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I Discovered Why Google Killed My Site.. Want to share/compare!

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by FuryFit, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. FuryFit

    FuryFit Regular Member

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    Big members here may have seen various threads I started about one of my biggest properties which really took a hit in 2010 shortly after a redesign, which included problems like 404s, url changes needed and 301s implemented, duplicate content caused by directory/archive style pages, etc..

    But I think I know the biggest problem which killed my site...

    BEFORE Aug 2010: I was #2 in 160,000,000

    Before the redesign, the site was quite small - less than 100 pages. I ranked #2 for a 160,000,000 comp keyword phrase, #1 for my main keyword phrase targeted on homepage, and I also had many many #1 and top 3 rankings for other important money keywords.

    I was building links to most of the pages, and it was a small enough number of pages, so I could do manual link building.

    AFTER Aug 2010: Dropped to page 2, then almost every month dropped more until now I'm #192

    So how did my site crash so low? Well in retrospect I should have worked with better developers, so i wouldn't have to 301 old pages to new urls and fix a ton of duplicate archive pages and 404 errors. BUT i think the straw that broke the camel's back was all the new content I added!

    How My 'Great Idea' Destroyed My Rankings

    When I relaunched the site, I started adding a lot of longtail content, plus tutorials to help my visitors with many topics related to the products I'm pushing to sell on the site. I wanted to be more helpful. That's great, except I continued to ONLY build links to the same pages I had been when the site was small.

    So my link profile changed from natural-looking to very spammy and in favor of only a few pages on my site with hundreds of pages. So, I scaled up my site by adding tons of new content - much of it very useful and quality, BUT i never scaled up the link profile to match.

    My site used to have links to 80% of the pages on it, and now it has links to less than 10%, I think.

    Since last week, I started work on linking to more pages of my site. I'm also trying to increase time on site and lower bounce rate by adding more engaging elements to pages that are currently just articles... Even if they're helpful, they are not entertaining enough to keep the user on my site long.... so all this 'helpful' content and longtails I have added, plus my lack of link building to all those pages, has killed my site.

    Do you agree? I'm in the dark here - Any comments?
     
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  2. wokaka

    wokaka Senior Member

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    You said you had links to 80% of all the web pages and now only 10%? Not sure if that caused the problem but i have seen several sites ranking quite well in very competitive keywords by just linking to their homepage, and leave very few links to other web pages. these sites don't diverse their links..even if they do, probably only 10% like you were talking about. However, they started consistently while you started with diversification and now you don't spread your links.

    Personally i believe 30-40% is already OK, so 60-70% links to the web page you want to rank, and the rest 30-40% you diverse it to other web pages...

    also, make sure you diverse the anchor texts as well
     
  3. johndoes

    johndoes Junior Member

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    Sorry for the failure. But I dont think adding more pages thus decreasing the percentage of "popular" pages can have an effect like this. You may be misinterpretting the cause and effect.

    The only reason why new content maybe harmful can be that new articles are very low quality, not helpful to anyone and thus converting your site to a content farm. But even in that case I dont think your top pages would be affected to this extend

    What I suspect is due to the faulty programming your pages could have been offline time to time which is a deadly mistake with Google rankings.

    Another reason could be your backlinks' quality. What kind of backlinks were you creating prior to August 2010? Maybe Google devalued those links? (article spamming etc?)


    Just out of curiosity, was that 160 million for exact results or broad results?
     
  4. FuryFit

    FuryFit Regular Member

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    All my competition have horrible link diversity, only money/review pages on their site, spammy link profiles etc, but my site was punished for something and hasn't ranked since Aug 2010.

    I've been through many theories about what causes THIS site to not get any results when my same link building strategies are doing great for all my other sites. This is my latest idea about what could have happened.

    A lot of my new content might have been intended as high quality, but much of it gets maybe 1-2 visitors/month due to low keyword volume or sub top10 ranking, and those 1-2 visitors leave me with a 100% bounce rate.

    I counted over 200 pages on my site with 90-100% bounce rate, not including my forums (should be another quality indicator but adding forums hasn't helped me at all, even though they're active with real members)... These high bounce rate pages aren't even promoting anything. They basically look like an ehow page with barely any ads cluttering it. hmmmm

    I may be misinterpreting, yes. I'm out of ideas and the fix for this is the ONE thing I haven't tried yet. I've been building links consistently the whole time, not spammy, better link profile than all my competitors and I figure that's why i USED to rank really great.

    There were hundreds of 404/redirect loop errors... Also devs used the same title tag as my homepage on tons of pages... basically the new WP site had horrible on site SEO. To make matters way worse, I was hosted on VPS.net and they kept having problems. So, my site was down over a week one month while I tried to move to another host.

    Do you think that all those errors in 2010 could have permanently hurt my site's rankings? They were all fixed in 2010 and it's almost 2012. Things have been error-free and uptime is great in 2011, yet my rankings keep going down.

    My link profile includes a lot of anchor variation even though my competition doesn't. I even have some non anchor (url) links and very generic but logical anchor text, such as "The homepage" etc... I also have lower quality links like article, social, etc.. I have tried to do everything my competition does and a little more quality, long term touch.

    Keep in mind this strategy works fine on my newer sites started in 2011. They are now outranking my old site on many keywords, and others will soon follow. These sites are built the same way, with the same content types.

    Oh, and it's exact results, not broad.
     
  5. johndoes

    johndoes Junior Member

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    Well the situation is surely is a tricky one. I'm not 100% percent sure about Google's attitude after a site has dropped in rankings due to downtime. Do they come back and test again or do they forget & leave - dunno.

    After panda was introduced, it was NOT the low quality content that got hit, but the sites that contain them. So, even if you thought you were using quality content and sites for your link building, majority of those might have been devalued by Google during panda update(s).

    Another thing that comes to my mind is a penalty / filter due to many possible factors. But an ordinary penalty should not last this long. So I'm not very sure about that either. I know this is the most boring answer but, keep building quality links (varied anchor), adding content (not just for "feasible" keywords) and you'll probably see an increase in rankings. Not sure if you can get that #2 spot again though

    good luck
     
  6. FuryFit

    FuryFit Regular Member

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    Thanks for your suggestions. I should also mention that my site got hit by panda for the FIRST time ever on October 14th. I lost about 35% of my traffic.

    I see the lowest quality pages on my site being those with highest bounce rate, appearing least engaging. Also, I think there was too much affiliate promotion in my header and top of the sidebar, on too many pages of the site. This doesn't explain what happened to my ranking since over a year before I was pandalized though..

    My question after reading your post is... if you were me, would you REMOVE all the high bounce rate content-farm-ish pages, or would you try to improve their quality by modifying each one to add engaging elements like a video and images/charts?

    At this point I don't even care if the pages rank that well... I just want my main review pages to rank...
     
  7. johndoes

    johndoes Junior Member

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    I wouldnt care about the low quality pages as I dont think they're the issue.

    But of course I'm not the ultimate master here. Focus on the important pages. What are the bounce rates? What are the avg. times on pages?
    What are the exit % of those pages? Do you by any chance have duplicate content? Did your domain lose PR or any kind of authority at aug 2010?

    and these two are probably the most important:
    did you check the review pages for over-optimization? (high keyword density, unnatural h1 / title tags?)
    do you successfully cloak affiliate links? or do they remain visible in source?





     
  8. PauloPaul

    PauloPaul Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I'm sure it's not the link profile and has every thing to do with your on page issues you have mentioned.

    Post panda also take a look at the teh % of ads to content and the length of your content.

    Self hosting your videos and putting up a video site map also has a huge impact, Posting lots of pages with youtube videos is a spammers old trick and if your pages appear like that it could be a poor quality signal. Host them yourself via amazon s3 and use a video sitemap.
     
  9. sekartajimangantahu

    sekartajimangantahu Registered Member

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    Many backlink for your domain. this is impact of high competition
     
  10. Deez The Webguru

    Deez The Webguru Junior Member

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    Could it be a matter of keyword density on ur new content? If you over used ur keyword or keywords in ur new content it would have directly impacted on ur rankings. Ideal keyword density is around 3% from as far as I know.

    Oh by the way to the OP...I noticed ur username (FureyFit) - are u the legend himself? :) MF?? or are u one of his affiliates or Customers/Fan
     
  11. sofiaisabella

    sofiaisabella Newbie

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    I think low contant quality and and spam in link building
     
  12. PhillyLuke

    PhillyLuke Junior Member

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    I don't think you should scrap those high-bounce rate pages at all.

    Take the time to rewrite the content and drive that bounce rate down.

    My biggest SEO client (lawyer) and I review monthly our top 10 best, and worst performing pages.

    For the worst we run some click overlay analysis on them to see why people might be bouncing (I used getclicky) instead of clicking around to more pages, and have a sit-down with our editors to rewrite the content to include more information, more personable language (a good trait for legal content), and some more media for potential clients to click through to.
     
  13. PeaceLoveSubmission1

    PeaceLoveSubmission1 Regular Member

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    i think its the broken links, links indexed on googles that dont exist on your site anymore? this is what happend to me. Google was looking for pages that i deleted along time ago and they just completly dropped me.
     
  14. pirondi

    pirondi Power Member

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    Well you said that you made site changes,301,duplicate content,titles etc etc.. so there is no way to tell now if the fault was link building or not.

    Your mistake was doing something that you dont know on a estabilished site instead of a newer site for test.
     
  15. thetroglodyte

    thetroglodyte Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Google loves content, the more you add the more it should love you.
     
  16. shapsp

    shapsp Power Member

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    your ideology is wrong for sure. we are having an ecommerce store and we have about 10,000pages. yes. 10,000 products. and we build links to main money site only and so far no issues and i don't see it possible to have almost or somewhat same level of link profile on all/80%/70% or wat so ever amount of pages.
     
  17. 3rdRock

    3rdRock Newbie

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    Are you still do manual backlinking?
     
  18. cyrilchua

    cyrilchua Junior Member

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    Have you tried checking your backlink counts compared to your competitors?
    Yes, I know you do manual linking, and you're afraid doing anything unnatural will further drop your site down.

    I've read through the thread and I really think the biggest factor may perhaps be you have way too little links doing manual work compared toyour competitors for your keyword terms? Nowadays with so many ways to build large amount of links in a short period of time, AND be able to upkeep that rate (link velocity to make it more natural), your competitors may seriously outrank any other sites if he has a great backlink campaign and strategy.

    Trying starting a backlink campaign? Your site domain is old and should be able to do a huge campaign easily. Any opinions from other BHW seo-junkies?
     
  19. dowser

    dowser Power Member

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    What worked for me before (and still works with some twists) is web2's with well spun articles that have links to your money site AND some authority site, then you blast them with SB or AMR. Just remember that some web2's are de-indexing sites that are too aggressive in backlinking.

    Also - take a good long look at your stats, there is a lot you can learn from there - where is your traffic coming from? the keywords, countries, times of the day, and so on and on.
     
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  20. jascoken

    jascoken Senior Member

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    Hi FuryFit...

    Post Panda, deep linking with varied anchors has become even more important. I'm not saying that this is what has caused your problems, as you've had fun and games with tech issues, but reviewing your backlink strategy is a necessity now.

    I could show you numerous test cases where deep linked large sites have done much better across all pages than sites with concentrated link patterns. I know we've discussed something related before in a different thread, but ensuring anchor diversity and site-wide deep linking is a great way to protect and build out the authority of a site.

    The ratio of links across a site changes as it grows, but it's important to at least build some links across all pages. If nothing else, it will pull rank into multiple doors in your site which can be concentrated by internal linking into key pages.

    Article marketing is great for this sort of thing . An AMR blast using hundreds of your site URLs to scatter links across all your pages is a great way to create link 'noise' - and provide a background against which you can intensify linking to certain pages.

    I permanently deep link across all my sites with massively varied anchor texts and I've never been slapped or lost a ranking. Every update this year has benefitted virtually all of my sites.