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Homepage dropping... return of the "minus 5 penalty"?

4:56 pm on Oct 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I noticed a couple of my sites have been filtered down to a #6 SERP ranking for primary keyword (and domain name keyword). Page one, position six.

I remember receiving the same filter about 7 years ago on one of my sites. If I recall it lasted for 3 months.

Does anyone know of the problem to this filter/penalty?

It was first written about here.


Prior to this the sites were ranking well, #2 or #3 for most keywords with only minor, non intrusive link building. Nothing that competitors don't do X10 and rank in top spots.
9:46 pm on Oct 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Dear timetraveler,

You might want to double check the batteries on your time machine because there is this WebmasterWorld thread that started about a month before Aaron did that SEOBook post [webmasterworld.com...] ;)

I probably wouldn't spend too much time rehashing the past. What you are seeing is more likely a new filter that just happens to share the same punishment amount. The algo has changed a good bit over the last 7 years with many new bits added and other bits now being ignored.
9:41 am on Oct 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm having issues with homepage on two sites, one old and one fairly new. Both have recently changed over to https - I don't suppose you did this?
10:57 am on Oct 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I changed to https a few weeks ago and have had some drops also ...
3:45 pm on Oct 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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One of the sites isn't just dropping, it's flipping in and out of SERPs by the day, sometimes hour. When it returns it's always back to the original position.

Sometimes the home page is displayed in the results (which was what ranked before the switch), other times the relevant inner page is displayed slightly lower down... then it's all gone completely.

The other older site has slipped on a couple of spots (5/6 places) but many are up slightly! I suppose it could be the Penguin rollout but it's been going on for weeks before Penguin.

All other sites are absolutely fine as if nothing is going on, but then they haven't been through the transfer to https!

@Anon how old is your website?