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Google penalty for drastic content change?
What are the implications of this policy?

 5:43 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

This thread evolved from the thread at: [webmasterworld.com...]

Did anybody notice what Jane_Doe picked up on? Anybody have any comment?

Google response to a status inquiry: A page could get a penalty for changing content too drastically.

Jane_Doe's observation: That sounds to me like are hinting that they've added code to prevent people from buying expired or purchased domains with high PR that were once about something like organic baby food and converting them to a porn or gambling site.

Has anyone any experience with this penalty?



 6:05 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mmm. Haven't seen the user support response, but I don't think that they said "penalty"? I think they were describing some of the reasons that a site might not show up. Drastic content changes (e.g. big hosting changes, juggling IPs) could be one reason. So I wouldn't read too much into that email.


 6:13 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

GG, Brandi01 quoted a response received from Google, Msg. 6 in thread referenced above, to quote:

I e-mailed help@google.com on Jan 06, 2003 and received a reply 8 hours later. ...They gave a few reasons why the site may have been dropped ("technical glitch", "site unreachable", "content changed significantly", "low page rank").

You want to look into that "content changed significantly" remark for us? A hosting or IP change doesn't seem to be well described by their remark.


 6:45 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I think they were describing some of the reasons that a site might not show up.

That's what I thought. The email was about a site not showing up in the serps.

I'm paranoid about making site changes. You have to wait around two months between optimizations before making any changes. Otherwise you can blow a great optimization and end up on page 205 of the serps by messing with your content.


 7:20 am on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ahhhhhh. OK maybe I need more coffee. Somehow I looked at that entire idea in a whole other context. ;)


 2:02 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

BeachBoy, I'll try to clear this up. The e-mail in question from Google was about a site being dropped from the index for whatever reason, nothing to do with a penalty according to Google (no mention of "penalty" anywhere in the e-mail).

The e-mail begins with:
"Your site has not been manually removed from our index."

Notice there is no mention of a penalty (there is NO reason this site would incur a penalty for any seo technique).

The e-mail goes on to say:
"The reasons a site may fall out of the index are varied, however, none of them are malicious:"

The e-mail also gave a few reasons why the site may have been dropped ("technical glitch", "site unreachable", "your content changed significantly as did links pointing to your page", "low page rank").

I didn't post the entire e-mail because I don't think it is allowed here. I hope what I posted above is OK - I'm trying to help clarify this (and the previous) thread. Remember, these are not specific reasons why this site was dropped, they are just some of the reasons why a site may be dropped according to Google. Hope that helps.

Too bad it doesn't help the site in question. I still have no idea why it was dropped.:(


 7:47 pm on Jan 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sorry to scare you, Beachboy, with my guess about what the Google response meant. However, the orginal post referred to the site not having a manual ban. I didn't see anything emilinating the possibility of an automated penalty. Plus the original paraphrasing of the Google response left out the key part about "as did links pointing to your page". So based on the information provided, I thought it was a logical possibility that they might be alluding to a fix for the expired domain issue.

I'll go put on a horse hair shirt now reading too much into those posts.

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