Can you please help us? I just came across your site and you seem very knowledgeable.
Our problem is Google! Our site has been active for a few years now at www.theforeverrose.com We were once #1 for the search "the forever rose" (and ranked well for a few others as well). But we have been gradually slipping, now we are in position 90 for "the forever rose" and off the charts for others?
Our PageRank was once a three and gradually dropped to now 0. We cannot figure out why and things keep getting worse. We strictly follow all of Google's rules and ethics, we rank fine in Yahoo and MSN. I am tired of hearing the obvious; more links, more pages, better content, SEO.... etc, we have been doing that. I feel like we are just missing something really simple, something right in front of our eyes, something that is penalizing us!
Can you please help? Any of your help would be greatly appreciated.
Mike Kalena's Answer:
A quick check of your site with the Google Site Status tool
shows that pages from your site are included in the index, but that Google may not know about all your site pages. The site was last indexed by Googlebot on 25 April and you have one backward link
displayed by Google but 81 backlinks shown on Yahoo
Your home page has a Google Toolbar PageRank of zero and some pages have greyed out PageRank and no cache, suggesting they haven't been indexed. Curiously, Google is showing 46 pages
from your site in their index, while Yahoo is only showing 25 pages indexed
. The fact that the site has already aged and used to have a much higher PageRank may suggest a penalty of some kind.
But there could be a few explanations for your poor PageRank and lack of rankings:
1) You are using a black page background but you then have a table on it with a white background and black text. Some search engines will see this as black text on a black background. It's possible that this may be tripping spam filters.
2) Your site is built using old technology and contains a lot of code bloat
. Tables are clunky and difficult for search spiders to index and Googlebot may have tripped up on your code and not indexed all your pages.
3) Your home page contains keyword repetition for the words "rose" and "roses". I don't think the repetition is excessive, but it may have triggered some type of suppression filter in Google.
4) Your site has poor link popularity and the sites that link to you tend to have a very low quality score and no PageRank e.g. cufflinksdepot.com/dir-gifts.htm and escapesportif.com/resources/gifts.html. You don't have enough incoming links pointing to your site from what Google calls "trusted sites" - popular directories, portals and authoritative sites in your industry. Your internal links could also use some work from an anchor text angle.
5) Most of your site pages might be stuck in Google's supplemental index
, colloquially (but unfairly) known as Google Hell. Google's Matt Cutts explains
why some sites have the bulk of the pages moved to the supplemental results:
"If you used to have pages in our main web index and now they’re in the supplemental results, a good hypothesis is that we might not be counting links to your pages with the same weight as we have in the past. The approach I’d recommend in that case is to use solid white-hat SEO to get high-quality links (e.g. editorially given by other sites on the basis of merit)."
Here's what you should do to address the problems:
1) For better indexing, consider upgrading the site design away from tables to clean HTML and use CSS for formatting. Until you do that, change the background of all pages to white to avoid any potential hidden text penalties from your table layout.
2) Run your site through a text-editor such as Lynx
to see what search engines see when they index your site. Verify your site with Google Webmaster Tools
and check the diagnostics for potential indexing problems.
3) Optimize your site from scratch. You should make sure your site is search engine compatible and optimized for a wider range of target search keywords and phrases rather than the obvious ones.
4) Create and upload an XML sitemap to Google Sitemaps
or use the new Sitemaps Protocol
in your robots.txt file to tell search engines where to find your XML sitemap. I like to use the free XML Sitemaps Generator
to create my sitemaps.
5) Commence a link building campaign pronto. This campaign should include submitting your site to all the major and minor directories and search engines where the site doesn't currently feature, as well as niche directories and portal sites in your specific industry. Where possible, anchor text incorporating your target keywords should be used within the links. My consulting company
can take care of link building for you if you like.
Once changes to your site code have been made and you have achieved some good quality links, most of your problems should disappear. If the problems persist, file a re-inclusion request
with Google, explaining what might have triggered penalties and what changes you've made to address the issues. Although technically your site hasn't been excluded from the Google index, this should prompt a review of your site by Google's anti-spam team and hopefully result in any suppression penalties being lifted.
Good luck and let us know how you get on!Add to
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Labels: google indexing, google page rank, google site status tool, google sitemaps, google webmaster tools, link building, search engine optimization (seo), search engine rankings