Newark, (PressExposure) July 11, 2008 -- Online PR and marketing firm PressReleasePoint reported major drop in revenue and traffic as a result of change in website IP address. IP address of their site was changed two weeks back when their data center was moved from Dallas to Newark. Within few days they noticed drop in traffic and leads. Investigations traced the problem to new IP address which was in blacklist IP database. Newly assigned IP address was actually blacklisted back in 2003 because it was used by some ISP's to assign dynamic IP address for home users at that time. Search engines dropped their website from search results because of this incorrect listing in SORBS dynamic IP block.
SORBS stands for Spam and Open Relay Blocking System. It is a popular database used for catching spam. It is a live database of blacklisted IP addresses. As a cautionary measure it also blocks IP addresses used by ISP's to dynamically assign network address for home users. Some times ISP's retire their dynamic IP list for use as static IP by web hosting companies. Problem occurs if web hosting companies fail to initiate action to remove this IP address from SORBS black list database. New websites blithely using this blacklisted IP address as static IP will be thrown out of search index. Mails originating from such servers will be stopped by spam filters.
It is ironic that online PR and SEO firm, supposed to be experts in their field, is loosing business because of their own SEO mistake. PressReleasePoint is a ten member firm doing business in the area of press release distribution to media and press release optimization for search engines. They used to rank well on SERP (search engine result page) for terms like free press release and press release distribution. Now their sites shows up only after 20 pages in SERP . This incident shows that nobody knows everything in this evolving discipline of search optimization.
"It started when we are forced to migrate to a more roomy and advanced data center in Dallas. Everything appeared normal after migration. Within few hours customer started complaining about missing emails. Soon I learnt that our new IP address is in SORBS blacklist database. I am shocked" says Webmaster, PressReleasePoint. "Our only hope now is to get IP address out of SORBS. If it doesn't work we may try to move to a new data center or get a fresh IP address. So let us wait and see what happens"
Webmasters and SEO experts must learn a lesson from this incident. First, they must thoroughly check their new IP address while moving to dedicated or VPS hosting plan. Second, mistakes do happen even if we are careful. So Internet based business and e-commerce sites must have well thought out risk mitigation plan for every stage of their business. It is time to think thoroughly. Moreover webmasters must stop relaying on search engines as only major source of traffic.
It is also a call for all search engines to improve their algorithm. It is in every ones interest we request search engines to stop penalizing websites for reasons that is not their fault.
Founded in 2006, PressReleasePoint is a young ten member firm specializing in small business marketing through news distribution. They are a new breed of online PR and marketing business. Some of the services offered by them are media clipping service, news wire, buzz and meme monitoring service, press release writing, press release optimization and press release distribution service. They also run a online news portal PressReleasePoint.com where anyone can submit free press release. They also offer content syndication services. Their primary selling point is good service for affordable (low) price. Some of their services are very popular among small set of PR and SEO professionals who know about them.