Google Slapped? Not Here!
I recently made two posts about a change in Google’s on-page ranking factors algorithm.
The two posts are:
Google On-Page Ranking Algorithm Change?
Update on Google Ranking Algorithm Change
The initial drop I saw that started this whole thing was a bug in my tracking program I’m developing. Since then I’ve conducted a lot of tests on my own sites to try and determine if my mistake actually uncovered something. The result: it did not.
Wrong and Right at the same time – I’m Quantum!
My initial reaction was that Google had tightened up on what they consider “stuffing” in some optional HTML Tags and Meta Tags. I ended up putting everything I changed for testing on my various sites back to the original code and my rankings are the same now as before. My on-page recommendations that I detail in Search Engine Optimization Secrets Revealed are still correct, I was mistaken that anything had changed: I was wrong and right at the same time! (Click that link if you want me to show you how to rank well!)
Slap Me Baby, Slap Me!
I read something over the weekend in a twitter post (at least I think that’s where it was), or rather, I read something in a twitter post that lead me to an article that talked about the “dreaded Google Slap“.
If you haven’t’ been around the SEO Block a few times, you may be asking: “Fred, what in the Sam Hill is a Google Slap?” Well I’m glad you asked. Personally I don’t like the term at all because it implies that Google randomly “slaps” or “punishes” you for no reason at all. Google is in business and they do quite well (that’s an understatement). They want to provide the best search results they can, and they do a good job: that’s why people use them. If they just randomly decided to move a highly ranked site from the 1st page of results to the 50th, people would not get the same quality of search results. They’re not going to jeopardize their business just to mess with your rankings.
While it’s true that every now and then Google will adjust their algorithms for ranking. When they do this, some sites that previously ranked well for certain search terms (called Keywords) may no longer rank well for those same terms. When this happens, those affected will complain that they’ve been “Google Slapped“.
This not only happens with “Organic Search Results” (the non-paid listing of sites you get when you type in something to search for), it can also happen to paid advertising. PPC (Pay Per Click) paid advertising shows up on the Right Side of the Google search results. When this happens with PPC, you can be dropped for a keyword, or your bid amounts can go up drastically.
I’ve had my rankings drop and then return after a day or two to where they were. Maybe Google changed something and realized it was a mistake and fixed it. Maybe it’s just part of their algorithm to “cycle” some sites around. This is not the same thing as getting “slapped“. The rankings returned pretty quickly and were not buried at #956 or so. When you’re “slapped” you don’t bounce back in a day or two.
When Google finds that people are “gaming” their system and getting sites to rank higher than they should, they update their algorithms to counteract whatever trick someone figured out. If you have quality content, follow my advice, and don’t try to cheat, then you don’t usually have to worry about getting “slapped“, delisted, or otherwise ignored by Google.
I’m Back in the Saddle Again
There are a couple of sites I normally bounce around with in ranking for the search term Internet Business. Most are good sites that I respect a lot. Some, like Terry Dean are in my blog roll. I’ve been neck and neck, #1 and #2, back and forth, for a few months with a particular site. They’ve been #1 for a while and I’ve been #2. Not any more! I’m #1 again. Three days ago, they dropped from #1 to #201, then #195, and #193. Were they Google Slapped? Who knows? Time will tell. If their ranking jumps back up then it was just some anomaly.
Below I’ll list the data for the past month for both my site and the other site. I’ll also show a graph for each. There’s a lot more data for my blog because I’ve been tracking it longer, so my graph is much more dense. I only started tracking this other site when it suddenly popped up in ranking with mine a few months ago. Notice one other thing… I rank better across all three search engines: those 0′s in the data mean the site/page was not found at all for the keyword phrase being tested.
This Blog – www.pqInternet.com
Them – the Other Blog
Until next time,
Update 5/5/2009: (evening) – late today the “other” site popped back up! I’m #2. I’ll keep an eye on it over the next few days.