Take the 2-minute tour ×
Webmasters Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for pro webmasters. It's 100% free, no registration required.

My website has been ranking in 1st or 2nd for a number of local keywords i.e. 'Liverpool Accountants', 'Accountants Liverpool' and 'Accountants in Liverpool' from March 2013 up until around August 20th when the homepage suddenly dropped out.

The homepage started ranking again in September back in 1st for all keywords and then in the second week of October in disappeared again and hasn't returned.

All the backlinks linking to the website are good quality and relevant, no spam at all.

The anchor text analysis draws up no problems either.

The only thing I could perceive to be an issue is that the homepage scrapes content from 3 other sections of the website - a short paragraph from the About Us section, the Case Study section and another page. Could it be that Google is filtering the homepage out of search results because it perceives the content to be duplicated?

share|improve this question
    
Duplicate content within the site doesn't usually cause many problems. Is there anything on the homepage that is unique? –  Stephen Ostermiller Dec 12 '13 at 15:19
    
You say that there is no link spam, but what is the anchor text of inbound links? Do they all use your brand name or are some of them "liverpool accountants"? –  Stephen Ostermiller Dec 12 '13 at 15:19
    
If you search for your brand name or domain name, does your home page still rank? Or did only drop out for the keyword phrases? –  Stephen Ostermiller Dec 12 '13 at 15:20
    
There isn't anything unique on the homepage. Everything else on the homepage is site wide and part of the template the web design company have created. –  Jen McNulty Dec 12 '13 at 15:25
    
The anchor text is varied I ran an analysis and it's really diverse, branded, naked url and a few exact match and some generic too. –  Jen McNulty Dec 12 '13 at 15:26
show 3 more comments

1 Answer

You could try adding additional unique content to the home page, but I'm doubtful that that is the problem.

It really sounds like an "over optimization penalty". Here is a great post from WebmasterWorld where Brinked explains his findings about over optimization. He says that the factors that go into this type of penalty are typically:

  • Keyword and phrase over usage, AKA "keyword stuffing".
  • Redirecting other domains to your site.
  • Same or similar anchor in back links.
  • Multiple sites in the same niche on the same same server.
  • Use of doorway or affiliate pages.
  • Link schemes and cheap back links.

The entire thread is worth a read, but the usual course of action would be to de-optimize. Especially:

  • Use keywords less and brand name more
  • Change anchor text of inbound links, ask for them to be removed, or possibly dis-avow them.
share|improve this answer
    
I am aware of over optimisation, and I'm confident that this is not the issue. The anchor text used when link building is really diverse. There is no keyword stuffing on any of the on-page for the entire website. The backlink history is full of relevant and 'clean' websites with good authority. No domains are being redirected to the site, there aren't multiple sites in the same niche on the same server. –  Jen McNulty Dec 12 '13 at 15:44
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.