Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 34.229.194.198

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

No Matter What We Do Our Site Can Never Recover - How About You?

     
12:28 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 31, 2005
posts:196
votes: 11


Here's a typical story I hear a lot and we have one ecommerce site that fits this perfectly: We have a site that used to do awesome in Google SERPs (yes, 'free' traffic) before 2011. Then when Panda 1 hit, it started to decline. It stll did good for a couple of years, but not as good. But it kept slowly falling. It literally has taken till about now to decline from 5k visitors a day to 300. Yes, a slow, painful death spiral.

It seems Panda and Phantom have disliked this site to no end. Each Panda and Phantom (except Panda 4) has made organic Google visits drop more. The death knell happened in the last four months especially.

However, in the last 24 months, and especially in the last 4, we've done a massive amount of improvements:

On-page: We re-designed the whole site (made it wider, with larger fonts and made the top banner much smaller so everything moved up), made it responsive, added way better navigation, changed the entire site's url structure to make the urls shorter and more intuitive, made the buying process smoother and easier, added interactive features, found (using analytics) most/all bad-performing pages and 301'd to appropriate top-level category. We've increased time on site a bit, and reduced bounce rate a bit doing this. We got most pages to W3C validate even (deleting any outdated html in the process). We've added rich snippetts (which don't show up in the SERPs), changed from private to public registration. We made the 'Buy' button stick to the top when visitors scroll down. We added testimonials to every page. We already had a terms and privacy page, but we added a disclaimer page, a FAQs page, and a disclosure page, and our physical address on every page. We found that the blog posts were getting horrible user stats and bringing the whole site down, and had a lot of old, thin posts. So we deleted it completely and 301'd all blog pages to our homepage. We added original content to every single page too.

Off-page:We tried to get rid of every possible harmful link. We used a number of tools to find 'bad' links, including the tool here at WebmasterWorld, and disavowed hundreds about a year ago. There were blogs that we owned that we linked to this site and we deleted all of those links. In the last few months we found that there were some expired domains that had new blogs on them and had a link pointing to us, so we deleted those where we could. Then in the last two months, we've launched a massive content marketing initiative where we started publishing a 3000+ word original piece every twe days or so. We've done about six of these, and every one has received thousands of Facebook shares (one got more than 5k shares) and tons of great links. The first one received more than 12 new linking domains, and the last one we did this past week has already received about 10 new, white hat links. This has increased the number of linking domains by more than 10% alone!

What has this done to improve our Google organic traffic? NOTHING!

In fact, in the last month, Google traffic has gotten worse! Worse than ever before. The site is now dead.

My only conclusion now is that this particular site has been taggedby Google, which essentially says "This site will NEVER recover, no matter what is done."

I mean, how can you do such drastic and dramatic things to a site and see no changes at all? We deleted a 1000 page blog, and Google traffic never changed!? We 301d every bad-performing page. We re-designed the whole site for way better user experience and based on everything we learned about Panda and Phantom (about 6 months ago), and Google traffic never changed. We increased our natural, white hat backlinks by 10% most recently and our Google traffic has decreased!

It appears that there is nothing I can do to even move the needle. I believe that if I took the Forbes site, or CNN, or Wikipedia or even Amazon and put it on this domain, they would tank too. I swear, this site is tagged and can never come out of purgatory. I've been doing this since Alta Vista and have never seen anything like this.

Have others had this same experience?
1:59 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 26, 2013
posts:454
votes: 69


The problem you face is not isolated to websites with a penalty but is a widespread concern among many e-commerce websites. A lot of people believe they are still hurting from penguin, panda or another segment of the algorithm that is designed to demote. In many cases I don't think these sites suffer from a penalty. For example, my site has never been hit with a penalty and there is no reason why it should. We make what we sell and don't have competition that many retailers face because we restrict who we sell to so that they don't compete with us in the retail market. We built no links to our website and have a small number of quality links from reputable sources that were acquired naturally. Yet our free search traffic has dwindled since 2011 to the point where most of the free traffic we get from Google are what many describe, myself too, as zombies (don't browse, buy and depart quickly after arriving).

Google's search results look much different then they did in 2011, with paid ads taking up the lion's share of the screen today on both desktop and mobile. With the decline in free traffic from Google, and the quality of it for that matter, a true recovery probably won't result in a significant gain in traffic or sales or even be noticed for that matter. I guess what I am saying is that there are many people who think a recovery will look and feel like the good old days, say in 2011, where free traffic restores ones income. The landscape has changed, and it's an unreasonable expectation to compare a recovery today with how Google operated years ago. Many e-commerce websites may have fully recovered from penalties 2, 3 or 4 years ago and what they now see is as good as it will ever get. Between paid ads, big brands, images, etc., most smaller websites are pushed back 2 or 3 pages deep in Google's search results for any given query, and don't have the opportunity to be in front of very many eyeballs.
2:25 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 13, 2002
posts:14872
votes: 479


...launched a massive content marketing initiative... and every one has received... his has increased the number of linking domains by more than 10% alone!


There are several considerations.

1. You've only been at this for two months. You're not giving this enough time. Give it more time and keep at it.

2. Make sure your content fits into your sales goals. Not all of it brings sales or rankings, particularly informational content.
3:17 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 25, 2006
posts:300
votes: 36


It isn't quite clear how you can publish articles that get thousands of facebook shares every two days but only have 300 visitors a day,

Our main site was hit by panda and recovered after three years, and I am pretty sure that was due to improving / rewriting every single article on the site to be useful to people, a big task that took about 18 months (after a 6 month 'this should be good enough' rewrite, which didn't work, rather than the 'what is the best we can write regardless of how long it takes' rewrite which we did later). I assume this big rewrite reduced the % of people who returned to the serps to find an alternative result for the same search term.

I don't think changing titles, site templates etc made any difference. I also suspect that adding new articles made little difference, but a good idea all the same.

We also got hit by penguin but to be honest I have no idea if that penalty is still being applied: I never noticed a recovery on a 'penguin' date but traffic is higher now than it used to be so perhaps I missed it. I didn't disavow links but a lot we had were from free directories submitted to in 2006-2009 which just disappeared anyway and articles in article sites from the same period were all deleted.

Lastly for the last few years we do nothing but improve content and add new high quality content, don't spend a single minute on trying to get links or social shares, but just hope they turn up anyway. This is an approach many will tell you doesn't work but it seems ok for us and I have no more sleepness nights worrying about the next penalty to come along, even if traffic is less than it might otherwise be!
3:24 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:9091
votes: 756


I mean, how can you do such drastic and dramatic things to a site and see no changes at all?


What martinibuster said above, and:

How can you say you haven't seen any changes? Or rather, how can you expect many changes when you have so CHANGED your site it bears no resemblance to the original?

eCommerce for the "small guys and gals" is not going to get better. The "big box" has moved in and like the mom and pops when say Wal-Mart moves in next door, the traffic will fall and sales will plummet.

This is the new normal ... just give it a little time to see what happens after all you have done (BTW, are you sure you want all those 301s which do not go to content? Link "juice" does not work the same as it used to, but a 301 that is not directed to content same/comparable can be harmful).
5:31 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator not2easy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 27, 2006
posts:4171
votes: 262


So we deleted it completely and 301'd all blog pages to our homepage.

Not a good idea as tangor mentioned - these are considered to be "soft 404s" and those need to become natural 404s or simply left as they were and noindexed. Google considers it a bad practice to show completely different content than expected: [support.google.com...] When people click on a link that says "click here to read about blue and yellow widgets", it needs to go to blue and yellow widgets content.

The content is gone? Let it die. If you are concerned about losing any links you might have had to those pages/that content, don't delete, just noindex. Stop linking to that content/those pages in your navigation and let the links continue to bring in any traffic they might bring. You aren't concerned about "link juice", it is the value of the traffic to hang on to. Be sure to link to newer, fresher similar content on the old noindexed page if you keep them. That can bring in new traffic from old links.
5:40 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 5, 2001
posts:5863
votes: 105


The problem with multiple coincident or nearly coincident changes is that you don't know what helped, if anything, or which change hurt other changes actually could have helped if done in isolation.
6:40 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 31, 2005
posts:196
votes: 11


The problem you face is not isolated to websites with a penalty but is a widespread concern among many e-commerce websites.


I was thinking this, have others experienced something similar?

You've only been at this for two months. You're not giving this enough time. Give it more time and keep at it.


I was thinking this too, but this is an old site that already has links. And to do this for two months and see Google referrals go down is tough to bear. And it is hard to keep at it when the costs aren't being offset by sales. But I hear ya, I will keep at it nonetheless.

It isn't quite clear how you can publish articles that get thousands of facebook shares every two days but only have 300 visitors a day,


My fault for not being more explicit. When I count my visitors, I strip out useless, crappy, high-bounce-rate visitors like the ones from Facebook. I mentioned that number just to show the content has been very well-received and has garnered tons of really solid links from very relevant sites, that don't link to my competitors.

Our main site was hit by panda and recovered after three years, and I am pretty sure that was due to improving / rewriting every single article on the site to be useful to people,


Same here. We've re-written more than half the content, and the rest is still original content that was good to begin with. But we've also added 'More Resources' supplemental content (rater guidelines), and a 'Customers who viewed these also viewed:...', and dynamic navigation to each page. Yet the sites continues to tank.

How can you say you haven't seen any changes? Or rather, how can you expect many changes when you have so CHANGED your site it bears no resemblance to the original?


What I mean is, I haven't seen any Google referrals changes. But actually, there has been some change, and it has been for the worse, with Google referrals dipping to all-time low in the last two weeks. And yes, it bears no resemblance to the original, but in a good way. It is vastly improved, and way better for the user. I just checked with Majestic, and both the Trust Flow and Citiation Flows went up by 4 and 5 points respectively in the last 6 weeks as well.

eCommerce for the "small guys and gals" is not going to get better. The "big box" has moved in and like the mom and pops when say Wal-Mart moves in next door, the traffic will fall and sales will plummet.


This too I have suspected. In fact, when I have tried to explain this to people I know, I actually use the phrase, the 'Wal-Mart effect'. But even still, no matter what I change or improve onsite, and no matter the new inbound links, Google referrals are getting worse, almost to nothing!? I really don't understand, unless there is some algorithmic 'tag' that say 'this site will never get Google referrals again.'

That what it feels like to me anyway. Anyone else experience this?

The content is gone? Let it die. If you are concerned about losing any links you might have had to those pages/that content, don't delete, just noindex.


I appreciate the advice from everyone here. But I have been given (in this very forum) opposite advice from other mods, so this is not a clear cut thing at all. I am referring to noindexing vs. 301ing. I can't say I agree with you to noindex the 1000 pages of the blog instead. Know why? Because I already tried that too! I tried that for 3 quarters of a year, and it made no difference! And I am not sure that have 1000 noindexed pages sends a good signal to Google, when that is 20% of the site.

But are you suggesting to not 301 to our homepage and let all the pages 404? It has more than 50 unique domains pointing to it. You suggest I just throw those links away essentially?
6:56 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:9091
votes: 756


301 what to the homepage? Your old homepage? (nah!) Those 50 links reside where (in relation to your site)? If they aren't the homepage then trying to salvage them via soft 404 redirects will only result in them eventually being deprecated, or worse, deleted by the referring domain as being useless.

Do nothing. Take all the redirects out if they do not point to an actual content page that is either the same OR replaces the previous content. not2easy explained in better detail what I shared. Redirecting to something different is not good practice, and g doesn't like it.

At present your site is so revised as to be NEW, and thus be a start over for g ... and sadly you're coming late to the game for that. You can, however, experiment to see if a new DOMAIN will perform better (just don't duplicate your existing to try that).
7:56 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 31, 2005
posts:196
votes: 11


301 what to the homepage? Your old homepage? (nah!) Those 50 links reside where (in relation to your site)? If they aren't the homepage then trying to salvage them via soft 404 redirects will only result in them eventually being deprecated, or worse, deleted by the referring domain as being useless.


[blog.mysite.com...] has about 50 unique and relevant domain links coming into it, most to that exact url and a few to some actual posts. I 301d that page and all blog pages and posts to the existing homepage. There is no 'new' and 'old' homepage, it has been the same for over a year and a half.

And by the way, we're talking only one tenth of the site with the blog. Are you saying that 301ing the blog to the homepage is what is keeping the site from even having a slight recovery?

You can, however, experiment to see if a new DOMAIN will perform better (just don't duplicate your existing to try that).


I was going to say that if you took a brand new site and domain and did what I have done, would you not expect to begin to get a few Google organic visits after two months? I know the answer is 'yes' because I have done it. So that is good advice to compare this to a brand new site. I may do that.

But getting back to my original question. Does anyone else have a site like this that just can't seem to get anywhere no matter what you do?
8:15 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:9091
votes: 756


I don't, then again, most of my sites are either very narrow niche or are manufacturers, tech info and mostly NOT subsidized by ad(sense).

A few sites benefited by losing some thin content (consolidation) and rewrites to better content, but weren't "hit" by anything measurable.

Many, not all, ecommerce sites are down in referrals or visitors or, worse, customers. These days the big(ger) sites are hanging on because they have more than just g going for them. Those who exclusively depend on g best find other solutions (take a look at your bing traffic, for example) because the day of smaller ecommerce, unless VERY specialized, has come and is going.
9:02 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

Administrator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator not2easy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 27, 2006
posts:4171
votes: 262


But are you suggesting to not 301 to our homepage and let all the pages 404? It has more than 50 unique domains pointing to it. You suggest I just throw those links away essentially?

No, I clearly said if the content that you are currently 301 redirecting to your home page has links, just leave it in place. Now, if you are replacing the old URL with a new URL, then 301 to the new URL. If you are 301 redirecting all the pages of your blog to the homepage of the "New" site, don't do that, it is soft 404s and not a good thing to do. It is a good thing IF you can 301 old content to a new URL for that content. Wholesale 301 redirects of all different content to a homepage is wrong - as described in the link I posted to "what is a soft 404 and why it is a bad thing".

The content is gone? Let it die.
IF your old pages have no new equivalents, do not 301 redirect them to some other (homepage) URL. IF they have equivalent new pages, 301 to the new URL for that old content. IF they have valuable links pointing to them, then leave them in place, perhaps with links to related new content. A 301 redirect to unrelated content is not good for your site.
12:04 pm on Mar 31, 2016 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 31, 2005
posts:196
votes: 11


not2easy - I think we're getting off track with the main topic of my original post here. The blog is a sideshow, a distraction. Forget the trees for a moment and think about the whole forest.

Imagine, I have a 10k site that includes a blog of 1k.
I move the blog from mysite.com/blog/ to blog.mysite.com. No change from Google referrals. This I kept for a year.
I then noindex all 1k of the blog. No change from Google referrals, nine months go by and no improvement.
I then re-include it for about 3 months with a lot less thin posts. No change from Google referrals.
I then 301 the whole blog to the homepage. No change from Google referrals.

Are you seeing the pattern here? It seems obvious that NOTHING I do with or to the blog makes any difference!

Now, back to my original post's question. Has anyone here ever experienced that no matter what they do to their site, they see no Google referrals improvement? Has this made you feel like your site is somehow 'tagged' by Google that says 'this site will never get referrals from us again.'?

The reason I keep asking this is because I have never seen anything like it before. I have worked on tons of sites over the years and I have never seen zero reaction from Google's algo after making significant onpage/offpage changes. For example, has anyone here added 10% more white hat, relevant backlinks to your site over a period of months and seen a declinein Google Referrals?
12:48 pm on Mar 31, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:9091
votes: 756


For example, has anyone here added 10% more white hat, relevant backlinks to your site over a period of months and seen a declinein Google Referrals?

I've seen this happen to cookie cutter, me-too sites all the time. Each think they are the best thing since sliced bread but in reality they are a copy of a copy and not even a good one at that. Nothing special, nothing unique, nothing compelling. In ecommerce it gets worse because too many sites are selling the same stuff ... nothing special, unique or compelling.

Blogs, in general, have been deprecated, in part due to abuse of the search engines with guest posts, advertorials, and other problematic schemes. Most blogs these days are noindex because they simply do not add value and there is no reason for them to be indexed and possibly DRAG DOWN a web domain.

Slapping lipstick on a pig does not elevate it to international acclaim. Same happens with websites seeking new code to fix something that already has no USER value (and make no mistake, g is all over that!).

These are generalities, of course, but mostly correct. When I've been called in to "please save my website!" I am very rude, abrupt and honest by simply showing them their site is not special, unique or compelling by finding 10 other sites doing the exact same thing ... and usually with the same amount of success.

Compelling content, being unique or special, AND having a brand to go along with it just might turn the trick ... but if you have all that already then you also have other options that do not rely upon a single search engine.
9:49 pm on Mar 31, 2016 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 31, 2005
posts:196
votes: 11


tangor - it seems like you're saying that is my problem, but you have no idea what the site is and all its content and competition, etc. that I am referring to. I agree with what you're saying for lots of sites, but I don't think that what you're suggesting is why this site has languished.

And I have also seen plenty of mediocre sites that are quite cookie-cutter affect their Google referrals positively by doing things like getting lots of relevant, white hat links.
10:09 pm on Mar 31, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:9091
votes: 756


Possibly ... but I think you are so fixated on this concept that g has banned you that you can't see the forest for the trees.

1. G is not the only search engine that can send you traffic
2. There are other ways (think radio, tv, print)
3. Have something so sterling and special they BEG to list you (and there are damn few sites that rise to that level!)
4. Hire a Hollowood (sic) Celebrity to hawk your site. One mention by the top celebrity (take your pick) and x y and z gens will beat a path to your door.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 3:11 pm (utc) on Apr 1, 2016]

11:00 pm on Mar 31, 2016 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 31, 2016
posts: 3
votes: 1


What tool did you use to find toxic links? I have a few clients that have been tanked for years and were told they'd never get back. Some heavy research / analysis and cherry picking for the disavow, as well as backlink reclamation and correction, and they are back. "In the last few months we found that there were some expired domains that had new blogs on them and had a link pointing to us, so we deleted those where we could." Sounds like the tools you were using didnt do the job - even deleted domains should show in the historical index.

Mind you, a good point was made - these are fairly large retailers - for a small business to compete in ecommerce organically, you need to have a pretty good historical record.

If you are writing 3000 word count pieces that are getting 10k shares in day, I've got a job with your name on it.

The content marketing piece should run for about 3 - 6 months before you pull the plug based on no positional returns. Also, do you have an opportunity to create evergreen content, a library or how to? These are more effective long term unless you are getting excellent readership.
1:19 am on Apr 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 29, 2007
posts:1860
votes: 113


I have a site that was mauled by a black and white creature of Google's making in 2010(and again in 2011), when it was released into the wild. Nothing I did after that seemed to make any difference, I stopped trying to fix it in 2015. I took a slightly different approach in 'fixing it' recently, out of frustration. I mauled it myself and left it to die a horrible death(stopped paying for domain, 8 months til expiry).

I re-wrote the text on all pages with a fun little scrambling script I found online, same URIs
- This page existed before my fixes
- Tihs pgae eisxted atfer my fexis

and the rank? Unchanged! 3 months and counting now. Same traffic, same impressions, same everything. Yeah, Be patient when fixing up old content because Google might not see it for months. I'd say that confirms Google actually got much slower at large rank updates in favor of micro updates when they got caffeinated. Fool me once...

edit: I don't recommend doing things like the above, and I hesitated doing it myself. There is a chance Google stops trusting you as a webmaster if it links your sites together. I fully intend on deleting this site when it expires but I just had to know if what I suspected was true and Google had already left the site for dead(some traffic, about 10% of former glory, not enough to justify more work). I've added a little disclaimer on the site to explain why teh txet is sracmbeld.
12:04 pm on Apr 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 31, 2005
posts:196
votes: 11


What tool did you use to find toxic links? I have a few clients that have been tanked for years and were told they'd never get back.
JaredM, who exactly told them that?

Some heavy research / analysis and cherry picking for the disavow, as well as backlink reclamation and correction, and they are back.
Interesting point. This was another theory of mine. That a site might feel 'tagged' forever when in reality it is a bunch of horrible legacy backlinks that has followed the site forever. Get rid of those links and boom, you've found the anchor!

So good advice, I will review again. Any tools you recommend?

I re-wrote the text on all pages with a fun little scrambling script I found online, same URIs
and the rank? Unchanged! 3 months and counting now.
YES! That is exactly what I have been talking about. This is such a great example and people who tout "onpage content" and "content is king" and "great content makes all the difference" should take notice. Sometimes content is not the answer, period. I was going to write above that I am convinced I could add hardcore #*$! to this blog and it wouldn't make a lick of difference (no pun intended).

This is a least a little confirmation that I am not going crazy. Although, I wonder about your backlink profile too. Anyone else?


[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:24 pm (utc) on Apr 1, 2016]
[edit reason] Removed reference to edited comments in prlor post, and fixed some formatting. [/edit]

12:13 pm on Apr 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Sept 12, 2014
posts:384
votes: 67


Want to get your rankings back?

1. Round up 30-50 million in vc money.
2. Flood the tv with ads.
3. Go public with your stock with an initial ipo of several billion.

your site is now an authority site worthy of ranking
12:18 pm on Apr 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 12, 2006
posts:2709
votes: 116


If all the content is good then maybe you could just do the nuclear option and change the domain name. Change the IP and everything. Forget all the backlinks and restart from scratch.

If you're only talking about 300 visitors a day anyway, with no sign of a recovery, then that's what I would do. At the speed you're picking up new backlinks with your fresh content, surely it won't take you long to get over 300 visitors.
1:52 pm on Apr 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

Moderator from US 

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 13, 2002
posts:14872
votes: 479


Any tools you recommend?


I am happy with Link Research Tools.
7:01 pm on Apr 1, 2016 (gmt 0)

Full Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Dec 11, 2013
posts:262
votes: 52


It appears that Google has shifted their resources so about 80% goes into optimization of the first page (optimizing ad click revenue and knowledge graph). The remaining 20% is devoted to sites that don't bring any revenue to Google. That's logical from a business point of view - there is no real search competition and most users will have no choice but to be satisfied with the results. So there's no need for Google to do any major updates and waste a lot of $$$ in the process when they can focus on their bottom line only.

A decade ago there was someone, Matt Cutts, who would at least read and acknowledge webmasters' concerns. These days, it's seriously doubtful anybody from Google is interested in what is going on past page 1 of Google search results. But it also makes sense from their point of view - if user doesn't find what he/she is looking for on page one it means Google failed to deliver and even more resources are needed to make sure it doesn't fail in the future. But, at the same time, less and less resources and concern will be available to webmasters who aren't able to get to page 1.
9:47 am on Apr 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 29, 2007
posts:1860
votes: 113


I'd still say content is extremely important but perhaps only during the initial rank period. Old content that has been online for years can seemingly be changed without affecting anything, positive or negative. I'd also argue that specific content subject plays a role, if Google decides your site is about Y then articles about Y will fair better than articles about YZ.

Do a 'related:example.com' to make sure Google has you in with the right crowd, this check works for individual pages as well. I've seen examples of a site about widgets being able to rank on page one for 'widget corners' but not 'widgets'. All articles about widget corners become highly ranked and the rest seemingly ignored. Moving the other stuff to a new domain results in a top ranked domain for something different. I wish there was an accurate 'on topic' tool that could read into Google's interpretation of a page(as judged by its ranking).
1:35 pm on Apr 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts:1299
votes: 380


If you think you're going to rank on "compelling content " alone, I've got news for you. Publish a bogus report that your site just received 20 million in VC and watch your rankings soar.
3:35 pm on Apr 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 2, 2014
posts:654
votes: 313


In my case I gave up on Google and trying to recover from the zombie apocalypse. Is there something wrong with my site I asked? Unique content, images, video, mobile friendly, full SSL. I jumped through every hoop Google told me to jump through only to get screwed in the end. Instead of wasting countless hours and money trying to recover from these zombies, I moved on. Selling on Amazon and not paying excessive CPC in Adwords anymore has netted me a nice profit. The sooner small businesses can move away from their reliance on Google, the better they will be.
10:23 pm on Apr 3, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts:1299
votes: 380


@glakes - exactly...that's pretty much what I've done. They squeezed every drop. There are no longer any buyers on Google, they all went to Amazon. To dwell on Google or wait for positive change on the next update is insanity.
3:43 am on Apr 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 31, 2016
posts: 3
votes: 1


"Who told them that?"

The client's marketing team, specifically their in house SEO. Which is why they outsourced (to me) for a second opinion. This was a largr client with revenue losses of about $150k per month aftrr the tank.

"What tools"

I use Link Research Tools for all larger clients. Make sure to include historical or deleted links. I will sometimes download LRT links, and then cross reference with other tools like OSE but I rarely fine anything it hasn't found already. I beleieve LRT piggybacks Majestic which is another tool I use, more for competitive research. Someone tried to sell me on WebCEO a while back and LRT found all the WCEO links + about 800k more.

Buy a one month membership there and make sure all of your links are disavowed. Disavow by domain not URL.

Dont forget Penguin will become part of the core algo this month as well.
12:24 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

Junior Member from US 

10+ Year Member

joined:Oct 31, 2005
posts:196
votes: 11


If all the content is good then maybe you could just do the nuclear option and change the domain name. Change the IP and everything. Forget all the backlinks and restart from scratch.

If you're only talking about 300 visitors a day anyway, with no sign of a recovery, then that's what I would do. At the speed you're picking up new backlinks with your fresh content, surely it won't take you long to get over 300 visitors.


That is an option we're considering. And the above statement (which I agree with) shows that had this been a 'clean' site, the amount of positive things we've done would have shown results. It is because this site is considered 'bad' by Google that no matter what is done, nothing improves.

JaredM and martinibuster, thanks for the advice about Link Research Tool. I used them about 18 months ago and did a disavow. Think I ought to do it again now? (I'm thinking 'yes')
3:36 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:9091
votes: 756


That is an option we're considering. And the above statement (which I agree with) shows that had this been a 'clean' site, the amount of positive things we've done would have shown results. It is because this site is considered 'bad' by Google that no matter what is done, nothing improves.


Not necessarily true. There have been many "clean" sites that are ignored exactly the same way as described. It does come back to the content, or how relevant that content might be in the scheme of all that other content out there being indexed, ranked and placed in the serps. But I do agree that starting from a position of "bad" it will be when pigs fly that g will give an up rank signal. It seems g never forgets things like that, which is disappointing since most folks don't start that way, they just did something g doesn't like (paid links, networking, etc)
This 76 message thread spans 3 pages: 76
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members