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I would like to get feedback from webmasters who experienced huge drop in traffic because of these (caffeine) changes. We lost almost 40.000 daily visitors.
Site is well established and quite old with lot of natutural backlinks, online since 2004.
What do you think ? Are these changes temporary or permanent ?
More likely something else is affecting your traffic and you'll need to really drill into the analysis to discover what that is. For example, did you lose ranking only on some important keywords - or is it across the board?
I didn't experience such drop in traffic in 5 years history. Site has more than 300.000 backlinks (according to yahoo) and we didn't make any changes in last 6 months.
It seems to be that we lost tons of minor keyword positions. But I don't know how to get this information.
[edited by: tedster at 8:09 pm (utc) on Dec. 7, 2009]
According to other webmasters this negative trend was (is) due to the caffeine algo which is alive at least in one datacenter and a deadly mix between thanksgiving holiday and the approacing Christmast. (during this period Google seems to give more importance to websites which have to do with gifts etc.)
Other webmasters also blamed a kind of Google Dance which shaked a lot of websites at the end of November (including my blog).
As for now, the situation for many websites seems to be reverting.
Your drop seems to be pretty big. Have a look at Google Analytics and see if your main keywords are still there and where your drop comes from.
My drop seems to come from those keywords belonging to the long tail which are pulled down in the serp. All my major keywords are still there.
that's my experience.
The numbers for site:www.example.* query are dropping since the caffeine stuff started back in September. Also the AOL exported URLs are dropping.
So I think if there is some sort of partition which holds the supplemental results it will have an effect on long tail traffic during a time where there is no constant indexing.
[edited by: SEOPTI at 4:58 am (utc) on Dec. 8, 2009]
The drop began at exactly 12 noon on November 29th.
Now, I have noticed some very strange activity in my Google Webmaster Tools reports. I keep seeing these "DNS Lookup Timeout" notifications for a small number of pages... between 5-12... it comes and goes. There is no reason for that error. I've never seen that since I began using webmaster tools in the very beginning. I have this feeling that something is screwed up with Google. I sure hope it gets fixed soon. 80k hits is alot to loose each day from a glitch.
I still come up #1 for my domain, my main keyword and I'm doing well with some obscure terms in other countries... but everything else is gone. The number of indexed pages is the same as usual and spidering continues as usual.
Of course, I don't realy have any DNS issues. I get crawled 100,000 +/- pages per day by google (i.e why just 891 issues? Why not all of them?), and I host my own servers in-house, and there was no problem recently. I have NEVER had this error before - I am obssessed with watching WMT errors counts and have been tracking them daily for about 18 months.
Oh, my domain search is fine, I have sitelinks, but I lost my ranking back in October.
What exactly does this do? Any results that come up are _NOT_ indexed in the main SERPs, they are supplemental!?
Is that really true?
If there is no cache date, we assume it is supplemental? (I believe this may be true...)
Or, how old does the cache date have to be at which point we assume it to is supplemental? 2 weeks? 1 month? 2 months? Can we really draw the line somewhere? (I am unsure how this might work...)
(And I use the term "supplemental" loosely, I am not convinced there is a "supplemental index" per se, but I do agree an URL can be banished to the end of the SERPs, and not be considered for frequest crawling, and in that sense, be "supplemental".)
[edited by: helpnow at 6:14 pm (utc) on Dec. 9, 2009]
But I am curious to see if anyone else finds the mid-September timeframe significant.
Oh, I see above someone spoke of pages been taken out of the SERPs completely - yes, I've got that too: if I am to trust the WMT sitemaps, then I have about 50% of my pages not in the SERPs. Crazy. I've stumbled over some of these pages, and they are clean - rich content, unique, etc. No reason for them to be removed from the SERPs.
Too many moving parts in this puzzle...
site:www.example.com/* is an old query which has been discussed quite a few times here on the forums to show supplemental results for a domain.
I see a lot of URLs with no cache date usting the query and most of the URLs where is there no cache date do not rank at all.
I'm still using this query every day to analyse traffic. Since September the numbers for site:www.example.* are dropping across all my domains. I can see a traffic drop each time the numbers for site:www.example.* drop.
Since their is a traffic drop which is connected to the site:www.example.* query I'm sure their is a connection with the supplemental index.
Before September the numbers for site:www.example.* increased throughout the year and so traffic increased.
I am hitting my head here and there to find out the cause (such as duplicate content within my site) but have no clue and apparently everything is as normal as before in my site.
Just a question. For example I have 2000 posts in my blog.
In webmaster tool i see that the total number of indexed urls is, 1100.
if i use the site: command in Google it shows 1800...which one do i have to believe and why?
After digging deeper into Analytics I can see that one of the most popular sections of my site is falling in the serps. This section held the top 3 positions for well over a year for thousands of key phrases but today I am no longer in the first 5 pages for lots of them.
I'm looking at some of my competitors and can see they are also dropping, at least they are still on the first page though.
I do hope these are temporary changes but I'm not going to wait this one out. Its time to go over everything that has recently been added, changed or deleted on my site.