joined:Oct 29, 2008
We have a high quality (10 year old) User Generated Business Directory site which has seen a 50% drop in traffic / Adsense earnings since November 2012. We were getting 60,000 uniques a day before we got hit. Almost all content on our site has been manually reviewed.
To say we are upset would be an understatement. We have over 1/2 million small businesses customers who rely on our service.
We have had 3 "Major Traffic Change" messages from Webmaster tools, and in each case the next day we saw a step drop in traffic.
We made a load of changes, submitted a re-inclusion request, but we got a message back saying we had no manual penalty.
For many local business searches we honestly have the best information available in the UK, and yet we are not featuring in the top 10, where we used to be in the top 3.
We always thought that if we built a good website, we would do well in Google Search. That no longer appears to be true.
Our business is based on providing free advertising to businesses, where as Google is trying to sell Adwords. Hmm I can see why they would want to kill us!
We notice that many of our competitors are also not listed as high as they used to be. So it appears Google is removing business directories from the SERPS good or otherwise.
We noticed that someone (Not us) has submitted a few of the pages on our site to spammy networks. Webmaster tools showed us that we had 2,000+ domains linking to just 16 pages on our site. We disavowed those links last month, but that seems to of had no effect.
We give widgets to our members to put on their website, which shows their review / rating score. In the past we have included a follow link in the widgets back to our site. We are now asking all members to add Nofollow to their calling code.
We have removed 20,000 business descriptions which were of lower quality (but not spam).
Any ideas of what we should do next would be much appreciated. We are fresh out of ideas and enthusiasm.