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Need help fixing SEO and getting back onto the font page of organic

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by sourricepudding, May 12, 2015.

  1. sourricepudding

    sourricepudding Newbie

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    Hello,

    Our site was one of the first website selling a "niche" product online. We have been around for 25 years and have been on the front page of google organic for 23 of those years. Out no where, our site got bombed and we were deranked tremendously. I was wondering if anyone out there could help me figure out what is wrong with our site now, if someone intentionally got us deranked, and how to fix it.

    Thank you very much.
     
  2. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    This usually happens for two reasons:

    1) You hired a "white hat" SEO and these guys kill small businesses
    2) Your site is too dated and you've somewhat let it sit there without truly updating it to compete. Now, the site is dated and other people are just doing it better.
     
  3. blackpayman733

    blackpayman733 BANNED BANNED

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    PM send with keywords and site url.
     
  4. nanavlad

    nanavlad Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    have you updated to mobile
    since 21st of last month
    google punishing sites that are not mobile friendly
    if your site is 25 years old this could be your problem

    All you may need is a mobile responsive theme
     
  5. croarmy

    croarmy Newbie

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    I had the same problem and reason was bad SEO which I bought with too many unnatural anchor text links.
     
  6. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    No, Google doesn't 'punish' sites that don't work with mobile. Besides, mobile only affects mobile queries.
     
  7. sourricepudding

    sourricepudding Newbie

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    Thank you for the fast replies, let me start out by telling you my role in this website. I am the son of the person that created it, the younger son. My father created the site, and my older brother redid the site in productcart around the year 2005. When the website was created the creator had little knowledge of SEO and went off of what was relevant at the time. He focused on keywords (using B Central) , metatags (ScrubTheWeb), submitting the site to search engines.

    About the time the site was deranked on google organic for just about all of our keywords was when he hired a "white hat" seo guy to help him with back links, press releases, and using one of those article scramblers to help "boost" the pagerank. He told us that we needed more content for our products, we had too much duplicate content, and we were being penalized for "exact match domain".

    Well, I believe that the person that he hired, outsourced the work to those five dollar places where you can have someone submit thousands of backlinks with your keywords and website URL.

    Now we are at the point where we are having to pay google adwords a lot of money, just to bring traffic to our website. If our web site shows up for one of our relevant keywords, we don't show up until rank 55 or higher.

    I believe the main issue is that we have over 2,000 pages listed on google. when I search site:eek:ursite the majority the pages that show up are old pages from 1990-2005, which are all irrelevant and old pages.

    We are using an ecommerce platform called ProductCart, which itself is somewhat dated. However, they've recently released a new version (version 5). We are working on a new version of our website using the latest version of the ecommerce platform, but in the past few months we've been considering a few other options. From our research, there are a bunch of other, newer ecommerce platforms that would most likely work better for what we're trying to do. The main reason we've decided to stick with our current platform is our URL structure. We are worried that changing all of our URLs (ProductCart uses a pretty specific URL structure that wouldn't translate well to say, Magento, or WooCommerce) would cause us to fall even further on the search results.

    However, considering the fact that we're already almost entirely decimated from Google, would it perhaps be better to just switch over to a new platform, reorganize our URL structure (currently our product pages don't show any category hierarchy, just the product name) and basically re-build the entire website?

    That's the main dilemma we've been facing, and every day we continue to work on the new version of ProductCart is a day we could be working on a new, perhaps better, platform and site. Should we cut our losses now, knowing that our new site will end up with an entirely different URL (and HTML) structure, or should we stick with what we have and just get the new version of ProductCart launched?

    Our new site, as it is currently being built, will have a much cleaner HTML structure, as well as Schema.org rich content (we're leaning towards JSON-LD rather than microdata, at the moment), but I can't help but feel that we will still be at a disadvantage by virtue of the fact that ProductCart is inherently not SEO optimized (or at least it doesn't seem that way to me, but what do I know).

    Much of the work we've put into the new version of our site could be translated over to a different platform, but of course something would inevitably be lost. However, at this point we're wondering whether the lost work might be worth it in the end if we can build a better site that's actually going to rank well and be user friendly.

    Regarding the timeline of this new site, we've been working on it for far too long now. The main person working on it has been splitting his time between this and other things for a while, but for the past week or so we've had him working solely on the new site. If we continue on our current path and work towards building a site on the latest version of ProductCart, we expect to have it completed by June 1st. However, ProductCart is such a, for lack of a better word, old and complicated platform, that we almost feel that we could switch platforms entirely and still end up with the site completed in about the same timeframe.

    ---------

    Most of the above concerns solely the development and on-page side of our efforts, and I'm pretty sure we are lacking in many other areas, as well. Our top competitor has thousands of reviews, backlinks, and social signals, whereas we have relatively few. Regardless of what we do with our website and what platform we are using, I'm pretty sure we are going to need to make efforts to improve other aspects of our site, such as our social media presence, and especially our content strategy. At the moment, we don't have much in the way of content on our website. We have a few videos on YouTube that we created 3-4 years ago, and we have a few blog posts also from a couple years ago, but we have by no means been creating regular content, and we certainly don't have a "content strategy" in the way that we probably should.

    Speaking of "content", we have made a few attempts to update our product descriptions, but haven't yet managed to do a full refresh of our product-page content. We usually end up in a situation where the person who has the "domain knowledge" of our industry isn't comfortable working with spreadsheets or any other content organization method, and so we just can't get the information we need out of our heads and onto the page where it might help us on Google. Maybe there's some better way to organize something like, "refreshing the product and category descriptions" that we haven't considered?

    On top of all that, everything we've heard from the "white hat" side of the web lately is telling us that "you can't game the system and only content matters", but we can't shake the feeling that there's something they aren't telling us, and that there are some specific things we could be doing to have a noticeable impact on our search rankings and results. Are there any guides or specific resources we should be following?

    Finally, if we were looking to hire someone to help us with all of this, what exactly should we be looking for? Do we want to find a "consultant"? Or a "seo expert"? We're pretty sure we are going to need help with this, and would prefer do it ourselves if possible, but also understand that we may end up needing to bring in some professional assistance for at least some aspects of our web presence. At this point we just don't know exactly who to look for or what to ask them to do. We've had a few less than stellar experiences with SEO professionals in the past, and are having a hell of a time trying to figure out how to separate the wheat from the chaff, and how to find someone who will work with our particular budget constraints and the size of our business. Many of the guys we've approached seem to think (based on our gross sales) that we are this big company and can afford to pay thousands a month for SEO support, but we are at this point barely scraping by, and are putting far too much of our money towards Google AdWords. If anything, we're a "small business", maybe "medium" at this point, but we definitely used to be "a big player" in our industry back when we were in our heyday, and we'd like to get back there.
     
  8. computerguy1011

    computerguy1011 BANNED BANNED

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    I had a friend that had this happen to him and after much research and analysis he found out it was because his websites wasn't mobile friendly. He was using an old school HTML template and as you can guess his website wasn't responsive at all. Now he rebuilt his site using a wordpress theme and he is climbing back up in the serps.
     
  9. karan09

    karan09 Junior Member

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    Google was started 17 years ago but you say your site has been on top of Google for 23 years!! How comes?
     
  10. sourricepudding

    sourricepudding Newbie

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    I mistyped that haha, the business is 25 years, started dabbling with the domain 15 ( I just checked when he registered it.) years ago. I guess what I should have said was we have been on the top of the organic search for just about any keyword related to our products or business since google started out. I am going off of information of the person that started it ( my father) so I just typed what he said as that first comment, I guess he tends to exaggerate things. I know little about how he did it in the beginning. I am the little brother, my brother is the one that remade the website in product cart, and has since worked on it. I asked him to help me, ask for help, so that is why the comment above is so in depth. Sorry about that, either way, just trying to get some advice, or help, or anything really at this point. Thanks for catching that karan09.
     
  11. sourricepudding

    sourricepudding Newbie

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    Been on google organic for about ~12-15 years. Sorry for the misinformation.
     
  12. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    ^ Avoid guys like this, OP.

    Knew it was the "white hat" SEO. Unfortunately, I've seen these "white hat" SEOs ruin long-standing businesses time and time again. You are stuck fixing the fraud SEOs work. By the way, there is no "penalty" for EMDs. The value in an EMD has just been devalued.

    You are probably right that he outsourced it. I've audited a lot of sites, and lots of times it's some guy from the US outsourcing to India and the site owner is left picking up the pieces.

    The main thing site owners should stay away from is any SEO who promises to build links and give a report, anyone who does not focus on the site itself, and anyone who talks about DA, Alexa. They should be focusing on your site and its content. Links cost lots of money and so does content. If they mention classified, business directories, article submissions or social media posts, avoid them. They are fraud SEOs. Of course, if they have a "team" in India, avoid them too.

    Site owners don't know the dangers of hiring these "white hat" SEOs until they are stuck cleaning up the mess, and there is nothing you can do other than correct the problems. This is why I love getting these junk fraud "SEOs" fired. They do nothing but ruin businesses.
     
  13. redarrow

    redarrow Elite Member

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    seo not somethink anyone can just say and you do unfortuntly, seo is somethink you learn as you go along doing web design ,and stick with it while designing websites in genrall , unfortuntly most seo pro say they no seo but all they no is how to f*** things up,i will tell you know how to get a website well ranked and what the pros are doing know , i am part of phpfreaks group and also a self employed intenet marketer , i will write a simple report to rank a proper website when i get home in around 1 hour ...the guide will be in much deph as possible.exspect time to read it and read it slowly to understand , there are many new trends in seofrom the days you had you website, please be pachant as i am also busy.quick example long one comming ...metrics are very important.(seo and domain names.)

    i just read your problam closely first i can see that you have a html website

    and not a xhtml or even better html5 And using css 3 like i say your website is old
    and needs to be re wriiten in new style code in general that your first problam.

    the second problam is your content , i am guessing that you was keyword stuffing at the time your website was made , into todays seo pratice you are not allowed no duplicate words unfortuntly.

    3rd problam , i suspect you was using metatags heavy like the description and the keywords , that old hat know ,you only need very thu metatags , exsperts suggest just the title on it own for front page keyword depth when the website is listed in google so good articles are a must, keyword reserch is a must aswell.

    4th problam , ppl dont seem to look at ,but the page speed, the loading time of website/page has become a seo optimise contender for page rank.

    5 th problem making the website mobile phone compatable , this is so users on handheld devices can see your website , google like mobile optimized websites in genral

    work on my 5 problems above and i suspect your get better google page rank.
    then we will contiue to social media and ect to promote your website properly.


    i am working on the in depth solution to rank a website ok and i will pm you it as it finished.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  14. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    we're waiting with bated breath for your quality guide that will be in as much deph as pissable. I'm sure it will be well written and as accurate as the OP's white hat SEO.
     
  15. redarrow

    redarrow Elite Member

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    dont no what your problam is , you dont sound happy in life, if all you can do is go around upsetting people on blackhatworld maybe you need a new career , if your such a exspert you advise the poor sod , i. make my money and proven it seval times , i also have two business and all legit and do well , i look afther my mum and dad finachally ,all i care about , internet marketing is like a side line but being lucky i earn good money legally , i have got one holiday home and a new car yearly out of internet marketing and continue to earn money , i dont wont to no if iam any good at it ,as i already earn real money in genral , like i say why are you so missable or bully talk ??????

    on my phone so my spelling is bad sorry everyone , sorry admin
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
  16. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    I have a space station that destroys planets.
     
  17. b1step-ahead

    b1step-ahead Power Member

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    If you have wmt's and im sure u do, check that and check all your backlinks. A ecoomerce site with 2k pages and prob hundreds of items in your cart is a full time job for the most part. Find someone with a good track record with e-com/seo/marketing come up with a solid content/marketing plan and your good to go.
     
  18. Smurfmeister

    Smurfmeister Junior Member

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    I'm a little bit unclear about the exact timings, OP. Did you hire the "white hat SEO" guy after your rankings started to drop to try and fix it, or did you hire him and then your rankings dropped after he got to work?
     
  19. archon10

    archon10 BANNED BANNED

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    I'm sure with 2000 product pages, he has content Panda issues, but he probably needs to clean up links too. I would say the "white hat" SEO destroyed the site and he's probably at a point where he needs to do major work to fix the problems.
     
  20. kaleidos

    kaleidos Newbie

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    You might just want to redo the whole site and bring it in line with the norm these days.