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SERPs drop after initial success

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by dfman, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. dfman

    dfman Newbie

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    Guys, curious to get your insight.

    First, a bit of background I am not new SEO, been doing as part of my day job but mostly using consultants with very good results, so I decided to see what results I could get if I put my own time into this.

    So, a four weeks ago I released a small site, around 16 pages of content all unique. The site was steadily going up in SERPs for a very competitive keyword pair and its variations.

    I marketed using only white hat methods:

    - directory submission (manual, done by me)
    - social bookmarking (outsourced, but not massive around 25)
    - postings on blogger, squidoo, hubpages, etc
    - blog and forum commenting

    The current link distribution according to G Webmaster Tools is something along the lines of:

    / : 209
    /page-1 : 4
    /page-2 : 1
    /page-3 : 1
    /page-4 : 1

    As you can see there is a lot more linking to the root of the site as the directories primarily link to root.

    Suddenly after, 3 weeks of continuous improvement the site stop ranking well in the big G and altogether dropped of the first 6 pages of results for all the high volume keywords.

    The site is still growing, its at around 150 UV/day but the traffic is primarily from Yahoo, where it's still going up in the SERPs.

    I am now trying to build a "link wheel" around some of the sites sub-pages to improve the link distribution.

    What do you think caused the sudden drop in G rankings? I would really like to avoid doing the same mistake with any future sites I work on.
     
  2. blackguy81

    blackguy81 Power Member

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    It seems that you've got too many links for your "Home" page comparing to other pages of your site and Big G just smelled something spammy. Just do DEEPLINKING, I think it'll be better. I suggest, put unique articles in ezinearticle (and other article sites) and put link of your sub-pages on them. It's good to having more backlinks to your sub-pages rather than home page.
     
  3. cashcow

    cashcow Junior Member

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    btw, which section in G webmaster tool shows you the link distribution?
     
  4. dfman

    dfman Newbie

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    links->pages with external links

    You can also download it as a CSV
     
  5. dfman

    dfman Newbie

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    Improving link distribution is definetly something I need to work on. Not too experienced in article marketing though :)

    Do you guys know how common it is to have an eventual drop in SERPs when the domain is new?
     
  6. shm03

    shm03 Regular Member

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    Probably the sandbox.
     
  7. JustGothere

    JustGothere Newbie

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    Hey! First Post Here!

    I'd like to offer the explaination for this issue.

    Early good rankings that then go away are now the rule. It's termed the "honeymoon period", during which Google is sort of testing how your site performs in the search results. Only an exceptional site "catches fire" so fast that it maintains those early good search rankings. This is now the current evolution of what new sites experience.

    That moment in time when you move away from that early top ranking, is when you actually move into the area termed the "sandbox".

    Hope that helps!
    jgt
     
  8. SEO20

    SEO20 Elite Member

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    Regarding sandboxing. Sometimes it's only the links TO your domain (and therefore the link-juice) that will be sandboxed. Get more quality backlinks - hire a great article writer including your deep-link and submit it.

    Remember to nurse all of your important urls.
    A tip could also be to include a "site-map" to the most important links on every page to distribute the juice.
    Remember to do no-follow on pages you don't care about in G- contact-page etc.
    Hope that helps a bit.
     
  9. dfman

    dfman Newbie

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    Thanks for the tips guys. So basically:

    - No follow urls links from my homepage to pages I don't about ranking
    - Continue link building on non-root pages

    Any rule of thumb about how long does the sandbox last? Does it eventually go away?
     
  10. allfreetodo

    allfreetodo Registered Member

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    What I find is how are you growing your pages, did you set the site up immediately or did you build one page at a time index it, link it and wait till you see some results, then move on to page 2

    I very rarely go back and add any links to the previous pages once I see results I focus the new linking on the new pages

    When I build pages this way, I generally can rank with competition in the 100's of millions, yes in the real stiff competitive markets this way and my linking for the internal pages is one page to the next till the site is fully built then I silo the site, but my internal links are very specific only one link to the next page till the site is built

    Afterwards I use the no follow attribute to maintain the bot to follow in a specific direction but the other links are for the other visitors

    I compete in the work at home market and never have a problem competing with the best using this strategy

    just my way of doing this after years of observing the google bot follow pages
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  11. dfman

    dfman Newbie

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    Thanks for the insight. Out of the 16 pages the site has at the moment. I launched with 8 and plan to increase it to 24 over the coming weeks.

    The link structure of the site is a left navigation with links to the 10 most relevant pages, with each page targeting a different keyword combination or mispelling.

    The sites are relatively link rich, and there are situations where a page has three links pointing to the same content page. For example, the front page can have a thumbnail and a text link pointing to a different page.

    I'll try the internal no-follow link you suggested. BTW, how much impact do you think the anchor text for internal linking afftects what keywords a page ranks for ?
     
  12. allfreetodo

    allfreetodo Registered Member

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    here is my take on how you have your new site internally linked

    my observations with the google bot are this

    think of a new site setup like a person surfing the web, you go to a site then see an interesting link then you follow it, we all have done this

    then after a while we ask our self what was I looking for, I see the google bot doing the same

    when I only have one link for the bot to follow that is all it will do

    what happens with most site builders is that too many of us what to start out of the gate fast and furious and get that money in, after all this is what we are after

    but, I have changed my ways and set my sites up to show google I promise a good visitor experience by only showing content until I see the ranking and traffic results start showing,

    of course I am sacrificing the initial traffic with no monetization because I am in this for the long run, unless I am building a site for the honey moon in a hit and run fashion

    after I have shown my hand to google then and only then do I start adding more links for making money, sometimes I have a script installed to turn this on at a later time

    also I only use one keyword focused for one page, so I think for internal linking and ranking it is part of the equation to get better rankings, but this is done in the later days of the site maturing

    keep in mind I am showing google this site is growing and maturing so I am showing the site in different stages and only showing I what feel google wants as a content site

    eventually the site gets fully monetized but initially google thinks I am building a content site strictly for visitor value, always keep in mind what is the visitor value, everywhere I read in google that is their focus so give it to them