Be careful with that theory, because if it doesn't...whats the reason? I wouldn't throw in too many equations.
I will of course be watching it daily - but if that isn't the reason, it simply doesn't make any logical sense.
If this theory is wrong, I am back at square one.
I hear you, but any suggestions? I don't want links that are detrimental to my site's standing. As I said before, it was doing just fine before the hack.
There could be good after effects in this case , but you will must get the original value .
I thought I'd give you an update, it seems to me that enough time has passed to realise my site is not going to recover the position it held before.
Now sitting at 1-3 (slipped a further 2 places today) on page 2, this seems to be it's regular slot. I feel like I've been punished by Google for the pointless activities of a pointless hacker.
Slipping from 4th on page 1 to about the same on page 2, how can I think otherwise?
Any further suggestions welcome.
It's sad that your ranks were devastated through no fault of your own and I can see why you might expect to get moved right back up to your previous spot automatically, but there are many unseen/unknown factors at work here and it appears that you will have to take some action if you wish to climb back up.
As for suggestions, several people have advised you to try to build some links and that is undoubtedly the best way to improve your rankings...
Despite what you said about: ...as most SEO's will tell you, tweaking your onsite SEO will not normally make any noticeable difference to your ranking for anything other than the most uncompetitive of keywords/serps.
It does seem a little unfair, but who knows, perhaps before the hack your ranks were unfairly inflated and now they've reverted to their "natural" spot.
Bite the bullet and get out there, try to generate some backlinks and you'll soon see an improvement (in fact if your competition is also not building backlinks, that may be how you were able to rank so easily and it may take just a few new ones to push you right back to page #1). You might find that exchanging a few links with semi-relevant sites is enough to make the difference!
There are many threads about linkbuilding on here, some accessible from the post listed under "new to seochat/seo..." beneath my sig'.
Also check out the "local search techniques" forum (and - if you haven't subscribed to Google Local, do so).
Try to find some related/semi-related websites who might respond to a simple request for a backlink (I find I can get particular success with regional websites in this regard).
If you haven't done it already, submit the site to Dmoz regional listings (then forget about the submission... Do NOT resubmit)! And finally, if your customer websites are hosted seperately from yours, links on some of those might also help.
Anything you can do to get (followed*) links from sites that are - in any way - related to yours (industry, arts or region) will help your cause.
(*for this reason I would forget about blog commenting and forum sig' links unless you know of some which allow followed links... Even then they're normally very poor quality links, although a well-rounded link profile is best, so a little of any/everything won't hurt)!
<edit>PS: This thread was never about Google Page Rank, so I've moved it to the Google Optimization Forum instead</edit>
Last edited by ClickyB; Oct 31st, 2012 at 12:29 PM.
Thanks for the detailed advice ClickyB. As an update, I am now back on page one - not at the bottom which I've been for a day or so before slipping back down again, but about half way up - which is a little more secure - so far!
I've not done anything but write a post on Squidoo that linked to my site, no new blogs on my site or anything.
I'm not sure what the answer is, or has been, but things are close to being back to how they were.
I guess it begs the question, how important are links compared to good on-site SEO these days, - or did the Squidoo post (& any subsequent links) do the job?
Ok, as a final post on this I am now back to exactly where I was before the hack - that's been a hell of a long time to wait.
My conclusions are - mostly guesswork of course - that lots of 'good links' do not pay as important a part these days as 'good content' does - unless of course, writing a couple of linked articles for Squidoo has elevated me back faster. I also took out some adwords which may've helped Google trust the site once more, I don't know.
Anyway, I hope anyone reading this as a start-to-end process from hack to recovery, finds it useful in some way.