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Google penalty over same anchor text link building
...anyone here manage to recover back from this?
tahiti




msg:766170
 8:42 am on May 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

one of my site was hit by G badly recently -- or i should say it was hit by my naives in link campaign.

the scenario:
a few months ago, i had intensive link development on one of my major site using EXACT anchor text: free widget and widget deals -- the immediate effect? i had a 50-100 rank boost on G. i thought it was a good idea and keep on with the campaign, building up 60-80 links for each with the exact anchor text.

but suddenly, i am now no where in Google for that two keywords. for my other minor keyphases, the site still remain at page 2 or 3. yes, definately a penalty cause my incoming link trends seems like trying to manupulate G SE results.

i KNEW that i made a major mistake in not differing the anchor text, causing this Google filter to be triggered. i know what's my mistakes, but i have no idea on what's the RIGHT thing for me to do now to recover from the penalty. what should i do to bounce back?

some details of my site:
a) 250+ static html pages indexed by G.
b) contents based on widget's reviews, contents write based on scholl time english (didnt consider K/W density at all) except for homepage.
c) site started on last year Aug
d) site wide pr2-4. show positive improvements for every G PR updates since the site was built.
e) competative industry for US market.

do i:
a) keep my finger crossed, pray for every minutes and do nothing?
b) continue a few more shot of intensive link campaign with all sorts of anchor text? (so my previous link campaign doesnt look too obvious to the SE?)
c) ....hmm, is there a (c)?

....i am totally stucked now - hardly remain calm and feels like shouting out loud for help.

i am sure that there will be some of y'all out there faced the same crisis before. did you all manage to recover from it? what approaches that you guys take?thanks in advance for any help and sharings.

 

robotsdobetter




msg:766171
 6:42 am on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Once you feel that your web site is not using any spam methods, you should contact Google by visiting [google.com...] I would tell them that you made a major mistake with your web site and will not allow this to happen again. Even if you do contact them, they likely won't lift the penalty off your web site.

There is a chance that Google is not penalizing your web site and for some reason you just dropped in the ranking, so you may want to wait this out and see how it plays out, after all you have nothing to lose with Google now. While your waiting just do what ever you were doing before with the web site and I am not talking about link development.

Just to be safe look at your web site and see if you are using anything that could cause Google to filter you out of the search results. I would also make sure no one is stealing your content and causing Google to see as duplicate content. You can do this by searching with a unique phrase on your Web page and see if any other site comes up with your content.

mayor




msg:766172
 9:20 am on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

One hundred "Hail Marys" and five years pennance for your sins.

Also, two new sites for each one booted.

tahiti




msg:766173
 2:00 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

hey guys ..thanks for the input.

the latest news - the banned site bounce back for the keyphase 'widget deals' but 'free widget' remained mystery. i am also seeing that my SERP for a non competative terms- my site name 'widget+(another irrelevant word)' suffered a rank drop of 30 places.

from all the observations i am getting, it seems like the hit was not as hard as it's first look. i am planning to rebuild my whole site within the next three weeks and restructure the internal linking system.

robotsdobetter,
thanks a lot for your advise-i wonder may i get more from you if i sticky you my URL.
as you said
"Even if you do contact them, they likely won't lift the penalty off your web site."
--thus, i don't think contacting G helper will do any good.
also,
"While your waiting just do what ever you were doing before with the web site and I am not talking about link development."
--hmm, seems like option (b) is not a good approach ...

mayor,
"Also, two new sites for each one booted. "
-- huh?

jo1ene




msg:766174
 2:25 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

Are we sure that it's not the number or rate at which the links were accquired rather than the anchor text? What kind of proof do we have for this so called "anchor text penalty"?

Anyone using their business name for anchor text is in big trouble. And I wonder what "different" anchor text Google uses...

JuniorOptimizer




msg:766175
 2:33 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had what appeared to be an "exact anchor text penalty". I got lots more external links with diverse anchor text and I appear to have recovered.

YMMV, etc etc.

reseller




msg:766176
 2:38 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

tahiti

<a few months ago, i had intensive link development on one of my major site .....>

The reason could be "intensive link development" in case that Google considered it as UNNATURAL.

elklabone




msg:766177
 4:33 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

This always seems strange to me ... take a current news event. Isn't it possible that a news event could generate hundreds or thousands of links to a new site within a few days? How does G differentiate between these types of events and someone who is gathering links?

--Mark

BillyS




msg:766178
 4:51 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

And what about all those DMOZ clone directories. Wouldn't that affect you site too?

walkman




msg:766179
 5:17 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

This is not cool. If a spammer decides to run your sitename.com on his 200,000 page "site", how is that your fault? I read that paypal was MIA for it's name for a while when Google launched the new algo. Is it true?

"And what about all those DMOZ clone directories. Wouldn't that affect you site too?"

[edited by: walkman at 6:05 pm (utc) on May 3, 2005]

europeforvisitors




msg:766180
 5:53 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

A few months ago, I linked to a travelogue site from one or two pages. They thanked me and said they were going to link back. One day I checked my backlinks in Google and found a huge number of links from the travelogue site. They'd linked to my site from their page margins for a whole slew of countries, resulting in what must have been hundreds of links to my home page.

Now, if Google automatically penalized for such links, I'd have been in trouble, because an outsider (such as Google) could easily have assumed that I'd bought or bartered for those hundreds of links. As it happened, my Google referrals did take a 75% hit in late March, but there was no across-the-board drop (or even an obvious pattern), so I have no reason to believe that a penalty was applied. More likely, the drop was the result of an algorithm change and Google's problems with redundant indexing of www and non-www URLs.

Granted, that's just a personal anecdote, but it does go to show that penalties over ROS or nearly-ROS links (with or without anchor text) aren't a sure thing. I'd guess that such penalties are actually quite rare and are applied manually if a site doesn't pass the "sniff test." Automatic penalties for heavy linking would make it too easy for Webmasters to harm honest competitors.

In short, if there's anything about your site that might look shady to a human evaluator, a large number of inbound links with the same anchor text might get you zapped. But if your site is clearly legit and "white hat" in other respects, it's reasonable to assume that you'll get the benefit of the doubt.

(Disclaimer: Like most other posts on Webmaster World, these observations represent my own personal opinion--nothing more, nothing less).

walkman




msg:766181
 6:15 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

europeforvisitors,
the fact is that we don't know. Google clearly states that they will use these link stats. Whether manually or not, we don't know. Did the pages with www and without it in Google fare worse for you? That may answer your question. I assume not all pages were indexed twice..

nuevojefe




msg:766182
 7:01 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

If your SERPs are doing unnatural dances it's likely google thinks your site is doing something unnatural too and is basically trying to sort it out. Remember that they do track clicks and a multitude of other data. With that in mind, it's not hard to imagine that when something throws a flag (not a major one) that they can initiate a little automated testing to see what user behavior change is in relation to your site.

While I would definitely look for other factors that you might have not considered, I would also begin a slow but steady campaign with new anchor text.

Most importantly, have you run a backlink check to see what percentage of each of occurance of a phrase is used in your inbound links?

tahiti




msg:766183
 7:59 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

reseller,
unnatural link growth? shouldn't be a problem in my opinion cause i am doing this all by my very own hands. it's about 50links/week since i started my site back at August 2004. my ranking, as well as PR are improving slow and steady for all updates ...but not until this week.

JuniorOptimizer,
"..I got lots more external links with diverse anchor text and I appear to have recovered... "
kindly expand more on this? i'm kind of confuse when reading your post. are you saying that getting more inbound links with different anchor text [as suggested in my option (b)]? how long you took to recover?

walkman,
yeah, i never think it's cool and i never think it will be fair. AND I AM TOTALLY OKAY WITH IT. after all, we should thank G always for the free ride, not complaining. the best thing i can do here is to learn and learn from the mistakes and correct my direction.
also, i believe that how others link to us will NOT affect our site unless we reciprocal back ...
(hmmm, but how did G penalize on link buying sites? ..)

back to the topic, anyone here had what i am having now before? may i have more sharings please? i really need some reference like
- how long did it took to recover
- what approaches, in detail, that you took to make that happens
- suggestions? comments?

thanks again for the input. i'll be going back to my football game now ...liverpool here i come!

caveman




msg:766184
 8:05 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

tahiti:
- get more links with different anchor text;
- slow down the rate at which you get them;
- add pages of quality to your site.

ogletree




msg:766185
 8:08 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

So if I am ranking number 2 and I want to move up it is better to do a link campaign on the site above me. This makes no since. I can just do this to all the sites above me and I rank number one. Great move google no matter what you do there is a way around it. I still don't think they can penalize you for this.

walkman




msg:766186
 8:24 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

what mistakes? IF you don't link back and get penalized, how can you learn? We don't know much about this, just anecdotal evidence, but that's my only beef with the patent application. If you play with fire and get burned, you can clean up and hopefully start fresh, but if you didn't..

"yeah, i never think it's cool and i never think it will be fair. AND I AM TOTALLY OKAY WITH IT. after all, we should thank G always for the free ride, not complaining. the best thing i can do here is to learn and learn from the mistakes and correct my direction.
also, i believe that how others link to us will NOT affect our site unless we reciprocal back ..."

reseller




msg:766187
 8:28 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

caveman

<- get more links with different anchor text;
- slow down the rate at which you get them;
- add pages of quality to your site.>

Well said!

tahiti




msg:766188
 9:04 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

checking back to my back link anchor text indexed (which i haven't done for a long time), i see that all my links with exact keyphase 'free widgets' are NOT counted at all. there used to have around 40-50links recognized and showed by G but now, its a nil.

proved that its a soft one, all links with the exact keyphase are dis-count or sandbox for the shady reason. that's why i am losing my rank.

walkman,
"IF you don't link back and get penalized", so far i had not seeing this with my limited experience... but can't denied there might be groups of unlucky ones out there sufferd on this . . .

walkman




msg:766189
 9:15 pm on May 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

I have rss feeds for my index page and categores all ready to go. the only think holding me back: Google. I'm not sure how Google will react if it sees all those sites linking back to me at the same time. I'm thinking of joining feedburner just for that (the url is not direct)

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