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100% drop in Google traffic - main domain and subdomains



1:56 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

Friends, I'm desperate!

On January 18 at 9 PM (-3GMT) traffic from my main domain has dropped 100% of visitors coming from google, and the worst sub domains had the same crash!

No complaints, my site on google searching for the name nor the www.meusite.com sub domains subdomain.meusite.com

The pages are still in google when I search site: www.meudominio.com

What happened? I do not know what to do because the sub domains were also penalized in some way, have not received any email or message in GWT and reporting any problems.

Any help or hint of what may have happened I thank!

Because honestly do not know where to start investigating!


2:57 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

More information:

I checked what keywords where was I fell on the first page
to the page number 6 for both the main domain while for the sub-


3:04 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Ouch - that is painful. Yes, it does sound like a serious penalty.

Have you checked your best pages with "Fetch as googlebot" to see if your site has been hacked and is now serving parasite links to Google, but not regular visitors?

[edited by: tedster at 3:48 am (utc) on Jan 19, 2011]


3:08 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)


I appreciate the feedback,

Yes I did a search with googlebot and apparently everything is normal.

Googlebot is visiting almost all my pages right now, so confused, because the main site and sub domains were penalized.

It would be a false negative was perhaps?

The only thing I did differently the last few days has been additions to the iframe facebook (I like), I am taking now, but I do not think this caused the penalty.


3:50 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Often a penalty that strong has been associated with participating in backlink schemes, or with linking out to lots of bad neighborhoods without a nofollow. Does any of that bring up ideas for you?


3:52 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

First thing i would do is to undo all changes made on site (delete iframe). maybe there are other changes you've made on page , even you think are not important.

How many and what kind of links (natural,paid) did you get in last weeks?


4:03 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)


Hard work and I generate unique content and unique, and difficult to create links to other sites, some links exist between the main domain and subdomains are few and most always has to do with the content, and are useful to users.

But what puzzles me is I also penalized in subdomains at the same time!


4:07 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)


No paid links, I found only a large number of backlinks to sites related to copy part of my feed's, but I think that would be cause for punishment, for the entire site including subdomains.

My hope is that someone else has experienced something like that and no more than a bug Faso positive or Google, because I confess I do not know what to do and my main income is from these sites, and for that reason, I never test with them.


4:28 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I realize that some things are easier to say than to do, but really, it's not the worst idea to sit this one out for a day or two. In other words, sometimes doing nothing is your best strategy. Google has some weird hiccups every now and then, so if you respond to a hiccup with surgery, you may do more damage than good. This drop has just occurred in the past 24 hours ~ if in 72 hours you don't see any change, then it may be time to call the ER. For now, gathering information & opinion is smart (as you are doing), but restrain yourself from making on-page changes unless they are necessary, at least in the short term. Let's see how this plays out over the next couple days ~ it's possible you'll be back close to "normal" by the end of the week, and as usual with Google, there will be no rhyme or reason for this blip that you or anyone else will figure out.



4:31 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

In December my server was out for eight hours due to problems
hardware, but now I believe that this penalty would not cause the
server problem weeks ago?


4:34 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)


I appreciate your words and hours have not changed anything significant I'll wait for the next few hours, but in 5 years working with websites never had the same problem, so the concern heard or know where I went wrong because it always worked correctly and see such a drop is disheartening and making me lose sleep.


5:12 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I learned that lesson from Mayday. When that major Google event occurred, my best site dropped like a stone. Fortunately I had previously scheduled a camping trip into a remote part of Idaho (The City of Rocks), where I had no opportunity to panic or do anything because there was no cell phone, land lines, or wireless access. When I returned to civilization ~ having not done a single thing ~ my site regained its previous positions. It took a few weeks, but that's what happened, so I have come to the conclusion that, in some cases, patience is in fact a virtue.



10:57 am on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I agree with Reno... I cant begin to count the number of times we have seen an abnormal dip in rankings where I have paniced, done nothing for a few days and then for them to reappear as normal!

Although... we took a drop around a week ago and am finding it very hard to start tweaking too much!


2:37 pm on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


You are not the only one experiencing issues with Google SERP rankings; i'm experiencing it aswell.

One of my website lost nearly 100% google organic traffic on Monday 17th. The traffic have not yet recovered and even today we are not going up in the SERP.

This is not the only issue however. There is one even more unusual: on January 8th another of my website that targets 3 main keywords (and a bunch of keywords in the long tail topically connected to those 3 keywords) lost all the traffic from 2 of those 3 keyword groups. However my site is not the only one that lost traffic because looking at the SERP results for a particular keyword (and its keyword long tail group) the whole SERP is now stale and all the pages listed there, up to the third page of results, are older than 6 months.

Another of my website, were i invested much work in the last 6 months, on January 8th started to perform well in the SERPS.

From what i have read (mainly on this forum) there are strange issues and SERP shifts going on since Decembre 28th: i think that they are all more or less connected togheter and Google is updating somehow part of their index during this weeks.

Update: at the moment the only changes i did to my two websites that lost rankings are to address the issues reported in the GWT (few 404s and duplicated titles). I'm waiting few days before going on major changes that i have already planned


5:28 pm on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

If you're not taking part in link schemes and not using any shady tactics to bolster your site in the eyes of a crawler then just keep adding fresh useful and original content, Google would look silly not to link to it.


6:36 pm on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

When the traffic deacrease with ~15% i agree to wait because can be restored in a few days.

Dropping 100% is a big sign of alarm for me. Normally, the cause can be found in last 1-2 weeks activity (depending by crawl rate). When i have started to lose traffic, i have deleted latest changes fast, before Google see the changes in all pages.I recommend to undo just latest changes, not anything else.

For keywords who drives you traffic , on which position are you now?

Did you consider to submit a reinclusion request if nothing happends?

For me it sounds like a manual penalty, they have reasons?


9:09 pm on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

I believe that was a manual review and perhaps links exist between sites, may be that some subdomain is in trouble and others have pointed out how it came to punishment.

The first step was to remove the links or use the nofollow now need to know where is the problem and what was the reason for the penalty, and thus require reconsideration.

Once again I have news update this post.

More tips and opinions are welcome!


10:36 pm on Jan 19, 2011 (gmt 0)


My main keywords that were on the first page are now on page 5, 6 or 7.


2:43 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member


I have an update on my situation, maybe we can find a connection between the issues.

On 21st January the website that lost traffic on 8th January gained again all the traffic and previous rankings (on different Google servers i tested it trought online tools). However this night we have lost again all traffic and our rankings dropped again.

Whatever update they are doing i suppose it is still running.

Anyone else experiencing similar behaviour ?


11:43 pm on Jan 25, 2011 (gmt 0)


Great news, yesterday at around 8 hours (-3gmt), the main domain
subdomains and returned to normal traffic before the crash, and even
now everything is normal, I hope to keep so!

Remember that correct some problems and asked for reconsideration.

Thanks everyone,

New write back!

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