Undoubtedly if you stumbled upon this page from a search engine, you probably have a good idea at how frustrating this realization is. If you are not familiar with it, here's how it works:
1. Site in question (ex. Paydayloanaffiliate.com) enjoys a solid rank, such as #4 for 'cash advance'.
2. Upon checking the rankings the next day, we find Paydayloanaffiliate is mysteriously missing from the results. After vomiting a little in one's mouth, it is time to figure out if it is a ban, a global issue, or a localized issue.
3. Running a site command I can see that we're still indexed and receiving cache (wipe brow).
4. Now that we know we weren't completely dropped, let's see how global the issue is for the site. Does it rank for any other competitive terms? Yes.
5. If it didn't rank for the competitive terms, we'd likely do a search for a unique URL string, such as this. Thankfully, we didn't have to.
6. Okay, so we're just gone for 'cash advance'…that's so weird. What if we wrap the phrase in quotes. It's back…interesting.
Why is it back with quotes? It has to do with how the results are filtered, or in this case, not filtered. When I see something like this, I know that a site has either been scraped and has a duplication penalty, was too focused on its optimization and hit some sort of BLOOP filter, or it is just going to be a lousy day. Let's find out which it is going to be.
1. Running copyscape on the PLAN, I see several nasty results. Put that into a separate window for the next test.
2. Run an allinanchor: on the phrase; a lot of people will say allinanchor doesn't really tell you much anymore - I still like it because it tells me a little bit of information; namely, who's trying to really hit this phrase. Interesting results.
Right away I can see what happened. A certain blogspot URL has scraped our content and is trying really, really hard to rank for 'cash advance' by guestbook spamming everything in sight - since Google refuses to do the smart thing and not give blogspot weight for commercial terms, we find ourselves temporarily filtered out for a nice traffic phrase.
Now what? Well, we could submit our site to sitemaps and fill out a spam report I suppose, and really I don't want to discourage people from doing that - we have had clients that reported success when doing so. Instead, I'm going to take a fire fighting approach: get more links for cash advance.
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Title: Cash Advance
Optional text: Beating irrelevant blogspot spam, one day at a time.