Jul 9, 2019
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This thread witnesses the rise and fall of a local service page for a dentist in Austin, TX. As of this summer, the page ranked #1 for tmj treatment austin, including ranking ~10 for tmj treatment tx. The dentist is located in Austin, but is not a TMJ specialist - SEO on their domain has notably included a press release targeting the landing page for this service.

Neuromuscular Dentistry and TMJ


(not my client, nor competitor. Just an observation)

As of this summer, geo-modified keywords for TMJ commanded the #1 and #2 positions, accounting for ~19% of organic traffic. For comparison, the coveted dentist in [city] keyword drew 4%, and branded keywords, ~55%. And this is (most likely) because the TMJ service page has referring domains rivaling that of the index page, per SEMrush. Backlinks were "first scene" almost exactly a year ago.


Today, 4 months later in search, visibility for this landing page for the same queries is non-existent. Although SEMrush and Moz > Ranking Keywords still show TMJ queries in the top organic positions, a manual search (both from local IP and within Austin via Chome DevTools) and Moz > Rank Checker paint a different picture; a picture of buried visibility.

What gives?

The anchor text is neuromuscular dentistry. The backlinks are also no-follow, which may not have been there originally - unfortunately cannot remember. But why such a precipitous traffic drop after nearly a year? Is anyone familiar with Google disavowing the distribution network of a specific publishing source? Google wising to the spam anchor text profile, not to mention the broad match keyword, at best?

Just wanted to see if anyone on the forum has witnessed paid link efforts burn out their efficacy over time in a similar fashion, or has specific experience with this publishing source. Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, and thank you for taking the time to read this far.


LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Jul 18, 2012
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You mentioned "The dentist is located in Austin, but is not a TMJ specialist ". I know during several sessions at Pubcon people spoke about how Google's algorithms are trying to solve the issue that you're referring to. For YMYL keywords (I'd stick things related to your health in this category), they really want to show sites that have E-A-T and not just ones that are faking it. If these guys are actually faking it, I'd check to see if the drop correlates to any recent algorithm updates.

However, I think it also might be due to this. I can't access the page - I get a 403 error:

Also, Google has a slightly different URL indexed than the one you shared:


According to SEMRush, the one you posted disappeared in April and the one I posted above appeared then. I can't see if the old URL properly forwards to the new one or not since it's blocking me.




Jul 9, 2019
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Thanks for taking the time to reply, Joy.

Yeah, I know the development team blocked all requests outside of the US via Cloudflare over the summer - there is a 301 in place on the URL I provided (my bad not realizing I was looking at the redirected URL).

Well... now seeing the URL in question #1 for the query... maybe me & search were just having a bad day.

Tyson Downs

Jul 29, 2013
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Looks like these guys are still ranking well. #3 in the Map, and #2 in organic.
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