This year appears to be no different. I'm seeing complaints in multiple locations of people whose Web sites have mysteriously vanished from the search results, or they have lost rankings.
I'm not interested in hypothetical explanations of what is going on. I would like to collect anecdotes about lost rankings, sudden rankings increases, pages dropping out of the index, etc.
If your Google listings have radically altered over the past week or two (or by the end of November 2008), I would appreciate your describing your situation here in very general terms (please remember forum policy). I am not asking for the keywords you are targeting or the URLs of your Web sites.
If, however, you would like an OPINION, please feel free to send me a private message and I will look at your site and give you some feedback. I will not use whatever you share for my competitive advantage (I AM a full-time practicing Director of Search Strategies and I have clients in many industries).
After a couple of weeks, if I have collected sufficient data, I will share my thoughts here in this thread (I have done this before here on HighRankings). So I don't expect to follow this thread past late November, just to be clear.
Although I cannot make any guarantees to anyone about anything, my experience has been that these "Fall Flurries" usually right themselves by the end of December or mid-January. That's why we also sometimes call this effect the Google Christmas Crunch.
So, please share your pain (or joy). If you're in travel, it's good enough to say you're in travel. If you're in real estate, it's good enough to say you're in real estate. Other things I'd like to know include:
- Age of your site (in years and months)
- Size of your site (in page ranges: 1-10, 10-50, 50-100, 100-1000, 1000-10000, 10000-100000, ...)
- How many pages you think Google should normally index
- How many pages you think Google is currently indexing
- Have your rankings changed on Ask, Live, or Yahoo!?
- Do you use Google Analytics or some other package?
- What approximate percentage change are you seeing in search referrals from Google?
- Have your search referrals from other services changed?
I ask for the information about other search services because people often make subtle but significant changes to their sites without realizing the impact those changes can have on search referrals. If you see changes in referral patterns across all major search engines, you're probably more responsible for whatever happened to your Google traffic than people who did nothing to their sites.
People may be curious about what Google could be doing. I can't tell you because I don't know. In the past they have introduced major algorithmic changes, added significant filters, and even launched a complete redesign of their search system infrastructure (although the Bigdaddy Update actually began in December 2005).
For now, I'd just like to collect anecdotal information. I'll be glad to look at Web sites privately shared with me.
If this event follows historical patterns, most people don't need to do anything, and we should all resist the temptation to panic and assume that Google has suddenly targeted us for any particular reason.
Thanks in advance.