Many individuals and companies have been experiencing sharp drops in their search engine rankings for no apparent reason. Some sites have even been dropped by four or five pages on Google search results. This is not due to the expected “over-optimisation” penalty that Google can impose for excessive spam and keywords usage, it’s rather that Google has mistakenly marked your site as a parked domain, when it in fact was not.
..Thankfully we have not seen a drop in rankings on our data servers..
Many complaints in forums have been discussed on the recent drops in ranking. Many people have thought the drops could be accredited to the over-optimisation penalty that Google has warned would be coming later this year.
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team addressed the issue and posted:
[fancy_box]“I saw a recent post where several sites were asking about their search rankings. The short explanation is that it turns out that our classifier for parked domains was reading from a couple files which mistakenly were empty. As a result, we classified some sites as parked when they weren’t. I apologize for this; it looks like the issue is fixed now, and we’ll look into how to prevent this from happening again.”[/fancy_box]
keynotopia.com, a site that teaches people how to use keynote and powerpoint for prototyping experienced their website suddenly was ranking number one in Google for its relevant keywords just dropped off of Google’s searches all together along with their agency website. They had no spam or questionable SEO tactics in place, so over-optimisation can be ruled out. The site features on many well known publications and blogs, which can now not be found on Google either…
You can see their post here to follow up on their progress and to see posts from people experiencing the same problem.
It seems as though the problem will be fixed and those sites that were affected will be reimbursed with their precious ranking credibility. Hopefully reputed sites with relevant content won’t be affected in the future when Google cracks down on parked domains and placeholder websites.