Rankings I mean when using the search engine not Googles page ranking.
(This is a long post, sorry)
I have noticed a huge drop in my sites ranking. Even when I put my domain name surrounded by quotes as a search term for Google Im not even in the first 20 pages where I used to rank #1 for that search. I also noticed its indexed a top level page but it doesnt appear to index any pages linked off that top level pages. I have a main page showing business listings, that page gets indexed but no listings listed on that page gets indexed at all by Google. The site has been up for several months now, I have a webmaster tool with Google and have a sitemap submitted. In the webmaster tool it shows almost 600 links found in sitemap but shows only 2 have been indexed.
Now the site uses a base tag and I noticed the pages that are cached the layout is broken, Im assuming its because of the base tag. Can a base tag affect how search engines spider a site? Also I recently started to use a technique where I use the italic tag and hide it via css to use it as a link. I do this as an alternative to an image map. Could Google consider this a hidden link and be pinging me for that?
Just looking for some ideas. And no I cant give out the url.