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New type of Google penalty?
No more PR0?

 9:10 pm on Feb 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am fairly certain that Google is now developing new methods to deal with unwanted (yet perhaps higher profile) sites, to minimise their impact on the SERPs. After the recent cries of webmasters who have been suddenly dropped (SearchKing for example), I think that Google are trying a new tactic now.

I won't give a specific example, but I can tell you that one site had pages dropped from the index every day for two weeks until it was down to just the front page. The PR is intact (and it is a high PR site).

This is clever by Google, because it makes it much harder for webmasters to complain. Firstly their site *IS* technically still in the index, although only a single page. Secondly, the PageRank is still there, so no more claims of PageRank zero penalty. Thirdly, the pages were removed over time, so no sudden drop offs to look like a hand edit. Google just got sneaky.

Be ready to see more sites disappearing in this way; this is the new Google penalty I think.



 12:29 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well - you *can* argue with it - for whatever
it's worth.

If it's automatic - it should spider eventually -
and come back I would think.

If it is manual - it would be nice to know what
the offending issue(s) is, so it can be corrected,
and life progress as normal.

Thoughts and ideas?


 12:43 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Also - a problem. If they were hand editing - I
agree with the other person - they would likely
hammer time all at one.

This seems to be more incremental. TRUE PR drops,
displayed PR does not. But the site is affected
by the TRUE PR.

For instance - if my site IS a PR4 - but shows
a PR6 - then it makes perfect sense.

The sub-pages would all be a TRUE PR2 or PR3 -
and would drop out of the index.

This makes my head hurt ... (laugh)

Thoughts and ideas?


 1:19 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Not too sure Cowboy, but I read someone else saying something about "sites that exist in isolation that extensively crosslink."

My site extensively cross-links and only has 19 backlinks (according to google, in reality I have 60+ documented).

My site is a PR5. My homepage is extensively cross-linked (shows up on all 60+ pages of my site). My homepage is nowhere in the index for my keywords, except if you do the Florida thing (take the first letter off the keyword phrase search).

Some of my sub-pages can be found while others can't, but I am beginning to think this may be because the ones I can't find are extensively cross-linked.

Is anyone else with dropped pages finding that maybe their pages are dropped b/c of extensive cross-linking with few backlinks (according to Google)?


 1:45 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

You may have something - keep talking a bit more - you definately have my ear.

I had 1400 links showing. Probably more like 2400 outbound. I don't know what defines existing in isolation - or heavily cross linked. Maybe I have been living under a rock - but this is a new idea for

I really don't know. That is God's honest truth. That is why I registered today - and posed my question. Thinking perhaps I can't see the forest
for all the trees in the way. Looking for a fresh
idea or two.

I would like to understand your concept in a little more depth, if you don't mind taking the time.



 2:19 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

It would be very easy to randomly remove a number of pages over time. This of course makes it look less deliberate, but I am convinced that this *is* a deliberate effect to create just this kind of confusion amongst webmasters. Works doesn't it?

The site that started this was a PR7, with no crosslinking at all. The site went from 40,000 pages in Google to 1 in two weeks, losing a few hundred to a few thousand most days. Google spidering of the site stopped almost competely at the same time.


 2:32 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

>I am convinced that this *is* a deliberate effect to create just this kind of confusion amongst webmasters.

Solipsism is a logically irrefutable philosophy. But _I_ cannot logically believe that _you_ are correct in believing it.

Google has a REAL business. Why would they WANT to expand into the "confuse-a-cat" business?

No, it's a simple observable fact that any algorithm on large complex data sets will yield counterintuitive results. They don't have to try to confuse people. Anyone who tries to understand the results without really grokking the fundamental concepts of matrix algebra is inevitably GOING to be confused. But -- would you think GM manufactures cars for no other reason to make you dizzy, because you spent too much time staring at the hubcap of the car in the next lane? Would you call someone who did that, "sane"?


 2:39 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Rememeber a while back they are asking programmers to come forward and help with coding so that they could actually make things work better?

And remember a while ago it was brought up that Google might be running out of assignment addresses for documents in their database?

Well maybe 1 or both of these is the problem and Google are finding themselves in a position where they are actually capable of indexing the web like before.

Maybe, quite simply, their technology is not able to keep up with the growth of the web. I've noticed recently that search times have increased a bit (as per their own clock). I've seen 1 or 2 searches recently that have been over 1 second in timing, just for 10 results. The average time these days seems to be about 0.2 seconds. Doesn't seem like a lot, but didn't it used to be below 0.1 on average?

Might be the reason they are removing pages, just to overcome the problems.

Personally though, I'd be downright disgusted if I found out that they were removing pages manually (or even via automatically) as a form of penalty. As searching becomes more complex with users using more terms per search (2 and 3 words for joe public) then it would almost certainly mean that Google's relavency would be reduced, by definition, seeing as their catalog would be smaller than other sites!


 2:52 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

>Google has a REAL business. Why would they WANT to expand into the "confuse-a-cat" business?

ROFL! <rfgdxm1 wipes cola off of monitor> I salute you hutcheson for one of the most amusing applications of Occam's Razor I have ever seen in an argument. ;)


 3:48 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I'll repeat my question, as it was disregarded.

Is anyone else with dropped pages finding that maybe their pages are dropped b/c of extensive cross-linking with few backlinks (according to Google)?


 6:59 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)


what do you people think, whatever sites went down in G will they be back in Google..? Not at their actual positions but at least back to G. Do any body know, once Google bann a domain, is there any possibility to get this domain back in their + list.

Thanks in Advance


 9:14 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

markis: Not my own sites but competitors...and they r all going down slowly...the most proftable business has now zero SE visibility and others in the chain are also getting "google link cancer" ...
Extensive crosslinking between domains and existing in isolation means that a group of sites say 500 or so are linked only to this group of sites and have no other connection to the web ... removing the top site within this group tends to defeat the purpose of this exercise and this is what G is trying seemingly ...
The approach some SEO kings use is to give a PR boost and anchor link text boost to a customer site ..ensures that the customer is forever in their trap..
As far as slow results are concerned i think the penalization process is nowhere involved while a search goes on ..the process affects the index itself and the parameters associated with each entity in index .
May be google is carrying out a statistical analysis before making this algo a part of an update and a sample of removed sites could be manually checked to determine the functioning of algo cuz a lot of people who should be ( ahem..sorry) penalized are still doing well.


 9:41 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I am sorry but I think I missed the whole scene here due to extra work on "what to do with links".

Is this a penalty, what is the penalty for? Is it for Cross linking?


 9:58 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Remember there can be lots of reasons your pages dropped, not just penalties. Think of G cleaning their caches, changing algo's (and not ranking a couple of pages high enough to be in the index), etc.

As far as I have seen, pages have been dropped from several sites, but I suspect the problem to be theming. Why? Cause most, if not all, of the pages still visible somehow have to do with the themes on the sites I checked, while I'm sure a couple of pre-Austin visible links didn't. Can't prove this yet, and am not 100% convinced myself, but this is - for me at least - by far the most viable cause.


 10:47 am on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)


Google has banned 10 domains for 1 popular search (2 keywords)

This 10 domains have all their pages indexed and keep in the first positions of the rest of not so popular searches, like this 2 keywords + another one like free, download or online


Google just use a new algorritm more complexed for the more popular searches.

In my opinion is not manual, they know the top popular searches and they use it in that searches.

PR helps, but is not only PR question (Microsoft.com has PR 10 and isnt showed in every search)

Links, words density, neighborhood... there are a lot of factors.

Sorry for my english! I'speak catalan.


 12:48 pm on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Welcome Ferran to this world where everything counts, links, title, PR, ..........................


 1:01 pm on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

That sounds like the usual Florida issue, Bobby_Davro is talking about something else here I think.

Bobby_Davro, You have probably thought of this, but Once the "penalty" is put in place, then as pages then go from the serps, this could create a spiralling effect.

There would be fewer backlinks into the index page....

which would support fewer pages listed on the site....

which would in turn mean pages would be removed, and so on.
The PR left on the home page would be the PR from the remaining external links.

In other words we are talking about the opposite of normal site growth.

It is a site death.

Clever, and simple. A site would only nead a small nudge to send it this way.


 1:32 pm on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

the only thing i notice is that the non anglosaxon google's are remain the same,google.de,google.it google.es what does that means?they keep there datas at the non english speaking countries just in case they will be vanished as the top search engine and go back to pre austin/florida? i believe they make expirements before they go to dow jones so dont warry thats what i believe ,at the moment the anglosaxon google's SERPS are c...p


 2:52 pm on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

George, I think that you may well be on the right lines there. There are far to many posts in this thread not related to the effect that I am describing.

As I said, this is not a cross linking issue, nor is it a theming one. The site was very well structured to concentrate the theming. All I would say is it may have been a site that Google took a dislike to.

And Hutscheson, I completely disagree with you. Google are indeed running a business, based massively on their brand. They have to do everything that they can to protect that brand. If that means not being seen to discriminate against webmasters, then that is what they will do. Google have always used penalties, and it has never done their reputation much good. If they have found a way to penalise without being seen to penalise, then it is much better for their PR department.

Do you see Googleguy in here refuting the theory? I didn't think so.


 4:13 pm on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Assuming it may be a penalty of some sort - I have heard that there is a email contact of some sort where
you can write to Google, and perhaps get your site re-indexed. Does anybody happen to know what this email address is?



 4:37 pm on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hi, yes am a new comer.

I don't think google is removing pages manually. My site is on a catetory of G, wich is human based.

When a search for my 3 words target on google's main page, i don't find me at all. It's since Austin. BUT, when i search for those keywords on the directory listing...yeap am first. It sounds like they are really doing some try.


 4:38 pm on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

As I said, this is not a cross linking issue, nor is it a theming one. The site was very well structured to concentrate the theming. All I would say is it may have been a site that Google took a dislike to.

This is very interesting. In most of the SERPs that I look at there is hardly an root index to be found.

Are you sure that you don't have a dupe issue with both www and none www domains. Or have you moved server and therefore IP and Googlebot is perhaps still trying to spider the old IP that it has in its cache? Do you have any bad redirects?

I've seen all of these things mentioned here as a reason for pages being dropped from the index enmasse or via a slow death.

I'm not sure if any of this will help you in your search for an answer but I guess that you are desperate to find out what has happenned.

Another idea. I kicked up a bit of a stink when someone at Google sent me a standard reply to a specific problem like this. Basically I told them that I felt insulted and that they clearly had not read my email. I then asked them to specifically check if there was any sort of penalty on my site to which they confirmed that there was no penalty. Give that a try, even if you get a canned reply first reply and reply again to that until someone takes seriously.

Best wishes



 4:42 pm on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't think google is removing pages manually.

But I know for sure they do it for entire domains. So why not for a single "mis-behaving" site?


 6:15 pm on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Hissingsid, I did consider the other more normal reasons for this, but the site hadn't changed at all in the preceding month or two. One day Google just stopped spidering and pages started dropping out.

There aren't any duplicate domains causing the issue either; all Google traffic to the site stopped (apart from people searching for the site by name).

I know why Google removed the site, and I respect their right to do so. I just wanted people to be aware of the new style of penalty, and enough people have concurred that this may indeed be a new "thing" to watch out for.


 6:38 pm on Feb 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

So why not for a single "mis-behaving" site?

Do you know how many "single misbehaving sites" there are?

Neither do I. ;-)

But I do know that 1,000 new hires at the 'Plex would not be enough to deal with them manually...

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