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Semi-Penalty
new with google?
AthlonInside




msg:79332
 11:38 am on May 17, 2003 (gmt 0)

From SJ to FI, then CW and now DC, i have confirm a new things happened with the new algo.

In FI, CW and DC, my site is in the index. Most search terms performing the same as usual, EXCEPT the top keywords.

Top keywords are keywords used a lot in anchor text and contained in the title of my page.

The reason I am posting this is not to blame google or what. I need to at least find our the reason why this is happening.

Anyone here having the same experience? Maybe we can discussed here and find out the reason. Maybe there is a new filter working againt us.

 

AthlonInside




msg:79362
 7:00 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Do you guys think exchanging links with sites which uses ZEUS causes the problem? Because this site tend to copy the title from our site.

AthlonInside




msg:79363
 8:56 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

Huh, AB is the same too.

dawlish




msg:79364
 9:23 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is my first post in this forum as I don't really get involved in the SEO side of things. I am a web designer (graphics rather than coding) and i have developed a few sites for the organisation that employs me. I also operate my own site which is not commerical, nor is it in an area which is at all competitive.

However I have been following the posts on the current google update saga with interest as I have noticed my site seems to have been effected by the possible semi penalty that is being discussed in this threas.

Up until now I have been able to get a number one position for what I see as my most important query purely because there are few, if any other sites on the subject.

Essentially the site is a hobby site and I don't make a penny from it, my reward is the feedback from visitors and the encouragement to add more content. I understand I cannot mention my site by name but it is a tribute site to a radio station that is no more.

In the UK for most of today the version of google currently on -fi seems to have been quite stable on www. I notice that my site no longer appears for the query of importance. The query of importance is the site name which is word 1 word 2 word 3. (station name tribute) My site however is in the index and can be located when I search using a word combination that appears within the home page content.

There are quite a few sites, some for which I have exchanged links with, but many others you have linked on a non reciprocal basis. The link text tends to be the site name word 1 word 2 word 3.

I cannot believe that a penalty could be applied because of this. Surely sites such as the BBC would also suffer the penalty as I would imagine a significant number of links would use the anchor text "BBC".

What I have noticed is that my index page has been indexed as both wwww.domain.co.uk/default.html as well as www.domain.co.uk

On the site navigation I have a link to home which links to the file index.html. Perhaps Google is seeing this as duplicate spam and applying a penalty to that page? However I have not made any changes to my navigation for sometime and have not suffered this problem until now.

It would be a pity if all the hard work I have done over the past three years compiling audio clips, archiving newspaper clippings etc is in vain.

For my site there is only one phrase that matters as 90% of my visitors arrive at the site by searching for the station name. I have never engaged in optimising the site as I have always found I've had a good position based on the content of the site.

[edited by: dawlish at 9:30 pm (utc) on May 18, 2003]

Spica




msg:79365
 9:25 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

AthlonInside:

There is not a single reciprocal link on my site. I don't do link exchange.

steveb




msg:79366
 9:48 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

There is no evidence of anything "normalizing."

My site's main page was fourth or fifth for allinanchor allintext and allintitle. Now I am 20+ for all those, despite increasing links while sites that moved above me surely didn't... given that one uk.co one doesn't even exist anymore!

Is there a toolbar penalty?
Is there and adwords penalty?

Even saying both those should just be nonsense, but what *is* the explanation? Besides some other bizarro penalty ideas, the only other choice is simple: Google has done something ineptly.

rfgdxm1




msg:79367
 9:53 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

>If you do an allinanchor search across the nine data centers, it yields some interesting results. What is of course hard to divine is what/why G is doing on this front (i.e., what are their criteria for dampening anchor text in some cases and not others...and what impact will it have if they decide to go with this).

In my case, it looks like the anchor text is totally missing in action to the home page of my site, rather than dampened. As in I'm #5 for allinchor on the old index, and totally gone from the new index. Hmm...very interesting. Not totally gone. For some reason, my site is #36 on that as domain.com. However, it always comes up in searches as www.domain.com. Looks like Google lost all anchor text for this site with the www, yet because someone, somewhere must link to it as domain.com without the www that slipped through. Makes sense if on the www the anchor text is totally MIA. No way then of merging links to root with links to www. As far as the allinchor: command knows, my site doesn't even exist at www.domain.com at all.

steveb




msg:79368
 10:00 pm on May 18, 2003 (gmt 0)

My www.domain.com is PR6

My domain.com has always had a PR3, I guess because it gets a couple oddball links, and I've never learned how to do that 301 redirect stuff

My domain.com is right now showing a white toolbar.

Is Google ineptly getting confused and not looking at linking to www.domain.com when a domain.com is available?

troi21




msg:79369
 12:22 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

i believe the same has happened to me. all other keyphrases have not budged in the SERPS but my most important has gone from three to 24. i am, however, number one for allinanchor so i don't know what's going on.

wackmaster




msg:79370
 4:19 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

What *seems* clear is that something is being tweaked in this algo regarding the anchor text. (As soon as I commit that to writing, I'm guessing someone will prove it wrong ;-) )

rfgdxm1, just out of curiosity, have they lost both internal and external backlinks on your keywords (if you can tell)? Also, I'm just wondering if the text phrase you lost sounds in some way artificial.

I've developed a theory...time to reveal it I guess. I'm wondering if G is penalizing backlink text that is not related in some obvious way to site names and/or URLs. Just a theory right now. Does that make any sense to anyone else?

rfgdxm1




msg:79371
 4:54 am on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>rfgdxm1, just out of curiosity, have they lost both internal and external backlinks on your keywords (if you can tell)? Also, I'm just wondering if the text phrase you lost sounds in some way artificial.

It is in no way articficial to the site. The phrase is a 3 letter acronym that designates a legal pharmaceutical. Quite commonly known; in fact I get more hits on that from search engines than on the full generic name, which I am #1 on in every search engine at the moment I believe, and even without the anchor text in Google I fell only from #1 to #3 in the new index because it is so non-competitive. Because this 3 letter acronym also happens to also represent part of the trademark of about half a dozen different companies, and the name of an electronic musical act, it is reasonably competitive. Even with the site having a home page PR of 6, without the inbound anchor text I get buried in the SERPs. If you want to do well in Google today, inbound anchor text is critical. No longer is good PR + good on page optimization enough to do well.

textex




msg:79372
 12:04 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

For me initially it was just a few sites that fell more than normal positions.

Over the weekend one site fell into oblivion for top phrase but bounced up for another phrase.

Another site is completely gone for all terms. The strange thing is that this site that is nowhere to be found is in the index but no longer has any links. This site just got indexed in April update. Has the index reverted to an even older one and my listing is a Fresh listing?

If this is true that some sort of mini penalty is being enforced, I am up sh*$ts creek when new links are factored in.

I can not understand why Google would do this. How do you exchange links? I am hoping that the Blog/Bomb filter is turned on but the relevance filter is not.

Just curious, how are you guys linking?

I am currently linking
blue widgets - brand new blue widgets - description

My anchor text are in title, h1 and h2, and content.

Alby




msg:79373
 1:01 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I can confirm that we are also caught in the semi-penalty.

On -sj one of my sites is ranking #4 with an allinanchor: search for a highly competitive keyword, but in the -sj SERPS I am about #230. Last months ranking used to be #7. Almost all of our incoming links have a “perfect” anchortext for our main keyword, and these words also appear in our domain like www.keyword1-keyword2-unrelatedword.com

I think what we need to do now is to try to get a grip on what we all have in common that could be causing us this penalty. Here are some of the points of my site. Maybe others that have the same penalty can use my number system below and state which of my points also apply to them?

1.We rank highly, (#4) with an allinanchor: search but very poorly, (#230) for a normal search in –sj.

2.We have “perfect” anchortext in almost all incoming links, and they amount to a substantial number of links since this is a highly competitive keyword. The ranking of other keywords with only a few incoming links seems to be unaffected.

3.Relatively new site. Our site is no more than 4 months old, while all of our competitors in the top-10 have been there for at least a year.

4.Site is “very optimised”. We use the keyword in the title, H1, H2 and a number of times in body text, including a couple of times in alt tags but with full sentences only.

5.All internal links to the index page, (main keyword), have the keyword as anchortext.

6.We don’t have a single guestbook link or link from similar “seedy” sites, but I would estimate that about 50% of our incoming links are from sites with unrelated themes. Most of our competitors seem to have like 80%-90% themed links so this is definitely something I am considering as the cause. However, I think the fall is too big for these links simply not to be taken into account, there has to be a penalty involved. I could see us end up #25-40 in the SERPS with those links discounted, but not #230.

7.We don’t use any hidden text or other “tricks” on our site that could be causing the penalty, so I don’t think this is a factor.

If anyone else has more ideas of what could be involved in this penalty please continue on my number system and hopefully we can soon beat this penalty. :)

I think we have to keep in mind that this penalty could be based on a “scoring system” so that if you do too many things “perfect” Google considers that you are an SEO and should be penalised. This is actually the worst-case-scenario I think, because it means that they can probably easily change the “score” up or down to keep us guessing... :(

textex




msg:79374
 1:09 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Everytime I try and figure this out through studying results, my competitors, my sites, ect. I find something that contradicts all theories.

I hope and think it is too early to draw any fine conslusions. Otherwise we are dealing with a biased penalty.

Alby




msg:79375
 1:18 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Everytime I try and figure this out through studying results, my competitors, my sites, ect. I find something that contradicts all theories.

I agree, but I think that is because the theory you come up with is built on insufficient data. I think we all need to work together and provide info on our penalised sites to find the common thread and crack this one.

textex




msg:79376
 1:30 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

"I agree, but I think that is because the theory you come up with is built on insufficient data."

Unfortunately and fortunately I do not feel my conclusions are unformable due to insufficient data.

trillianjedi




msg:79377
 1:36 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'll throw my data in here for a new site of ours if it's of any use although it's too early for me to start concluding anything:-

1. Hobby site - non-commercial

2. First deepcrawl in April

3. Good inbound links. In DMOZ etc. 95% of inbounds on-theme and on-topic. 80% of inbounds have keyword anchortext (the site name includes keyword, although the keyword is not in the domain. So, most anchortext is "keyword [name1] [name2] [name3]").

4. Keyword in all page titles twice (not in a spammy way), H1 text in places and throughout site but all in context, not spammy by any stretch of the imagination.

5. AllinAnchor:keyword reveals almost identical SERPS as regular search for keyword on it's own. Last time I looked on -fi, the regular keyword search was 1 place higher.

6. We are currently PR0, although this is a brand new site and suspect our PR has not been calculated yet. My best guess from the inbound links that I know will have been crawled in April is that we will be PR3 or PR4, slight chance of PR5 if some of the chunky links got crawled in April but I'm not sure at the moment.

Hope that's of some use to anyone. Let me know if it helps narrow anything down or rule anything out.

TJ

wackmaster




msg:79378
 1:41 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

The weird thing here is that we have some sites that have gone up in the new SERP's; some that have gone down. But the ones that have gone down, generally speaking, have *more* backlinks than those that went up, and those backlinks are not new - they are well established ones. One might have expected the opposite. Also, most of the backlinks contain limited text that reflects our primary keywords.

One site in particular that has done very badly in the new SERP's (so far) might be said to be the one with the best backlinks of all, meaning the most relevant and a lot of them...and that site also has a site name and URL that contains the two primary keywords (no dashes).

My best thought is that unless they are dampening or killing anchor text that is *too* good...which is hard to believe...then perhaps this still reflects some testing that is going on. I sure hope GG is right when he says that when all the other data is in there that this will all look great.

Hmmmm, maybe at some point all my sites that are doing well will flip flop with all those that are not.

doc_z




msg:79379
 2:00 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Alby,

it seems that you have a simalar problem than I have. Therefore, I compare the situation:

> Almost all of our incoming links have a “perfect” anchortext for our main keyword

the same

> and these words also appear in our domain like www.keyword1-keyword2-unrelatedword.com

different (www.company.de)

> 1.We rank highly, (#4) with an allinanchor: search but very poorly, (#230) for a normal search in –sj.

the same (also, the situation on FI, CW, DC, VA and AB is the same as for SJ)

> 2.We have “perfect” anchortext in almost all incoming links, and they amount to a substantial number of links since this is a highly competitive keyword. The ranking of other keywords with only a few incoming links seems to be unaffected.

the same

> 3.Relatively new site. Our site is no more than 4 months old, while all of our competitors in the top-10 have been there for at least a year.

different (the site is 5 years old)

> 4.Site is “very optimised”. We use the keyword in the title, H1, H2 and a number of times in body text, including a couple of times in alt tags but with full sentences only.

our site is optimized, i.e. we use <H1>, <b>, <strong>, but I don't think it's over-optimized

> 5.All internal links to the index page, (main keyword), have the keyword as anchortext.

different (just one page is linking with the usual anchor text to the index page)

> 6.We don’t have a single guestbook link or link from similar “seedy” sites, but I would estimate that about 50% of our incoming links are from sites with unrelated themes. Most of our competitors seem to have like 80%-90% themed links so this is definitely something I am considering as the cause.

no guestbook links. mostly 'good', but unrelated links from our clients. However, the situation is the same for our competitors, i.e. they also have mostly unrelated links.

> 7.We don’t use any hidden text or other “tricks” on our site that could be causing the penalty, so I don’t think this is a factor

The only unusual thing I found was a script for flash detection. However, I removed this.

> I think we have to keep in mind that this penalty could be based on a “scoring system” so that if you do too many things “perfect” Google considers that you are an SEO and should be penalised.

I don't believe in this theory. Although I don't have a better one. Maybe they have implemented different kind of filters. In this case the problems could be caused by different reasons.

MurphyDog




msg:79380
 2:37 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Well, I started two sites in February, and both got PR5 in April. Now they are both PR0.

Oddly, I have increased the pages and relevant info in both, and gotten into DMOZ.

Even more oddly, I am still returning high on keywords in Google searches.

I simply do not understand, and plan to wait to see what is happening.

soapystar




msg:79381
 2:38 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

i have this problem..except where the optimised word or words arent the first words in title and H1. So i see that you can link like you did before...but your title should be random-word keyword..and the same for h1....it seems you cant start your h1 tags and title with the same keywords youve used in your anchor text. i wonder if its ok if the keywords match your domain name.

of course when googleguy says make a site that users will want and then google will like you too you have to wonder...penalizing sites simply because they have used the same words in the title and h1 tags and ignoring the content actually on the page would surely amount to suicide.....

[edited by: soapystar at 2:44 pm (utc) on May 19, 2003]

trillianjedi




msg:79382
 2:43 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Found another couple of sites, both of which have no keywords in the main page text whatsoever, just once in the title and the rest are only in anchor text inbounds.

Both rank #1 and #2 in the search engines respectively in -fi etc.

Both have the keyword in the URL.

So perhaps google puts weight on keyword.com but not keyword anchortext for someotherword.com?

TJ

soapystar




msg:79383
 2:49 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

content seems to count less...anchor text seems to count less....google seems to be scoring the amount of seo done....google has become paranoid...!

Roland7




msg:79384
 3:37 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


I have to agree with Trilliangedi. -->Seems like google puts weight on keyword.com but not keyword anchortext for someotherword.com.

I am experiencing the same problem. I'm #1 for keyword1-keyword2-keyword3.com but not for the rest.

Just remember that as long as we design for the user we will be ok in the long run.

Roland

AthlonInside




msg:79385
 4:21 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hmmm, I think this is the first time Google take actions againts

1. ZEUS
2. LinksManager

Which are the link trading scheme. So we are violating google guidelines as participating in PR boosting scheme. I didn't participate in either but I do have a lot of links to site which participate in them.

pixel_juice




msg:79386
 4:26 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just to mention again that I have a site suffering the same way, which has never had any kind of link campaign whatsoever, and is given credit for links across all the data centres. It ranks well for the main keyphrase on sj but not on any of the others.

So IMO either there are a number of reasons for the 'semi penalty' (if it exists) to occur, or it is on page factors that are the cause.

gomer




msg:79387
 5:48 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a site that is in the same boat and is suffering, (for now anyway), from this 'semi-penalty'.

I feel the same way as soapystar and pixel_juice:

>>google seems to be scoring the amount of seo done

>>So IMO either there are a number of reasons for the 'semi penalty' (if it exists) to occur, or it is on page factors that are the cause.

For my index page on this update, I did not change any content but I did change the title of the page and an H1 tag. AthlonInside mentioned that he had also added an H1 tag.

For anyone experiencing this (potential) semi-penalty, did you 're-optimize' the page without changing content?

wackmaster




msg:79388
 5:51 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

pixel-juice,

one possibility: they are testing this filter on -fi and the other data centers, but because it's new and questionable, perhaps they are leaving it out of -sj.

I sort of think that the reason many webmasters are doing better in -sj than the other dc's is because -sj is the more stable and well tested of the bunch...though others have speculated that it's just older (and more like where we were before Dominic).

AthlonInside




msg:79389
 6:22 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

gomer:

I have removed my h1 tags so the next deep crawl will not find it again. :) How good if it is really this reason.

How many h1 did you put? Same for entire site?

ogletree




msg:79390
 6:48 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you have a problem with the way the results are showing up on the dominic GoogleGuy said to do a sapm report. I have a copy of the post

GoogleGuy:
........If you have feedback about this index, do a spam report with your nickname, mention webmasterworld, but also include "dominic" in the comments. If people have general feedback or specific examples about this index, that's the best way to get the examples to us............

Post #24 [webmasterworld.com...]

soapystar




msg:79391
 6:58 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

there is no doubt at all that the anchor text right now only gets weight if it matches your domain name...even if its a subdomain..so...the solution?..simple.....

a 301 redirect from someother.com to keywords.someotherdomain.com

...."SORTED"(a UK expression..you wouldnt understand!)

p.s. or even make the homepage someother.com/keyword.html

gomer




msg:79392
 7:02 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

AthlonInside:

I have just one H1 tag per page. The page did not have one originally and so I added one. Good luck with your changes.

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