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Site is nowhere to be found using keyword search

     
3:48 am on Jun 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Guys, help me understand this please:

About 1 or 2 months ago our website (index page) completely disappeared from the search results for numerous key-phrases.

I manually went through all the results (1400 in total) and our url does't come up. I can only find our website if I do an URL search (http://www.site.com)

What's going on? Are we being filtered out?

I suspect this could be a penalty for 'spammy' backlinks. We have too many backlinks using the same anchor keyphrases. Is there a way to combat this kind of penalty by diluting the anchor keywords (getting bigger variety of incoming anchor keywords)?
4:14 am on June 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Have you checked the basics? A robots.txt error could cause something like this. I've also seen this type of behavior when a site has been hacked. Have you done a fetch as Googlebot or looked at your site with a user agent switcher?

If there aren't any technical problems, this stinks of a penalty. Might as well file a reinclusion request and see what kind of response you get.
5:07 am on June 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Same issue here. All I can really narrow it down to is dupe content. I've filed a request anyway so just waiting to hear back
5:25 am on June 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Sand, there are o technical problems with the site.

Also, we did file a reconsideration request, and their response was that there are no manual bans on the website. (doesn't mean there arent and automated penalties, thought)
7:15 am on June 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Jessica,

I think you are effected by Penguin or Panda. Many people here are talking about the same. Please check other articles as well hopefully you may get some clue about the same.
3:04 pm on June 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Jessica:

Does your site rank for other things besides the keywords you are targeting?

For instance: Does your site rank for the exact title of the home page?

Does it rank if you copy a unique sentence of text from the homepage and search for that?

Is the home page still getting referrals from google as a landing page for OTHER keywords?

Does your home page show up in the results if you use plural / very close semantically related keywords?

Does it rank if you use your keyword AND the name of the town where your business is (e.g., "widgets london"), or some other word that appears on your home page?

For example, lots of sites say things like: "We traverse the globe to bring you the best widgets from the around the world"

so maybe search for "traverse widgets" or something like that.
6:28 pm on June 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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>> Does your site rank for other things besides the keywords you are targeting?
>> For instance: Does your site rank for the exact title of the home page?

Not it doesn't, for either of these. I see some illegal scraper sites when i search for my title or a part of text.

But we do get some google traffic to internal pages.
6:49 pm on June 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Not it doesn't, for either of these. I see some illegal scraper sites when i search for my title or a part of text.


to give you my totally amateur opinion, it sounds like issues bigger than Penguin / Panda.

if there is no manual action (i.e., a penalty), then it really seems like it could possibly be some sort of technical issue.

have you gone on the google webmaster forums and posted a link to your site asking people to look at it? I know they aren't ALWAYS helpful, but there is usually one or two good ideas that are thrown around when one does this.
9:05 pm on June 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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When I search for our url, the site is on top.
Cached version looks perfect. Webmaster Tools doesn't report any problems.

Doesn't look to be a technical issue.
11:33 pm on June 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I suspect this could be a penalty for 'spammy' backlinks. We have too many backlinks using the same anchor keyphrases.

Did you notice when the traffic drop happened? The Penguin update launched on April 24.

What percentage of your backlinks, would you say, were using the same-keyphrase anchor text? And how did you get the rest of your backlinks... ie, what kind of links are they?

Is there a way to combat this kind of penalty by diluting the anchor keywords (getting bigger variety of incoming anchor keywords)?

The problem with trying to build links to get out of such a situation is that if you don't have content that might normally attract good links, you'll have to resort to artificial ways of getting new links... and it's likely that Google will detect those, particularly now that you're already on their list.

Things to check regarding your situation in the index...

You might try searching for a unique string of text from your site's home page... say roughly six to ten words... and put it in quotes.

Have you tried a site:yourdomain.com search? Does your index page appear?

Also, check your home page for various possible canonicalization issues.