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Google Traffic Stops - What To Do?

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Google giveth and Google taketh away...

When Google giveth there is quiet rejoicing and expensive luxuries and when Google taketh away there is shock and denial and loud rants about the injustice of it all...


Google Penalty or Algorithm Change: Dealing With Lost Traffic by David Harry, Search Engine Watch, 25-January-2012 does a nice job of laying out the most probable explanations... that usually boils down to something changed as opposed to Google hates me, me, me....


There is nothing worse for a webmaster/site owner than to wake up one day and find Google Armageddon has taken out all of their site's rankings and traffic.


Some of the basics first… we need to establish if it is truly a penalty.


What often masquerades as a Google penalty?


Filters and dampening factors: ... Is there a shake up in the space? Or is it just you.

Data center anomalies: ...

Algorithm updates: ...


If we now know the difference between algorithmic changes and penalties, what is a penalty?


A few of the more known ones include;


Link manipulation: ...

Cloaking: ...

Malware: ...

Content: ...Spam/keyword stuffing, hidden text, duplication/scraping.

Sneaky JavaScript redirects. ...

Bad neighbourhoods: ...

Doorway pages. ...

Automated queries to Google: ...



Dave then goes on to explain diagnosing the problem and what to do about it (in a limited, general way given that this is an article). But he certainly provides a solid foundation for further research and considerations.


Perhaps the most important suggestion because it is so often neglected:

It is always a great idea to have your site developers/programmers keep a detailed change log of things being worked on for the site. The SEO team for that matter too.



A very good read, especially for newer webdevs who haven't yet fallen into bad habits and slothful ways.

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