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# These sites are from same adsense account,
# same market (e.g travel or education),
# each 8-10 years old site (and domain), authority sites,
# thousands of natural backlinks, pr 6-7
# no sites sell links or whatever not good and not inter-linked b/w sites
# updated daily, very stable for last 8-10 years, earning total five figure income from adsense/vibrantmedia.. for last 4 years, ad companies use some sites as reference,
# each site hosted on separate dedicated server on different dc of usa.
Now we donot see these sites in google search for even domain keywords but appearing on 4th/5th pages for some keywords and domain keywords.
We have other similar sites where adsense not used and those sites not affected. We know friends, partners many similar sites with adsense and they not affected. So its not likely an search algo change. Only sites from our adsense account and total 5 out of 6 affected. The 6th site is also similar site. We have also few less traffic sites from different industry and they not affected.
We donot use any webmaster account for sites, today we have added/verified 2 sites to see any google error/message but nothing such.
I said above "updated daily, very stable for last 8-10 years"...
No use for giving false info, nobody can solve, just discussion and experience sharing.
How original is the content?
Of sites I've inspected that have ranked well for years then were suddenly slammed, a fair amount have had content originality issues. Mostly this involved aggregation of content from various sources, like YouTube, Wikipedia, iMDB, etc.
Links, buying, selling, acquiring from partners
This is always a sensitive issue. How were the links acquired? You say there's no interlinking, and that's good. That the sites are related in theme may be less good. It certainly makes it difficult to acquire unique inbounds for each of the related sites so as to not have their link relationships overlap.
I'm not saying you engage in risky link schemes, just pointing out a common pitfall. A common webmaster quirk is the inability to see the difference between optimization and well, spamming. So a webmaster who really wants to get to the bottom of what's going on, has to be brutally honest with themself of about edgy link building and content issues. No making excuses like pointing at others who do the same and are still ranking.
Is it possible this is a hand check or is it algorithmic? Could the June thing have been the point where your network came under scrutiny?
I remember reading they use things such as domain registration to gauge site credibility so this may not be far off that they look at Adsense accounts or anything else to check for networks. I have to say I looked up a local search for my area a few days ago and it came up with domains registered just for that purpose with obviously canned content. So the travel sector has some serious competition as if that wasn't already known. To register thousands of domains to do these things muct be an immense project only capable of by deep pockets and serious players. The little guy is slowly getting crushed out of the internet I think as the money has arrived and it is wiping us out.
[edited by: TerrCan123 at 9:40 pm (utc) on Aug. 22, 2008]
...we... have sitelinks, so our site is considered an authority one...
Are you sure sitelinks are a sign of authority [webmasterworld.com]?
< Let's keep the Sitelinks discussion in that thread
so this thread can keep its focus on Aug 19-20 changes. >
[edited by: tedster at 4:55 pm (utc) on Aug. 23, 2008]
ziajunu's openng post in interesting to me because five sites under common ownership were affected, but not every site they own was affected. And since these sites have been strong for 8-10 years, it seems quite unusual.
I agree with Crush - it seems like there must be some common theme.
They are on same market - like dnforum, sitepoint, digital point are in same market.
What I think, it couldbe a manual review of our 5 years old adsense account and they tuned the sites. Otherwise it is impossible to hit 5 sites same time (like switch on).
They very strong sites with authority/sitelinks.
Say one our domain name "newabc"
and if I search for "newabd", google corrects spelling
Did you mean: newabc
and show result newabd . com (that is newabd domain exist and still corrects spelling)
and when click on corrected spelling
"Did you mean: newabc"
our site not showing rather some alexa, spyfu, aboutus result.
How we got links - they are very old sites, people link to these sites from relevant sites, no paid links.
Contents - are different, not shared among sites, because each site has different mysql db which running for many years.
I donot get well what you mean "common theme"
Maybe I should use the phrase "common factor" - something about these five sites that is similar, but not present for the sites that were not penalized. It could be a technical similarity, backlinks profile, recent global changes to these sites, or many other things.
It's just that you have five examples of this problem showing up at one time, but other sites that do not show the problem. So the obvious question, I think, is what do they have in common that might cause a problem? There good qualities are not the cause of the ranking problems, you know?
No, no, and no. And I will tell you why I say no. :) The fact that five of your sites were caught in the same net, makes it absolutely clear that your sites share a common miscalculation. The problem therefore is that you may not have a clear distinction of what constitutes shaky optimization strategy, or are overlooking the cause. Because something worked for five or more years doesn't mean it's not shaky, even if your competitors or other sites are still doing well with it.
If you built and promoted five websites within the same niche, then there is going to be overlap between them in the way they were promoted, in links, in the kinds of links, in the content, in the kind of content.
I'm willing to bet you aren't looking hard enough and that it is right in front of your nose. ;)
About a month ago I made a few changes on the index.html page that didn't seem nearly big enough to cause the kind of drop we experienced. Mainly taking out a keyword in a couple links. The only other thing I found was apparently someone had hacked the site at some point, because when I checked links going out there were two links to shopping sites from inner pages. Those two shopping sites that we were linking out to were PR5 sites, so it isn't like they were real scummy. I'm still trying to figure out how someone got in to change two of my inner pages. Probably someone hacked the shared server, I imagine. Could this possibly have caused the drop? I'm thinking it probably couldn't. So, the mystery continues...
apparently someone had hacked the site at some point
Unfortunatley, that's a very real possibility these days. And if Google sees signs of a hack - especially parasite hosting of either links or malware - then rankings drops follow.
It's always good to follow a mysterious crash in rankings with a solid look at all your outgoing links - use a tool like Xenu LinkSleuth rather than your eyes.
I think the reason is in duplicated content filter. Google have chosen some certain sites in certain niches and they now show up in all searches for most of main keywords. Other sites have lost their ratings and, thus, traffic.
Those who lost traffic write here at WW, those who gain - are few lucky ones :)
This started with google news search. Google has selected what he thinks are authority sites, the rest show up only in supplemental search.
I have long stood by and watched them abuse obvious link selling on the homepage and watched them try to hide common domain ownership by having seperate servers under different whois data for different sites and using obvious link anchor text manipulation.
To me it looks like a manual review and smackdown on or around the 19th.