0
ozsubasi's Avatar, Join Date: Jan 2012
Invasive contributor
Something I have been noticing over the last six weeks or so is that the number of domains linking to my site (as reported by Google Webmaster Tools) has been decreasing every week. There used to be 832, but today there are 670. That means that over the period I've lost around 20% of the sites which used to link to me. All the sites that have gone provided irrelevant, low value links and they weren't ones that I'd placed ( I have been deleting some reciprocal links that I had but I have excluded them from the figures).

But during the same period my SERP has been improving, and today when I checked I got the most consistent results I've ever had. Since last week, of the 30 keywords I am tracking 16 moved up and the other 14 stayed the same, and I have never before had a week without at least some words slipping down. On looking at my nearest competitor, I was pleased to see that they had dropped down for a number of keywords.

I have done a little updating of the site, but nothing major and in fact have removed more than I have added, so it isn't because of site improvements, and both mine and the competitor site have the same last cached date of March 24.

Of course, nothing can be concluded from what has happened to just one site, but I am wondering whether Google's re-evaluation of links is rather more far reaching than I imagined from the little they said about it. For the site to actually improve in the rankings at the same time as links have fallen suggests three main possibilities to me:

1) Perhaps not only did these links have little or no value anyway, but other lnks have been given more value.
2) Rather than it being an improvement for my site, it has moved up because my competitors have moved down, i.e. if they have also lost links they were ones which were important to them.
3) It is just coincidence, and something else entirely different has been given more weight as a factor.

So, what I'd like to know please is whether anyone else has experienced a similar loss of linking domains, and if so what has been happening to their SERPs during that time?
0
shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
Lot of things are concluded out of this and so let me share what all I have read and understood.

Lot of your sites that were linking to you are being de-indexed by Google and blog networks are being de-index by large number. BuildMyRank.com has officially declared as shutting down their service. See http://www.buildmyrank.com/news/its-been-a-great-run

SERP increase means now Google is valuing valuable content. My assumption of reducing the impact of links is not what Google opted for but it is de-indexing content or sites that don't add any value to their users and customers.

I think this is very related to Matt Cutts statement of over optimization and assumption of working on the links for over optimization rather than content.
0
jhonden's Avatar, Join Date: Sep 2011
Ambitious contributor
There was a fluctuation in rankings few days back may be that is the reason why it happened.
0
shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhonden View Post
There was a fluctuation in rankings few days back may be that is the reason why it happened.
Fluctuation is an ever happening phenomenon in SEO and I am yet to see a day when that does not happen.
0
ozsubasi's Avatar, Join Date: Jan 2012
Invasive contributor
Quote:
Originally Posted by shabbir View Post
Fluctuation is an ever happening phenomenon in SEO and I am yet to see a day when that does not happen.
Yes, and that was my point. I expect to see keyword rankings go up and down, I did not expect to see that not one keyword out of 30 had not gone down.

I have looked at the sites individually where my link has been no longer counted, and with a few a exceptions nearly all of them are still live, i.e. they have not been de-indexed. I don't do blog commenting and I don't syndicate my blog generally so I haven't been hit by any of that.
Anyway, the point is that I haven't suffered by this, I have gained, although of course it may be as I said in my OP that my competitors have suffered, and that has helped my SERPs.

This thread could end up merging with another I have about over-optimization, so although I have further comment on that issue I will post it there.
0
ozsubasi's Avatar, Join Date: Jan 2012
Invasive contributor
Maybe this article is interesting, it was posted today by Danny Sullivan who was present and took part in the discussion where Matt Cutts talked about over-optimization.
There is quite a lot to read but one of the things that comes out of it is the suggestion that Google has long had the means to penalize for different things but hasn't actually done it. Which is what I was referring to with my analogy with a police clampdown situation.
From a starting viewpoint where Google's attitude was that they didn't need to penalize anyone, they now seem to be moving into one where if a site doesn't fit, it is out. I am wondering if they are going a bit too far in deciding what people should and should not see in their search results.

I would ask that anyone who wants to comment on the article should read it first:
http://marketingland.com/is-googles-...eb-search-8633
0
shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
Yes I am also gaining traffic but not very highly and this means my competitors are not that badly affected.

Merging of threads yes. Done.
0
ozsubasi's Avatar, Join Date: Jan 2012
Invasive contributor
My traffic has increased 15% over the previous month but 8% of that is directly due to some advertising I did, and I would normally expect a seasonal increase now anyway. But I don't know how my competitors traffic has fared, perhaps it has fallen or maybe not, and without that comparative data it is again difficult to draw any conclusions.
0
shabbir's Avatar, Join Date: Jul 2004
Go4Expert Founder
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozsubasi View Post
My traffic has increased 15% over the previous month but 8% of that is directly due to some advertising I did, and I would normally expect a seasonal increase now anyway. But I don't know how my competitors traffic has fared, perhaps it has fallen or maybe not, and without that comparative data it is again difficult to draw any conclusions.
Instead of comparing things focus on building more content and compete with your own stats and focus on growth.
0
ozsubasi's Avatar, Join Date: Jan 2012
Invasive contributor
I agree that the main focus should be on one's own site, but in a competitive environment it can also be useful to keep an eye on what the competition is doing.