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Problem With Repetative Text in Navigation Links?
Question for those of you who got Allegra bounced?
androidtech




msg:704241
 1:43 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

[Note: by bounced I mean having a well-ranking site at least 6 months old that got bounced out of the SERPs in the Allegra update, not "sandboxed" sites.]

We too one were one of the lucky ones to get our site, which ranked well in the SERPs, bounced.

I took a good long look at one of our best ranking pages, which got bounced to try and find some clues.

A lot of our pages are related to variations of one specific subject. I checked the keyword density on the page and it was a low 2% of several hundreds words on the page.

But then I noticed something. We have a text menu navigation bar at the bottom of the page. Because a lot of the neighboring pages have the topic keyword in their page Title, the top level keyword ends up being repeated several times right next to each other, which could be misinterpreted as spam. By neighboring pages I mean at the same hierarchy level in the site; the way the text navigation menu bar logic works, such sibling pages all end up on the text menu bar.

For example, if the site section was on "widgets", we have several pages like "consumer widgets", "widgets heavy", "widgets light", etct., all next to each other on the menu bar. It never mattered to Google before, but perhaps the Allegra update changed something.

I'm wondering if those of you fellow "bounced" webmasters have a similar condition on your web pages?

I'm also wondering if it has something to with having a very popular keyword in your page title.

Thanks

 

JuniorOptimizer




msg:704242
 2:26 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes, this happened to me on the only site I lost. All the others are configured very similar, but this one probably has the keywords repeated the most in the menu.

samwise




msg:704243
 3:45 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi androidtech,

Yes I have the same thing happen as well. I wasn't sure but think this may have something to do with being bounced.

jeffwade




msg:704244
 4:12 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Same for me, I have several navigation bar at bottom.

rcaretti




msg:704245
 4:42 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have a site which was dropped with a text navigation bar at the bottom of each page. There is some repetition as explained above.

I hate to remove it, as it's been done to aid site navigation, and not for SEO purposes. But, it looks like I may have to, if Google is going to see this as some sort of SEO.

Mr_X




msg:704246
 6:41 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi

My UK based <snip> site has dropped off the radar after being very well represented in Google.

This happened a coupe of days ago.

The site has a breadcrumb trail to help navigation and maybe it is this that has caused the problem.

This is soul destroying to see a years work go down the pan.

Has anyone out there any advice to repair this awfull situation.

Best Regards

[edited by: lawman at 3:51 am (utc) on Feb. 9, 2005]
[edit reason] No Urls Please [/edit]

foxtunes




msg:704247
 6:56 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

"....For example, if the site section was on "widgets", we have several pages like "consumer widgets", "widgets heavy", "widgets light", etct., all next to each other on the menu bar. It never mattered to Google before, but perhaps the Allegra update changed something.

I'm wondering if those of you fellow "bounced" webmasters have a similar condition on your web pages?..."

Me too.

Atomic




msg:704248
 6:58 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had two sites with breadcrumb trails and a repeated text navigation bar on the bottom of pages come out of the sandbox.

diddlydazz




msg:704249
 6:58 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi,

First let me say that I still think it is too early to see the real results good/bad with this latest index.

but.......

the first thing I did (when i noticed the biggest drop in traffic for 4 years on one site) was to start looking at a few pages (that seemed to have been hit) and started getting paranoid about the keyword density, anchor text, etc, etc

After thinking s*** maybe they have lowered the level on a filter and what was ok before is bad now, but, then i looked at the competitiors pages (above mine) and to my horror noticed that there were all sorts of naughtiness going on :)

hidden text and links in offset divs, form fields filled with keywords but no forms visible on page.

I guess what I am saying is check to see what the pages above you are doing BEFORE you may any changes to your own pages.

I have made that mistake before, and changed what was a perfectly acceptable "white hat" page into something that looked as if the author had never even heard of SEO.

just my 2c

Dazz

<edit> typos </edit>

bhartzer




msg:704250
 7:07 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

For example, if the site section was on "widgets", we have several pages like "consumer widgets", "widgets heavy", "widgets light", etct., all next to each other on the menu bar. It never mattered to Google before, but perhaps the Allegra update changed something.

I got a site whacked (de-ranked) for this reason well over 6 months ago, so what you're describing is not unique to this new Allegra update.

It just sounds like you've got over-optimized link text. The good news is that if you get rid of that over-optimized link text I would bet that the rankings will eventually come back (they did for me).

androidtech




msg:704251
 7:39 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

bhartzer,

I've deleted the menu bar just to see what happens. How long before you noticed a return of your old rankings?

I do believe that this is a result of Google "turning up" some of their anti-SEO filters.

Thanks.

natural number




msg:704252
 7:42 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

great balls of fire, i have a menu with my kw in it a few times. if this is the problem with allegra, then we have solved it! mwahahahHAhahahaahha

WebFusion




msg:704253
 7:49 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

Sorry guys....I don;t thin that's it.

We have over 5000 product pages with the EXACT same navigation menu on every page, with the relvant link text for each category, and we're doing just fine.

To suggest a site needs to be penalized for maintaining a uniform navigation structure would nuke the majority of legitmate sites out there.

diddlydazz




msg:704254
 7:50 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

for the record

i have plenty of sites WITH menu bars with keywords repeated and they are RANKING high and have NOT been affected by this update

if you change your site now BEFORE the update is finished you cant know for sure if what you change IS the problem!

I have sites that have been killed by this update, but i am going to wait for at least a few more days before i start making more work for myself with possibly no benefit.

I know how you feel but i would rather wait a few more days and see what happens.

dazz

samwise




msg:704255
 7:58 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

My site has a lot of original content but is an affiliates site. I was in the process of removing/deleting a number of pages that don't have much content on them when all this started.

How many of you have the text navigation menu bar and are an affilate site?

Atomic




msg:704256
 8:32 pm on Feb 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

How many of you have the text navigation menu bar and are an affilate site?

I have a couple and they are doing fine and dandy. And talk about repetitive keywords! I keep wonder if I went over the top with them but there certainly appears to be no penalty.

androidtech




msg:704257
 1:09 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

For those of you that do have repetitive keywords in a menu bar, but are not having problems, two questions:

- Is your menu bar pure text or is it dynamic (which means Google might not be able to index it the same as static text)?
- Do the pages that are in the menu bar have page titles or H1 text that is very close to a popular search phrase, or not? If the answer is "not", then that could be a helpful factor for why you have not been affected.

What is really painful about this "bouncing" of sites is that at least with ours, the penalty was applied sitewide. Even pages which I know are about as un-SEO'd as a page can get, have vanished from the SERPs. However site:ourdomain still shows all the pages, and Google replied to our e-mails assuring us that our site has not been penalized, so it doesn't at least appear to be a ban. In addition, for some really really low popularity keyword phrases we do show up in the SERPs.

Thanks.

foxtunes




msg:704258
 1:35 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is your menu bar pure text or is it dynamic (which means Google might not be able to index it the same as static text)?

Pure text

- Do the pages that are in the menu bar have page titles or H1 text that is very close to a popular search phrase, or not?

Close match.

Atomic




msg:704259
 2:49 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I use pure text and the keywords and phrases in the links appear in the titles and the H1.

caveman




msg:704260
 3:06 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

FWIW, we have a number of sites for which IF the kw rep in the nav were a problem (like that described above) the sites would have been nuked. They were not, not even a little.

I don't have just one or two that are exceptions. I have a bunch like those above. You gotta be able to name links for what they are.

This is one of those, "My dog died today...and my site crashed! Anyone else?" threads.

Too easy. Look elsewhere. (Perhaps those going very heavy on nav kw's also going heavy on other things? Just thinking out loud. ;-)

(Caveat: If the kw rep was really excessive beyond what's being admitted above, then all bets are off, and you were playing with fire anyway.)

WebFusion




msg:704261
 3:09 am on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

- Is your menu bar pure text or is it dynamic (which means Google might not be able to index it the same as static text)?

-Static HTML

- Do the pages that are in the menu bar have page titles or H1 text that is very close to a popular search phrase, or not? If the answer is "not", then that could be a helpful factor for why you have not been affected.

-Yes, all pages accessable via the navigation bar have an H1 Tag.

samwise




msg:704262
 5:49 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have text based links with keywords such as "widget blue", "widget black with yellow" etc... with the name of the webpage in the TITLE of the page and in the H1 tags.

I am using css which treats the H1 tag as the following:

h1{font-family: Verdana, Arial,Helvetica; font-weight: bold;font-style : normal;text-align : left;text-valign: middle;font-size : 12px;}

I'm also using a lot of Absolute Links (urls) for my site. I found it much easier to maintain and not have so many 404 errors.

Would Absolute Links this have any bearing what has happened or is happeing?

HughMungus




msg:704263
 5:53 pm on Feb 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

Android, there's a similiar question about repeated keywords in the title in this forum. Maybe it's a smiliar issue.

hidden text and links in offset divs, form fields filled with keywords but no forms visible on page.

I thought search engines were supposed to see web pages *as visitors would see them*. Isn't this true?

Marshall Clark




msg:704264
 4:59 am on Feb 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I thought search engines were supposed to see web pages *as visitors would see them*. Isn't this true?"

Lol - only if they've got the Google AI up and running. ;)

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