MIA – My Reticulation Blog Gets Hammered by Google

I regularly check my webstats for my retic blog as its my main source of online hits.

I’ve worked hard at developing the blog over the last year and it was ranking really well with google. If you searched for ‘how to fix a solenoid’ or some other retic issue I would be on the front page every time and even multiple times. That was all part of the plan…

Then yesterday I noticed my stats were down. Instead of 50 0r 60 visitors I had 3… and its 38 degrees in Perth so I’d be thinking people would be searching for this stuff. Today I managed another 3 hits. So I decided to google the common things people search for and discovered that I no longer have the same presence – in fact its like I have ceased to exist.

So then I googled ‘why my web traffic has dropped dramatically’ (ironic hey – using google to find out why I don’t rate on google…) and came across ‘google panda updates’, a period ‘clean up’ of the web by google computers and based on whatever algorithm they currently used I got shafted. If you google this subject you will find plenty of others also shafted – some who have lost jobs because the ‘computer said no’.

A bit more research and I discovered something I did wrong which was to put ‘hidden keywords’ on my main site. I first built it 3 years ago, long before I had the blog and at that time wasn’t too keyed into this stuff – but then I forgot about it… and I am guessing this is why I got hit.

Of course there is no real come back on this stuff. Google don’t owe anybody anything and they can do what they like with their system, but suddenly we realise how utterly dependent on them we are. Clever bastards – and if your computer is reading this then – yes I’m talking about YOU!

So what is my solution?

Well the beauty of my blog was that I eliminated the need for ‘google ads’ and my advertising budget dropped hugely. I was ranking highly organically and getting heaps of calls. But now… well I just upped my google ad budget to compensate for my apparent disappearance off the face of the virtual planet… They have me screwed…

Another alternative I am considering is re-branding and kicking off with a whole new identity. It seems some folks have been forced to do that. Give we no longer live in Brighton it may be a possibility anyway, but its a lot of work…

I reckon I get 60% of my work thru my website so its a big hit to take and one I need to get sorted asap.

Just a bit frustrating…

5 thoughts on “MIA – My Reticulation Blog Gets Hammered by Google

  1. Andrew. Just gOt your MSG but heading out. Heres what I would do

    1. Fix the keyword issue
    2. Apply for reconsideration. Through googles ‘webmaster tools’ you can ask them to reconsider. There is a link here. http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35843

    It may take some time but if you fix whatever the problem is they do look at them. That of course is if that is what the problem is. With google it is near impossible to work these things out.

    I did fall out of the rankings twice for no apparent reason. In both cases it fixed itself in 6-8 weeks but if you know something is wrong I would do #1 and #2 above first.

    Hope it helps!

  2. I’m not sure about parallel sites if they have the same content. Google tends to frown on ‘duplicate’ content. If they’re both different/unique content it might work but if its simply reposting the same stuff in two places you’ll likely find that one will out rank the other – in most cases the one that posts first should technically rank higher.

    It’s all really guess work though – so hard to know how Google thinks.

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