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    qto
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    Punished in Google - but in a weird way!


    Hi there!

    Around the 20th of December all my rankings was completely discarded in Google, which came as nothing less than a mild surprise.

    The website this happened to is Epic-Shirts - Big Face Animal T-Shirts and Many Other Epic Tees!

    All my pages are still indexed by Google, but I don't have any of the rankings I had before. As an example was the homepage ranked on the first page on "epic shirts". I have a large product portfolio (around 400) and I got a good amount of direct traffic to all these sub pages being the individual t-shirts ie. Big Face Pug T-Shirt - Epic-Shirts.com on search phrases like "big face pug t-shirt" and "golden retriever face t-shirt" etc. The point is the traffic was relevant for my site.

    Epic-shirts.com is an affiliate site and it was actually doing really well until it got hit. To me it seems like people found it helpful and relevant, when looking at GA. Added to this the site is from October, so its rather new.

    Today, I still get visitors from organic searches but the keywords are widely irrelevant as opposed to my site.

    These are the top keywords from organic traffic:

    1. Rottweiler
    2. Black Panther
    3. Boston Terrier
    4. Werewolf
    5. French Bulldog
    6. Saint Bernard
    7. Chihuahua

    Still the search volume of these is minimal.

    What is weird is that I am even found on these search terms. I would never rank anywhere near the top 100 search results for such high volume search terms.

    The primary concerns I have as to what has caused my site to disengage from the search engines are

    1. Duplicate content (I might have a little on some of the individual portfolio pages such as short reviews from Amazon, but I have deleted most of them)

    2. My back links (One of my friends is a SEO and pretty good at it, and he looked at my back links as well as the anchor texts and it didn't look particularly unnatural and I do have a good amount of external articles with dofollow link. I might have been doing a bit too much blog commenting and such, but I have been writing good responses and not just the usual "great post thanks cu".

    Can any of you be of service and give me a clue or directioner to where I should point my focus and what I should do/change/add?

    The two last blog posts I did a couple of weeks ago have been indexed, but with a weird looking meta-description that doesn't accord with the one I provided myself via (Wordpress SEO).

    These are the ones:

    The Mountain T-Shirts - Everything About the Epic Shirts
    The Mountain T-Shirts - Everything About the Epic Shirts

    I would sincerely appreciate help on this one


    NOTE: As you can probably see I am not the most experienced dude within SEO.

    Cheers,

    Joen
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    Have you checked Webmaster Tools to make sure Google has not sent you any messages?

    Google did a Panda update around that time, and I do remember reading something about identifying domains with a - or a _ as these tend to be lower quality sites.

    Also a Month previous to that Google Did a change that effected EMD (Exact Match Domains).

    It's possible your drops were a result of either of these.

    Also your site is a PR 1 and loads very slow.

    Cool shirts though.
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  5. SEO Since 97
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    December 20th was a Panda refresh. I wouldn't doubt it has to do with the weak content on your site and the emd. Many EMD's made it through that refresh but they had good content, I didn't see much on your site...it's all in your blogs. Your home page has more than 100 links with very little content. I would move all those images into the respective sub categories and replace it with good content about your site and what it's all about.
    You should also do something about the loading time..it sucks, i don't think I ever loaded a page completely...way too slow, no ones going to wait that long.

    Comments on this post

    • Dice79 agrees : I didn't think about the one page aspect, Good catch.
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    two possibilities...

    On 21 of December, Google rolled out its panda update. - (most possible reason in your case)
    Your website is very new so you might be dropped due to this.

    @Dice79, I don't think it's hit by EMD update as it happened in September END (2 and half months before).
    Lead, follow or leave the way...
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    On 21 of December, Google rolled out its panda update. - (most possible reason in your case)
    Your website is very new so you might be dropped due to this.

    @Dice79, I don't think it's hit by EMD update as it happened in September END (2 and half months before).
    Your correct...EMD was "introduced" in Sept. However what do you thing the updates after that tweaked?
    And the EMD update didn't just targeting EMD's, it through EMD's into the Panda equation, and the updates afterwords continues to tweaked it.
    It's like saying a new site that went on line Dec. 2012 and purchased 5 thousand link schemes didn't get hit by penguin because it happened in the first quarter of 2012.

    Now I'm not saying the emd is going to kill him, but if the content isn't there it not going to work in his favor.
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    Originally Posted by Test-ok
    Your correct...EMD was "introduced" in Sept. However what do you thing the updates after that tweaked?
    And the EMD update didn't just targeting EMD's, it through EMD's into the Panda equation, and the updates afterwords continues to tweaked it.
    It's like saying a new site that went on line Dec. 2012 and purchased 5 thousand link schemes didn't get hit by penguin because it happened in the first quarter of 2012.

    Now I'm not saying the emd is going to kill him, but if the content isn't there it not going to work in his favor.

    @Test-ok,

    What I have said is he is hit most likely by Panda. Not by EMD.

    Google made small changes/adjustments when they rolled new or existing algorithm but this is for few days from original date of launch. I watched matt cutt is saying this but haven't had time to find that video.

    As for EMD, it should be considered as HOT on-page ranking factor (before as well as after the EMD update). After EMD update Google have just started handling low quality EMD differently. None of my EMDs have affected due to this update but on the contrary I have noticed traffic hike after this update. I haven't seen OP's website but if it is low quality then it will be likely to be hit soon when they rolled same update again. But it is not hit this time for sure.

    Originally Posted by Test-ok
    It's like saying a new site that went on line Dec. 2012 and purchased 5 thousand link schemes didn't get hit by penguin because it happened in the first quarter of 2012.
    Penguin happened in first quarter but they rolled out their later version periodically. If Google rolled later version of penguin in December, the chance of hits are very high. Even if it is not affected by Penguin it can be hit by any penalty (manual penalty as well). Penguin and Panda is not the ultimate reason for any website drop. Google used to handle web spam and duplicate content before panda and penguin. we all heard that numerous websites had penalized before penguin and panda time.
    Last edited by chiragparekh; Jan 10th, 2013 at 04:10 AM.
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    This would have not been an affect of EMD in my opinion.

    You have massive sitewide links. You have 1000+ links from 26 domains.

    Your top links are guest blog links.

    Your top links are nowhere near your relevant topic.

    Your links are poor. There is no penalty, Panda, Penguin, EMD, Bird, Dog, Cat, Flamingo, etc.


    Your server is horrible. Your site loads poorly; so poorly it crashed the browser on my gaming/work machine.

    Your onpage SEO is weak.

    I could keep going, but I don't want to sound like a jerk. You need to build better links and and optimized page. Plain and simple in my blunt, direct and researched opinion.

    Comments on this post

    • realityhack agrees : Same here. Terrible server, terrible site.
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    qto
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    Originally Posted by Dice79
    Have you checked Webmaster Tools to make sure Google has not sent you any messages?

    Google did a Panda update around that time, and I do remember reading something about identifying domains with a - or a _ as these tend to be lower quality sites.

    Also a Month previous to that Google Did a change that effected EMD (Exact Match Domains).

    It's possible your drops were a result of either of these.

    Also your site is a PR 1 and loads very slow.

    Cool shirts though.
    I checked WT and I have not gotten any messages.

    If I have been punished because i have a - in my domain there nothing I can really do about it, but that would be pretty lame!

    My site is new so that's why its only a PR1. I know the loading time is ridiculous and I dont know what to do about it. I talked with the guys who did the theme and they just said there were too many portfolio items, but Ive seen many sites with hundreds of items on the frontpage - Pinterest e.g. and that seems to be no problem!?

    Thanks!
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    qto
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    Originally Posted by Test-ok
    December 20th was a Panda refresh. I wouldn't doubt it has to do with the weak content on your site and the emd. Many EMD's made it through that refresh but they had good content, I didn't see much on your site...it's all in your blogs. Your home page has more than 100 links with very little content. I would move all those images into the respective sub categories and replace it with good content about your site and what it's all about.
    You should also do something about the loading time..it sucks, i don't think I ever loaded a page completely...way too slow, no ones going to wait that long.
    I have all the good content on the blog yes, primarily because thats the blog... The frontpage is just the portfolio - all the t-shirts I have! I dont assume that I have to have an article for every single t-shirt? If you look at Snorg Tees - New Funny T-Shirts Every Week - Cool Graphic Tee Shirt they dont have any content whatsoever, but that site seems to be doing great! Shouldnt that be the same?

    If I move all the items to sub categories the visitor wont get the overview of all the items, which would be bad!

    I'm working on the loading time! Hopefully it will be fixed soon!

    Thanks
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    qto
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    Originally Posted by joshz
    This would have not been an affect of EMD in my opinion.

    You have massive sitewide links. You have 1000+ links from 26 domains.

    Your top links are guest blog links.

    Your top links are nowhere near your relevant topic.

    Your links are poor. There is no penalty, Panda, Penguin, EMD, Bird, Dog, Cat, Flamingo, etc.


    Your server is horrible. Your site loads poorly; so poorly it crashed the browser on my gaming/work machine.

    Your onpage SEO is weak.

    I could keep going, but I don't want to sound like a jerk. You need to build better links and and optimized page. Plain and simple in my blunt, direct and researched opinion.
    The site is pretty new which is my I don't have that many links. It's not easy to get links so it's not like I can fix that in a jiff.

    I know the server is horrible. I am going to switch to another soon. I'm from Denmark, but should I go with an international host? The traffic I get is pretty worldwide, but my preferred visitors are from US and UK.

    Could you give me a pointer in terms of how I could improve my on page SEO?

    You don't sound like a jerk, it's great you let me know what I need to fix.
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    If it's new then that's your problem. You probably got a boost for being a new site. Now the work starts.

    The link building But def. work on your onpage SEO. You need some serious work in my humble opinion.
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    Originally Posted by joshz
    If it's new then that's your problem. You probably got a boost for being a new site. Now the work starts.

    The link building But def. work on your onpage SEO. You need some serious work in my humble opinion.

    But it's so ridiculously difficult to get links that are relevant and from PR3+ sites and so on !

    What about the onpage SEO? What pops up as the biggest thing I should focus on?
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    Load time, compression, title/desc tags. That's a starter but really 1/5th of what I saw.

    Yes, link building is always a challenge, but that's why SEO is in such demand and people like me can demand so much money ;-)

    It's a challenge, I'll give you something I've learned a while ago. Creativity in link building will ALWAYS win.
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    qto
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    Originally Posted by joshz
    Load time, compression, title/desc tags. That's a starter but really 1/5th of what I saw.

    Yes, link building is always a challenge, but that's why SEO is in such demand and people like me can demand so much money ;-)

    It's a challenge, I'll give you something I've learned a while ago. Creativity in link building will ALWAYS win.
    But my title/desc tags should be fine unless you talk about the individual portfolio items, which I haven't given much effort as I was told these are not important to focus on. On the blog it should be fine with these things. I have also created content to each category as well as the front page, though it still needs work. But a 1/5?
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    Originally Posted by qto
    ...but the keywords are widely irrelevant as opposed to my site.

    These are the top keywords from organic traffic:

    1. Rottweiler
    2. Black Panther
    3. Boston Terrier
    4. Werewolf
    5. French Bulldog
    6. Saint Bernard
    7. Chihuahua

    ...
    Your kidding right? You don't think anyone talks about those animals in reference to your shirts? As in... I want this cool Werewolf shirt from xyz?
    Who cares if YOU don't call it a werewolf shirt.

    Also keep in mind that with very low traffic you can barely tell the difference between keywords and aberrations. If you got 600 hits a day on Metalica is a Werewolf then you would have an issue. Get one or two in a week and it could just be a fluke of the algorithm. Any webmaster who goes down to the 2 hits a month zone is going to find some strange key phrases.
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