Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A few months ago, I published a review of a restaurant in my obscure little corner of Queens. Aside from Chowhound and a couple of other fleeting references, my write-up was pretty much all the Web presence this place had, and my review was always the second or third listing to pop up on Google searches (after Chowhound). Suddenly, as of yesterday, my post has dropped dozens of spots on Google, so it's several pages in--even for a very specific search, like "danny brown wine bar queens new york." Before, I could Google just "danny brown wine bar" or "db wine bar" and show up two or three from the top.

I'm perplexed, especially since no other reviews or commentary have been published online about the restaurant, as far as I can tell. I've dropped far below things that I was ahead of before, and below things that have nothing to do with the place. With other search engines (I've tried Yahoo and MSN) I still show up near the top of the listings.

This is particularly vexing because, since I had the only review of this restaurant on the Web (aside from Chowhound), the post brought me lots of traffic. And it just seems odd how it would drop so precipitously for no apparent reason. Does anyone know what the problem might be and if there's anything I can do to fix it? I'm so grateful for any help you can provide. Thanks! Sarah

This Post was written by Sarah from Avenue Food


Cybele said...

There are probably several reasons. The most likely is that the post is older.

The second is your google page rank.

I've noticed that many blogs have recently been "demoted" in page rank. I used to have a rating of 6 and it's fallen to 5. I don't know why ... I haven't changed anything on my site.

The higher your rank the more likely your posts will be identified as better matches when all other things are equal.

You might want to try a little experiment to boost the authority of your post and do a new post ... something like "Here are my top five favorite posts of the past year" or something like that, and then link back to all of them. Give it a week and see if it changes the google ranking of that post.

Elise said...

Hi Sarah,

I just checked the specific page on your site and your code. The code looks fine, but the page gets totally hung up on the Flickr javascript. In other words, it takes forever to completely load. The Javascript from foodbloglog and statcounter are also slowing the page down.

This may be what is lowering your Search Engine Result Placement. Google will penalize your page if its spider encounters problems like this when trying to spider your page.

Andrew said...

It could also be that it has dropped from your front page - as Cybele says it is old now and you need to link to it from the front page; and if poss get a few other links to it from across the blogosphere. Google needs reminding that it is important.

Sarah said...

Thanks for all the helpful info--there's so much I have to learn!

As far as my page loading really slowly, that is something that actually just started a couple of hours ago, so I've contacted GoDaddy. Per Elise's suggestion, I also removed Statcounter, since my Sitemeter, which totally plonked out on me last week, is finally catching up.

Also, I will definitely look into my Google page rank, and perhaps work in a way of linking back to the post from my front page.


Annie said...

Google is also constantly changing their codes to try to produce the "best" search results. They might have made a change recently that somehow affected your site. Since their codes are proprietary there's may be no way to find out exactly what did it.

Sam said...

Do you think, Elise, that this FLickr problem is something that everyone with the Flickr Badge could be encountering? I have been wondering whether to drop my Flickr Badge.
Maybe this is a good reason?

Elise said...

Hi Sam,

Any little widget that you are running on your site that has to call out to another site to get information has the potential of slowing down your site.
I found that the Google Analytics code I had running was slowing things down so I took that off. Once in a while the Technorati code and the Sitemeter code I have can slow things down too.

Regarding the Flickr badge, I don't know. If it is loading fast for you there should be no problem.

Stephanie said...

Please! Can someone tell me how I check my Google page rank??

Ilva said...

Stephanie, here's a link to it:

Anonymous said...

So after reading all your advice, I linked to the review on my sidebar, and my problem seems to have been fixed! Thanks everyone.

Sarah said...

Ooops--obviously, that last comment was from me, Sarah, the original poster.

Stephanie said...

Ilva, thank you!