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All people link to me with a two-word phrase - and G penalized me
What to do?
Jessica




msg:61626
 8:17 am on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi have a site all about "blue widgets". Its also the name of the site.
All people link to me with "blue widgets".
And it appears that after Florida update my site is being penalized for this keyphrase :(

I can't just tell all the people to stop linking me with the same keyphrase.

What to do?

 

Powdork




msg:61627
 11:50 am on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

What to do
1.Change your title to something with no keywords. I recommend "-Asdf".
2.Create content using the keywords found on this weeks zeitgeist [google.com].
3.Put a link with your two word phrase pointing off your site towards some you want removed.;)
That should do it.
Or you can ride the storm out, look harder for other traffic, pay for other traffic, etc. Also, you can do your part by recomending another search engine to peers when appropriate.

DerekH




msg:61628
 2:18 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

One other, dare I say, less fatuous (<grin>), suggestion would be as follows...

If the pages that your other sites link to are fairly static, make some changes to these pages and place them on your site. Google is still visiting pages that change, and incorporating the updated pages into is cache and thence into its search results.

It therefore makes sense to change each page that you think is "broken" so that Google replaces it in its index.

DerekH

Miop




msg:61629
 2:28 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

People link to me with 6 keywords and my site has virutally disappeared.

ladylil




msg:61630
 4:36 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

The idea of penalizing a site for a certain term only because everyone uses that term in their link to them seems ludicrous. What about company names! A couple of the sites I manage received a lot of traffic through Google when people searched for their company name. Everyone LINKED to these sites using their company name. And now... SWOSH! Gone.

I used to frown upon other local web site designers who refused to do any marketing for their clients. Now I envy them.

Napoleon




msg:61631
 4:43 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>> Everyone LINKED to these sites using their company name. And now... SWOSH! Gone. <<

I've seen a couple like that. You've used the right word, 'ludicrous'. It's one of the factors that makes me think they can't simply leave things are they are.

crankin




msg:61632
 5:08 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

so, as a surfer, if I go looking for "blue widgets", the one thing I will NOT be able to find by typing "blue widgets" into Google is actual blue widgets...

That makes zero sense from any point of view. Especially when I can find lots of blue widgets at non-google search engines.

johnser




msg:61633
 5:21 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm not convinced at all thats its purely allinanchor thats responsible for the carnage.

>>>"People link to me with 6 keywords and my site has virutally disappeared"

If this was the sole factor at play, why would a well-known brown fizzy drink & a multinational computer company (known by its initials) each be no. 1 in the SERPs? Its not just anchor text.

I see it as there being a threshold. 100% anchor text, you're screwed. 50%, you're laughing.

Jessica, get another 6 links (of any kind above PR3) without your KW as anchor text & check again in 2 weeks.

mcavic




msg:61634
 7:38 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey people, I seriously doubt that Google is penalizing anyone based on words used to link to them. Just search for slash dot. The #1 listing is of course slashdot.org. Look at the cached page: "These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: slash dot"

bether2




msg:61635
 8:02 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Almost all of the backlinks for my home page have the same phrase (the name of my site) in the link. I haven't seen any fallout from the Florida update.

I know some people don't want to hear this, but my google traffic has increased since Florida - after taking a real thrashing from Dominic and Esmeralda.

Beth

rfgdxm1




msg:61636
 8:13 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Hey people, I seriously doubt that Google is penalizing anyone based on words used to link to them. Just search for slash dot. The #1 listing is of course slashdot.org. Look at the cached page: "These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: slash dot"

Plus tons of companies are still there with 2 and 3 word names. Pizza Hut and Burger King are still doing fine.

defanjos




msg:61637
 8:20 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey people, I seriously doubt that Google is penalizing anyone based on words used to link to them

I think you are wrong.

It seems the penalization happens only if a set of conditions are met. Don't ask me what they are, I don't know for sure, but have some suspicions.

caustic




msg:61638
 8:27 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

It has been suggested that Google is using a bayesian type filter. IF that is true, it seems likely that your homepage is being penalized (or filtered) for the term for which it is most optimized. That probably means it is not the anchor text alone but a sum total of all elements that have been flagged as spam.

In order to reduce your total "score" (similar to an email spam filter lie SpamAssassin) you could reduce the spamminess of a few elements like anchor text and keyword density on the page. It may be that there are "unnatural" occurances of the keyphrase also, that is, there are multiple occurances in the same tag (h1, title) or they occur consecutively in alt attributes. Try and eliminate those or increase the amount of other text on the page to compensate. One occurance of the keyprhase in each tag (title, h1, p, a and alt) would probably be enough for good optimization, you could also have "keyword2 keyword1" for variation.

As for the external anchor text, if you can change a couple of those as would be more natural (all anchor text the same may be flagged as spammy), fine, although nchor text alone would not be enough, it would have to be in addition to other spammy elements. You could if possible mix up your anchor text with a few "click here"s and other variations. That will bring the anchor text down to within what's expected to naturally occur on the net. Google "bayesian filter" for more.

johnser




msg:61639
 8:59 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

"bayesian type filter"

Whats this? Any links?
Thx

caustic




msg:61640
 9:19 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

yes, google "bayesian filter" for technical tetails and "seth finklestein" for his theory on Google's use of.

kaled




msg:61641
 9:44 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

If everyone links to you with the same phrase, it is entirely possible that you are not being penalised at all. It may be the case that you are simply seeing less benefit from the anchor text (i.e. Google have reduced the weighting given to anchor text).

IMHO too much weight is given to keywords in urls. If Google reduce this weighting, as I hope they do, those sites badly affected may claim they are being penalised but this will not be true.

Google state clearly that your site cannot be adversely affected by links, etc. on other sites. If this is true, penalties cannot be applied as you describe unless Google is able to determine that all the sites linking to you actually belong to you. Right now, it does not appear that Google have this technology.

Kaled.

steveb




msg:61642
 9:51 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

"What to do?"

Forget this train of thought you are on.

bekyed




msg:61643
 11:04 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Can you expand on this steve please,we are all hopelessly lost and are hearing different things as to what is right and what is wrong.

Bek

midnightcoder




msg:61644
 11:46 pm on Nov 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>"What to do?"

Like many of us you probably included your search term in "all the right places" and did well on Google. Problem is those simple SEO steps added together now trigger a filter for money-terms - Google has all the stats from adwords and toolbar to do this (Ok, that's debateable but seems right to me).
I think when you (re-)design you need to pull back a little from including *all* those "must do" SEO features that worked so well since Sep'02.

Crisco




msg:61645
 12:39 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

THIS has NOTHING to do with inbound anchor text - NOTHING!

Use your noggins - it would be too easy for others to affect your site!

kaled




msg:61646
 1:29 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Midnightcoder, yours is a theory - it is not fact (though it may be true).

Kaled.

Miop




msg:61647
 3:08 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Top pages seem to be relevant now because they have a link within their site pointing to the page which is indexed with the appropriate words in it.
I have recovered several top positions by putting links to my homepage in my links page with appropriate text in.

nippi




msg:61648
 3:24 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

When my 3 year wets the bed, it is always when I ahve white sheets on the bed. So white sheets must cause here to wet the bed...

Except, I only have white sheets. so the argument is not sound.

Same applies to anchor text. If you ahve 50 site linking you with the same anchor text and you've bombed out... I bet you also haveon page

<title>anchor text yadayda</title>
<a href=http://www.anchor-text.com/anchor-text/>anchor text</a>
<h1>anchor text></h1>
The words anchor text at least 5 times on the home page.
An image with name, title, alt tag and href text as anchor text.

etc etc

This is your problem. Google will never penalise for anchor text. Say a site is about george bush. Anchor text will in most cases so George Bush, except for those that say stupid idiot, and site will not be penalsiedfor it.

jady




msg:61649
 3:29 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

The issue is flawed, if indeed Google has implimented this sort of thing. (I think its bunk)

But IF THEY DID, I could basically place up a few websites, say informational websites. Create link exchange pages and link my competition with they keyword anchor text to get them penalized? I tend to think Google wouldnt impose a penalty for such off-site activity that could be a competitor trying to penalize ones site.

P.S. We have some sites with keyword anchor text and some with out - many have fell, some have improved - NO consistancy!

plumsauce




msg:61650
 3:33 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)


it would be too easy for others to affect your site!

and the new money guys at GOOGLE ramping up
for the IPO care because ...?

Dave_Hawley




msg:61651
 3:34 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

What to do?

Stop assuming the reason is anchor text. it is *highly* unlikley that this is the cause. I say this because

1) It would be too easy for competitors to get you dropped from the SERPS.

2) I have MANY inwards links that have *relevant* keyword anchor text

Also, totally ignore Powdork as his advise may well get you penalized. Especially using non-relevant keywords just because they are popular. Hopefully an editor will delete his post and send him a sticky.

The ONLY SEO I do is;

1) Add content daily.

2) Design all pages for humans (don't get caught up in hype from here and elsewhere).

3) Include a site map to ensure Google finds all pages.

4) Put *relevant* keywords in the Title, and Description tags but *ensure* it is easy to read for humans. *relevant* Keyword or 2 in page names, e.g. [domain.com...]

Dave

James_Dale




msg:61652
 4:50 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Some thoughts:

Sites like Amazon have a very low percentage of inbound links reading "books", "buy books" or "buy books online". The vast majority of Amazon's backlinks use their company name. This is far more natural than linking to a site with keywords (unless you are an SEO). That's the grim truth.

H1, H2, H3 - when was the last time you saw a modern, professional, worthy site using such old-fashioned tags? OK, there are some examples for sure, but H tags are more than anything else an SEO ingredient. If they are still popular, SEOs are largely to blame. Again, if we are being sensible we'll all concede this is pretty obvious - both to me, you, and Google.

On-theme backlinks are clearly important. Think web maps. Off theme sites are probably pretty useless now. No matter if you have a PR7 backlink, your links really ought to be absolutely on-theme.

From what I have seen this update, I believe it IS possible to harm a competitor by linking to them. If they have thousands of backlinks, you might not be able to do make a dent, but if they have a hundred or so, a quick PR7 off-topic link will see them falling.

If the "most important" sites linking to you are off-topic, what does that say about you?

1milehgh80210




msg:61653
 5:28 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

If the "most important" sites linking to you are off-topic, what does that say about you?"

Websites like amazon, and also directories won't have to worry about that since their sites are about "everything"
SEO trend of the future, make your site about -everything- lol.

Jessica




msg:61654
 6:48 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

It has been suggested that Google is using a bayesian type filter. IF that is true, it seems likely that your homepage is being penalized (or filtered) for the term for which it is most optimized. That probably means it is not the anchor text alone but a sum total of all elements that have been flagged as spam.
In order to reduce your total "score" (similar to an email spam filter lie SpamAssassin) you could reduce the spamminess of a few elements like anchor text and keyword density on the page. It may be that there are "unnatural" occurances of the keyphrase also, that is, there are multiple occurances in the same tag (h1, title) or they occur consecutively in alt attributes. Try and eliminate those or increase the amount of other text on the page to compensate. One occurance of the keyprhase in each tag (title, h1, p, a and alt) would probably be enough for good optimization, you could also have "keyword2 keyword1" for variation.

As for the external anchor text, if you can change a couple of those as would be more natural (all anchor text the same may be flagged as spammy), fine, although nchor text alone would not be enough, it would have to be in addition to other spammy elements. You could if possible mix up your anchor text with a few "click here"s and other variations. That will bring the anchor text down to within what's expected to naturally occur on the net. Google "bayesian filter" for more.

That makes sence Caustic.
I'll give it a try.

caustic




msg:61655
 7:03 am on Dec 1, 2003 (gmt 0)

Let us know how you go Jessica. I'm assuming you are going to reduce the occurence of the keyphrase in question, and that it is on the home page. If so, I assume that page is of sufficient PR to be spidered in the next few days. I have done the same for one PR7 homepage for the only keyphrase it is penalized.

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