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Start with pinning down the exact date as best you can - within 24 to 48 hours is best.The ranking started dropping from mid march onwards.
Make sure there aren't any errors in your robots.txteverything ok with robots.txt
Check your site for over optimization or any other spammy features.Now this looks like a concern point. While developing a page i look out for three things: keyword in Title, keyword in URL, and keyword in page heading and in the first paragraph. Sometimes the page content is big or sometimes less based on the topic. Is this an over optimization.
It seems to me, that it's becoming increasingly difficult to compete with the big players who can afford to pay a huge staff solely for doing SEO work all day long.Its not about the big players only, some sites come from nowhere with a nothing content and some links to the original content sites and hijacking the positions of genuine sites. This is so unfair, how google testifies that overall search quality has improved.
The reason your ranking may drop without a warning in Gwt is because it may be an algorithm that finally caught up with your site and if that happens Google doesn't leave messages for algorithms that affect your site.Then its a huge task to find out the exact reasons and what went wrong. Is there any chance that site will come back to where it was without doing anything substantial.
it may be an algorithm that finally caught up with your siteThis is confusing thing. The site was doing well for past 1 year, if something went against guidelines then where were the algorithms till now.
Now this looks like a concern point. While developing a page i look out for three things: keyword in Title, keyword in URL, and keyword in page heading and in the first paragraph. Sometimes the page content is big or sometimes less based on the topic. Is this an over optimization.
Just write it for people, not search engines. Ask yourself, "am I doing this so I'll rank better", and if so don't do it.Do you really think its practically possible. Keyword in Title, url and content specially in the first paragraph is always considered as good afaik..
Also check to see if any of the backlinks are from bad neighborhoods.Do links from yahoo answers are considered as bad. Why not google just discard these links if it doesn't think if its valuable. What's the need of taking an action based on that.
Check your server based stats, like AWSTATS for bad referrals.I have checked my webstat from plesk-stat. Now here in the list of Links from an external page i found many domains i have never heard of, one of them is a chinese blog site. The stats showing i have 1 page link from many articles from that site. Frankly i have never heard of these sites and neither i have put any link on them. Why they are linking to my site i have no idea...
Look for the word "prostitutki". If you find one, I'll bet you find many more.Yes it is there and lot of others also. I find that is Referer Log spam. The best option is to just avoid them and not click or display them on the site. Also it was advised by wikipedia "A simple attempt at rendering this form of spam ineffective is to prevent the search engine spiders from crawling the site logs by moving them to a non-public area such as a password-protected area, by using a robot exclusion file, or by appending the nofollow value to the links" How its going to be implemented i have no idea, also google mentioned that these log spams doesn't harm your rankings.