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FuerteCases
9th September 2004, 12:43 AM
I've been reading manyof the valauble information here for some time and today something horrible happened that made me register and ask for help. :eek:

I don’t proclaim to know much of anything about SEO but after four years with my site I’ve learned to build (what I thought was) a clean honest site with a necessary use of terminology that described what we specialize in, Waterproof Protective Cases to store and carry anything worth protecting. This approach, I believe, kept my site on the first page on Google when primarily using the term “Waterproof Cases” among other relevant terms. We never made it to #1 but #3 has been a consistent position for at least the last three years with several relevant keywords. Thank to our motto: “Great Products ~ Great Prices ~ Uncommonly Good Service” and thanks in part to our Google positioning we have enjoyed the development and growth momentum of a full time business that earns my family a decent living. Google has played a part in our success and I have always been pleased with them because (at least I felt ) they appreciated my honest site and products and in turn rewarded me with fair positioning.


Well, today to my dismay, I discovered that I can’t find my site on Google anywhere. My main keywords show everyone else but me. At least 20 pages down, and no www.FuerteCases.com. Oh my god, what have we done? I am apparently still indexed somewhere in Google world as searching for the site name itself still yields results. Does this mean we are not really banned? I still don’t know what happened. Although we are always working at improving the site for our visitor’s experience I also made sure I was never spamming keywords, no hidden anything, trying to follow the rules and expected to maintain a decent position at Google.



FuerteCases.com (pronounced sort of like: Fwertae Cases) is a domain name that made sense at the time the business started and its logic at conception is a whole ‘nother story. Being in Southern California had some to do with it, but over the years I also learned that most people that don’t live anywhere near the Mexico border can sure have a lot of difficulty pronouncing it. Many avoid it altogether or bravely try it and those in Stevens Point, WI were happy with “Future Cases” . To help alleviate any possible embarrassment and ease remembering the company we decided a new domain should be started, a domain name more relevant for the search engines while we are at it. The new domain was going to be:www.TheWaterproofCaseCompany.com and a whole new site was developed. The new site turned out so good that I decided I should just use it at both the domain names. I had all of my SEO efforts put into the first site and loosing it’s traffic was not an option and rather than doing a re-direct, I figured both identical sites co-could exist. I guess that’s called a mirror site.



Today I received a call back from an SEO firm I was shopping around for and of course my dropping off the Google map was the first thing I had to ask about. He figured it was because of the mirror site and that it was a huge no-no. He said that doing a re-direct would have been the way to go.

Can this really be the reason and what should I do to beg forgiveness and get myself back on Google?



For some reason It did not occur to me that a mirror site was a bad thing. I actually thought doing a re-direct would have gotten us banned.



Any help you could offer with this will be greatly appreciated


My best regards and thank you for a great forum. :cheers:



Michael

David Wallace
9th September 2004, 08:28 AM
I searched for "Waterproof Cases" and your site - www.fuertecases.com was in 2nd place. Are you sure you are not seeing this result yourself?

As for having duplicate content at two or more different domains, that is definitely something you should avoid. What you should do is to set up a 301 permanent redirect for the old domain to the new domain. That will tell Google that the old site has now been permanently moved to the new domain. That type of redirection is completely acceptable.

One other thing is that no one should ever completely depend on free search engine traffic. You should be doing other things to promote your site as well such as getting good links from other quality sites that could bring you traffic, pay per click campaigns and even non-internet means of marketing if possible. The problem with solely depending on free traffic from search engines is that if for some reason an algorithm change occurs or they can't reach your site or any other number of reasons and your site disappears, so does your traffic and your income. The old adage, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket" comes into mind here.

FuerteCases
9th September 2004, 09:24 AM
Thank you David for your reply and information.

This is down right bizarre. :confused: I obviously jumped the gun here. But I know that yesterday we were not thre at all. Is that possible? One day okay, nice position and another no listing at all? I have just never noticed that happening before. Clearly it was reason to panic.

You are right and additional exposure is always needed. It's one of those things that after improving in one area for a long time and tending to business it's difficult to start a whole new program. We used to do PPC w/ Overture at exorbitant costs and stopped after the site gained a good position on it's own merit. This has been a while and maybe things improved with more features to get more targeted trafic. I've always been careful to being very direct so that anyone clicking trough knew what we did and avoid vague terminology. Google ads was going to be something else to look at. Any thoughts about these two or anyone else for good PPC value?

We are working on direct email marketing with a newsletter, primarily to exisiting customers and others that have inquired about our products. This is taking a long time to pull off with any consistency. We should put more emphasis here probably since it's clearly a captive interested audience.

A link search at google shows that we have about 3,000 links coming in to us, but still something that can be worked on some more. Do you have any thoughts about images (logos) that are linked versus straight text links? We have numerous reciprocal links on our sire and to make it the most pleasing on the (human) eye, made these with logo images.

We will look at the 301 page you mention. I was very worried about something like that and we avoided it.

Thanks again. :thumbsup:

Patrick
9th September 2004, 11:56 PM
We have numerous reciprocal links

As well as removing one of your two sites and doing the redirect, I would also be careful which sites you link to. I can't give you chapter and verse, nor any direct evidence, but Google apparently does not welcome reciprocal link strategies which exist purely to generate additional PageRank. Natural linking is what they're looking for, and some of yours aren't natural. It may be worth dropping a few of the most obvious ones even if it means losing the incoming one, if you already have 3,000.

Patrick

divshow
10th September 2004, 09:14 AM
I would also be careful which sites you link to Google apparently does not welcome reciprocal link strategies which exist purely to generate additional PageRank


I totally agree with Patrick. From everything I have been taught, you are only supposed to link with those that are related to your site.

For Example:

A florist may be linked to Gift basket sites, but should not be linked to an auto parts site.

Hope this helps...

Old Welsh Guy
24th September 2004, 07:35 AM
HIya, sorry for the lateness, I have neglected the forums this week as I have been snowed under and not able to get away much to all the forums.

You do NOT get banned in Goiogle for duplicate content, Yahoo YES, Google no. All google does is remove the duplicate content from the serps. It will not show both pages, just one or the other, and the pages that Google decides is relevant. This normally means the one with the higher page rank, PAGES that is, not SITE. It is quite possible & happened to me a while back when I messed up a redirect (I mapped both domains to the same folder on my server instead of one to a folder with a 301 in the htaccess :( ) half of the pages from one domain will show, and half on the other. This messes up totally your backlinks etc and results in a traffic drop to rank with the best of them :)

aweston39
26th September 2004, 08:27 PM
It is frustrating to check google one day and see your site and then see it disappear the next.
I do not have the answers but I am in the same boat.
Yahoo,altaVista and dogpile seem to be more consistent.
You can drive yourself crazy checking your stats everyday.
I check alexa all the time too.
The bottom line is how many sales you make, not your ranking.
Best of luck to you and try not to drive yourself crazy with ratings. :rolleyes:

Old Welsh Guy
28th September 2004, 03:26 AM
Exactly as stated above,. Too many people get hung up on rankings for a couple of phrases, when they should realy be driving traffic to their site for a broad range of phrases.

samiam123
24th December 2008, 06:48 AM
Just as declared above,. Overly a lot people become fell up on rankings for a few words, while they ought realy follow drive hits to their web site for afield browse of words.