Dumb SEO Questions

(Entry was posted by Neil Cheesman on this post in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Friday, January 20, 2017).

My partner`s website has been hit by spam links

Anyone able to help?
Re: http://www.finepetportraits.co.uk/
My partner is a pet portrait artist and one of her key search terms is (or was) "pet portraits"
for a few years she was at number one or 2 on Google - but has steadily dropped and is now at 47!
I am not sure why.... when I look at some of the websites on page 1 they seem to have a `worse` backlink profile (I guess not)
My partner`s website has been hit by spam links in the past and these have been disavowed (some time ago). There was also quite a lot of thin blog content and this was removed several months ago.
What am I missing here? Something obvious?

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Selected answers from the Dumb SEO Questions G+ community.

  • Randy Milanovic: Let me take a look...
  • Neil Cheesman: Not wishing to be greedy I was looking at trying to get better than number 9 www.theportraitworkshop.com rather than number 1....
  • Neil Cheesman: How can server response be `generally` tested to see if an ongoing problem? I assume the hosts own monitoring isn`t going to help.
  • Randy Milanovic: Moz shows a healthy amount of links and trust. I did see a lot of anchor text in external links to the home page (should be a variety). The site appears a bit dated. http://www.sarahspetportraits.co.uk looks to have significantly more textual content on the home page. No H1 on home page. <- Big one
  • Neil Cheesman: Can anyone advise.. the "Site Speed Page Timings" in Google analytics is showing as zero (on the graph) for most of the time with only 7 visits to the website being displayed in "Site Speed Page Timings" over the past 2-3 months - when 1500 unique visits.... Real Time overview shows visits... as does page visits etc ps this is on the graph only and not on the list of pages below the graph....
  • Chase Reiner: You weren`t using pbns correct?
  • Jenny Halasz: there are some server response issues here. Every time I tried to access the site it wouldn`t work until I clicked refresh. And then the sister site the German one seems to be having issues as well. I am on a mobile Android device, if that helps narrow it down. But if there are response issues, that could definitely cause the ranking to drop.
  • Alan Bleiweiss: For this question, I did not read any previous comments. my work with audits (even when I am not doing a proper audit, but just poking around initially) is best done without outside influence. (Other than seeing Chase`s mentioning of me). So if anything I mention here has already been pointed out, forgive that, or instead, take it as confirmation of what others have said. Note also however, that without a proper site audit, EVERYTHING you`re being given info on, is blindfold dartboard prognostication from the perspective that any one or combination of these issues has any very high correlation to magically resolving the ranking issues overall. Maybe something pointed to in this discussion will help push the site over the edge, maybe some combination will, and maybe none of it will be enough given how many other possible issues there might be. Having said all of that, what I found that jumps out at me as being off: As I was poking around, I went to www.finepetportraits.co.uk/kolbakur/ which may seem like an innocuous, unimportant page to most people. Except I went there specifically to see what the primary unique topical focus of that page might be, as it is the 1st link in main navigation, which signals "this is the most important page on this site". Even though the page Title on this particular page, is very weak ( kolbakur by Sandra Palme ), I felt the page is generally focused topically on being a Portrait of Kolkabur, or some variation. Except a DIFFERENT site comes up http://www.horse-artist.com/ So I don`t have to do ANY more digging at this point. This is an entirely separate domain owned by Sandra, also focused on horse portraiture. Which tells me there is way more to consider than anyone in this thread should have to be willing to spend time on.
  • Neil Cheesman: ps.. I don`t see/know where this is happening from? Except a DIFFERENT site comes up http://www.horse-artist.com/
  • Neil Cheesman: I am currently looking at the h1 and h2s which I think need some tweaking...
  • Neil Cheesman: Thanks Alan - the reference to the Icelandic Horse is due to it being my partner`s horse (before he passed) - could easily move that navigation link - the horse-artist.com is a separate website (not much updated I don`t think) that has focussed on horses (obviously) as far as I am aware it isn`t linked to from finepetportraits.co.uk - and certainly not in a navigation link...
  • Neil Cheesman: ps.. "Which tells me there is way more to consider than anyone in this thread should have to be willing to spend time on." - I thought that was the whole point of this group? to ask dumb seo questions... ANY answer is gratefully received - even to the extent "Far too much could be causing this and pay for an audit etc..."
  • Neil Cheesman: I don`t know where "Except a DIFFERENT site comes up http://www.horse-artist.com/ " - are you able to elaborate on that? it implies that it is linked to from finepetportraits.co.uk - but I may well be wrong with my interpretation... if in the serps somewhere okay I understand...
  • Neil Cheesman: Meanwhile, thanks for feedback on this... much appreciated.... clearly need to have a much (and further) deeper look into it... and as mentioned above - without doing a proper site audit very difficult/impossible to pin-point...
  • Neil Cheesman: ps... I should add that any additional website about horses and bird photography are due to being hobbies and a love of them rather than any deliberate intent on `seo`...
  • Alan Bleiweiss: Here`s another classic issue - Majestic shows 720 inbound linking domains. Except even a quick scan shows how toxic many are. 11 "Urine removal" domains 33 "searchengine" spam directories 42 "//links.* subdomains Take that one example - where 42 linking domains start out with http://links. As a subdomain name. These include sites like links.condommanagementservices.com, links.realswingersnetwork.com, etc�

View original question in the Dumb SEO Questions community on Facebook, Friday, January 20, 2017).