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Wow, we don't rank for our own brand name in Google stay tuned guys... Gonne be 100% transparent about it here and keep you guys in the loop...

Wondering why links from places like this can't offset whatever signal is making us look bad in the algo: (link from BILL freakin clinton)

Wondering why

2700 subscribers to our RSS feed doesn't offset this (with Google owning google reader, can't they see real activity on our blog?

almost 200k views of our vids on my channel does't offset this:

Or real engagement in G+:

I think this is all just a hiccup, but lets see where this goes.
Stephen Hamilton's profile photoMatthew Cummins's profile photoCoopers Pick's profile photoGeof Day's profile photo
Kevin do you mind sharing privately?
Especially strange since many on your team appear to have authorship status.
Might've been a link velocity trigger. But yes, your link profile looks strong & healthy enough. If your site can get hit like this, none is safe.
Barry, honestly that is what has me shaking in my boots! Our BL profile should keep us pretty well protected. Learning a LOT about Google today.
Something similar to this happened to a client of mine. Pinging set it right a few hours later.
Pretty crazy, had you gotten any messages/warnings from GWT?
Ranking #1 while signed out on .com from Ireland. Same result incognito on a separate machine. 2nd in the Serp is Quora.
The parked domain thing could be an issue seeing as though your pages all look indexed, but are lacking any ranking of any kind. Really looking forward to the follow up post on this!
+Edmondo Antonacci I don't think it could have been parked domains. We've been registered since 2002, we even have our real name (mine in fact), address, and phone number on the whois records, and there are no ads on our front page. We have no Ads linking to anywhere else and our IP's are with Rackspace so we shouldn't have C-block issues.
Did you get a Google Webmaster Tools notification Will?
I've got you guys on page 3 or page 4 depending on the proxy, with the title tag adjusted to just 'SEER Interactive' - which is now a pretty common title tag adjustment for brand searches.

This 30-40 spot penalty is pretty commonly reported as part of the over optimization penalty that may or may not be happening. If you run a 'site:' search, you get a homepage title tag result that reads:

"SEM / SEO company - w/ top ethical SEO consultants at our SEO ..."

Now, I know that's not the title tag you're running now, but SEO in the tag three times plus the specific drop makes me wonder if what happened is the result of an aggressive over optimization filter.
Wil, did you have any server downtime today/yesterday?
No notification on that Luella :(
+Matthew Brown so I had someone else say the same thing, and to be honest its left over from 2-3 years ago, so I changed it today, but if that was the case, you could look for anyone with 2+ mentions of a keyword in their title tag and just TANK EM for their own brand name with some low quality links or something. The SEO's who also got hit have much less aggressive titles FYI.
Was a fear is Google is close to rolling something out (Over optimized). If this impacts branding then the fallout could be large. I was just talking to someone yesterday about what the 2012 Panda/MayDay or Vince would be. I hope this is not it. Watching closely...
+Wil Reynolds notice that there is an HTTPS version (possible confusions?) Also - any issues with sub-domains?
Hi, +Wil Reynolds i think Google will say - "Look you were doing wrong things and have got some links, so I need to get you down" .. just post in Google Webmaster forum.. i have been fighting a lonely war there so far..
Maybe they think you are a parked domain. ;-)
Google to SEER -

"Well I can restore the position only if you promise to pay more attention to natural link building and do a little bit of advertisement in Adwords . ahem ahem "
+Wil Reynolds, not that it has as big of an impact, but you rank #3 for "seer" when logged into G+. Without the connection, it's still buried for me.

+Maggie Thistleton, I looked at your example, and you were number one for the domain words, "reading glasses shopper", but it was showing your IP ( instead of your domain for that listing.
There is absolutely no way a title tag can torpedo a site. I did a search for "seo company" with my location set to the US, and this was the title tag of the site in teh #2 spot:

SEO Services | SEO Firm | Professional SEO Services Company

Not even a brand mention.
In general, I agree with +Annie Cushing - and if this indeed a case of a newly implemented OverOp penalty, then it likely looks at more than the title tag. Internal and external anchors, the META Description tags, etc.

But then again, this isn't Google circa 2006, and I'm prone to throw out a lot of my 'absolutes' when it comes to Google in 2012. More than a few times, I've done the double take and wondered "Why is THIS site still ranking?" only to have said site disappear in days or weeks.

May not be a "penalty". Could be an overly aggressive filter. Or hey, maybe an empty parked domain file.
+Matthew Hunt The day Google tanks a site with the authority SEER has over a page title - while awarding another one w/ a more aggressive title with a #2 rank for a term as competitive as "seo company" - is the day I start searching on Yahoo. I'm not usually big on absolutes, but that theory just doesn't have any basis in reality, in my opinion.
+Wil Reynolds Sorry to hear this. It has to be a glitch. From here in the UK, signed out, your site is buried. That's insane.

Good luck man!
Doesn't look good right now. Looking forward to a positive update.
+Wil Reynolds I have you on page 3 now for "seer interactive" (without quotes). We have been looking at this and discussing it most of the day here at Critical Mass in Chicago and across our UK and Canadian offices. Totally baffling! If you need anything let me know, we would be glad to help in any way we can.
It almost has to be an over-optimization filter. What else could it be? I'm guessing that the over-optimization is based on the BL profile and not the on-page factors, but I guess there's no way to say for sure..
I'm so glad people are realizing that this update didn't just impact black hat SEOS, but also a lot of us white hats. The crusade on spam has left so many good hard working IM'S penalized and their competition (wikipedia/facebook/sites with 0 SEO done) shining stars
+Annie Cushing I didn't think it would be just the title, but a result of a bunch of on-page/on-site factors. If it was the OOP filter/penalty in any form. In any case, all of this is guessing.

Since Wil's bio page ranks page 5 for 'Wil Reynolds', I kind of lean towards +David Hermansen that it's offsite in nature
+Wil Reynolds In Canada, down on the bottom of page 3 on #7 on page 3 on Google.CA. Have noticed lots of weirdness with some searches myself. Maybe it's time to say, "Go, DuckDuckGo." At least their results seem way more relevant.
I'm seeing major fluctuations over the past couple of weeks for some well established, authority sites in different niches. Can't get my head round it currently. Will, I get you at #42 in for 'seer interactive'. Hope you get this sorted soon. I'll be following with interest.
I really cannot see what white hat methods truly exist other than link bait and viral content. Google has been trying for years to discount EMDs and link spam and it seems that they are finally getting somewhere. However, I have not seen these changes increasing the quality of the SERPs as whether a site gets penalised or not seems arbitrary.
I had something like this happen to me in 2005, where an old blog of mine suddenly stopped ranking at # 1 for its own name, and moved back 3-4 pages in Google's search results.

I noticed that a Bloglines page that was showing excerpts for the first 10 posts from my blog had replaced it, and was ranking in the first result, instead. For some reason, Bloglines had made this kind of post page from individual blogs public. This was shortly after had purchased Bloglines.

The solution was simple.

I attended an SES conference in NY and sat in the front row during a "meet the crawlers" session. (Where I met Rand for the first time, who was sitting a couple of seats away from me). When Q&A started, I raised my hand to ask a question, and since they were just pulling out the microphone for questioners, the moderator chose me to ask a question first.

I explained the scenario, to the Ask VP of search, a Microsoft rep, and a Google Rep, and explained to the Ask rep that their republishing of my content in the manner that they were was unethical (at which point he did a facepalm). The Google rep asked me what the PageRanks of the pages where (mine was a 5, and the bloglines page scraping my content was a 0). He found that a little hard to believe and asked for my URL so that he could check into it after the conference.

Within a couple of days, the Bloglines page disappeared from Google's index (I believe that they removed those types of pages completely), and my page was back ranking at # 1 in Google for its name.

While there may be some other kind of mishap going on, the possibility that Google messed up somehow definitely exists. I would recommend going over everything on the site to continue to improve it anyway though (get rid of link urls for images, for instance), and continuing to work on producing great content and even more great links.

Google luck.
+Dunstan Barrett Why I got into SEO in the first place - skepticism about the possibility of sites like Altavista and Google never messing up. :)
I'm seeing you back up with site links also. 
yeah you sure are back! I checked like 20 minutes ago and couldn't find you anywhere on the first 5 pages. My best guess is Google finally caught on that +Annie Cushing is now working for you and someone must have decided you no longer deserve to rank in the SERPs, but then cooler heads prevailed when +Matt Cutts overheard the discussion and he was like - no it's okay - we shouldn't penalize Wil for that. :-)
Yup - happend in the last hour...... seer back in for its brand name in the uk
So trying to net out what happened... Did you get negative SEO slammed with paid links?
Interesting example. I don't believe this was negative SEO from what's been posted about it, but I do think pressure is going to keep building on Google about negative SEO until it reaches tipping point.
Torre your comments sound like you are basing it on specific knowledge. Could you share the reference to this? 
Torre, one quick thing...I think googles handling of 301's changed as well. The domain had been redirected for like 30 months. We obviously were not building any links to it in the last 30 months either. Remember Ian Laurie got hit with a smaller version of what I got too and he had just 301 a site recently. 
+Stephen Hamilton I have no idea but that might not have been it. It was what I was told to consider as the issue so it wasn't worth it not to listen. To be honest think had a ton of quality links pointing to it. I do know 301s are acting a little different these days.
keep us posted pls.
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