The July and August 2012 Crash of Elsmar

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#1
A serious decline in Elsmar showing in Google search results started on the 25th July 2012 and since then it appears that Google has rapidly faded Elsmar out of Google search. I would like to think it's Penguin, but such a rapid drop is - Well, I don't know. Believe me, I've been on webmaster forums and I can't come up with a reason. I have never done any "black hat" SEO, no "link farm" stuff, or anything like that. Nothing has changed on the site, either, so I just don't know what the "cause" is. The drop in the Google search rankings is so serious it endangers the future of Elsmar.com.

At this point I am doing everything I can to identify the cause, however it is not an easy task. My current plan is to keep Elsmar online for another 3 months and if things don't change significantly for the better I may be closing Elsmar down completely. It costs me too much money to pay the fixed expenses, not to mention my time, so that's the bottom line. Without the traffic, Adsense advertising does not pay the bills and I will have to drop advertisements companies have immediately. I will keep the advertisements up for the time being, but obviously I can not charge the advertisers even though I don't take down their ads. It may be things will pick up so I don't want to take the ads down right away. Since *very* few people ever Donate, donations are an insignificant source of income. However, at a time like this if any of you want to, a donation would very much be appreciated.

On the one hand I'm sad about it, but then again Elsmar has been online for about 16 years now. It has had a very good run. Up until the end of July 2012 Elsmar has been in the top 100,000 sites online according to Alexa and Quantcast going back many years. In fact, Elsmar (at that time QS9000.com) was one of the first 100,000 websites on the internet. Although Alexa and Quantcast are relatively "new" so they don't have data going back to 1995-96, my bet is until two weeks ago Elsmar was in the top 100,000 for many years.

I figure within 3 months I will know if there is anything I can do about it or not. Two weeks (now going on 3) is too short of a time to know anything or predict anything.

As always, I will be posting stats at the end of the month online so you can follow what is happening there. If you look at July's stats, the last update to that thread as of the time that I am writing this, you can see the drop off starting.

The latest forum visitor stats as of this writing

You will probably notice some changes in the forums such as content on the forum home page. I apologise for changes you may not like, and appreciate feedback.

I will keep you informed of what is happening.
 
Elsmar Forum Sponsor

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#2
Re: Notice to All Visitors - Significant Drop in Google Search Rankings - August 2012

Hilariously, Google, itself, censors searches for "google +penguin" - not even displaying the WIKI on Penguin. I had to use Bing to find a worthwhile link to learn about Penguin.

Just a brief read-through about Penguin seems to indicate that the exact service of discussion forums - lots of content which seems "duplicate" because it carries over multiple pages (quotes of previous posts) or many entries on the same topic - seems to incur big penalties.

Search engine algorithms differ so much. Lately, I notice Google searches on my name ("wes bucey" in quotes) run up a lot of ASQ forum stuff where I haven't posted in at least two years and tucks my Elsmar posts further down the page. Yet, by clicking the little line at the bottom of the Google page
In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 93 already displayed.
If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.
I bounce from 90 hits to 260,000 hits whereas BING only gives me 41 hits total.

I just googled the term "quality manual" - a term we get a lot of questions about and no Elsmar hit came in the first 100 items.

I notice in the WIKI
Two days after Penguin update was released Google prepared a feedback form,[14][15] designed for two categories of users: those who want to report web spam that still ranks highly after the search algorithm change, and those who think that their site got unfairly hit by the update. Google also has a reconsideration form through Google Webmaster Tools for the 700,000 sites who received an email stating their sites demonstrated unusual linking.
I think you should offer feedback and ask how you might ameliorate the effect of Penguin while still offering your discussion forums. I have heard that Google does provide human intervention when a website has been unfairly downgraded because of some relatively simple feature which can be changed or eliminated. Bottom line on this aspect:
"Why wonder when you can ask?"

Without criticizing, I note also there is some discussion about Penguin in various places that it has an emphasis on page design and layout, particularly when "content" appears further down on a page. Perhaps this is what you refer to when you write "You will probably notice some changes in the forums such as content on the forum home page. I apologise for changes you may not like, and appreciate feedback."
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#3
Re: Notice to All Visitors - Significant Drop in Google Search Rankings - August 2012

Believe me - My eyes are bleeding (so the expression goes) from reading about it and looking at everything going on. I will copy a couple posts from the moderator discussion which may end up at the top of the thread because they are dated earlier. If they do I'll try to fix the sequence.

I posted here in public (which may or may not be a good idea) as an FYI.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#4
Re: Elsmar Google Search Drop - I'm not sure what's happening...

Essentially, it appears Elsmar has dropped in search ranking in Google which was my main source of traffic. There has been a somewhat slow drop in visitors over the last 6 to 8 months, but it has been very gradual. The peak was back in Dec 2010 - March 2011 or there abouts. Panda rolled out and now Penguin. I'd go into detail about them, but it would be long typing and there are a lot of pages about each of them in Google with better info than I can type here.

The below graph only goes back to May (that's all the further back the "view" can be set to show).


Here is another Google Analytics view - 1 April through yesterday:


Next month will be the first month Elsmar.com will not be in the top 100,000 websites in the world in 15 years.

SEO and being able to understand why is complex. There are several hundred "factors". That said, I haven't done much SEO stuff for several years or more. I haven't done any "black hat" SEO and have depended upon "natural" backlinks, status as an old, long running established "authority" site.

I can only tell you that I am looking at everything on Elsmar. I have updated a lot of my "static" html pages already, I have gone into Google's "Webmaster Tools" and updated a lot of stuff, I have been visiting and participating in, some discussions on a few of them. I have been looking at stats and trying to correlate them to things like the various Panda and Penguin updates (I think we're up to Panda algorithm update #10). I have had my iPad showing Google Analytics "Real Time", watching what pages people are going to, how many pages per second & minute, where traffic is coming from and several other things. Since this "started" I have been up to my nose in stats, reading about Panda and Penguin, and in general looking at every aspect I can think of.

See the attachment for what I'm working on now to try to eliminate and "duplicate content" aspects. Before had "Let Googlebot Decide" on all as default, so I check for duplicate content in WMT (Webmaster Tools) and yes - There are a lot of duplicate content issues. That's one reason I'm a total freak on thread titles. Part of it is "User Experience" and part of it is SEO.

You'll have to excuse me a bit but this is pretty dramatic for me right now. In short, I'm sorta freaking out because while I know how much everyone here would like to help there really isn't much anything anyone can do. A lot of sites have been killed, especially "Mon & Pop" sites, over the last 4 to 5 years as the internet has become more and more "Walmartized".

I'm lucky I have a fair amount of money saved and technically I can shut down Elsmar and not have any financial problems for 10+ years. The extra income has been nice, but I can live OK without it and I'd have a heck of a lot more free time, not to mention less worries.

Well - No debts and a simple lifestyle helps...

Anyway, I will continue to make changes which might be a factor and keep working on it in general. As I said, I'm pessimistic but will for sure keep Elsmar online through the end of December. I have started a "project plan" and change log. I'm also looking at other things such as splitting my old QS9000.com domain onto a different server and bringing that back. Of course, the problem is content.

There are so many things in my mind right now, and it's been a long day, so I'll end here for now.

Any and all advice/suggestions will be appreciated.
 

Attachments

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#5
Re: Elsmar Google Search Drop - I'm not sure what's happening...

For those of you who may be interested, in the .pdf file I attached above you will "parameters" and I spoke of "duplicate content" penalties. The below is to show you why I have to go in and define every parameter attribute.

However, as I do this it can make it *worse*, at least for a while, because it will kill many links/pages that are indexed, for example, with the "p" parameter (used to show an individual post in a thread) vs. the "t" parameter which is used to go to a specific thread.


Last night I even (finally) signed into BING's equivalent of Google's WMT and formally entered Elsmar.com. Since I just signed up it will be a month before I see any significant data there. I don't know that it will help (I doubt it will), and I should have done it some years ago for general purposes if nothing else, but the Microsoft search engines never did send me much traffic so I never worried about it.

I'm monitoring "Realtime" right now and I've never seen this few people on the site even on slow weekend days. India and the far east should be starting to kick in a bit (it's 1 AM EDT here in southern Ohio).

I can say that according to "Real Time" most of the referrals are coming from Boardreader.com - I see a lot of people here coming from links there.
 

Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#6
Re: Notice to All Visitors - Significant Drop in Google Search Rankings - August 2012

Hilariously, Google, itself, censors searches for "google +penguin" - not even displaying the WIKI on Penguin. <snip>
Note that the + modifier in Google searches doesn't work the way it used to.
 
L

lfrost

#8
Re: Notice to All Visitors - Significant Drop in Google Search Rankings - August 2012

I echo Minkishots' post. I too would find it a hard loss to take.
 
L

lamorenita_QA

#9
Re: Notice to All Visitors - Significant Drop in Google Search Rankings - August 2012

I look to the Quality professionals who post here as the best to learn from. I do not want this forum to go away.
 

Wes Bucey

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
Re: Notice to All Visitors - Significant Drop in Google Search Rankings - August 2012

Wow! After playing a little bit with various search terms, it almost seems as if Google has blacklisted Elsmar Cove on some typical terms someone might search for.
ISO 13485 - one hit 1st hundred
ISO 16949 - one hit 1st hundred
AS9100 - one hit 1st hundred
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
bio_subbu ISO Standards updates between July to August 2009 Other ISO and International Standards and European Regulations 2
M Informational EU – Minutes of the 24 July 2019 SCHEER Working Group on safety of breast implants in relation to anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) meeting Medical Device and FDA Regulations and Standards News 0
Sidney Vianna AS9100 News July 2019 AAQG/RMC CB Auditor Workshop - Presentation Materials AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 0
Marc Bourbon Lovers - A depressing fire - 3 July 2019 World News 2
M Medical Device News TGA – Regulator Performance Framework: Self-assessment Report, July 2017 to June 2018 Medical Device and FDA Regulations and Standards News 0
Q SAI Global Status as of July 2018 Registrars and Notified Bodies 2
Marc Is something happening with Linkedin "Groups"? July 2018 Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 15
Sidney Vianna ISO 19011:2018 Released - July 2018 Other ISO and International Standards and European Regulations 1
Sidney Vianna ISO 19011:2018 Released July 2018 General Auditing Discussions 8
Sidney Vianna ISO 19011:2018 is released July 2018 Other ISO and International Standards and European Regulations 0
somashekar Birthday Greetings ... July 11, 2016 Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 10
Marc Google - New Privacy Info - July 2016 World News 3
C CFDA announced 120 new Medical Device Standards - July 2014 China Medical Device Regulations 0
SteveK RoHS Directive 2011/65/EU Revision ? Medical Devices - 22nd July 2014 CE Marking (Conformité Européene) / CB Scheme 30
M RoHS CE Mark - Medical Devices built for US before 22 July 2014 ISO 13485:2016 - Medical Device Quality Management Systems 3
M De Novo Applications since July 2012 21 CFR Part 820 - US FDA Quality System Regulations (QSR) 3
Marc RIP - JJ Cale - July 2013 World News 4
Hershal Remembering others this 4th of July 2013 Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 2
S TL9000 - requirements 5.5 released - TL alert - July 2013 TL 9000 Telecommunications Standard and QuEST 1
Randy My latest (Randy) - July 2013 Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 36
S TL 9000 Certified Companies - REMINDER - TL 5.0 Measurements Effectivity - July 2013 TL 9000 Telecommunications Standard and QuEST 1
D 2013 AAQG RMC Auditor Workshop - July 18 & 19 Indianapolis AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 2
Ajit Basrur World Hepatitis Day - July 28 Hospitals, Clinics & other Health Care Providers 1
rob73 New version BS EN ISO 14971:2012 released - July 2012 ISO 14971 - Medical Device Risk Management 37
Mikishots Happy 4th of July - 2012 Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 3
Sidney Vianna July 2012 CB Aerospace Auditor Workshop AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 3
Marc Surprise! American ISPs to launch massive copyright spying scheme on July 12 After Work and Weekend Discussion Topics 5
S Chrysler CSR for use with PPAP 4th ed July 2011 Customer and Company Specific Requirements 0
Jen Kirley How are you spending your July 4th Weekend? Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 20
Steve Prevette Teleconference July 19, 2011 - Application of SPC The Reading Room 1
Sidney Vianna 2011 CB Aerospace Auditor Workshop scheduled for July in Cambridge, Massachusetts AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 5
H ISO 9001:2000 Certificate - Original approval date 18 July 1995 and valid until 2012 ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 27
Ajit Basrur July 2011 ! Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 4
Marc The Decline: The Geography of a Recession in the US - 2007 thru July 2010 Career and Occupation Discussions 1
Paul Simpson Proposed New Management Systems Standards Structure - July 2010 ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 4
BradM NCSLI this upcoming week! Who will be there? July 2010 General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 11
S Congratulations to Jim Wynne for 10000 posts - 6 July 2010 Covegratulations 17
Sidney Vianna 2010 CB Aerospace Auditor Workshop scheduled for July in Atlanta, Georgia AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 11
Ted Schmitt Rental Car References wanted - July in California Travel - Hotels, Motels, Planes and Trains 10
L Being audited on AS9100 30th July - need example flow chart AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 15
Hershal NCSLI conference - San Antonio, TX, 27-31 July. General Measurement Device and Calibration Topics 0
Stijloor The 2009 Tour de France starts on July 4th! Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 3
Sidney Vianna 2009 Aerospace Auditor Workshop AAQG/RMC - July 30 and 31st, 2009 AS9100, IAQG 9100, Nadcap and related Aerospace Standards and Requirements 10
X Need a company for skill examiner audit by July 8, 2009! Miscellaneous Environmental Standards and EMS Related Discussions 0
U AIAG's FMEA Manual 4th Edition Released - 2nd July 2008 FMEA and Control Plans 77
D July ME TV: Measurement & Gaging Video Book, Video, Blog and Web Site Reviews and Recommendations 2
Howard Atkins Corrections to the 4th edition PPAP handbook - July 2006 APQP and PPAP 9
Crusader Six Sigma FREE Live Webinar 10am PST July 20 & 27 Six Sigma 3
Howard Atkins Happy 4th July 2006 Coffee Break and Water Cooler Discussions 12
B Starting point Gap Analysis - Hoping to have a QMS in place by July 2006 ISO 9000, ISO 9001, and ISO 9004 Quality Management Systems Standards 1
Similar threads


















































Top Bottom