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This 71 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 71 ( 1 2 [3]     
My site was banned...

 4:05 pm on Jan 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Even tough Google Guy has repeatedly said that nothing that anyone else can do can get a site banned, it appears it can. Competition has entered my site into over 100 guestbooks- even with anchor text and I have been banned from PR 8 to grey bar at beginning of update.

I investigated the Guestbook theory and site after site with guestbook links has been either completely banned or PR 0.

I really don't know why Google would ban sites for issues beyond their control.



 8:40 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just to follow-up a little more: the vast majority of emails about sites being dropped or even banned usually turn out to be webmaster error. I'm not saying that Google can't make mistakes--anyone can. For example, last March we crawled the web so quickly that we didn't get to retry fetching pages as much as usual, and so some really slow sites, or sites that were down briefly, weren't in our index that time. But we do try to get every site we can. Our bots often go back and re-try urls to see if a site has come back up or doesn't time out. Our fresh crawl can also pick up some sites that were down during our crawl. As far as penalties go, we really don't like to do them. Manual penalties are quite rare and we try to investigate very carefully before they are put into effect. I think most people here know that Google prefers to fix problems algorithmically, even if that takes a little longer.

The takeaway message I would ask webmasters to remember is that not showing up in Google!= "I'm banned." We've got a FAQ on our site that site owners can review if they don't show up in Google.
The terms of service on this forum don't allow specific sites to be mentioned. If a person lists their site in a profile, then other people (including me) can help that webmaster out if they can and have the time. I hope that helps some people feel better, or gives them some info about what to do if they don't see their site..


 8:42 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

>Well, there's one way we can test this theory. Let's pick a site then go out and sign 500 guestbooks.
Now, who wants to volunteer their web-site to be the lab rat?

On behalf of Bill Gates, I nominate microsoft.com. ;)


 8:57 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

msn's sitting at PR10
I think it would take 50,000 bad links in to drop them to 9 (not that I want to do ANYTHING to hurt Microsoft, ever, honest...I swear).


 9:30 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm sure that AOL would be willing to add 10,000 new employees just to create guestbooks and add microsoft and MSN to all of them if it would do any good. They could probably generate around 10 million entries a day that way.

It could be the new industry to get us sout of the recession!


 9:31 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

A suspect set of backlinks just trigger a hand check via a webmap. From there, it is pretty easy to figure out of it a site is junk or a junk topic. tip: 90-100% of the sites in some kw categories would be classified as junk by google standards and wouldn't get more than a passing glance before they got zapped. If a site is about sleazy topics, then Google is going to treat it like it and never given the benefit of the doubt on anything. No, google isn't disney, but they want the same thing surfers want - a quality set of searches to visit.


 9:56 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

That's a very good point Brett. I tend to forget about those areas where they are a lot less likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when doing a hand check. Even the commercial sites in my area link to each other, sometimes even to their direct competitors.

I guess it's just like real life. Hanging out at 2 AM in a train yard is suspicious, and will get you in trouble. Dropping a fishing line in the bay, next to the train yard at 2 AM will get you an offer of some fresh coffee.

But I do like to believe that even in adult or gambling areas of the web, that google will look for at least some sort of on site problem before implementing a penalty.


 9:59 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

bobmark, not your home page? ;)

BigDave, great idea! But can AOL afford to hire anyone?

GoogleGuy, thanks for the heads-up - it's good to know that freshbot can recover a server-was-down dropped site. I got to experience the March episode first hand (ouch). Unfortunately, freshbot wasn't bouncing-around back then.

Speaking of freshbot, we haven't seen him since last year ;). Any idea of when he might get out and about again?


 10:10 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

As far as penalties go, we really don't like to do them.



 10:20 pm on Jan 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

I may as well be "banned". The PR on all my pages dropped
two digits and my traffic has gone down the tubes. No changes were made to any of the pages.
This last algorithm adjustment by Google surely must have negatively affected lots of struggling folk like me.
Does anyone have any idea of what Google changed?


 1:37 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

Jakpot, any change to your incoming links? Could be their PR dropped and as a result yours did too..

I don't think 'not changing anything' on your site is a recipe for success anyway, considering the web will continue to grow, even if your site doesn't.. just means there's more competition against you and you're putting up less of a fight! And of course visitors won't have much to come back for if you never change anything! If you update your content regularly and grow a lot of return visitors, then you wouldn't have to worry about Google so much. ;)


 4:33 am on Jan 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

As googlebuy says, the crawl last month is too fast and too brieft. I have do a record on site backlinks last month and when I check with this month data, I found that most of the sites drop in back links, some even a few hundred. The GoggleBot has a few days holiday ...

Nominate a site? Why no one nominate this forum? ;) ehhh ... I just don't think you can get an established site down with lots of good inbound links. If you site is a piece of junk, it was more probably that you sign the guestbook yourself instead of your competitor :)

Even if the algo successfully attack microsoft.com, I think bill gates will just call Page from google and everything will be settle in minutes. So why take a few days to sign guestbooks for microsoft?

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