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Jan 31st, 2013, 10:40 AM
No penalty, but something tripping me up
My site (best and then adventure and then jobs co uk - all one word but not writing it here else this forum page will outrank us too) disappeared from position 2 on page 1 for "adventure jobs". It happened when they did that triple change that included exact match domains. I have had a look at many aspects to try to see what google dislike, but I am at a complete loss now. Sub pages rank well for some keywords, but it is as though the home page has been blackballed.
I did a reconsideration request in webmaster tools, but it came back saying there is no manual penalty. Our one page parent company domain, which has no relevant content, other than mentioning our adventure site, is on page 6 for that keyword, while our full on adventure site is nowhere to be found.
Is it possible to employ people to audit something like this? I have had a few speculative SEO calls but they all seem aimed at people who are clueless. Where does one find people who can trouble shoot these sudden drops in ranking?
Jan 31st, 2013, 11:08 AM
How did you promote you domain so you achieved #2 in the first place.
Jan 31st, 2013, 11:26 AM
Fathom, could it be that Google has branded his site as a link farm?
Jan 31st, 2013, 12:24 PM
I didn't look but from the standpoint of link webspam detection, Google Webspam team does not see an issue so it likely the automated part of PENGUIN, or PANDA, or both.
Originally Posted by KernelPanic
Jan 31st, 2013, 12:52 PM
Using MajesticSeo I can see a lot of your links are coming from sites like these. Here are some examples:
Perhaps this could be causing a Penguin issue? I'm probably not experienced enough to call it but perhaps someone else can comment.
Jan 31st, 2013, 12:54 PM
So this would be around the end of September, right? I have found that most sites that dropped at this time were not really affected by EMD on September 28 but rather by the Panda update that happened September 27.
It happened when they did that triple change that included exact match domains.
I spent a few minutes on your site looking for potential Panda issues. The most common Panda issue is duplicate content. I have seen a fair number of job sites that were affected by Panda. This is because they have pages and pages of job listings that are exact duplicates of the original site. This *could* be your issue. However, I looked at 5 of your job listings and only 1 of those 5 had loads of duplicates across the web. The other 4 were unique to your site.
Penguin also happened a week after that change, which was October 5. You do have a slightly unbalanced link profile with your keyword as your most common anchor text but it's not nearly as bad as most of the Penguin hit sites I have seen.
I'm guessing if you dig deep enough there is a Panda issue somewhere. You may have also lost some ranking benefit from having exact keywords in your domain.
One other thought...how new is your site? If it is relatively new then it could have been receiving a honeymoon boost and then dropped down to its rightful position.
Jan 31st, 2013, 01:18 PM
In discovery is it best not to point people to a preconceived issue especially if you don't have a couple of hundred hours of research invested in the domain.
Originally Posted by giggity
Yes you could be right... but if for example the poster borrowed content from another domain and used that to promote and a DMCA claim was used it would kill the page completely and the Webspam Team wouldn't know it is a DMCA issue.
Yes you could be right... but if for example the poster borrowed content from another domain and used that to promote and that was detected by PANDA for low quality that would kill the page in top results and the Webspam Team may not know that because that is an automated development.
Yes you could be right... but if for example the issue was (as was noted) about EMD it may not have anything to do with the links.
My point... leading people on a wild goose chase because you spent 3 minutes looking at their link profile and saw something interesting isn't helping them... if what you saw had nothing to do with the loses so it is best to guide them by finding out what they already know first and allow that define the scope of your advice.
You don't get to #2 in but a day or two and without knowing how you achieved that.
Last edited by fathom; Jan 31st, 2013 at 03:48 PM.
Feb 1st, 2013, 03:38 AM
Hello, thank you for the suggestions, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me.
The link profile isn't great, but I didn't do anything more than swap with a few of my advertisers. It certainly isn't a spammy profile, is it?
The site started mid 2008, and was on page one from early 2009. On page I just did what was considered good practice, used keywords in the right places, but not in a spammy way. Had moved up to second on page one for best part of a year, then suddenly vanished. I've never done anything "black hat", but they clearly dislike something I am doing.
I lost the long tail of keywords, and some site pages vanished for keywords they should really be strong for, but the biggest drop was for the keyword that matched the domain name. The site which survives at the top of the results is exact match and does have both duplicate and irrelevant content for the keyword. From a users point of view that site is terrible and very few of the advertisers use it, however, it is owned by and has links from a national newspaper group, so that probably makes the untouchable.
I realise my site uses quite a bit of content that already exists elsewhere. It is unavoidable for all of us. I post a job or course advert for someone but they give me the text. I cannot force them to re-write it, though I try to re-write where I can to avoid as much duplication as possible.
I did have quite a bit of duplication because of dynamic pages, eg page=1&id=2 would return the same as page=2&id=2. I got rid of all this in the week following the drop. Perhaps that was my issue. But so far no improvement.
I also have a handful of other sites covering different niches. They do still share the same server, though they no longer point (link) to each other as they used to.
While I would love to get back to where I was, I'd be happy with it just being somewhere realistic. That's what makes me think it is some kind of penalty. If you are looking to work in that niche, there is no way you would want to visit many of those other sites from page two or three down, rather than mine. It's so frustrating
Feb 1st, 2013, 04:50 AM
I am still leaning towards link farm. Are the OBLs nofollow?
Feb 1st, 2013, 06:31 AM
None of them were, but in trying to work out what is going on I read conflicting advice about whether they should or should not be. Technically we have been paid to refer people via these links, so does that mean they should be flagged no-follow? I did mark some that way, but I wasn't sure whether that was correct or not. Maybe I shouldn't have any OBLs on the home page.
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