A few weeks ago, around June 4 we suffered a bit of a Google-Slap. Overnight, all of our keywords that were ranking at #1 -#5, dropped to page two or worse – correspondingly, traffic from Google dropped by at least 50%, along with Adsense and Kontera earnings and my general sense of self-worth.
Luckily, as you can see the drop in traffic from Google was temporary and after about 2 weeks we recovered by about 99%. Sudden, unexpected (and undeserved?) drops in traffic from Google underscore the need for diversifying traffic sources – something I’ve been working hard to do for the last two years, but Google still accounts for about 70% of our traffic – a huge chunk.
During the pain and anguish of the GoogleSlap I was paying much closer attention to my WebMaster Tools Console, looking for any signs of being de-indexed or other communications from Google when I noticed something new. The Webmaster tools was telling me that the site is indexed, something also reflected by doing a “SITE:GrownUpGeek.com” query, which indicates over 7,000 pages are indexed – but just below that was an error saying that NONE of the pages listed in my sitemap are included in the index – something that is totally contrary to being virtually fully indexed.
Since the beginning of June there have been many discussions at the webmaster forums about sudden drops in SERPS (like mine), PR movement, etc – so it’s clear that Google has been up to something. Maybe this is just a confusing side-effect of Google tweaking things. If you have an explanation or theory about what Google is up to, or why I get this conflicting info from the Webmaster Tools console, please post a comment and fill me in.