SEO gurus – my website has dropped to page seven of Google!

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  • SEO gurus – my website has dropped to page seven of Google!
  • user-removed
    Member

    I promise this isn’t a stealth campaign to get everyone opening my site! I’ve been on page one of Google for as long as I can remember. Last month, analytics tells me that ’emerson photography’ was the number one search term which is normal.

    A photographer friend just called to ask me if my site was down, and after a quick search in an incognito window, it appears my website has been relegated to page seven, pretty much overnight. Even searching for my name doesn’t help…

    Any ideas why this might happen? Pretty paranoid right now…

    allthegear
    Member

    Has the content, especially on the front page, been updated recently?

    user-removed
    Member

    allthegear; no. Phone suddenly playing up so can’t see what I’m typing…

    allthegear
    Member

    no? That might explain why you are falling slowly down the listing, then. Although Google do not publish their algorithm(s), they do say that relevant and _recent_ material is promoted. As a site remains static, it’s importance drops down.

    Rachel

    allthepies
    Member

    Do you have a google webmaster account ?
    If so there’s lots of good stuff in there as to why google might be downgrading you.

    user-removed
    Member

    Rachel – I checked my usual search terms two weeks ago, and the results were much as they have been for many, many years. Page one, two and three had my site in various ways; home page, about, various venue pages etc.

    Sorry, when I said ‘no’, I meant nothing out of the ordinary had changed. I regularly add text and images and link to the site from my blog, facebook, dozens of listing sites. This is not normal – I’ve abandoned the site for up to a month before without seeing a drop like this 🙁

    Premier Icon smokey_jo
    Subscriber

    Listing sites you say, maybe Google thinks your inbound links are not above board. Read the countless blogs on Penguin and Panda updates for more info.

    user-removed
    Member

    Smokey – I do think I’m being penalised but I’m sure it’s not for inbound links. They’re all from directories specialising in relevant content – wedding planning, photography, etc.

    “And earlier this year we launched a page layout algorithm that reduces rankings for sites that don’t make much content available “above the fold.”

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.es/2011/05/more-guidance-on-building-high-quality.html

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.es/2012/04/another-step-to-reward-high-quality.html

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    As a ‘amateur’ (albeit one that has got web pages from no-where to No1 and still does so for current employer):
    You seem to have massive title phrase and lots of keywords – be more specific with them all on each page?
    I would not keep mentioning location (do so one one page maybe)- using google tools you can submit where your business is, and one address on Contact us?
    You have some spare HTML in there – get rid.
    You seem to have some tables in the html – not sure I buy the ‘google don’t like/cannot see’ argument, but I may help/
    You also seem to use javaascript to sort the images – meaning you cannot img tag them (really useful way of Google finding you IMO)?
    Get some more incoming links – have you a twitter, flickr, pinterest and google+ site as well as facebook? If not, get them and get active on there- and get some ‘hard’ links from FB back to a page – if you do a special offer, create a page on your website for a month or so, and get incoming links to it. Then keep that page but change offer (content). Get more followers – on FB and G+ and all over – get the family and mates involved!

    I believe the algorithm changed in the last few weeks, so sites have been moving around a lot of late.

    user-removed
    Member

    Thanks all. Lots of re-jogging required. Matt – I already do / have done most of those things (at least, the bits I understand). Militant, yes, they have just messed around with their calculations again, but from the little I understand about it, I should be benefiting from it rather than suffering (no huge blocks of SEO nonsense, no massive lists of local venues, no hidden text…).

    Premier Icon Capt. Kronos
    Subscriber

    Ah ha – never realised that was you Jamie.

    Have a mate who does this kinda thing rather well, will drop him a message and see if he has any ideas.

    Rob

    sl2000
    Member

    You’ve got a robots.txt file explicitly telling Google (etc) not to index most of your site.

    http://www.jamieemersonphotography.com/robots.txt

    User-agent: *
    Disallow: /contact.html
    etc

    flipiddy
    Member

    You’ve got a robots.txt file explicitly telling Google (etc) not to index most of your site.

    I’m really not sure, but I’ve got an inkling this might have something to do with it? 😆

    Good spot.

    user-removed
    Member

    Aha! I did change my contact page to a custom form just a fee weeks ago, so that’ll be the issue. Many, many thanks to sl2000 and everyone else. Will rectify that asap…

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    Slight hijack since we’ve got the SEO guru’s attention…

    My site tends to do pretty well in google, but I’ve noticed that, for most sites, it’s the home-page that shows up in the search result. For us, it’s the page relating specifically to the search terms used (e.g. if you search for “chalet Sainte Foy”, we’ll be on page one but you’ll see the page that lists our chalets, rather than our homepage.

    Is there a way to specify that the homepage should always be listed?

    Not really that fussed, but it does look “cleaner” in the search results if it’s always the homepage that’s displayed.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    You do not have ‘chalet sainte foy’ in the description, no keywords with it in, and it does not say it on the home page.
    The page that you get coming up has ‘chalet’ as a title/heading and repeats it through the page.
    Sort the text on your front page to have chalet sainte foy in, sort out the title and description to also say this and add some keywords. You could also change the name of your logo from white_room_logo.png to chalet_sainte_foy.png for added appeal…

    user-removed
    Member

    Just a quick follow up – things perhaps not as simple as they seemed. I’ve had a word with the chap who built the site and he says, ” The disallow comments on the robots.txt file can be ignored. They are meant to be there as we block certain pages from search engines to reduce the amount of spam attempts directed at your website”

    He reckons the very recent changes Google have made to their alogarithms are to blame and pointed me at a few forums where lots of people are going batshit crazy about it. He also reckons it’s worth just waiting it out until they change the settings again, when he hopes all will return to normal.

    Just very bad timing as this time of year brings in the bulk of my enquiries.

    MrFart
    Member

    Here’s an excellent article on the current Google Panda algorithm linky

    Also Right click is disabled on the site which is a major usability and accessibility no-no and could well be effecting your ranking – there are better ways to protect images if required. The code is pretty horrible too and this won’t be doing you any favors.

    MrFart
    Member

    Also why is your blog on a different domain – this is exactly the sort of content Google wants!

    user-removed
    Member

    Right. First up, I’m back up and running. Back on page one for my favourite search terms. I can’t comment on the coding as this is a template website. I also totally ‘get’ that it’s a good idea to have your blog in house but after a few experiments I found that I was only getting hits after users had visited the home page.

    Blogger has done well for me over the years and is an excellent source of links, so I’ll stick with it for the time being…

    Premier Icon stevomcd
    Subscriber

    Thanks Matt, that’s really helpful!

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