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Home page rank drop, internal pages ok.

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by bo2kmm, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. bo2kmm

    bo2kmm Registered Member

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    Hi All,

    I've been working on a site for a client that has some very strange SERPs movements, and was hoping someone could help with some advice. Sorry for such a long intro but I feel i need to explain the situation.


    Say the site has two main keywords i'm targetting, "widgets equipment" and "dongles equipment" (obviously not the real ones). There are also a whole lot of secondary keywords of different product names within the niche.

    The address is in the form www.widgets-shop.com.au (including the hypen). It's a website built on osCommerce, including a few addons like "SEO Header tags" etc.

    Before I started the site was ranking around the 130 mark for "widgets equipment" and around 150 for "dongles equipment", both for the home page. Internal pages were ranking for more specific keywords from around 25 to say 200. The site was ranking #1 (on google.com.au) for the phrase widgets shop, and #4 for widget shops (plural).

    The site was not very well optimised on-page and had really spammy sounding text, but had some reasonable incoming links. When I took over I fixed up the text so it had similar keyword density but read in proper sentences, improved the meta description and title tag, added in alt tags, and then did some basic linkbuilding (nothing too spammy on other than a small amount of blog commenting).

    ANYWAY basically what has now happened in that the homepage has dropped to not in the top 300 results for either of the main keywords (who knows how low it is), basically dropped completely out of sight. However the internal pages have mostly stayed around the same or improved a little for their specific keywords. The whole site is nowhere to be found for "widgets equipment", and the equivalent phrase to "dongles equipment" is now showing on about page 25 of google, but NOT FOR THE HOME PAGE - it's indexing an inner page that only the the phrase on it once and definately isn't he best page on the site for this keyword.

    The homepage however is not completely de-indexed. The homepage is still number 4 for "widgets shops" and has dropped from #1 to #2 for the singular "widgets shop"

    SO, has anyone else seen this before? Ie Making changes to the homepage, and had it drop out of sight, while inner pages appear unaffected?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Matt
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2010
  2. bobbylove321

    bobbylove321 BANNED BANNED

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    Yes it's called Google Dance.

    Anytime you update anything regarding SEO description, keywords, titles, etc. it does a Google Dance, and what that means is that Google shuffles all the sites again in its algorithm to see who's more "relevant". I'd give it a few days before you are back on the spot.
     
  3. bo2kmm

    bo2kmm Registered Member

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    Thanks for your reply. I know about the google dance and don't think that's it. Everything dropped out on the 29th of May which is now 13 days ago, so I don't think it's simply this unfortunately.

    On the 28th May the rankings were 140 for "widgets equipment", 45 for "widgets equipment australia", 74 for "dongles equipment (up from 150 when I started), and 37 for "dongles equipment Australia". The next day - all disappeared. On the same day the "widgets shop" and "widgets shops" went from both #1 to #2 and #4 respectively. However while there was some "dancing" of results internal pages were ranked for, it was all pretty normal. Obviously these rankings aren't high to start with even but that's what I was working to improve.

    I guess my question is - if there is some sort of algorithmic penalty for the homepage, wouldn't it affect internal pages on the site also? Or is this not how it works?

    Matt
     
  4. aftershock2020

    aftershock2020 Senior Member

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    If it has been that long, sounds like you got sandboxed due to your changes. Did you resubmit your site to the directories after the changes were made on your site?

    If you have, then I suggest that you start split-testing and change a copy of your page back to its original format before the changes you made and give it a couple of days of monitoring to see if it comes back up or makes a change.
     
  5. ultimategamechain

    ultimategamechain Power Member

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    Its hard to explain this kind of situation to a client who does not understand SEO. You must make your client understand SEO 1st so that you will not lose them.

    You should have made them understand 1st before you made change :) Now you going to be in trouble since you didn't inform them ahead that there will be certain changes in ranking but it will come back again.
     
  6. bo2kmm

    bo2kmm Registered Member

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    Thanks for your replies.

    Aftershock: I think the A/B testing is a great idea, any advice on how best to implement this with the home page? I've really only used A/B testing on Adwords etc, not familiar how to do it in code for organic seo of homepage code. Any advice appreciated.

    ultimategamechain: I think you misunderstood my problem. I'm not worried about being in trouble with the client (at least in the short term), i'm just trying to achieve success. I wasn't just paid a set fee to make some changes that then made the client angry as you seem to suggest. The client is happy to work with me and I have a 3 month contract to work on his site with possibility of extension. I just don't want to get 2 or 3 months down the track and have the site worse off then when I started and let the client down. The things i'm doing SEO wise is basic textbook stuff, and I have done similar with very good success on other sites in the past. This site is also 4 years old, so not a new site problem I don't think.

    Matt