Thanks for your replys in this matter.
instead of looking at what you removed, perhaps you should be looking at what you added.
That is a good point as discussed I removed the twitter feed from one of the three columns on the footer and simply replaced this with a recent blog post plugin which only intenrally links to our latest blog post. In addition it will only show the last 2 posts (same as the twitter feed) so there is no increase in links in the footer in that respect.
Apart from that we added the facebook “like” and the twitter “follow us” buttons which were both linked from inside their own individual iframe. We also added a WP plugin for facebook comments which enables visitors with facebook to comment on our blog posts.
Are you adding a bunch of extra text content to your footers? Are you duplicating material that's elsewhere on your site? Making your page template overly "heavy"?
The content in the footer for the recent blog posts is part of the title and first line of the blog post which again is around the same as what the twitter feed used to take up. So there is no addition to the amount of content in the footer. All content on our website is 100% unique and well written, we would never use duplicate content on our website. in addition our wordpress template is unique.
Adding multiple links in the footer section might either defocus your site or make it appear to be overoptimized. How many (links to) posts are you adding?
Replacing the twitter feed with a new blog post feed did not increase the amount of links in the footer. We did however add 2 more external links for the facebook like and twitter follow buttons that we placed on the footer. Also please note that as this was all placed in our footer google would have likely picked these changes up fast as it only had to visit one of our inner pages to see all the changes…
I would revisit your timeframe because Google does not normally respond that fast. Look at your log files to see when Googlebot last crawled those pages and then look at when you uploaded the changes.
I would have thought the same, however we see the google bot visit 100s of times each week to our site and also as the changes are in the footer all it would need to do is visit any inner page and it would pick the changes up.
FYI for now I have disabled all social plugins in WP and I have removed the 2 iframes in the footer for the fbook like and twitter follow buttons. Im not sure if putting these buttons into their own iframe with the single outbound link to the buttons caused google to lower our “metric”?
In addition I performed a fetch as google and noticed that the plugin related to the facebook comments added 4 lines with links to the top above the <head> which may or may not have influenced the ranks:
<!--[if IE 6]>
<html id="ie6" lang="en-US" xmlns:fb="http://ogp.me/ns/fb#"
<!--[if IE 7]>
<html id="ie7" lang="en-US" xmlns:fb="http://ogp.me/ns/fb#">
<!--[if IE 8]>
<html id="ie8" lang="en-US" xmlns:fb="http://ogp.me/ns/fb#">
<!--[if !(IE 6) | !(IE 7) | !(IE 8) ]><!-->
<html lang="en-US" xmlns:fb="http://ogp.me/ns/fb#">
Would these have caused any issues? I have read a few posts where people install a particular plugin for WP and their ranks drop for reasons which are usually coding…