joined:Sept 29, 2017
I work in a highly competitive niche that has been 100% https for some time, and our website is country targeted through the domain extension (co.uk).
My website has primary 5 landing pages - 1 main page, and 4 others. The 4 others were devastated by the latest Google update, while the main landing page didn't suffer anywhere near as much damage.
I'll use some codes to help describe the 4 pages - SD, TM, SM, OY.
Let me quantify 'devasted'. TM ranked at position 3 - after the update it fell to position 300. It's a similar story with the other 3 pages.
It seems like Google completely devalued these pages. When searching for mywebsite.co.uk, the pages no longer appear in the main page group - replaced by contact, terms etc. When I type 'site:mywebsite.co.uk', the pages appear on page 6 or 7, whereas before they were firmly rooted on page 1. In fact, 1 of the pages is omitted from the results completely. When I look in the ranking tool, the keywords still rank but for the main landing page.
I started to look for patterns.
The main landing page is accessed via the main menu, while the other 4 are 'quick links' towards the foot of the page.
The quick links are randomly ordered, with randomly selected anchor text. The links are outside of the footer and are repeated on approx 10 pages.
That is where the similarities end.
SD - around 3 years old with lots of established links, TM, SM and OY are approx 6 months old with just a few links.
SD has had no link building done in the past 3 months, whereas, TM, SM and OY have had 4 or 5 links built with varying anchor text.
I first noticed a problem on the 14th September - all of the these pages nosedived overnight. Two days later they were back. On the 19th, it happened again, this time for good.
I've started to make changes:
One anchor text variant instead of several - no change
Encase the links in a 'nav' element - no change
Moved 3 of the 4 links to the main menu - all 4 pages back in main page group, ranking for keywords - although no significant ranking improvements yet.
Could it be that Google is devaluing groups of internal links?
I'm still not sure if I'm dealing with more than one issue here. UPDATE
Rankings have more or less recovered - main keywords back at position 6, 9, 9, 14.
Not sure whether it was the last tweak I made to the menu structure, or it's a Google rollback, but I'll take that for now.
Anyone else seen improvements today?
[edited by: lennythegrass at 11:00 am (utc) on Sep 29, 2017]