Monday, May 08, 2006

Q and A: How can I get my good Google ranking back?

Dear Kalena...

I ran across your Google AdSense article in SitePro News today. I plan on incorporating many of your suggestions and will keep you posted on my results. I started using AdSense about 2 ½ weeks ago and have generated over $120. I'm not sure if that's considered reasonable, but I want to do much better!

Also, my retail site, www.theledstore.com , was number 1 – 5 on Google for some of my main keywords up until late last year. I understand that Google did an update around that time. Additionally, I had a designer completely overhaul the design and functionality of the site. I'm not sure which one of these things, if not both, contributed to our falling completely out of any reasonable Google search results. On a good day, we may show up on page 17 for a keyword search for "LED Flashlights". Previously, we would have been in position #1 on page 1 of Google.

Do you have any ideas about what we can do to get our ranking back? I was generating thousands in sales in a month, and then the bottom fell out. While we rank close to #1 for terms like "LED Flashlights" on MSN and Yahoo, it doesn't generate the traffic that Google did for us. I assume I have a lot more work to do on my linking strategy (one-way and reciprocal), among other things.

I welcome any advice/comments you may have.

Thanks!
Caleb

Kalena's Answer:

Dear Caleb

Thanks for the feedback on my article. I'd be interested to hear of your AdSense progress.

Regarding your site rankings, I viewed your site and little alarm bells started ringing immediately. First of all, the site shows a Y! favicon suggesting that it is based on a Yahoo! Store template. Looking at your code confirmed this for me. Your site is actually using a Yahoo! CMS and is sitting on Yahoo! Name Servers. You can see the Yahoo! version of the URL for your site here: http://store.yahoo.net/theledstore/.

Now I don't know whether you have always used a Yahoo! Store template for your site, or whether it's a new thing for you, but I have heard a LOT of complaints from Yahoo! Store owners about the inability of their sites to attain high search engine rankings. Whether this is due to the fact the CMS is not as search engine friendly to index or because of the way the content is stored in a sub-domain, I'm not sure.

If you have always had a Yahoo! Store, chances are that the re-design has triggered your site to be placed in the Google Sandbox. See this post for more information. If you haven't, then you might want to rethink using a Yahoo! Store and try a domain-based e-commerce solution instead.

The good news is that Google has indexed 32 pages from the site and listed 48 backward links, plus you have a toolbar PageRank of 5 out of 10, so I don't detect any penalties. But you might want to rethink the tiny text in the navigation menu at the bottom of the page, as it might trigger some search engine spam filters.
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