TGIF … And An Update

It’s Friday afternoon and I’m already anxious to get to the weekend. With the potential of going out with the wife WITHOUT THE KIDS for the first time in months I’m highly looking forward to at least one day off in a row (not planning on getting much done tomorrow ;). Thus we’ll be getting throught this blog post fairly quickly but there are a few things worth noting to take you through the weekend.

Google Hiccup:

I notice this on a partner website and it seems to have been more wide spread. I got an email, a phone call and somehow they manged to track me down at home. Last Tuesday night the homepage of a well-established website disappeared from the Google index. (note: this was not a client, just a partner 🙂

And so I got to work analyzing the situation and trying to establish a few action items to get them back from this odd odd scenario. Here are the facts as they were:

  • only the homepage disappeared
  • the PageRank held (not a decisive point to be sure)
  • the site didn’t employ any blackhat tactics but did use some fairly comman SEO practices such as proper page interlinking, keyword density optimization, etc.

So what was up?

I ransacked their log files and saw that Google was visiting regularly but was getting a 304 code (not modified). So we knew that Google was visiting regularly which is not common for a banned site. We ran a thorough backlink analysis on the site and determined that the backlinks and anchor text variations were well within the norm with a solid growth in links but no spikes that woudl set off any alarms.

So what did we do?

After determining that this was likely just a hiccup and not a real penalization we made some changes to the homepage so Google wouldn’t get a “not modified” code. We also adjusted the XML sitemap and made a couple tweaks “just for good measure”. Today the index page reappeared with the ranking they had had a couple weeks earlier.

It appears as though Google had to hit the “last known good” button. if I had to guess I’d say they had a few issues as the rankings the site counced back with were those they had a couple weeks ago but not what they’d had on the Monday before they dropped off the face of the earth.

I mention this as it is thus likely that we will see some updates coming from Google over the next 7 days. If my guess is correct and Google did hit a “wayback” button they will likely bring in whatever updates they had tried to employ with some tweaks in the near future. So keep your eyes open.

In Other Google News

There’s a great article on Google advancing into outdoor advertising (electronic billboards, radio, etc.) on the NDNet site. The article, written by Donna Bogatin is well worth reading by any Internet Marketers or those interested in Google (which is likely you 😉 and can be read on the ZDNet website here.

And now I’m off to finish up the last few tasks I have before I *hopefully* head out with my wife for a lovely dinner, a few drinks and (oh my) maybe some kidless chat. 🙂

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