Here is my google analytics traffic graph over the past few months:

If you’re like me, you probably notice that big drop in early August. Right about then, my blog stopped ranking #1 in Google for my name (it’s now my Zillow profile). I think my domain was down for a few days near that time as a result of me forgetting to renew it with Dreamhost — would Google crawling a blank domain put me in the penalty box like this? Is there any way to get out of it?

  • If your site goes down for a couple days and Google takes notice there is the chance of your rankings being negatively affected, temporarily. In cases where the problem is corrected and not reoccurring the site generally bounces back to its original ranking withing a few days/week.

    Is the drop in traffic directly related to Google searches or is there a similar drop in direct/referred traffic as well? There could be something else going on here.

    Also, a few links from other sites to yours with the anchor text “Drew Meyers” wouldn’t hurt either to ensure you regain that #1 position for you name.

  • Peter Quinlan

    This is weird…you don’t rank anywhere. In fact articles about your blog are ranking higher than the blog itself. My first thought is to make sure all of the higher ranking properties link to your blog, but looks like you have done that.

    Yahoo shows the blog as #1spot and MSN has it at #3..So it looks like the content is good enough to rank.

    If you Google “drew meyers insights” or “drewmeyersinsights”, your site is now where to be seen??? actually gives you the desired rank. Something is screwy? Could you have a penalty?

    Nearly all of your anchor text has your name or some derivation of your name, so that’s not it. There is a higher power at work here!

  • The only thing I can think of is that my categories got all screwed up when i switched to the new version of wordpress. So most of my category URLs are new since I had to re categorize all my old posts…could that be it?

  • Drew,

    Yes, major site architecture changes will cause google to re-index your site/blog, e.g. changing urls. This is probably what happened. It can take up to a few months to go back to “normal” after making these changes, depending on how many web pages were effected (how large your site is) and how much link juice you have (this speeds up recovery). You currently have a little over 600 pages indexed in google- by doing a site:domainname you can verify this… If you previously had many more pages indexed, then this would confirm my hypothesis.

    Deep linking internally can help bring back google bot more often to reduce how long this will take to return back to normal.

    One last consideration – link building and using the same anchor text everytime can be seen as manipulation to Google and could hurt you. I’ve seen it happen. No website has the same link text on all of its inbounds!!

    In the future, keep all of your old urls at all times and 301 redirect them to the most relevant and specific new url that you are using to replace the old.