Serious Problems for

Discussion in 'Help and Feedback' started by Amin Sabet, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    As many of you know, this site is ad supported, and most of the revenue comes from search traffic. Our Google search traffic, which represents about 99% of our total search traffic, took an abrupt nosedive on October 29, 2012:


    All of a sudden, none of our content is ranking high in Google searches anymore. I have no idea why this happened. Don't even know where to begin.

    Google Webmaster Tools hasn't directed any malware on the site. Some sites running this forum software (vBulletin) have been the victim of redirect exploits, which take people who click on Google search results for site content and redirect them to some other site. Google penalizes sites which redirect in this way, but no one has reported such activity to me. Has anyone here noticed anything unusual?
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  2. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    I have not noticed anything erratic with the site but I haven't been on much as of late. I do know that Google was doing some kind of optimization. Is your metadata still in tact Amin? If it is then that would lower your overall hits and thus the ad traffic. If your tagging is fine then you can relist with Google to see if that helps. Additionally I would list with Bing and Yahoo and any major search engine as you want the traffic from those places too. And that's my two cents that might only be worth two cents but it's been a few years since I ran any sites and had to do any of that.
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  3. Gary

    Gary All-Pro

    Aug 19, 2012
    Southern California
    Gary Ayala
    Man, that looks like my last EKG. I wish I can help but I've seen nothing odd here.

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  4. Gubrz

    Gubrz O.* Gonzo's & Bentley's Dad

    Jun 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    oh WOW that chart is NUTS!!! theres GOTTA be something wonky!

    i havent noticed anything weird
    but ill start doing some google searches for m43 stuff thru the day and click the links for here n see what happens
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    I don't know about metadata, but I will look into that. Thanks, Kristen.
  6. Isoterica

    Isoterica Hall of Famer

    Dec 6, 2011
    Sent you pm's on some of that. :)
  7. john m flores

    john m flores All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2012
    Some good basic advice on how Google works and how to avoid pitfalls.

    How to Deal With Panda, Penguin and Other Google Algorithm Changes - PC Advisor

    What other site data can you share, i.e., Pages Per Visit, Time on Site, % Mobile Users, etc... Did they see any changes at the same time?

    If you have a lot of mobile traffic, for example, but are getting a lot of bounces (people not choosing to visit the site) when people get the invite for the App, that probably does not look good to Google.

    The good news is that it's probably something that is fixable. The bad news is that it may take some time to start to climb back up the ranks again.
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  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    I can't find anything that has changed other than the drop in search traffic and lower ranking of our content in search results. Nothing changed in terms of pages per visit, time on site, % mobile users, etc, prior to Oct 29th. I'm guessing Google is penalizing the site for something. I just wish they would notify me as to what is going on. I've no problem waiting patiently for things to improve, but I can't fix what I don't know to be broken.
  9. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Veteran

    Feb 22, 2012
    Madison, WI
    I don't know if you read this NYT article from about a week ago - it mentions a few ways Google has tried to make it easier for webmasters to learn more but overall it does seem very opaque. Good luck!

    Google Casts a Big Shadow on Smaller Web Sites
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  10. christilou

    christilou Legend

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I know absolutely nothing about google or managing a web site but I've found that the pages don't always load, they "stick" and if it does finally load then you can 't access any of the links to actually look at anything. This happens on my iMac and iPad.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    One would think that since Google pays out for your services (delivering eyes and clicks to their ads) that they could be a little more helpful. Sounds frustrating and that graph is major YIKES! I wish I knew stuff about these types of things. Is the same thing going on at mu-43 and NEXTalk?
  12. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Well, I just clicked on ad for the think tank and the website welcome by saying "Welcome friend of" even though the ad I clicked on was on the SC website. Are the clicks being attributed to the wrong website? I don't know how this stuff works....just reporting my findings. I would assume there would be a correlating spike of activity on the Mu-43 site, but maybe the traffic over there is so heavy you wouldn't even notice a little blip.
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  13. Kin Lau

    Kin Lau Regular

    Oct 23, 2012
    A quick search for 'serious compacts' and 'rx100 forum' had this site as the 1st link.
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  14. grebeman

    grebeman Old Codgers Group

    Did you look for any of the other forums? Ricoh GXR is 4th on the first page, some others weren't on the first page and I eventually went looking for the Pentax K-01 forum just as an example, the first mention of mu-43 was on page 13 and for serious compacts it was page 24!

    Life's too short to go looking for any others, but maybe they are also a long way down the list. By far the most references were to dpreveiw, perhaps 95% at a guess.

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  15. Yeats

    Yeats All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    I initially found this site by Googling "LX5 forum" - SC was, and remains, the 1st hit. However, when I Google "LX7 forum", SC is nowhere to be found.
  16. digi2ap

    digi2ap Regular

    Jun 5, 2011
    Stratford, London
    Yes, I found that this can happen too and it has been like it for a few weeks now. Today, clearly, I'm not having a problem though!
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  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    Christina, thanks for pointing this out. I think it's the key to what has happened here. I checked Google Webmaster tools and found that server errors spiked on 10/27/12 and have persisted ever since. Here's the graphic for Mu-43, which is on the same server:


    That happened right after I asked our hosting company to lower the minimum search length for My SQL. Something about that change must have resulted in these server errors, and Google is responding to the server errors by killing off traffic to the site. I've got to get the host to address this, and hopefully Google will restore our traffic when the errors get better. Thanks for your help!
    • Like Like x 1
  18. asterinex

    asterinex Regular

    Oct 23, 2012
    Antwerp, Belgium
    I would suggest not to panic too soon.
    I have several websites. My latest website suddenly plunged like yours and a month or 2 later it came back higher than before.
    I hope senserely it will happen to this wondefull site.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. jhowell39

    jhowell39 Veteran

    Jun 23, 2011

    I'm a pretty much retired database administrator (though trained in a different flavor) and it sounds like your change to the search length has broken one or more of their sql queries in the database. A quick check would be to have your host restore the old settings. If that fixes things, then a change in the search string may have to be done by the developers or their dba. Hope this helps. I too, really enjoy this site and the folks that hang out here.

    Best of luck--Jim
  20. Djarum

    Djarum All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2010
    Huntsville, AL
    Why exactly were the strings shortened anyways? Just to speed things up?