Ranking Dropped in October, still no recovery.

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So back in early October our site was ranking number 2 for the terms "aircraft for sale" and "airplanes for sale". Those are two of our higher volume keywords but there are a lot of other for sale keywords that we dropped on. But I will keep focused on the 2 main ones. In late October when Penguin 3.0 was released we dropped down to number five for both of those keywords.

Losing over 30,000 uniques basically over night I got worried and started looking heavily into why this has happened and what I can do to fix it. I immediately dove deep into my backlink report and noticed that our referring domains were at about 2000 back in May and that is when we jumped up to number two. But in October that number had dropped down to about 1500 so first glance I figured that was the problem. So we got back on the link building and brought our link count up to 2600 referring domains and added some good authority links along the way. Didn't see any change in the rankings.

So then I went to content, I completely redid the page that ranks for these keywords (Aircraft for sale and Airplanes for sale). After recreating this page, page load time is way faster, better internal links on the page, less scripting, and more content. Still no change in the rankings.

Our content in this section of the website is always changing and updating due to the nature of our business. I do know there are some on page meta stuff and htag stuff that needs to be worked but I have gone through and updated that and changed it several times and just decided to go back to what it originally was when we ranked well.

I need some fresh eyes to take a look at the situation and point me in the right direction so that I can get back up to the number two spot so I am in position to start fighting for the number one spot. Any help is greatly appreciated and thank you.
#dropped #october #penguin 3.0 #ranking #recovery
  • Profile picture of the author AndresNWD
    Do you think you could reduce the number of outbound links in that page? For example "Most Popular Searches" have lots of links I doubt anybody clicks on. Maybe keeping some of your link juice will help.
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    • Profile picture of the author robyeager83
      Originally Posted by AndresNWD View Post

      Do you think you could reduce the number of outbound links in that page? For example "Most Popular Searches" have lots of links I doubt anybody clicks on. Maybe keeping some of your link juice will help.
      AndresNWD, I think that is a great idea and I will try it out. Will you explain "keeping your link juice" a little better please
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  • Profile picture of the author Cason
    I'm guessing it's the backlink anchor text ratio, With that amount of links you'd need A LOT of URL/generic/brand anchors
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    • Profile picture of the author robyeager83
      Cason, can you be more specific on what anchors I would need?
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  • Profile picture of the author danparks
    Originally Posted by robyeager83 View Post

    So back in early October our site was ranking number 2 for the terms "aircraft for sale" and "airplanes for sale". In late October when Penguin 3.0 was released we dropped down to number five for both of those keywords.

    Our content in this section of the website is always changing and updating due to the nature of our business.
    While the drop from #2 to #5 may have affected your traffic dramatically, a drop of a few places in search results isn't unusual and isn't nearly as big a deal as some huge drop (like falling several pages down).

    I'm a big believer in the power of quality backlinks for ranking, but page content can certainly account for a few places difference in ranking. I always like a near static page, especially for a site that's ranking. Why mess around with a good thing? Google is constantly seeing a "different" page when it visits your site, due to the changes.

    Can you make the majority of your page static ("sticky" posts, or however you have your page set up), and then just have a section of the page that gets updated/changed periodically? That might help.
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    • Profile picture of the author robyeager83
      Originally Posted by danparks View Post

      While the drop from #2 to #5 may have affected your traffic dramatically, a drop of a few places in search results isn't unusual and isn't nearly as big a deal as some huge drop (like falling several pages down).

      I'm a big believer in the power of quality backlinks for ranking, but page content can certainly account for a few places difference in ranking. I always like a near static page, especially for a site that's ranking. Why mess around with a good thing? Google is constantly seeing a "different" page when it visits your site, due to the changes.

      Can you make the majority of your page static ("sticky" posts, or however you have your page set up), and then just have a section of the page that gets updated/changed periodically? That might help.
      The actual page that ranks is a static page but the pages in that section change often because people are adding new listings. So the majority of the page is static while the content on the page gets updated regularly. I have noticed the more listings in each section the better we rank so I think the section of updating content is helping us like you said. I am more concerned with getting the ranking for the main page globalair.com/aircraft_for_sale. I have been working hard on getting good quality links with high DA sites linking on high PR pages. I have a lot more links than I did when I was ranking number two. Sometimes I really hate Google. If you look at the sites that rank above us their backlink reports are NOT that great and their sites aren't that great either. I feel like I am missing something.

      My next plan of attack is to move everything to https and then from their I am moving the site to server 2012 as I am using 2008 right now. Then I was thinking to change all the pages over to HTML 5. I hope all this work results in some bump in the rankings. Let me know if you think I am on the right track or if I need to do something else or if I am missing something. I hate the google guessing game.
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