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Google Rankings Gone, But Image Traffic Continues?

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#1 Simpleton


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Posted 16 August 2009 - 12:53 PM

I had a site that used to get around 30,000 visitors from Google in a month ( search, not images), in a month.

Image traffic was around 7,000 or so in a month.

Then on one good ( bad for me embarrassed.gif ) day, all my rankings tanked. I had 13,000 visitors from Google Images in the next month, but only around 1,000 from search the next month. There were a few competitive keywords I still ranked for ( which is where the bulk of the 1,000 odd came from), but I seemed to have lost my trust with Google ( if I could say that). Earlier if I made a post, I'd feature in the top ten of Google for the keyword in a particular hour, but now, I don't show up anywhere.

While this could be termed the sandbox effect, my site has been around for two years, and received traffic for around two years ( not at the 30K level, but yes decent, consistent traffic)

Worse, I see myself ranking for a few terms on Webmaster Tools, and when I go to google.com, I don't see myself in those positions. Not even two or three pages later ( even assuming it is a datacenter issue)

It has been over two months, but my rankings have not been restored.

Anybody's experienced this, or has something to say which could help me?

Best Regards smile.gif

#2 chrishirst


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Posted 17 August 2009 - 04:27 AM

So; situation normal then?

5 Reasons <a href="http://searchengineland.com/080131-071244.php" target="_blank">[url=http://searchengineland.com/080131-071244.php]Why Rankings Are a Poor Measure of Success[/url]</a>

#3 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 07:10 PM

The rankings article, while offering some valuable insight, isn't relevant to the issue of what happened to the more than 20,000 Google referrals that vanished into the last update process.

I can speculate on a few possible reasons, Simpleton, but you really haven't offered any information about what you've been doing. It's important to rule out as many possible explanations as you can, so that you can focus on reasonable possibilities.

For example, were you buying, swapping, or dropping links up until a couple of months ago? If so, it's possible your links are no longer passing value.

Did you change something on your site? It's possible you overlooked something simple: a robots meta tag in a CMS template, a temporary block in robots.txt, broken code in your internal navigation, a typo in an .htaccess file, etc.

Did you give someone the keys to the car and allow them to tinker under the hood? Perhaps someone dropped some sneaky links onto your site (or maybe they broke something, as in the previous suggestion).

Did you "optimize" your internal content, putting more emphasis and/or repetition on highly competitive keywords? Perhaps you tripped an easily resolved OOP (over-optimization penalty). All you have to do is undo your changes (no reconsideration request should be necessary).

Did you do something different that you have never done before?

On the other hand, it's possible that your competitors simply stepped up their game and you now have to escalate your efforts the same way they did.

Or perhaps your keywords fall into a vertical that has now been flagged with "query deserves freshness" and your content is too stale.

Or perhaps your query space is dying and people are moving on to new interests.

Have other people seen changes in search referral traffic over the past couple of months similar to what you report. Yes, they have. I've read a few dozen discussions in that time frame and have worked with a few sites that have all seen traffic drops.

There is no one single reason, although the most common plausible explanation in my experience and opinion has been that many links which once passed value no longer seem to.

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