21 replies
  • SEO
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I wake up this morning to see that one of my sites has dropped majorly in rankings for a lot of the keywords it was ranking #1-#5 for.

They have been ranking 1-5 for about a year now, and they have seemed to drop from 1-5 to 60-80 according to my keyword tracker. However when I search in google I cannot find the pages at those spots....

I have recently built 3 links from a PBN to the site (which I have done here and there in the past) and had a high quality guest post land on the 21st.

Other than that all I have used are mainly high quality guest posts.

Could my site bounce like that from new links and will come back? Even though it had been ranking steadily for a while now?

It appears this drop is site wide for all pages and all terms....

Anyone else seeing drops, or have any changes been made in google?

Any ideas at all?
#drop #rankings #today
  • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
    Originally Posted by wAvision View Post

    I wake up this morning
    I'd wait a bit before taking any action. Well, unless there's something obvious like warning in Google Webmaster Tools... Sometimes the rankings do fluctuate.
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  • Profile picture of the author wAvision
    No warnings in webmaster tools, that is the first thing I checked
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  • Profile picture of the author atharahmed71
    Wait for 2 or 3 days and then check that weather your website is penalized by google
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      A few things I would check...

      First is it indexed? If it is no longer indexed, then yeah you are SOL.

      Do any of your pages still rank? Pick a page that has a fairly long and unique title. Search for the page title in quotes. If it does not show up in the top 50-100 try a few more pages. If it is the same result, you probably have been hit by an algorithmic penalty.

      It's doubtful that a few links from one site caused it though. And if it did, name your price. I would like to buy the network site. I have a few hundred competitors I would like to remove from the SERPs.
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      • Profile picture of the author wAvision
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post


        Do any of your pages still rank? Pick a page that has a fairly long and unique title. Search for the page title in quotes. If it does not show up in the top 50-100 try a few more pages. If it is the same result, you probably have been hit by an algorithmic penalty.
        I have checked a few pages/terms. For some of them my site is within the first 10 pages, but the page that was ranking for that term is not. It is another page on my site that is now showing up in the top 10 for that term....

        So basically, the pages that should be showing up for the terms typed in are not, but other pages on my site are, which should be ranking for other terms and not the one I typed in...
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  • Profile picture of the author wAvision
    I did a site operator search and my site is still indexed, however some things are weird. After I click show omitted results, my home page shows up 1st. Then the 3rd result says proudly powered by wordpress and that url is my homepage but says A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt. And the 7th result is my site name/mobile, the 8th result is my site name/m, which I have no idea what they are or if that is affecting this? Both of those say A description for this result is not available because of this site's robots.txt as well.

    When I click on those 3 results it comes up with a 404 error.

    I forgot to mention a few other things I have done recently... here is everything that has been done in the past month

    I made a child theme and rearranged the content on the front page about 2 weeks ago.

    Other than that I have recently built 3 links from a PBN to the site (which I have done here and there in the past), and also a high quality guest post just landed on the 21st.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    DA 30 is meaningless.

    Anyhow, a single guest post is not going to tank your rankings either.

    Rearranging your home page content though... yeah that could seriously make everything FUBAR. You just changed your whole internal linking structure. It might make things better eventually, but Google probably has not crawled all the changes yet. The drop is not surprising. It may not come back though depending if the changes were for the better or for the worse.

    Did you change URLs also with the child theme?
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    • Profile picture of the author wAvision
      Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

      DA 30 is meaningless.

      Anyhow, a single guest post is not going to tank your rankings either.

      Rearranging your home page content though... yeah that could seriously make everything FUBAR. You just changed your whole internal linking structure. It might make things better eventually, but Google probably has not crawled all the changes yet. The drop is not surprising. It may not come back though depending if the changes were for the better or for the worse.

      Did you change URLs also with the child theme?
      By changing the content I mean I just rearranged the front page post. Bringing the content that was at the bottom of the post up to the top, and the content that was at the top of the post then down to the bottom.

      I did not change any urls with the child theme. I created the child theme to make changes to things like the footer and header so that when wordpress updates it does not erase the changes.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by wAvision View Post

        By changing the content I mean I just rearranged the front page post. Bringing the content that was at the bottom of the post up to the top, and the content that was at the top of the post then down to the bottom.

        I did not change any urls with the child theme. I created the child theme to make changes to things like the footer and header so that when wordpress updates it does not erase the changes.
        If you rearranged where any links appear on the page, that could alter rankings.

        For example, if a link was at the top of the page and now is at the bottom, that could weaken it. If your nav menu was loading at the top of the page, but now loads at the bottom, those links are all weaker. That sort of stuff can have an impact.
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  • Profile picture of the author hemnaram
    Wait until google crawls your new changes. Also keep an eye on your webmaster tools.
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  • Profile picture of the author wAvision
    would you recommend switching the content back and eliminating the child theme?

    I knew I should not have messed with it...

    Would adding a child theme and rearranging the content on just my homepage really throw all pages/terms off?
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    • Profile picture of the author nettiapina
      Originally Posted by wAvision View Post

      would you recommend switching the content back and eliminating the child theme?

      I knew I should not have messed with it...
      I would not. You've already "messed" it up once, and doing it again would probably not help. You'd be doing the same thing twice in a row.

      I'd just see that the current link structure makes sense, and wait a little to see how it goes. It seems to me that sites with changes need to be sort of "re-evaluated" by Google before they rank again. Unfortunately it's impossible to say wether the rankings recover.

      Originally Posted by wAvision View Post

      Would adding a child theme and rearranging the content on just my homepage really throw all pages/terms off?
      I'm not Google's algorithm, but just adding a (WordPress) child theme should not be a big deal in my opinion. Switching themes, however, does major changes to the HTML code. Even if the site looks the same, you're showing completely different site to Google.

      Rearranging homepage should not affect sub pages that much, but link structure obviously has an effect on everything.
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  • Profile picture of the author PBScott
    Google ranking fluctuate up and down, wait a month or so before you do anything.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jane1
    It would be due to bouncing of your site in the search engine, but it should show the pages you have mentioned. See manual actions in your webmaster tools if ti shows any message. Also read 'help' in your webmaster tools and try to resubmit is after waiting for few days if it shows no any positive sign.
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  • Profile picture of the author wAvision
    well today I do a site operator and it appears none of the pages on my site are indexed....

    Could this be because it is in the sandbox and being re-evaluated?
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by wAvision View Post

      well today I do a site operator and it appears none of the pages on my site are indexed....

      Could this be because it is in the sandbox and being re-evaluated?
      No. That means there is something Google really does not like about your site. Some examples:

      1) It is hacked and providing malicious content.
      2) It is using something sneaky like cloaking.
      3) Your backlinks are a bit more trashy than you shared. For example, you are using a public blog network that got discovered and deindexed by Google.

      Without anyone seeing the site, these are just guesses.
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      • Profile picture of the author wAvision
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        No. That means there is something Google really does not like about your site. Some examples:

        1) It is hacked and providing malicious content.
        2) It is using something sneaky like cloaking.
        3) Your backlinks are a bit more trashy than you shared. For example, you are using a public blog network that got discovered and deindexed by Google.

        Without anyone seeing the site, these are just guesses.
        1. Is there a way I can tell if it is hacked?
        2. I use link cloaking for my outgoing affiliate links, which I have always done. Could this be why?
        3. Would it be wise to log in to each pbn site and remove my posts containing links to my site?

        Can I PM you my site and have you take a quick look for me?
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
          Originally Posted by wAvision View Post

          1. Is there a way I can tell if it is hacked?
          2. I use link cloaking for my outgoing affiliate links, which I have always done. Could this be why?
          3. Would it be wise to log in to each pbn site and remove my posts containing links to my site?

          Can I PM you my site and have you take a quick look for me?
          1) Dig through the code and look.
          2) I'm talking about cloaking, which is something a little more advanced. I think what you are talking about is just making the affiliate links into a URL which is a little easier on the eyes. I have never seen a site get penalized for that.
          3) How many PBN's? Before you said it was just a few, right? Are they still indexed? Are you using someone else's public network too, like the crap that is sold here for example?

          You can PM the site if you want. I won't post the URL publicly or anything that gives the site away, but I will post my findings, good or bad.
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  • Profile picture of the author wAvision
    Thanks, I have sent a PM
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  • Profile picture of the author wAvision
    Mike I thought I sent a PM, but it is not in my sent box. Have you received it?
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  • Profile picture of the author wAvision
    Mike I am trying to send you a PM, but it is not showing up in my sent box. Is your PM box full?
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