This is a recurring topic, but I am very very panicking right now...

I noticed a 90% "impressions" drop (from 60k to 5k) from 2013-03-05 to 2013-03-06. My keywords dropped, and for a few of them I don't even appear in the first 25 search results pages that I checked.

This happened in just 24 hours, without me making absolutely any change on the website.

I'm really panicking now, I never did any black-hat SEO, I always followed Google "rules", and see where it leads me :( I believe I'm providing a good quality website, at least my members thank me for it, this means it should be good enough. I'm doing everything I can to provide quality. I really don't know what else to do apart from paying someone thousands of euros to help me with SEO.

Does someone have any idea about that scary drop?

I would love to follow each and every possible lead one could give me.

Thank you in advance,

  • Please share your URL.
    – Zistoloen
    Mar 13, 2013 at 14:40
  • I hope it is not against the forum rules : www.escorts-eden.com
    – SEONoob
    Mar 13, 2013 at 23:10
  • my ranking dropped off the planet, figured out my stuff was scraped and put all over the place, went through the whole dmca notice deal with Google and they took the splogs down, today I'm back on first page, maybe check for duplicate content?
    – user24186
    Mar 14, 2013 at 5:06
  • Thank you. I'm not sure it is that. I know that backpage.com steals profiles (without even the consent of my members), but content is not duplicated as the layout is different and it stills lacks info. Plus, my 90% drop happened at the same time that everyone that complains on the Internet recently :(
    – SEONoob
    Mar 14, 2013 at 9:11

1 Answer 1


Google releases many new algorithms each month and any of them may de-rank any number of sites. Unfortunately, your situation is a pretty common occurrence.

I would suggest following this disscussion on WebmasterWorld.com: Google Updates and SERP Changes - March 2013. From that forum thread, it is pretty clear that something happened on March 6th. The first person to report something is user Wilburforce:

Between yesterday morning and today my Home page has dropped back from page 5 to page 47 for key term.

But pretty soon other people are reporting problems too.

epmaniac: my main site has suddenly vanished

foxhunter: Any news on an algorithm change in the last 24 hours? Yesterday was the highest traffic day I have ever had, and today all but a few pages are nowhere to be found in the serps.

joe121: Yeah, I'm seeing HUGE changes today.

There are lots of theories as to what this algorithm update from Google is:

  • Panda update
  • Something to do with Europe
  • Penalization of a new link network

It is clearly a change that is effecting a lot of websites and nobody knows what is behind it yet.

Here is a forum that has put together a survey of sites hit by this update to try to figure out what is causing it: http://www.warriorforum.com/adsense-ppc-seo-discussion-forum/763655-take-survey-march-6th-google-update-lets-find-out-what-caused.html

  • Thank you for this great answer Stephen. I'm new to SEO, and I know this is a pretty specific job in itself. But I did everything "by the book" (I think one can say that, "by the book" ?), and I don't understand why I'm hit and my competitors are absolutely NOT, they are still in first page.
    – SEONoob
    Mar 13, 2013 at 14:52
  • Google is free to rewrite the book at any time. Their algorithms also make mistakes all the time. Sites get caught up because they are in some way similar to sites that Google doesn't like despite the fact that they may be a pretty great site. Mar 13, 2013 at 14:58
  • Is there any way (aside from paying someone thousands of euros) not to be harmed? I'm of good faith, I work hard, I do only White Hat, I searched myself many suggestions made by Google to improve SEO, and for now it worked, but since the last week, I'm nearly not existing at all in Google :'( I don't mean to whine, but still I'm really panicking right now...
    – SEONoob
    Mar 13, 2013 at 15:10
  • I've never even heard that paying thousands can keep a site from being harmed. On the contrary, many sites get harmed despite spending multiples of that with Adwords. Mar 13, 2013 at 15:13
  • I meant paying someone who is a professional in SEO and who could help me avoid beginner's naive mistakes, and optimize my on/off site SEO, for example. Adwords forbids my activity in any case :)
    – SEONoob
    Mar 13, 2013 at 15:34

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