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    Abrupt drop in rankings in Google


    For the Google Guru's.

    We have a couple of websites dedicated to the travel industry, www.epoquehotels.com (our main website), www.avantgardehotels.com, www.archotels.com and www.eh-reservations.com. We had great rankings for most of our main keywords, boutique hotel, for each city. We were in first page for general keywords such as seville hotel and marbella hotel. On the 21 we changed from a yahoo server to a dedicated server (sector link is the company). The change was made in the night and on the 22 we drop almost 50% in visits. We usually had 5000 unique visitors per day and now we have 2500. We drop for all our keywords, in some cases, we dropped more than 100 rankings!.
    We didnt do anything to epoquehotels.com, but for avantgarde and eh-reservations, we changed them that day to dynamic pages. After we saw the huge drop, we went back and changed eh-reservations to static ( as it was before). Nothing changed. We changed back from Sector Link to Yahoo server, nothing changed. I think that we have been penalized for some reason that we cannot understand. The weird thing is that we changed the www.avantgardehotels.com website totally to dynamic that day (it has a PR 5), and we are on the 5th of August none of the new pages have been indexed, despite the fact that we have been visited by the spiders on the 3rd of August.

    Could you give me a hint of what is going on? is there a way to contact Google to know if we have been penalized at least?

    Thank you very much, I will appreciate any help.

    Daniel
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    You probably have not been penalized, but some of your changes may have been the culprit.

    First, when you moved the sites to the dedicated server, did you keep the previous server up running the sites? This is very important, since DNS caches around the world usually take 24-48 hours (or longer) to reflect the new changes. During this time, visitors (and spiders) might go to the new or old site depending on when their dns server was last updated.

    If you took down the old server when you switched to the new one, it is entirely possible googlebot may have visited the old server and found the site gone.

    The other issue is with the change from static to dynamic pages. Dynamic pages are fine, but if the url of each page has changed then again googlebot may be visiting pages that don't exist. Either mod_rewrite or 301 redirects are the way to handle this properly.

    If your new dynamic pages have more than two variables in the urls, you should use mod_rewrite to shorten the page address. Even though SE spiders are getting better at following dynamic links, you'll make their job much easier if you provide static looking links instead. You'll end up with more indexed pages as a result.

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    • stimpsy agrees
    Last edited by Whitesell; Aug 5th, 2005 at 03:50 PM.
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    also add a 404 page and have it be similar to your site map so that the SE's can start to follow to the new pages, and most importantly that human don't get page not found error.
    ** Do you want links on 10+ directories?
    ** Each directory is on a Unique C-Class IP & range from PR3 to PR5.
    ** If you are interested then Please Submit Your Site...
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    You're the third Hotels/Holiday site just on this forum that's been dropped, if you've any duplicate content in your interlinked network....
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    Well, we still have, the dynamic and the static online under the same server to make sure that the googlebot visits our pages.
    Before having the dynamic, we used to have almost all the information of the avantgarde website with an iframe to eh-reservations. This gave us great results. When we changed to dynamic, we stopped using the iframe, and the big drop occurred. I am thinking, that since all our websites had an iframe before to eh-reservations, googlebot did not see our text as duplicate, and now, since we moved to dynamic and we have the eh-reservations.com text and the avantgardehotels.com text separate, it could be seen as duplicate content and that could be penalized.
    What I noticed also was that when I went to check in google for links between avantgardehotels.com and epoquehotels.com and it seems as if they where none. This is not true because not only there are thousands of links between both websites, but also I usually check for this twice a month and we used to have thousands of links indexed in google between both pages.
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    hello,
    I'm Matteo and I'm developer in Epoquehotels.com. I follow the moving from static to dynamic pages in epoquehotels network.

    I'll reply regarding tech questions:
    - dynamic urls are like: http://www.domain.it/file.php/var1/value1/var2/value2 and so on...this allow us to don't use mod_rewrite but in the meanwhile to use dynamic urls good for search engines, infact they see each var name or value as a different level of a directory (I have to use absolute uri in order to avoid noises with relatives path)...I've already use this kind of urls in another website and it works very good
    - when we moved from yahoo to dedicated and again from dedicated to yahoo we left alive the first server waiting full working of the second...
    - 404 pages are not customized again, do we really need to do it?


    thanx for your help

    Matteo
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    Question


    I would like to know how can we check if we have been penalized by google?

    Daniel
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    Like many in your sector you're breaking most of the linkage rules, an interlinked network, doorway domains, and who knows what else.

    Why you should have been picked out specifically may well be down to the recent addition of duplicate content that used to be in the I-frames.
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    Originally Posted by glengara
    You're the third Hotels/Holiday site just on this forum that's been dropped, if you've any duplicate content in your interlinked network....
    haha, ever the pessimist ;-)

    gotta laff

    MCS
    x
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    Originally Posted by glengara
    You're the third Hotels/Holiday site just on this forum that's been dropped, if you've any duplicate content in your interlinked network....
    Can I add one: www.rydges.com - we didn't move servers but did apply a lot of the "standard" SEO practises to the website including using an ISAPI filter to rewrite our URL's from dynamic ASP querystrings to static .htm extension url's. Since those changes, we've dropped out of the SERP's even for branded searches like "Rydges Bankstown".

    Our site's still in there, a search for "Rydges" returns the homepage, but get more specific than that and we don't appear to be anywhere.

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