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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Google Sandbox?
    I have a site that was doing fairly well in organic seach in Google on a few dozen keywords. Then it dropped quickly earlier this year. I was still listed in Google for the terms that I ranked at no. 1 with but all the others fell out of sight.

    A few days ago, those listings came back up again, as well as a few others. And now they are all gone again. I haven't done anything to the site other than update a few of the coupon dates (there are only a few coupons pertaining to this site).

    I have been reading about Google sandbox. I am not sure if this is what's going on with this site but I can't figure out why I am being bounced around like this.

    Should I let the site alone? Do some updates? The site is a little over 2 years old.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. #2
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    I have some sites that have taken hits in traffic last few days. I know Yahoo just had/having an update 2 days ago - http://www.ysearchblog.com/2010/01/2...arch-update-5/

    And it seems something might be happening with Google, not sure if it's that Caffeine stuff or just regular shifting.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    You know, after typing the original post, I remembered that I did do something to the site. I added Adsense in December. Not sure that it would make a difference, though.

  4. #4
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bettylou
    You know, after typing the original post, I remembered that I did do something to the site. I added Adsense in December. Not sure that it would make a difference, though.
    Without knowing anything, you would think that having adsense on your page would help since your pages would get crawled more often by Google? I've been told the two are separate and having adsense doesn't affect how fast / much google indexes your site. Never really did any research on it though as it never mattered to me.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador mailman's Avatar
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    Bettylou. Does your keywords contain your website URL? Google is great for me searching out my sites URL. YAHOO is not good to me. I guess I should be quiet it could change in a flash!

  6. #6
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    3 sites with big upturns, 1 with a big downturn in the last 2 weeks.

    I'll give Google credit though. The one they killed was the thinnest affiliate site I've ever made. 4 or 5 data feeds with no value added content. And it's been on autopilot for a year.
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  7. #7
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    I'll give Google credit though. The one they killed was the thinnest affiliate site I've ever made. 4 or 5 data feeds with no value added content. And it's been on autopilot for a year.
    The ones I have that fit that description seem dead since the first of the year. I think Google has found out how to eliminate them almost completely.


  8. #8
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    Google, the ultimate self appointed content authority, has its' big red pen out on affiliate sites.

  9. #9
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    I think Google has found out how to eliminate them almost completely.
    I have a few that fare rather well with Google. Of course I have plenty that don't, but... some sites manage to get by OK.
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Why would I have some keywords (2 actually) that have ranked number one for a while now and continue to rank number one while the others have fallen out of sight. They shouldn't be any more valuable or on target than any of the others.

    This is probably off topic but is there much of a connection between what Google gives your site in Adwords (Quality Score) and how your site is viewed in organic traffic?

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    Now that Google has customized search automatically turned on it's hard to tell sometimes if your site is doing well or not since you access your site so often.

    Do you have custom search turned off?

    Sometimes, google will automatically turn back on customized search and as result, my site will come up higher in the SERPs if I have been working on the site alot and thus accessing the site.

    Also, just by looking at the stats, has your traffic dropped or stayed the same?

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador bettylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladidah
    Also, just by looking at the stats, has your traffic dropped or stayed the same?
    It has dropped almost nothing. Seriously, it's like 1 or 2 visits a day. Last week it jumped up a little but now it's gone again. This site was never an extremely huge earner but it generally brought in a few hundred dollars a month.

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador ladidah's Avatar
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    As Trust also said there has been lots of talk going about regarding Google caffeine.

    Matt Cutts said last year that they are going to roll out caffeine after the holidays, meaning the new years.

    Lots of talk on WMW forums.

  14. #14
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Matt Cutts said last year that they are going to roll out caffeine after the holidays, meaning the new years.
    I've been trying to follow all that. Cutts hasn't announced anything yet and there seems to be no consensus among all the search gurus as to what is actually happening.

    I have one site that's increased in Bing and Yahoo nicely as Google referrals go lower and lower. Strangely enough during all this it seem my conversion rates are up.

    I've been wanting to start a thread on the traffic drop, but figured it might be only me.


  15. #15
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Just wondering, are you guys putting any weight on page speed? I"ve read some articles that your page speed will affect your PR going forward. Its something I definitely need to work on. My page loading time was around 5 seconds then dropped to 2 after I started using WP Super Cache then went back up to like 4 seconds without making any changes? My site is very new so I'm not as concerned about it. Wondering what others thought about it?

  16. #16
    Full Member gcarson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcarson
    Just wondering, are you guys putting any weight on page speed? I"ve read some articles that your page speed will affect your PR going forward. Its something I definitely need to work on. My page loading time was around 5 seconds then dropped to 2 after I started using WP Super Cache then went back up to like 4 seconds without making any changes? My site is very new so I'm not as concerned about it. Wondering what others thought about it?
    Just saw this thread that touches on page speed. I believe Trust said his pages load in 1 second. I see the same for my sites. They seem to load fast for me and for people who I ask to look. But for some reason, google seems to say they take 3-4+ seconds? What's weird is they are trying to hit my admin type pages (this one is a WP site) that are taking long to load. Which really confuses me as users wouldn't' go on those pages?

  17. #17
    Affiliate Manager affilorama's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    From what I've heard, google puts emphasis on user experience. So if your page loads slowly or if the content or something else don it oes not contribute to a positive "user experience", then your rankings could drop.
    Hope that helps

  18. #18
    More Cheesier Than Ever Cheesehead's Avatar
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    I don't believe there is actually a "Google Sandbox". I think it is more a generalization for the time it takes for sites to get good rank. Good content and site structure plus lots of relevant and highly valued back links = no sandbox. Weak content and few relevant back links or links considered to be low value = big sand box with lots of sand.

    Why a site suddenly loses ranking is anybody's guess. But often it can have to do with algorithm changes. At any rate, creating the content, SEO structure, and good variety of quality backlinks seems to be a recipe for making the site somewhat bulletproof.

    With respect to your question bettylou, I have found it never hurts to add more relevant content. Create a new page or two related to your search words in question and link to them from the page you are concerned with (home page?) That always seems to help me.
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