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  1. #1
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    Does anyone have any idea why my ranking is one level lower across all my pages after the most recent google update?

    My index page had page ranking of 5 but now it is 4.

    I had a lot less reciprocal links before when my ranking was higher.

    I'm wondering whether it is because I traded links with sites that have 0 ranking. I hate to turn down a link exchange request unless the site has bad content. I'm so busy that I only trade links when I receive requests.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. If 0 ranking sites do hurt my ranking, then what should I do in the future?

    Thanks

    snakebaby

  2. #2
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    Don't have a real answer for you. I think way too much emphasis is placed on PR with google.

    Google has made it clear that PR will not necessarily get you placed higher in search returns. It is but one small part of their algorithm. Most times I place higher than other sites with a higher PR. Being linked to by sites that have a higher rank tends to help the PR but, low ranking sites should not penalize you.

    A well optimized site will bring you the most targeted traffic and that is what counts the most. This is true whether you are a content site or a shopping portal.

    I have also seen it published that google could penalize you for being linked to from Zeus generated link farms. I generally refuse to exchange links where this is the case.

    Gene
    TCS

  3. #3
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    From reading up on this a couple of months ago, I would say that exchanging with zero pr sites (or zero pr links pages) has hurt your page rank.
    Let anyone link to you, but only link back if you think the link they have given you has equal value. Otherwise you are just giving away page rank for nothing.

  4. #4
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    Thanks all for your feedback.

    I did a check on all the links I have. Amazingly all sites that used to have 0 pr now have at least 3. More of them actually get pr 4. I remember quite few of them had 0 pr before. Now some of them may have got better ranking than my site. I only have pr of 4 now (thought I might be able to get a 6). It feels awful. I just don't understand.

    At this point I'm more concerned about whether or not lower ranking means less traffic. My traffic was more than doubled after last Thanksgiving update along with higher page ranking. But there seems to be just a little change after this update, or no change at all. I need to observe few more days to have a solid idea. Do you guys have any input on this?

    Thanks a lot.

    snakebaby

  5. #5
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    The only thing that should affect your traffic (other than the amount of traffic "out there" at any given time--there are simply more people on the entire Net shopping, during the Holiday Rush) is SERP placement.

    SERP=Search Engine Results Pages

    In other words, if you're still showing up as high in the SERPs as before (when people type in the keywords relevant to your site)--it's aces, and you shouldn't see a traffic drop.

    If your SERP rank dropped, expect less traffic unless something flukey happens.

    Remember that people will also type keywords in that you didn't think of to get to your site. So there may be a change in traffic even though the words you think of checking seem to be ranked the same!

    PR has some effect on SERP ranks, but like TCS said, it's just part of the equation.

    Also, the total number of people using the Net to shop will affect traffic to any commercial site. If there's more or less people Out There than before, traffic will change even when SERPrank stays the same.

    It's the most wonderful time of the year! ~From a "Golden Era" Christmas Song

  6. #6
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by spacewar:
    From reading up on this a couple of months ago, I would say that exchanging with zero pr sites (or zero pr links pages) has hurt your page rank.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, no, no

    Spacewar,
    Unless something has changed dramatically recently, you will not get lower pagerank by linking to other pages. Pagerank is only added to pages, never subtracted. Linking to other pages will not reduce the pagerank of the page linked from.


    Jacklyn,
    There are two "types" of pagerank, "Real PR" and "Toolbar PR". The "Real PR" is used at Google to rank pages, and what "real PR" is and how it's computed, nobody knows - that's a Google secret. "Toolbar PR" is just an indication of the "real PR", it's a rounded integer in the range of 0 to 10, - where it takes much more to go from a 5 to a 6 than from a 4 to a 5.

    PR fluctuates from update to update. Your Toolbar PR after the last update, showing a PR of 5, could actually be a PR of 5.01. If your PR has dropped to 4 this time, it may only have changed slightly to 4.99 (or from 4.6 to 4.4). So the toolbar would return a PR 4 instead of a PR 5 - because it's a rounded integer.

    The reasons PR changes is:
    - PR overall has dropped for all pages, that is, all pages in the index has lost PR because of a change in the total number of pages indexed, or a change in the algo. The gap between your page and other pages is the same
    - some of the pages linking to you have lost PR
    - some of the pages that used to link to you have removed their links

    There is no harm in linking to PR0 pages, but in general it should be avoided. A PR0 page may have received a penalty by Google. By linking to penalized pages you may be penalized yourself. In addition, PR0 pages doesn't have any PR to transfer to you, so there is no benefit in exchanging links with PR0 pages. However, you do say that (some of?) those pages now has risen to PR3, 4, 5, so yes, now you do benefit from those links.

    Jacklyn, I also noticed you asked in another thread why your internal pages had a lower PR than your homepage (am I right?). This is perfectly normal. PR is a value of a page's popularity. Since most links are pointed at the homepage of a domain, the homepage would normally have the highest PR. Your other pages will have different PRs, some may outperform your hompepage, others may have a very low PR.

    For those who don't know how to route PR internally, the best bet is: Get the links to your homepage, then link from the homepage to your important pages, and to a sitemap that links to all of your pages. Those important pages will then get the PR from your homepage. And always link back to your homepage from your internal pages. As you can see, PR is recycled from page to page (though sligtly reduced for each hop).

    As you all know, to increase PR you would have to get more pages linking to your pages. The higher the PR of the pages linking to you, more is the PR transferred to you. So:
    - a single PR 5 page linking to you may get you a PR 4 page (in 1 or 2 updates)
    - a bunch of PR 2 and 3 pages linking to you may also get you a PR 4 page


    However all the PR in the world isn't going to help if you do not have a keyword phrase on your pages that people are using when searching at google. Last time you came around you didn't have that. You need to find a keyword phrase to target, and put that phrase first in your title (in the TITLE tag), in the H1 tag right after the BODY tag, and repeat the phrase a few more times throughout the page.

    For instance, (almost) nobody is going to search for your "domainname.com", so using the domain name in the title is useless. Putting a single common word like "shopping" in the title isn't going to help either, because the competition is to heavy. Instead, use a phrase like "stop to shop at domain name" in the title, use "stop to shop" in the H1 tag, and repeat "stop to shop" a few more times on the rest of the pages. There is more, but Markymark told us what we need to do in his response to one of your posts last time you were here:
    http://abw.infopop.cc/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&...9&m=9256094031

    You have to repeat this process for all your pages, finding a different keyword phrase for each page.


    Third, and this is very important, when you exchange links, make sure that those who link to you are using your keyword phrase in the link (the clickable text). This is no big secret, but still many webmasters fail to see the importance of this. In fact, if you only have your keyword phrase once on a page, you can still rank very high for that phrase if you have enough incoming links using your phrase as the anchor text.


    To close, ranking high at Google is about:
    1. Get a decent pagerank for your homepage. A PR 5 or 6 is decent. A PR 5 page can easily beat a PR 6 or 7 page if you score higher for the other factors in ranking
    2. Optimize your pages for a keyword phrase
    3. Get incoming links to use your keyword phrase for the page they link to as the anchor text (clickable text)


    Then, wait. It will take 1-2 months (or even maybe 3 months) before you see the results.

    -- Less is more --

    [This message was edited by Cellophane on January 05, 2003 at 06:30 AM.]

  7. #7
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    Thank you so much for the info, Cellophane. I appreciate your time putting in writing all these.

    I'll see what else I can do to improve my pr.

    I have one more question: what is PRO? I have never heard of it before. How do I know which one is PRO page? I know almost nothing about this and link farms. I will not be able to identify them without knowing more.

    Could you please explain it to me briefly?

    Also, I know it is my job to pick the keyword for my index page. But I am feeling frustrated because it seems that there are so many shopping malls and any keyword that I want to use is competitive. You suggested something like 'stop to shop', but I personally don't think people would use such keyword for shopping. I could be wrong, or maybe you were just trying to give me an example?

    Sorry for dragging this longer after all you have said.

    Thanks millions in advance for any more info.

    snakebaby

  8. #8
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    "I have one more question: what is PRO? I have never heard of it before. How do I know which one is PRO page? I know almost nothing about this and link farms. I will not be able to identify them without knowing more."

    PR0=PR zero

    Link farms refers to pages that have long lists of links with no descriptions, just links.

    A Zeus generated page is an example. Sometimes a few of the Zeus pages have some descriptions.

    I might also add that I have had some visitors from Zeus generated pages.

    Gene
    TCS

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by snakebaby:
    I have one more question: what is PRO? I have never heard of it before. How do I know which one is PRO page? I know almost nothing about this and link farms. I will not be able to identify them without knowing more.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    PR0 is page with PR zero. You can see the PR of pages you visit in the Google toolbar.

    A page has PR0 either because:
    a) A page has a pagerank lower than 1. In this case the bar shows PR0 and it's GREY. Such pages are normal pages, they just have a very low pagerank.

    b) A page has been penalized by Google. In this case the bar shows PR0 and it's WHITE. A penalized page has been removed from Google, and do not show up in the results. Pages are penalized because the author of the page has been caught trying to cheat Google in order to achieve higher ranking. What Google doesn't allow:
    - participation in link exchanges / link farms. Link exchanges are places on the net were people swap a lot of links in order to boost their pagerank
    - hidden text, using the same color for the text as on the background of the page
    - doorway pages, creating "fake" pages for Google, not intended for visitors to see. Doorway pages are heavily optimized for high ranking at Google. Doorway pages redirects user to other, normal, pages.
    - cloaking, tricking Google into indexing and ranking a different page than the visitor would see if they click on a link to the page

    When a page is penalized it would normally take a long long time to get back into Google. Normally the best thing to do is throw away the domain and start over with a fresh one.



    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by snakebaby:
    Also, I know it is my job to pick the keyword for my index page. But I am feeling frustrated because it seems that there are so many shopping malls and any keyword that I want to use is competitive. You suggested something like 'stop to shop', but I personally don't think people would use such keyword for shopping. I could be wrong, or maybe you were just trying to give me an example?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    1. Visit Overture at: http://inventory.overture.com/d/sear...ry/suggestion/ for a free page where you can see what people are searching for on the net.

    2. Yes, "stop to shop" was only an example, but people do search for this phrase. Use the link above to find out how many ... you will be amazed ... and you need to multiply the number by 15-30 to get close to the total number for the whole web.

    3. To check the competition, test the phrases you find interesting at Overture by searching for those phrases as Google. Look at the competition. Rememeber: It's not about how heavy the competition are, it's about what it takes to optimize better than the best of the competition. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's hard. You have a lot of different subjects on your site, I'm sure you'll find some interesting phrases to use. Use one phrase for each of your pages, don't try to use many different phrases on your index page or any other single page.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by snakebaby:
    1. I understand good content will help bringing in more traffic in terms of gettinng more newsletter subscribers and repeated customers. But what brings me the initial traffic? Is it pretty much about proper titles and keywords?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    In your case you would get your traffic from Google. You normally need to be in the top 20 for a phrase to get any traffic to speak of. I have already mentioned in my earlier post what's important when Google rank pages: keyword phrases, pagerank and anchor text.

    You said you had a pagerank of 5 the last update, now a 4, so you're on the right track. Try to get a steady 5 (you're close). Then you need to optimize your pages for keyword phrases.


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by snakebaby:
    2. I have noticed that I'm not ranked as well or can't even find my page under certain keywords even I have related keywords as part of my title and description, while some other sites get ranked on the top even they don't have such keywords as part of the page title. If I look at their content, I don't see any noticeble difference than what I have done. This observation confused me and left me wondering here. My question is how do some sites get ranked much higher when we have very similar site and content to offer to our visitors?

    3. Another maze: Why a site with title 'book store' ranked in front of me under keyword like 'auto store' when I have 'auto store' as part of my title? (this is just an example). It doesn't seems to be related to a site content at all. What factor kicks in in such scenario?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


    First off, you can't compare to related keywords - you need exact keyword match. Google returns a different result for widget than for widgets.

    Why they rank better if you have the same keywords? Impossible to say. You don't need the keyword in the page title to rank high, it's the sum of everything that counts, but the title and H1 counts for a lot. And, they may have better pagerank or better anchor text in their incoming links than you.

    -- Less is more --

  10. #10
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    Thank you so much for taking the time writing all the info.

    I wasn't aware of such thing as 'white' or 'grey' bar. My heart was pounding after you mentioned this.

    All my pages are still in google, but I believe the pages that had pr 1 last time now have pr 0. But the bar is white!

    Here is one of the pages with pr 0:
    http://www.ishopworld.com/online_mal...redit_card.htm

    Could you please take a quick look at it? To me it is a white bar, but the page is in google! I'm confused and would like to get one more piece of idea.

    Thanks
    snakebaby

  11. #11
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    I think there is some confusion here regarding PR0 and a grey PageRank bar.

    i) PR0 is always a white bar. It either means that the domain has received a severe penalty (but is not banned) or that the PageRank of that page is less than 1.

    ii) A grey PageRank bar means either that the domain is not indexed by Google (because it was down when Googlebot came through or is a brand new site) or because it is completely banned from the index.

    A quick look at the ishopworld site tells me that it isn't banned - it is just that the page you mentioned is a few levels down from the home page in your site structure and thus has a PR of less than 1.

    If you had received a PR0 penalty, you would see it on your homepage.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

  12. #12
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    One of the things that might have spanked your page is the fact that you have the term "credit card" used so many times. Multiple usage of a keyword will get you discredited pretty quickly.

    Obstinatedon

    You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

    Mahatma Gandhi

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by snakebaby:
    I wasn't aware of such thing as 'white' or 'grey' bar. My heart was pounding after you mentioned this.

    All my pages are still in google, but I believe the pages that had pr 1 last time now have pr 0. But the bar is white!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Arghh, there I get it for not being thorough enough. ok, here it goes:

    A grey bar could mean the following:
    - not in the index at all
    - new page in the index, but not enough info to determine PR, or very low PR
    - page needs to be reindexed by Google

    A white bar could mean the following
    - page have been visited by Google, but doesn't have any pagerank
    - page is penalized

    So a white bar doesn't always mean it's a penalty, it could mean Google haven't assigned any PR to the page.

    Using common sense,
    - if the page is deep into a site which has a front page with decent pr, and
    - the site has lots of outbound links on the pages higher up, and
    - the page hasn't had decent PR that suddenly dropped, then

    it's not a a penalty. Sorry about that (ashamed)

    However, if the page had PR before, and suddenly gets PR0 with a white bar, then it's likely a penalty. (But if a page with previous PR suddenly has a grey bar- not white - then the page has only been dropped from the index, for instance because of an error, like a connection problem or something)

    To add to the confusion, some people (over at webmasterworld) have reported that the toolbar is buggy, showing grey when it should be showing white, and vice versa, - even showing grey when the page actually had great PR.

    I'm almost 100% sure your pages are not penalized, since it's deep pages, you have lots of links from all your pages, and they are in the index. I just can't check it because I'm not at home this week, and the computer I'm using now doesn't have the toolbar.

    I also have to mention that I rarely use the toolbar, I don't bother that much with PR because, as others have said, it's just one part of the equation, and I don't have the patience to hunt links all the time.

    -- Less is more --

  14. #14
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    I may as well be "banned". The PR on all my pages dropped
    two digits and my traffic has gone down the tubes. No changes were made to any of the pages.
    This last algorithm adjustment by Google surely must have negatively affected lots of struggling folk like me.
    Does anyone have any idea of what Google changed?

  15. #15
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    There doesn't seem to have been much changed, though I have noticed a PageRank drop for quite a number of sites - which maybe the cause.

    This is inevitable every now and then, as PageRank is a determination of overall page popularity on the web and there are more and more pages on the web.

    Search Engine Positioning - 1 Design 4 Life

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