the title but I wouldn't think that this would be an effective part of an SE algo. Perhaps they may ignore the links?

kamikaze Optimizer

5:25 am on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I would guess that by changing the title of a page often, that you are confusing Google of the “Meaning’ of the page.

I would also guess (and I would like to open this up for discussion here), that by changing the META Description often, you are NOT confusing Google; but rather being more informative of the true page content.


8:42 am on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


My problems started when another site copied my title and description. They are a massive organisation with a huge highly trusted web site with thousand upon thousands of good quality natural backlinks.

I eventually forced them to change but they still stick around in the top 3 for the target term and it has taken me 10 months to climb above them. Previously we were at #1 for years for this term.




6:57 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is somewhat of an old thread, but I am in the same situation. I am about to launch a redesigned website with more SEO and title/meta changes on every page. The site I am changing somewhat ranks (anywhere from page 3-5 for various searches).

I assume after a change that large, the site will fall on Google for a few weeks and then eventually it will settle into a new position either higher or lower. My question is, for the people who changed their titles back in April/May, have you recovered in Google yet? I am curious to see how long it takes to get your ranking back after a major change like that.


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