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I own a .co.uk domain which this time last year was up in the top 10 for some fairly competitive terms.
Now most searches end up on page 4 or 5 of google serps.
If I search for bluewidgets.co.uk I am number one but if I search for "Blue Widgets" or "bluewidgets" I am on page 5,
Also I see the yo-yo affect where I can start at the bottom of page 5 in the morning and by the end of the day I can be at the bottom of page 4.
Any advice on what type of penalty this is and what I need to do to get it removed would be gratefully received.
The main issue that we've been calling the Yo-Yo involves switching on and off the first page. The shifts you're seeing between pages 4 and 5 might well be data center differences, or just regular Google churn.
There are so many reasons for losing a previously high ranking that it's difficult to say much more - except to become familiar with the possibilities collected in the Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page.
How to fix this?
the phrase bluewidgets or blue widgets is not a competitive phrase at all.
The .com is registered but only has a holding page which doesn't rank at all. I've got bluewidget.co.uk
This time last year I was number one for the phrases blue widget, blue widgets, bluewidget.co.uk
Any other suggestions?
My first suspicion when something like this happens is that backlinks are not being counted the way they used to - so definitely compare your backlink profile to what the other sites look like, and notice whether your backlinks show a healthy variety of types, or if they are mostly links that you placed yourself.
If your ranking for bluewidgets drops and bluewidgets is NOT a competitive term, your PR has been davalued for the whole site or it's a minus penalty which affects the whole site.
I can't tell exactly what causes the drop for bluewidgets but I'm seeing a yo-yo effect for bluewidgets yo-yoing about 10-20 times a day betweek #1 - Nirvana.
If bluewidgets will see a steady #1 again does not mean automatically your whole site will rank again immediately but it's a good sign your site might rank again with the next few data refreshes.
Still need to do a lot tests with my sites to figure this one out.
When you say you are on page 5 for bluewidgets, does it mean with 100 results or with 10 results per page? Usually the bluewidgets term never drops this deep in ranking.
However, if I searched using just "mydomain" and domainname is unique not keywords, then it's on page 5 or 6. Usually around #46 or so. It happned around mid oct and it's been there since then.
It was ranking high (generally on page 1) for most of the keywords and inner pages were also ranking good. Suddenly ALL of the pages for ALL the keywords were pushed to page 5+.
I've requested a re-inclusion request with google but till now, there's nothing.
if you drop for bluewidghets and bluewidgets is NOT a competitive term the drop will also affect ALL of your URLs, all of them will drop to similar positions. (some sort of -40).
Their is a discussion about exactly this problem on the google webmaster help group (September), but no one from google commented.
But there is no specific time involved - it's not like ice hockey where you just get a time out in the penalty box. You first need to find and fix whatever the problem is.
This could be the usual collateral damage which comes with this -40 -60 penalties, co-occurrance penalties ... you don't even know what to fix if nothing is broken.
Example: You add content to existing URLs, but your site has not been changed for many months. Bang, you get a penalty. So what can be done in this case, removing the unique content which provides more value in the hope the site will come back or not? It's not easy to find a way through this penalty jungle and they offer no help at all.
You can get a penalty for just everything you change on or add to your site. Introducing new URLs, adding content, changing content, changing backlinks, changing navigation, menus, internal links ...
I think a lot of people with top rankings fear to change or add content to their sites these days.
Google should at least provide minimal information in WMT so people will know what happened and not spread fear.
In Google type "link:" + "domain name" + "keyword" and see if you have any incoming links for that keyword. If Google has removed your ability to rank well for certain terms you will find none (or their numbers will be shrinking if the micro-ban is recent).
However, I searched for "link:" + "mydomain.com" + "keyword", then it's same as other queries my site is on page 5. SEOPTI, Erku and Breham do you see the same?
Your site shouldn't be on page 5 when you're looking up your own domain. You should see all incoming links to your domain index page from other sites. If there are none for that keyword you have to figure out why.
1) Look for links to domains that are bad neighborhoods now, even if they weren't when you linked to them.
2) Look for hacks to your site - sometimes parasite links are present, but they are hidden from when you come in through direct navigation. The links may still be visible to googlebot or to trafic from Google Search Results clicks.
3) Look for links that might appear to be paid links but that pass PageRank.
4) If you know that you have been trying to improve your Google ranking with backlink schemes and networks in any way, undo as much of that as you can.
5) This is not a job to delegate to anyone else. There have been cases where an employee or contractor actually created the problem, and if they get the job of checking out backlinks, they're not about to tell you what they did.
If you rank low for your full domain name, including the ".com" or whatever extension your domain has, that shows a loss of trust - a major loss of trust.
Where would be your thoughts if you had all of the other symptoms except for the one you describe here?
1) Ranked well in the past including the inside pages
2) Ranks #1 for "mydomain.com" (no quotes) still. I still even see site links.
3) Ranks page 4,5,6 for just "mydomain" withouth the .com or .net
4) Page Rank is still there, site: is fine, link: is fine. Still ranks good on other SEs
5) Every keyword possible ;even the site name or the company name which used to be #1 and it's unique, rank page 4,5,or 6.
I have no outbound links. No links are sold on the site. Did some link buying, but site was ranking before that and this has been discussed over and over that buying links should not negatively affect ranking.
I think it's not the problem of someone getting into our sites as well. If so Google will display "this site may harm your pc" or something like that besides your listing.
Had some issues with https:// and http:// problem and did redirect, re-submitted for re-inclusion but it's been over a month with no results.
Anyone that had gotten out of this please chime in.
even the site name or the company name which used to be #1 and it's unique, rank page 4,5,or 6.
If your site name is a Proper Noun only (and thus would not be a generic word that popped up frequently) it could be an OOP if a substantial proportion of IBLs use that keyword.
We posted similtaneously, and you mention redirects. Please make sure they resolve in one step. Post in apache forum for how to do this- some members are genious at creating logical structures for redirects.
Regarding the 301 redirects, we had dropped in rankings before the redirects were done to fix the http https issue.
We thought that the problem was because of the possible duplicate issues with http and https pages, and did proper 301 redirects AFTER the rankings tanked in hopes of bring the site back. Our site dropped rankings about 2 weeks before halloween.
I would like to read about the 301 chains problem related to halloween update though. Do you have a link for that thread?