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Drop in rankings for my primary keywords - is it a penalty?



9:10 am on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Most of my primary keywords which were ranking in top 10 have suddenly dropped and are now ranking on page number 5 or 8.

Need help on this?

Is it due to the amount of links that I have been doing?


12:49 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

hi jane,

it could be many things. can you please provide more information.

what changes have you made to the website recently? what changes has your competition made?
have you checked the technical side of your website to make sure its functioning properly?
has google changed how its crawling your site?
has your toolbar pagerank changed?
are your links natural looking?
has your traffic dropped or just your rankings?


4:49 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If you were building links heavily for a specific anchor text then Id put my money on a -50.


5:05 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

If you were building links heavily for a specific anchor text then Id put my money on a -50.

Oh yes, that is certain not to mention even if you varied the anchor text but suddenly got a whole bunch of inbound links, that can trip a penalty as well.

In anticipation of your next question, there is no set time for getting out of that penalty.


6:25 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Have you noticed that there are new players on page 1 or are they mostly the same players and you're just not there anymore? The fact that you're on pages 5-8 could definitely suggest some sort of penalty due to unnatural linking patterns like linkbuildr/mrguy have said, but I've noticed similar ranking drops with our site on a lesser scale (page 2-3)for our primary keywords. This seems to be caused by a shift (at least for our industry) in Google's algo towards local optimization (showing local results outside of Google Places even when region isn't specified) and more of a mash up of results that includes official sources, informational, dead-on domain matches and competitors that are now enjoying better rankings. Just curious to know if you've seen any of this as well on page 1 for your primiary keywords.


6:37 pm on Dec 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi Jane,

If you were aggressively linking with same anchor texts then look there..

If not, my site which had long running success on content alone and article distribution for 6 years got hit late October, still not sure what happened, but like you all my page 1 and 2 webpages where pushed back to between 5 and 7 overnight, even for non-competitive terms I ranked 1 for since like the first few months I started my site...

I have seen this happened to many people over the last month, not that it gives you peace but there is a very high occurrence lately that has not been pinned to a penalty as of yet...

My site had no link building in place for years,

Good luck...


6:32 am on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

@tshirtdeal, what do you mean by"article distribution" as you also say that your site had no link building in place...


4:12 pm on Dec 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi Indyank,

I guess I should have said the only link building I did for the site was write a couple unique articles per week and put them on a few top sites such as goarticles...

I have never forum posted, blog comments, buy links , beg for links or any other aggressive link building. In the beginning articles were a hot link building method , I continued with them simply because my articles were picked up to targeted areas and brought me in a decent amount of targeted traffic.


6:17 am on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

On this same day, 2nd Dec, I too lost most of my rankings on many of the keywords. But the drop was not as HUGE as mentioned by Jane.

My rankings fell from the # 3 to # 11 and likewise most of my keywords are now ranked on the 2nd page.

Is this a penalty or a glitch ? Or something else altogether.

And Yes. I havent made any changes whatsoever on the site.


7:05 am on Dec 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

On tons of terms I see competitors now limp on page two. The new results in between and other oddlties stink of another major change

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