Backlink Drop – Blame It On The Search Engines?

in SEO

“What The ….”

Well that was my reaction when I fired up my Market Samurai to do some checking on keyword rankings, backlinks and the like. I was shocked to discover that I had lost almost 80% of backlinks to my sites from Yahoo as well as a significant drop in the number of indexed pages.

How could this happen?
What did I do wrong?
What did Yahoo do?

Google and other Tier One search engines often make little changes here and there which cause rankings and backlinks to dip – there is noting to worry about!

It seems that while working on integrating Yahoo with Bing (all the back-end components anyway) somebody dropped a spanner in the works. The only comments made by Yahoo was by Yahoo Site Explorer Product Manager, Hemant Miocha, who stated on a Yahoo suggestion board that the company is “working with the Microsoft team”. This is undoubtedly due to the integration where mass of backlinks were dropped.

The forums and discussion boards have been a wash with speculation on what occurred and unless Yahoo actually come out with an official statement, it will most like stay that way.

Although I do not use any black hat back-linking methods, link farms or other dodgy practices, it seems like a large majority of links to my sites have been heavy discounted.

Could this be the start of a mass culling from the likes of Yahoo and Bing?

Many of the keywords that I was ranking high for have also been pushed back into the doldrums of the results pages. I mean, I didn’t have too many high ranking keywords, you could have possibly even counted them on a single hand, however that does not diminish the fact of what has happened. And yes, it does hurt a little when you check such statistics only to see that you have dropped back to where you were a year ago :(

I guess this is the reason that there are so many website and search engine optimization companies who work off a retainer – every month (more like every day) is different from the last on the web and can sometimes be thought of as a battlefield. Not only are you competing against other people and businesses who want traffic, you are also competing against the search engines, trying to think of what you can do to trick please the search engines and capture as much traffic as possible.

You may want to check your site stats to see whether there has been a drop in traffic or ranking for any particular keywords that you have been working hard to target.

Now is a good time as any to take a good hard look at your site and develop an action plan to address the weaknesses in your On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO strategy. By taking the appropriate measures now, you can bounce back quickly from any future backlink drop.

Cemil Ozcelik © 2009 - 2010

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jayne Pleysier October 28, 2010

I have been wondering how the transition from Yahoo to Bing has been going and what has not gone as smoothly as they would have hoped…there would have been a massive amount of information to move over and they may have just thought……..start again and start fresh! Hopefully they will come up with a fix, but if they don’t – well then its a new playing field I suppose


Jan Littlehales October 29, 2010

Hi Cemil,
At least you can find some comfort in the fact that this wont have just happened to you, so hopefully your rankings wont have changed much when compared to everybody else. Keep up the good work :)


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