Site Ranking High for Completely Wrong Topic!

7 replies
  • SEO
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Hello there, first time posting here. Thank you for the read.

I have a travel blog, a trusted resource, with 11+ years of content. After enjoying top-3 rankings for my main keywords for years, I've fallen to second and third page.

Annoyingly, rather than rank for anything travel related, Google picked up a single, non-optimized blog entry I did years ago on a whim about my experience with water fasting. My site analytics and Webmaster Tools both verify that 70+ percent of my traffic comes from searches for "water fasting"! These people aren't looking for anything travel related and typically bounce after reading the one post.

Since Google thinks my travel site is about fasting, which it is not, would it be wise to take the massive traffic hit and NOINDEX the fasting article? Is there a better way to remind Google that the subject matter of the site has nothing to do with fasting?

I have 635 travel-related posts Google could care less about, and only one fasting-related post that Google loves. Should I switch industries?

Thanks for any suggestions.
#completely #high #ranking #site #topic #wrong
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  • Profile picture of the author dsimms
    I would certainly say there is something going on...I have not done any research on "travel" but I would think it would be a saturated niche....

    that is really not good, so you are saying 70% of all your traffic is coming based off this one "water" post? You really have to be careful what you write about, as google can pick up anything at anytime, then you start getting the traffic that you do not want to get, however, I can not explain what google loves this one article, and ignores the rest....

    rather then doing a noindex on the article, may look at ways you can
    re-optimize the article with keywords people are looking for that
    will relate to travel, however, I suspect you have a bigger issues
    at hand if most of your traffic is going to some unrelated article...

    I would highly recommend that you hire SEO provider, and have
    them analyze and audit your site, after that, I bet you are going
    to find alot of issues, and why your other articles are not getting
    the traffic they may deserve over this unrelated article.....

    Just because you been doing this for 11 years does not mean
    you have been doing it right, it is important that you keep your site
    up to par! something is wrong for google to send 70% traffic
    to this one unrelated article, and 30% traffic from 600+ articles/posts.
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  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Seems like if you ranked well for travel related keywords in the past, you can do it again. You say you have fallen to 2nd and 3rd page for those words which indicates that Google does not think your blog is just about water fasting.

    Something happened that caused your travel related posts to drop. Either there was a sudden surge of much better, more engaging, well linked-to content by dozens of sites that formerly ranked below yours (not likely) or Google's algorithm started devaluing some of your links. Those devalued links may not be as important for the water fasting article because it does not have the same level of competition.

    Take a good, hard look at your backlink profile and see how many of those are real links that were editorially placed by another website and how many were easy to get links that anyone could place themselves. Get real, high quality, editorially placed links to the pages that used to rank well and they will likely return to their former glory.
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  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    How much of your traffic was about fasting before the drop? I am trying to figure out whether your percentage went up because fasting went up and travel went down or because travel went down, fasting stayed the same.

    Why would you de-index the fasting page? You might just have to change some of the keywords to mess up the page's position... Is any of the traffic that's coming via fasting helping you?

    Why did your ranking drop on travel keywords? Can you do whatever you did to be in the top 3 again (or more of it)?

    If you get higher up in ranking for travel keywords, the percentage of traffic for fasting should go down.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Making changes with the fasting page is not going to change anything other than making that page not rank. It won't improve anything for the rest of the site.

    If you are on the second and third page of Google for travel related keywords, Google clearly does not think the entire site is about fasting. Most likely, fasting just has a lot less competition.

    What changes did you make to your website before the drop happened?
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  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
    These are some difficult questions.

    First, if you're getting traffic from water fasting, but have no true interest in the topic, it's a waste of traffic, especially if they are bouncing. I'd NOINDEX that post unless you really want to go down this road.

    I don't know of a way to tell Google that your site isn't about something it thinks it's about. Afterall, they are a bit of a "know it all".

    Second, if you love travel, keep at it with those posts. If you enjoy water fasting or have a good amount of info on it, nothing is stopping you from doing a few posts on this subject, too or even writing a guide you can use to monetize that traffic.

    Finally, what's your passion? Is it travel or water fasting or both? Your passion is what you should follow.

    Hope this helps.

    Benjamin Ehinger
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  • Profile picture of the author buchoky
    Thank you all for your expert input. My fear/initial thought was that ranking highly for the water fasting would distract or detract from my site ranking for its travel topics. Perhaps it would give "mixed signals" to Google.

    I've decided to stick to my guns. I'll leave the water fasting post as is for now and keep chipping away at optimizing the travel posts to get things back to "normal." Maybe I can convince a few of the fasting folks to look at the rest of the site...if they've got any energy left.

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  • Profile picture of the author xeniux
    You might need to research keywords before posting any content on your site.

    For your water fasting post it might on page 1 because of the uniqueness and it has some good backlinks

    Try to dig some seo report on your targeted keywords on your post and optimize it.


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