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Sandboxed?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by webfusjon, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. webfusjon

    webfusjon Newbie

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    I have a bizarre situation with a client's website - it's a tiny niche, very local and UK based (with a .co.uk). Up until 4 months ago, this was the state of play;

    BEFORE
    • 3 yr old domain
    • local website, lots of content
    • page 1 for numerous search terms
    • Google Places listing
    • website (inc
    sitemap) submitted to Google Webmaster & crawled

    Client (now) started a Google Adwords campaign, now;

    AFTER
    • Site nowhere in Google organic (any KWs)
    • Site only shown on Places if exact term is searched for. Organic listing not shown
    • Site not listed at all when checked with "site:domain.com"
    • All webmaster & analytics accounts running as normal

    Now I've come into this problem only in the last few days, so those are the facts as I know them. The client swears he has done ZERO linkbuilding and updates the site from time to time with new services/products etc.

    His site is very poorly optimised, which would explain the drop in rankings after the last algo change but it wouldn't explain the lack of results when searching with "site:domain.com"

    The site is hosted with Vodahost in the US (I have no experience of them).

    Any comments welcome, particularly if the assumption that the site is sandboxed, why does he still have a 'places' listing that appears very very occasionally.
     
  2. MKelly

    MKelly Regular Member

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    So the site dropped soon after starting the AdWords campaign? I've seen that before.

    Plenty of the 'local' results I see are total garbage, anyone can get in there, so I think it's possible a 'sandboxed' site could still rank in the local pack of results too.
     
  3. NikosX

    NikosX Power Member

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    Occupation:
    come on! really?
    Location:
    In a VPS far far away...
    check your competition maybe someone used the BHW ways to "drop" your site?
     
  4. frappertank

    frappertank Junior Member

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    The site could've been hit by Panda...so check the quality of the content.

    You can't just take your client's word regarding "not doing any link-building."

    You really have to check the site's backlink profile using tools like MajesticSEO and OpenSiteExplorer (actually, check the backlink profile using all the tools you have).

    Who knows? Someone associated with the client might've actually bought some paid links.

    Try to find problems with their backlink profile...it could also be that the same anchor text was used too frequently or that the site has not enough domain diversity or link-type diversity.

    Another possibility is that one or more really strong backlinks that the site had are suddenly no longer there...with a resulting drop in rankings due to the missing link.

    It's actually kind of fun trying to find the cause of such problems....so put your Sherlock Holmes hat on and get investigatin' :cool:
     
  5. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    Occupation:
    Local SEOist
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    TEXAS (you have to yell, its the law.)
    If you cannot even find it with site:domain it has been de-indexed. He try something hinky with that adwords campaign? I would have a discussion with him on exactly how he did that campaign, because that very likely was the trigger.

    You do not need a website to have a Google places position.

    I have heard of sites falling out of the index briefly when Google lost a cluster server and it affected replication across the network, but not one that lasted for days.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2012