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[webmasterworld.com] by tedster - 6:26 pm on May 6, 2011 (EDT -4)
Just some quick background info first...
Our site is a keyword rich url (bluewidgets.co.uk) and we generally rank 1-2 for this term, which is highly-competitive.
We've had some problems in the past with the site and fell foul of a Google penalty awhile back of some sort that seemed to just effect the homepage. Anyway, we recovered from that and saw some pretty stable rankings for quite a few months.
Anyway, soon after the Panda update was rolled out, our site seemed to do pretty well out of it. We're really focused on producing high-quality content and that mantra seemed to stand us in good stead.
We were ranking well for 'blue widgets' and pushing toward the first page for 'widgets blue'. Then about 2 weeks ago, we reached the 1st page for 'widgets blue' after slightly tinkering with our homepage title tag to be slightly more optimized for the term 'widgets blue'.
That ranking lasted about a week and then boom, the homepage disappeared from the Google SERPS (but only for the term 'widgets blue', we were still ranking well for 'blue widgets'). The only onsite change to the homepage was that title tag change. I would also say that we get some natural, good quality external links because of the content we put out.
Then, earlier this week, we then returned to the 1st page for 'widgets blue'. Then, check the results this morning and we've disappeared again for that term. As a side note, we are also not currently ranking for a unique phrase from our homepage.
Has anyone else seen such erratic rankings for their sites? Pulling my hair out with this - just cannot pin point what it is.
Any help/advice/thoughts greatly appreciated.