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  1. #1
    Affiliate Manager
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    1 Page on my site dropped out of SERPS
    Hi,

    I have an affiliate site in the family niche. It is 1+ years old and yesterday one of my main pages was no where to be found in the Google SERPS. I was ranking for over 10 keywords for this page. I recently did a backlinking campaign to this page. I guest posted and distributed 6 articles since the middle of February. I had backlinks going to my review page (which is now missing). Is this a temporary thing? I am hoping that they are trying to figure out where to position me, but I do not know. I am looking for some possible reasons why this happened and if/when it will get fixed. I just do not understand why my page completely disappeared from the SERPS.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Could be any of dozens of reasons. However, this stands out...

    I recently did a backlinking campaign to this page.
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  3. #3
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    It was a legitimate backlinking campaign. Does Google remove your from SERPS for backlinking? They were not on any bad neighborhood sites. I am just confused. I do everything White hat.

  4. #4
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Too many backlinks at one time looks unnatural and is a spamming technique. You may very well have thrown up a flag.

    Backlinks are NOT supposed to be done by the website owner - they carry weight when someone else links to your site as a sign of confidence. Backlinking should not be an SEO effort...
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  5. #5
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    Ok. Thanks for the info. I had 6 backlinks over a 3 week period. That does not seem like a lot, but i guess it is

  6. #6
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickmagennis View Post
    Ok. Thanks for the info. I had 6 backlinks over a 3 week period. That does not seem like a lot, but i guess it is
    Compared to what over the previous year?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  7. #7
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    25-30

  8. #8
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    What do I do at this point? I have no messages in my Webmaster Tools account. Do I have to just wait it out and see where they place me?

  9. #9
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Goog is now smart enough to know whether backlinks are naturally occuring or contrived (e.g., done by the site owner). Those done by a site owner are, obviously, designed to influence the SERPs - and that is (today) frowned upon - and for good reason.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  10. #10
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    So guest posting is not a good way to go?

  11. #11
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    I wouldn't do anything immediately. Not for a good month. See what shakes loose. Could just be the algo update/refreshes that rolled out the past two days. Smells like Penguin.

    Also, run your site or pages through this - see what comes up...

    Google Web Page Spam Archive Replay
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the tool. I ran my whole site and the page that I cannot find any more and it says the NO pages were removed from Google's Index.....I really hope this is nothing major. Is there a chance I can get my rankings back or am I screwed?

  13. #13
    Marketing Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickmagennis View Post
    So guest posting is not a good way to go?
    My question would be, did all of your guest posts contain identical, optimized anchor text? I don't think an influx of 6 links is going to be a flag but if every one had exact match, high-value anchor text then it could be. It may also be an issue if you were posting on irrelevant blogs. Let's say your site sells tires and you were posting on a video game blog. It'd look out of place if you write an article about video games and link back to your site with anchor text that says, Buy Tires.

    Guest posting is a fine strategy for increasing your exposure to readers of blogs but, just like every other SEO strategy, if it is irrelevant and over-optimized it may hurt your search rankings.

    I would recommend getting guest posts on blogs that you think would refer valuable traffic to your website. And when you get placements, add a single link back to your home page and use the name of the site or the URL of your website as the anchor text.

  14. #14
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    These were the anchor text keywords I used. They are similar, but not exactly the same. There is some variation.

    Baby Jogger City Mini Review
    Baby Jogger City Mini Reviews
    City Mini Reviews
    City Mini Stroller Review
    City Mini Review
    City Mini stroller reviews

  15. #15
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    Right, they're all optimized.

    I found a couple of the posts but I won't post them here in case you wouldn't like that. In my opinion (for what it's worth), Google would not want to count these links and could easily identify them as links they wouldn't want to count.

    The main topic of one post I saw was about babies, but not strollers so the link at the bottom did not make sense as an organic link. I would have phrased the byline:

    Rick and Annie do XYZ and own <a href="">NAME OF SITE</a>

  16. #16
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    "Screwed" is subjective. Remember, you are one of countless pages of similar / like content.

    May be time for some new content?
    Salty kisses, Sandy toes, and a Pirate's heart...

  17. #17
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    stroller are associated with babies. It matters that the article was not about strollers and I linked to a stroller URL? I am confused.

  18. #18
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    Stop controlling your anchor text.

    The best way I get backlinks is by creating something valuable and unique on my site, contacting another website in my niche, and asking them to share it with their visitors. Let them decide if they will share it, how they'll to share it, if they'll use a link, and what the link anchor text will be. This will look natural - because it is natural(mostly).

    I realize this doesn't work for everyone, but maybe you can build off that way of thinking.

  19. #19
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    The problem is everyone has their own way of doing things and it is hard to learn the correct way. I post new content daily on my site and do backlinking like I previously stated. I thought that your bio was who you are and you can put anchor text that relates to the topic you wrote about?

  20. #20
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    Hi Rick,

    Let's take a step back and think about what Google is trying to do. Google has users coming to them and typing in a search query. Those queries fall into three different buckets, navigational searches, informational searches, and transactional searches.

    Navigational searches are people who type something very specific into Google and expect to be taken there. Examples would be, [Facebook] and [cnn.com]. This type of search isn't very important at the moment so I won't go into any more detail.

    Informational searches are for people trying to get information. Examples are, [how to change a tire], [Tom Hanks], [best baby strollers]. With these queries, Google does want unique, relevant, and sometimes fresh information on these topics. They also want to surface the best, most authoritative content on the Internet on top. If someone clicks on the #1 result and doesn't find everything they are looking for, Google failed.

    Wikipedia shows up a ton for informational searches because they have a page on every topic imaginable (relevant), the website as a whole and individual pages are referenced often on the web (authoritative), and the content is typically comprehensive and high-quality (people find what they're looking for).

    Transactional searches are for people looking to buy now. Examples are [buy baby strollers], [best buckie balls price], [Silk'n Flash&Go coupons]. Google's job here is to send the user to a trustworthy merchant, with the product they're looking for, with a good price, and good user experience.

    That's why Amazon ranks for most transactional queries. They have a lot of links pointing to the site (trustworthy), they sell almost every product (relevant), they typically have a very competitive price, users already have an account, and checkout doesn't take much time (good user experience).

    Now let's go back to your stroller site. From the anchor text you posted here, you are targeting informational searches. These people are on the verge of becoming transactional searchers because they're looking for information about a specific product.

    Google's job here is to send a user to the most authoritative, comprehensive, relevant, and fresh information about baby strollers so you are on the right track. You're publishing content about strollers often.

    I think where you are getting confused is around quality and authority. You are right in that Google uses links to measure authority (and uses anchor text as an additional relevance signal). But just as people abused on-page relevance signals by keyword stuffing and making massive footers with internal, site-wide, exact match links to all their pages people have abused links as well.

    Google does want to rank #1 the page with the most links saying [baby stroller reviews] in the anchor text. They want to rank the best page, period. In their experience, pages with an abnormal distribution of anchor text are not the best pages. So when they see a page about baby stroller reviews and it has 10 links and every single link's anchor text contains a valuable keyword they say, "hey, that's not normal. That page probably isn't the best page on this topic."

    The next logical question is, what's normal? I'm glad you asked . It's actually quite easy to find examples of normal distribution of anchor text. Go and look at a well-known website that probably doesn't employ SEOs to build links for them. Someone like Consumer Reports. Their page, Top Stroller Reviews | Best Stroller, which ranks #1 for [baby stroller reviews], has anchor text that looks like this:

    stroller consumer reports
    strollers
    consumer reports strollers
    ratings and report on strollers
    stroller
    strollers buying advice
    strollers buying guide
    consumer reports
    buying guide for strollers
    reviews
    stroller buying guide
    http://www.consumerreports.org/c...
    related articles
    consumer report reviews on strol...
    (img) [No Anchor Text]
    (img) strollers image
    stroller ratings and buying guide
    overview

    You can see that a lot of anchor text does talk about strollers, reviews, and guides a lot but most of it has the brand name included and most of it doesn't exactly match a high-value, high-converting keyword. You can also imagine all of these links fitting naturally into a sentence somewhere on a page that's about baby strollers.

    One last word about relevance for links. Relevance doesn't mean that a link's anchor text is on a a similar topic to the page. It means that a human being who is on a web page would be likely to click on the link as a logical next step. So if the article is about baby diapers, it makes sense to add a link to a place to buy the baby diapers discussed in the article. It doesn't make sense to talk about baby diapers, then link to a page for buying strollers.

    If you want to learn lots, lots more about doing SEO the right way. I recommend hanging out on SEOmoz. Read their blog and ask questions in their Q&A. (I am in no way affiliated with SEOmoz).
    Last edited by Nathan Grimm; March 8th, 2013 at 11:29 AM. Reason: formatting


  21. #21
    ...and a Pirate's heart. Convergence's Avatar
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    +1 Nathan!

    Well done...
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  23. #22
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    Nathan,

    Thank you for the detailed response. I completely understand what you are saying. I appreciate you taking the time to help me. I thought that just putting variations of the keyword I want to rank for would be good enough, but it looks like it got me trouble instead

    I write articles about parenting tips and advice in general. Anything parenting I write about. What I have been doing is putting anchor text in my bio that goes back to my baby jogger page (even if the article is not about a stroller), so should I just be referring them back to homepage since it is more relevant and topical? I can write articles on strollers all day, so then would I be able to use my stroller anchor texts in those articles? I would not use the tactic I did before, because it seemed to get me in trouble. I just want to make sure I am maximizing my efforts here.

    I am actually about to publish an ebook about parenting to create an email list. Email list will make me more money down the road.

    My final question is about my page that disappeared. Will it ever come back? Will it keep the same rankings before it was removed? What are the next steps?

    Thanks again,

  24. #23
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    Hi Rick,

    In a guest post byline, it makes complete sense to link to your site's home page. It makes sense because a logical next step after reading an article is to research the author. Writing about parenting is great. Becoming a well-known parenting authority will definitely help you sell more strollers and any other baby-related product but it will take a while to build up this value.

    To get your page to rank again, you can try asking the blogs where your posts are posted to change the link to point to your home page with unoptimized/branded anchor text. I can't guarantee what effect this will have but you will probably start to get some value from the links instead of nothing/negative value.

    Going forward, when you do write articles about strollers, I would recommend putting a link in-context in the article to your baby stroller page with natural-sounding anchor text. I would also recommend including other links in the article to other stroller resources that are not your direct competitors.

    To truly maximize your efforts. Write stuff that's better than every other baby stroller resource out there. Be creative, do original research. There's a reason why Consumer Reports ranks #1 for [Baby Stroller Reviews].

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