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I was trying to get backlinks and created a terrible baby name generator tool. I gathered lists of the worst baby names online then made a tool in JavaScript to deliberately generate bad baby names for the purpose of humor. I then reached out to a series of websites to get backlinks to it. It worked, people started linking to it.

Then I had 2 major drops on visibility during spam algorithm updates. There were also core website updates during these times. last year Oct 27 this year

I can't figure out what is causing them. I've ranked a series of new websites in the meantime. I thought it might have been Cloudflare having errors, or perhaps a ban from Google, but, I ruled out both of those. I ran ads to the website so I'm not banned.

This all started around the time my terrible baby names page was made. Does anyone know if this could be it?

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Judging from when your drop happened, you were affected by Google's March 2023 core update. You aren't the only one who was affected by this, many sites were and there were a lot of complaints that Google may have dropped the ball in how they handled pushing the updates in March. Google evidently felt that these complaints had some merit, as many affected sites saw their positions in the SERPs recover over the next couple of months.

Given that your impressions didn't recover after that, it appears to be that either your site is acting in a way that Google doesn't like and deliberately sought to penalise in the March 2023 core update, or that your competitors were all able to capitalise on that update, pushing your site down the rankings.

Google haven't said exactly what they sought to accomplish with that update, and the sites who have reported that they were affected by the update cover a wide range of topics and styles.

Google have suggested that if your impressions and/or traffic take a significant hit from a core update, then you should re-examine your website in line with their best practices.

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