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link pages being removed?
site has good PR, links page has PR0 or not indexed.
moehits




msg:185238
 5:24 pm on May 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Not sure if this has been discussed, or just a coincidence but,...

I'm seeing quite a few sites with good PR on all pages except their links page. These pages had PR before, now they are either PR0, or grey ( not indexed ).

It seems it's more consistent at sites that have just one links page with multiple topics on it, sites with multiple links pages (directory style links pages) on topic seem OK.

the consitencies I see are:

Most have link text pointing to them called links
Most are called links.htm or have links in the URL.
Most are 1 page, multi-topic links pages, e.g., there is no targeted theme to the page, anything from greeting cards to health sites all on same page.

Could these be mistaken for FFA's?

I haven't checked fully, but many are listed on "link trading" sites. Maybe peple have created link farms and don't realize it?

I've seen this on many sites. It doesn't seem like a coincidence.

 

Napoleon




msg:185358
 8:10 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> When you get rampant abuse on links pages, something has to be done <<

Give me a break... what is the web about if it isn't linking to other on topic sites?

If they start trying to stop that they can forget any sort of ethical SEO as far as I am concerned at least. It would be a joke, a farce, a nonesense. Totally contrary to the ethos of the web itself.

What is it coming to when folks on here are worried about legitimate sensible linking to other third party useful sites/content, from a page they happen to call links.

Ludicrous, and I simply cannot see it.

pleeker




msg:185359
 8:13 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

1. Do you have some sort of form so that visitors can submit a link to your links pages?

I won't answer the questions since they're directed at people seeing possible penalties on their links pages, but I'm curious -- what's your thinking, pageone, on why a submit form would factor into this and how Google would interpret it?

(I do have a submit form but all submissions are reviewed manually before being added to the database.)

xy123




msg:185360
 8:16 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

There's nothing wrong with links pages. But given they feature in spamming, and given that searchers using G are not generally searching for links pages, I dont see a problem with penalizing them. G can index what they like, and penalize what they like, if they think its in the interest of their users. Which in this case it probably is.

pageoneresults




msg:185361
 8:17 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Why a submit form would factor into this and how Google would interpret it?

Because most of the automated link generating programs have this feature and it leaves a footprint easily detectable by an algo.

Napolean, Google has done this in the past. There is nothing stopping them from doing it now.

martinibuster




msg:185362
 8:18 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

A submit form implies a FFA link farm.

Not the case with my squeaky clean page.

pageoneresults




msg:185363
 8:24 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

A submit form implies a FFA link farm.

I'll agree with that statement, although it does not apply to all.

Instead of having a submit form on that links page, why not link it to your contact form and give instructions on how to request a reciprocal link.

MeditationMan




msg:185364
 8:24 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

xy123:
Personally I think G is right to target links pages, if it is in fact doing this. If you search for widgets you dont want to find a load of links pages to other sites about widgets.

And in fact that's exactly what you don't find most of the time. Certainly very few of my links pages rank highly except for the most specific of searches.

My links pages exist so that I can recommend other sites that I think are worthwhile and may be of interest to people who have already visited my site. I've no interest in optimizing these pages since they are designed specifically to get people to leave my site.

Also, Google isn't targetting links pages as such (which would be relatively easy to do), just links pages with the word "link" in the filename, which is pretty silly. Even GG couldn't believe it.

I've renamed my links pages just to be on the safe side. Hopefully that's the problem solved.

pleeker




msg:185365
 8:25 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Because most of the automated link generating programs have this feature and it leaves a footprint easily detectable by an algo.

and

A submit form implies a FFA link farm.

Yikes. Then why would my site not be getting punished for this? (Impossible question to answer, I suppose....) My links page maintains the same PR as the home page, and the site itself ranks #2 in Google on the main keyword, behind only the official web site.

Interesting discussion, but the people that use my site like that links page and Google ain't making me change it. :-)

pleeker




msg:185366
 8:27 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Instead of having a submit form on that links page, why not link it to your contact form and give instructions on how to request a reciprocal link.

Well, the submit form is on its own page, but linked plainly from the main links page. For whatever that's worth.....

robertito62




msg:185367
 8:27 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Discussing why some sites have been PR0'd is a moot point, in my view.

Why webster's website, with over 450 backlinks, is now a PR0?

I think we do not know what is going on yet.

pageoneresults




msg:185368
 8:28 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Okay, let's add something else to the mix. For those of you who have experienced some sort of PR penalty on your links pages, are there any inbound links (external) to those pages?

For those of you who are not experiencing any penalities, do you have inbound links (external) to that specific links page?

MeditationMan




msg:185369
 8:33 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

There's nothing wrong with links pages. But given they feature in spamming, and given that searchers using G are not generally searching for links pages, I dont see a problem with penalizing them.

Heck, index pages feature in spamming. Let's penalize them too :)

Google relies on the democratic nature of the web, and Pagerank is dependant on counting the votes we all give each other. It seems that votes on a page containing the word "link" in the filename are no longer being counted. Google is of course free to do anything, but this is completely arbitrary.

It's the spammers who're likely to be amongst the first to rename their pages. So how effective was that little anti spam move on Google's part?

pleeker




msg:185370
 8:34 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

For those of you who are not experiencing any penalities, do you have inbound links (external) to that specific links page?

Hmmm. Just checked and I have zero external links pointing to my links page.

Kirby




msg:185371
 8:41 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's the spammers who're likely to be amongst the first to rename their pages. So how effective was that little anti spam move on Google's part?

Excellent point and reason #1 why IMO Google isn't doing this. This is not to say that Google isn't doing something with links, but I doubt that this is their idea of a solution.

My links page has PR4 with only internal links and no use of "links" in either title or url.

Newer pages have grey bar where last week it was a PR3 guesstimate.

[edited by: Kirby at 8:44 pm (utc) on May 20, 2003]

r3ved




msg:185372
 8:44 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Note: I am not drawing any conclusions here, just an observation.

1. My site is very new. I setup the domain name a while ago and had one or two other sites link to it so I would be sort of in the index when I developed it. Either way it has a PR of 5 and is awaiting about 100 link exchanges and another 100 or so new links (have not shown in the index yet)

2. The only page on my site getting hits right now is my links page. This is due to an in inadvertent string of text in the description at the top of the links page. My links page however is not links.htm, rather it is links.asp.

3. About a week ago I observed Google looking for links.htm on my site and getting a 404. I went ahead and created links.htm and checked the back-links and nothing showed (I then deleted it).

4. The impression I got was that Google was looking to see if I had a links page. Take that info for what it's worth, as there is still a possibility that someone linked to my site, messing up the URL and it did not show in the back-wards links search.

BigDave




msg:185373
 8:55 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was just thinking about when I first put my site up. Google crawled my home page and immediately went to my links pages with freshbot. They never hit any of my other pages till the next month.

At the time I figured that they wanted the links pages, even if they were not high enough PR to be fresh crawled, because they were a very efficient way to find links to new sites.

And if that was their reasoning, it worked. They picked up at least 4 personal home pages that they never had before and 3 companies that had never made it into the index.

That sort of thing seems incompatable with putting together some sort of blanket links.* penalty.

ulounge




msg:185374
 8:58 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have a site with numerous product categories and several sub categories within these.

I created a site map so that people could at a glance view all the sub categories without having to navigate into each category section.

I just checked and my sitemap page now has a PR 0.

pageoneresults




msg:185375
 9:01 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

That sort of thing seems incompatable with putting together some sort of blanket links.* penalty.

BigDave, I tend to agree with you on that statement. I don't think they are targeting just links pages in themselves. There is some other determining factor on those pages that may be penalized that is causing the problem. Whether it is how the page is formatted, the text that surrounds the links, the size of the page, the number of outbound links, links to and from the links page, etc. There are just too many factors involved to come up with one concrete answer to this issue.

I still think it might be too early to tell. Another week or so and we can come back and gather all the info and come up with a conclusion, what does everyone think?

badger_uk




msg:185376
 9:05 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I was in the process of signing up with ebay and noticed the registration page had a white toolbar, when I hit refresh the toolbar then went grey.

Do you think this is a toolbar problem? or is google hitting registration pages as well as links pages.

This update gets stranger by the hour.

suggy




msg:185377
 9:08 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Good point there... how many people are calling a grey bar PR0? We should be specific. A grey bar isn't likely to be a penalty, but an incomplete index.

Suggy

mahlon




msg:185378
 9:13 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Our links pages look ok, one of them has over a hundred links and has PR4, no grey bar.

Stefan




msg:185379
 9:21 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

For those of you who are not experiencing any penalities, do you have inbound links (external) to that specific links page?

None. Just one internal link from the main page. site.org/links.htm is still at PR5

steve128




msg:185380
 9:25 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

"Good point there... how many people are calling a grey bar PR0? We should be specific. A grey bar isn't likely to be a penalty, but an incomplete index"

A once ranked PR page, that goes grey would indeed suggest a full penalty.

The confusion lies because of the present "update"
A page that was say PR4, now shows grey because the data is old and the page/site at that time was new.
Which normally means "new" and grey.

To add to the confusion, new pages added to a site normally get a guesstimate of PR based on the home page, now these show white. (if added after feb/march)

Grey or white is not a concern at this time, because everything is up in the air.

walthamstow




msg:185381
 9:36 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm still trying to find out why just one page on my site has gone to a white bar from a PR5 whilst all other pages on the site have been relatively unaffected.

The page consists of an antique dating tool that due to it's popularity has been linked to from various sites that are in the same vein. I have now found that two unsolicited (and unreciprocated) external links to it are from 'reciprocal links' pages, one of which has a grey and the other a white PR.

Would this be causing my page to be penalised? I have emailed webmaster@google.com regarding it but don't know when or if I might receive a reply.

pageoneresults




msg:185382
 9:38 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

A once ranked PR page, that goes grey would indeed suggest a full penalty.

True in some cases. Another reason for gray toolbar would be that the site was not accessible during a deep crawl. The site may remain in the index and still pull decent positions even though it does have a gray bar. I have personal experience with that issue. Scared the heck out of me! ;)

martinibuster




msg:185383
 9:40 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Another week or so and we can come back and gather all the info and come up with a conclusion.

Yeah, I think a week may be fair. I'm not sweating it so much as curious to know the cause- I hate unknown variables.

It's weird to me because it hit one of my links pages, and skipped another on the same site.

It's like having a rash on one arm and worrying that it's going to spread to the rest of your body.

I'm going to let it run it's course.

steve128




msg:185384
 9:41 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

"I'm still trying to find out why just one page on my site has gone to a white bar from a PR5 whilst all other pages on the site have been relatively unaffected."

Has the page been added/changed/altered in any way round about Jan/Feb/March?

coolasafanman




msg:185385
 10:10 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi, I'm a lurker since most of you know far more than I do, but I think I might start becomming an active participant.

Here's something to throw at the wolves: I did a Google search for '[edit -rcj]' and perused the top site that came up. It doesn't appear to be very optimized, has '[edit -rcj]' only in a few comment fields on page one, and a few references on page 2 within the body of the text. One thing it does have though, is a lot of html links to stylesheets, and styles embedded with [] as part of the name. If this is what's giving the site rank, Google really needs to resolve some issues. Granted it has a PR9.

[edited by: rcjordan at 10:17 pm (utc) on May 20, 2003]
[edit reason] Per the charter: no specific references to search terms. [/edit]

walthamstow




msg:185386
 10:14 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Steve 128,

Yes, the page in question was changed slightly during that time by the addition of some text and graphics but so were 99% of the other pages on the site and none of those are affected.

In fact all the nine 'main' pages linked to from the home page remain at PR5 (like the home page itself) except for this one page.

chiyo




msg:185387
 10:20 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Seems like a good way for google to devalue reciprocal links, as they are mainly stuck on a page of links with limited value for users.

Now if they are presented in context with more text and naturally within the site, it is more likely they are legitimate useful links that are not just there because of a "swap".

Lots of lists of links can be very useful however to users of a site. I can think of many. But that is a separate issue as to whether its useful for them to be indexed or to pass PR from in the google SERPS, though it may be useful for Google to follow the links when it's crawling.

walthamstow




msg:185388
 10:25 pm on May 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

Incidentally my themed "Useful Links" page which is also one of the main pages linked from the home page has remained at PR5. It contains 45 links to external on topic sites of which 75% have an average of 50 words review of their content beneath the link to aid users.

All the nine 'main' pages also have links to each other and the home page on each one.

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