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Aged domain, sudden drop in ranking

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by jakeylakey, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. jakeylakey

    jakeylakey Newbie

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    There is many threads talking about drops in rankings, and whether its a penalty or a dance. Im experiencing the same, but my example is very different to the majority ive found on here. I hope you can give me some reassurance and we can all learn from it.

    My website is on 15 year old domain (PR4), its an eccomerce site selling unique products. There is no possiblity of duplicate content, and the content for the best part has been the same for 15 years. The only change in content is a new product or a feedback etc.

    Weve always ranked very well, and for 10+ years have always ranked 5th to 8th for our main keywords and as high as 1st for other keyword variations. Id like to say again that weve never moved off first page, our rankings have never varied in 10 years of google algo changes.

    I did some seo 10 years ago which got our rankings and have done bits and bobs between then and now. We have many many natural links built by customers over the years. Thanks to my initial seo, when exact anchor text worked, my anchor text profile has always been heavily weighted to my main KW.

    In Jan we was ranking 7th and a new competitor had came above us, not out of merit but from profile links, article submission etc. This made me start thinking about turning my attention to SEO. I was quite careful not to over do it, since end of Jan I started to build several pyramids which to date probably end in 100 odd web2s pointing to my MNS. IVe done some directory submissions, and article submissions str8 to money site. NO mass building of links to MNS with xrumer or SB. Even in my pyramid the xrumer/sb part was less than 1000 links, many of which didnt get indexed.

    The anchor text had some exact match but mostly variations of main keyword. Most of the links I posted was indexed using lindexed.

    In addition to these lower quality links weve placed several HIGH pr links on charity sites by providing free services to them. So we have made about 10 homepage/site wide links on sites of pr4,5,6.

    I had some good success, with the main keyword variations moving up rankings greatly and I was making more money. Great I thought.

    Notably 2 weeks ago we placed a home page link on a Pr7, this site has a home page link itself from a Pr9 United Nations website, so a very trusted link indeed. 1 week after this link went live our main keyword went from 7th to 4th, fantastic!

    Anyway, 2 days ago (1st of march). Our main kw dropped from 4th to 14th, and almost everyone of our keywords have dropped several positions. Some newly ranked ones have dropped completely.

    Obviously this made me feel pretty sick, im the technical lead for this company, whilst it isnt my money. Thousands of pounds have potentially been wiped off our monthly turnover, which based on it being a solid 15 year old site, must have something to do with my link building.

    The site hasnt danced over last 2 days, its just sat there in 14th looking miserable. We spend a million pounds with adwords and have done for years, we use analytics, GWT etc. No messages in GWT, everything looks normal.

    So my questions for you guys..

    1. Is this a penalty or a dance? I find both hard to believe as surely it cant be that easy to damage a sites rankings, otherwise I should be doing it to my competitors! But also how can it be a dance, how can link building make my site drop massively below where its been for years?

    2. If it is a penalty what should I be doing now?

    3. Has anyone got experience of placing a PR7 high trust link like the one I described above? Could that possibly trigger a recalculation or a major update?
     
  2. lafours

    lafours Power Member

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    I feel your pain, it's a horrible feeling to see your site drop. If you have a google webmaster account, any penalties will be detailed in there.

    After I did some link building last month I dropped and sat a few pages lower than normal for 7-10 days then jumped up stronger than ever.

    In all honesty, I have never dropped and not come back the same or stronger. You may lose some profit while you dance (if it's not a penalty) but your increased position when you return should make up for it.

    I can of course, only speak of my own experience so don't take this as gospel.
     
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  3. maxonix

    maxonix Junior Member

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    I think your website is just experiencing G dance and I'm pretty sure it will pop right back on the first page.
     
  4. jakeylakey

    jakeylakey Newbie

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    Thanks lafours, thats reassuring. Many many people have written that sites drop and come back stronger, however from the examples ive read most are new sites who havent ranked in the high position for a long time as mine has.

    When your site did drop for 7-10 days was it sitting relatively still at the lower position, or was it dancing? Mine is just sitting still.

    Also none of the other top 10 have moved (highly competitive term, top term rarely changes). Only my site has dropped :eek:(
     
  5. RealEcon

    RealEcon Regular Member

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    Make sure none of your major PR links have been removed from the sites they were placed on. Also make sure none of those major PR sites have recently been deindexed. Look and see if there is any strange links showing up that a competitor could have built to sabotage you.

    All in all its most likely a dance. I wouldnt worry.
     
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  6. jakeylakey

    jakeylakey Newbie

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    Thanks RealEcon, I checked Majestic just the other day. Nothing weird shows up, just a increase of 300 links since Jan. Perhaps I over did the velocity of the links a little, however we have hundreds of thousands of customers 300 links doesnt seem that many in a month. If we was to send out a marketing email and ask our customers to link to us wed probably get that many, so could easily be a natural number.

    The high PR links I mentioned was all built in last 2 months, and not long term ones. Our initial ranking didnt depend on them, it was part of my recent link building work to improve our ranking. They are all still present and solid .org charity sites.
     
  7. Codythebest

    Codythebest Senior Member

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    There is no G dance or sandboxing for 15 y/o sites...
     
  8. lafours

    lafours Power Member

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    I just sat lower down, no real dancing. In fact, I sat lower down for 7-10 days, then dropped out of the top 100 for a day then back stronger than ever. I think getting really good high PR links confuses the hell out of Google. :D
     
  9. jakeylakey

    jakeylakey Newbie

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    Been looking at open site explorer somewhat, my link counts aren't looking overly spammy (not perfectly natural by any means however).


    Domain Authority Linking Root Domains Total Links Facebook Shares Facebook Likes Tweets Google +1
    59/100 51/100 888 6,795 325 23 118 358

    20% of the 888 linking root domain links are exact match anchor text.
    12% have anchor text of my domain name

    Guess Open site explorer wont have all the links Google has. FRUSTRATED!
     
  10. maxonix

    maxonix Junior Member

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    I didn't say sandbox. I mentioned G00gle dance. But how do you know for sure that a 15 year old website can not experience G dance base on the new algo? Google's algo always changes and they are not carved on stone. And with the recent Panda 3.3 update I think both old and new websites might have been susceptible to the changes in ranking position base on the backlink campaign that have been implemented in the last couple of months i.e. blog network, blog roll, high page rank home page, other forms of spam links, etc etc.
     
  11. JMamba

    JMamba Junior Member

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    The problem might be those directory submissions to your money site. What is the % of your total backlinks that are exact matched to your primary keyword?
     
  12. jakeylakey

    jakeylakey Newbie

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    Jmamba, 20% exact match, plenty of variation in the rest.

    Most of the links ive gained since Jan have been from private blog networks and article sites (probably a network also, as they was "automated" submissions). Im starting to think Panda 3.3 has wiped out all those links and im gonna see my rankings return eventually to similar to what they was before Jan when I started link building.

    Id be happy with that, and id take the extra money and pain ive had this week as a learning experience!

    The reason I think this is because, all of the keywords I ranked since link building from jan have gone back to similar positions from before I started, in many cases disappearing, these words didnt rank before either.

    My main keyword was ranking 7th before I built these links with the homepage listing. My link building efforts got the actual deeper product page listed in 4th. So what has seemed to of happened is all those links links have been devalued and my deep page listing has been dropped to 14th. Im hoping my homepage listing will come back to where it was before Jan, if my theory is right of course!

    If im right I will need to start again and stay away from automated networks.
     
  13. ronmojohny

    ronmojohny Regular Member

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    Do you use webmaster tools? I got a warning on the 3rd that my best money site was recieving unnatural links; (7 year old domain, thousands of links, totally unique content) and to remove the links and submit a re-inclusion request. A few days later, my rankings tanked. (-10 drop) I recently purchased a private high pr link package that drip feeds 2 per day (pr 4,5,6) I think the big G figured it out and penalized my site. Keep in mind that they can do it to any site, but since I registered with WMT, they were kind enough to tell me about it.
     
  14. Corrupt

    Corrupt BANNED BANNED

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    That happens, one of my keywords had been fluctuation from 10-20 for around 4-5 days and finally settled on #5.

    I suggest you buy a wikipedia backlink. Check Winchester's thread in the BST section.
     
  15. jakeylakey

    jakeylakey Newbie

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    Thanks,
    I use Webmaster Tools, and no un natural link message, everything looks rosey apart from the rank and traffic.

    Seeing as the drop was quite well timed with other peoples and the Panda update rolling out, I am going with most of my links I built since Jan have all been devalued.
     
  16. goinviral

    goinviral BANNED BANNED

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    You have been pandalised is my guess have you been adding articles. Are your articles 800 words or more? keep adding content. If your site is static html then hang a blog area off the side and keep adding content that way.

    Also be very careful when using high pr backlinks. Even if they are legitimate google is on the rampage at the moment. believe it or not it is probably time you built alot of low quality links, byt low quality i dont mean scrape box blasts but lots of low pr backlinks
     
  17. roughy

    roughy Junior Member

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    I don't think a wikipedia link has actually so much value. I have a couple to a site of mine and I haven't seen any benefit from them.
    The strange thing was when I mentioned this on Winchester's thread, my posts were deleted. I wouldn't trust a service involved in censorship.
     
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  18. Corrupt

    Corrupt BANNED BANNED

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    That's weird. Mind showing me your sites and the page your backlink is on?

    And posts on BHW saying bad things about a service don't get deleted, this isn't WF. It probably got deleted because of some other issue. Did you purchase the backlink from Winchester's service or were you just commenting that wikipedia backlinks aren't powerful?
    Besides, Winchester's one of the most professional people I've met. I don't think you should be throwing his name in a slanderous manner so frankly.
     
  19. roughy

    roughy Junior Member

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    Well, I haven't purchased my Wikipedia links neither from Winchester nor from anybody else. I put one of them myself and the other one just appeared some time ago (somebody probably decided to place it on Wikipedia naturally). I don't want to show the site, I think it's not a common practice here.

    About the deletion of my posts... I haven't even said anything bad about the service itself. The two things I've said are that personally, I haven't seen any benefit from my own Wikipedia links and that his claim his service is not against Wikipedia ToS is actually not correct. And I can repeat this. Adding random sites is obviously against Wikipedia terms cause these sites won't fulfil Wikipedia's requirement for notability. Everybody can check this. And this is not a problem actually since we are in a Black hat forum. :)

    That was everything I wrote in his thread. Apparently, someone didn't like my posts and deleted them. I'm not slandering anybody. I don't think speaking the truth is slandering.
     
  20. partymarty4870

    partymarty4870 Elite Member

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    I'll bet you everything I now and will ever own on that statement