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Does Google Ban or Filter Web Directories?
moftary




msg:726185
 1:06 pm on Jul 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think the subject worth a thread itself. It's a suspision so far. Yet I don't see dmoz, yahoo nor any major web directory were banned/filter nor PRed zero as my web directory did. I tried to check it in Alexa (powered by google) and I see some results from my site. Appearently, Alexa brings old results from Google but something weird is that Alexa itself has PR0 now. But that's another story!

If you run a web directory, feel free to post your experience here.

 

JuniorOptimizer




msg:726455
 3:16 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Don't put your eggs all in one basket." Good advice. My eggs aren't in one basket, Google hammering my domain has barely affected my income. But that aside, I still want my domain back in Google. I hate to see my work discounted.

Pre_Emptor




msg:726456
 3:36 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I thought I'd also add that our college directory, with college reviews (30,000 strong), PR6 and 300,000 inbound links went greybar last week as well. Since we were #1 in google for the last 3 years, it has really hit the traffic hard, but we are also #1 in all the other search engines so we still receive some. It pretty much cut our advertising and subscription revenues by a factor of 4.

google really acts unaccountable; when in fact they are simply irresponsible.

I actually thought we were banned because of some misinterpreted seo practice (we don't do any, nor cloaking/etc), but you never know if you are accused or something like that. After reading all of your comments, it looks like we aren't the only ones this has happened to.

As far as being banned for "bad practice", I wouldn't be totally adverse to a $500 per site "re-evaluation" fee that allows some recourse for affected business owners. Valid sites can use either their advertising or ask for donations to pay for it. At least it would provide some alternate business preservation means.

Pre_Emptor




msg:726457
 3:40 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

bizrad,
it sounds like you are condoning the irresponsible wide-axe behavior of google. In a month, google can annihlate a whole season's worth of legitimate business earnings because they destroy the channel. Its like saying "well, a person should not get personally involved, and make a whole bunch of smaller sites to just get a risk adjusted income". But if you want to be a legitimate, not small mom & pop shop, real business, all your eggs have to go into one basket at some point in time. Otherwise, you are just not committed.

Pre_Emptor




msg:726458
 3:46 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

"Is so sad to see all the hard work of the last years be destroyed in a sigle day. "

I agree. Seems like 5 years of hard work gone in a single day.

Petrocelli




msg:726459
 4:11 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting..

[directory.google.com...]
[google.com...]
[google.com...]


Interesting indeed. Just had two of these DMOZ clones on a single SERP, one below the other. Didn't someone mention "duplicate content penalty" recently?

europeforvisitors




msg:726460
 4:11 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

bizrad,
it sounds like you are condoning the irresponsible wide-axe behavior of google.

Bizrad isn't condoning anything. Bizrad is just contributing some useful, sensible, and helpful observations that deserve attention and respect.

zoltan




msg:726461
 4:52 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is it possible that we are suffering from hijacked content?
When I search for "mydomain" without .com, I see many sites listed with titles from mydomain, including my domain name. After checking the pages in case they are definitely considered scraper sites... They all have an info extension.
They all have the following format:
number.ref.example.com/q.php?q=Keyword
There are hundreds of similar pages with content and title from my domain.
Anyone see something similar?

moftary




msg:726462
 5:57 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Anyone see something similar?

Same here, actually this is the way it has been for months but it's just these scrapers weren't obvious in "mydomain" serps when mydomain was there. Now that "mydomain" is banned, these dogs show up :)

I've included some samples of those scrapers in my email to google.

orbiter




msg:726463
 5:58 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Zoltan --

"Anyone see something similar?" Yes, I noticed that, too. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or not.

Something else that I noticed: Some of the sites that appear to have scrapped my content are down. I get no response from them. So maybe someone else has already shut them down.

Like many of you, my primary site was removed from Google's index last week. The site is a search engine, and the database that it pulls from was built using a spider that I developed. (In other words, we aren't scrapping results from another engine, and we aren't using anything from DMOZ.)

The primary site's domain name has a ".com" extension. I also own the ".net" version of the domain name, and have a site hosted there as well. There's no content duplicated between the sites, and there's maybe a handful of links between the two. The ".net" site has no search engine, no directory. It's ~12 pages of original content (a FAQ, press releases, etc).

When the ".com" site vanished from Google last Thursday, the ".net" site vanished as well. However, by Saturday, the index page of the ".net" site started to show up again. It's only the index page, and the listing only includes the URL (no snippet).

Of course, the ".com" is still missing in action.

At this point, I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Buddha




msg:726464
 6:21 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

AlwaysThinking,

How do you know that a Google Rep came, reviewed your site manually, and then lifted the penalty?

Did you submit a regular reinclusion request?

alwaysthinking




msg:726465
 8:06 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Buddha - as I explained in previous posts, I sent an Email to AdSense - asking it to be sent to the proper department for consideration.

NEXT - I also conducted a search for terms that my site would have normally been toward the top of Google's SERPs (for the past 4-to-5 years, prior to that on a different URL, my former employer's web site when we virtually created the entire niche sector by being one of the first and having the best web exposure due to my online marketing).

Then I use the "Dissatisfied" help us" link toward the bottom of the first page of results, and filled out the comments section of the form basically saying "first I re-introduced myself, and asked: what's up, where's my site? If there is a problem and I am unintentionally in violation of Google's new standards, please let me know what it is so I can fix it. Otherwise, please restore my entire site to the same performance prior to its complete deletion ASAP as it is dramatically impacting my AdSense earnings negatively.

LASTLY - I submitted my URL for reinclusion using Google"s standard web form for that purpose.

Then I just watch my visitor logs until I saw a referral from Google (even though my site was NOT in their SERPs at the time) which looked like this:

[google.com...]

I think the capital "D" in the referral link stands for "deleted" and they were probably referring to it from their "master deletion list" whisch could also be referred to as the "Doomsday List!"

I viewed the same person (on two different IP address but it had my TRACKING COOKIE placed on it that's how I could "see them" and know it wasn't a "Bot". Must have been someone from Google's Evaluation Team using a laptop... NEITHER time on Google's corporate network!

The first two visits using that same "Doomsday List" referral link, all they viewed was my front page. The third and last time the same person (or at least the same computer with my site's tracking cookie on it) accessed my site using a link to a cached version of one page of my site which stated that it was a "snap shot" of what that page looked like several weeks ago.

I think it was a link that some surfer/Google search user/or devious competitor submitted to Google of a page that they felt was in violation of TOS because it contained no content & only AdSense ads.

As I explained earlier, I had a reciprocal link script that was template based and when I set it up I created categories for future use - for web masters to post their links to. BUT over time some of the categories remained emplty because nobody submitted links to some of the categories.. and I didn't even pay any attention to the potential problem because it was an automated system and it didn't generate very much Google AdSense revenue.

So trying to help others by giving them FREE reciprocal links came back to bite me. Since then I attempted to reinstall the directory and fill in the few empty categories with "seed" links, but I messed up the link to MySQL data base file when I deleted the script, so I just removed it again.

Now if anyone wants a link from my site they need to WORK for it and submit an article for publication. This seems a lot more effective than those stupid reciprocal link directories from my opservations over the past 6 months.

Unlike what all the complainers speculate about, most article readers continue on to the author's web site for further information because they established themselves as an authority by what they said in their articles, rather than click on the AdSense ads that I have on the articles they place on my site for FREE publication.

This section is NOT a real money maker for me either, for all you LURKERS looking for a new angle to scam. My money maker has always been my primary content, just as it should be for every web site. I think people are getting deleted for having "high paying keyword" content on sites where their primary content has NOTHING to do with all the add-on pages they spammed out trying to cash in on the "high paying" keywords.

I believe the lesson is STICK to what you know best and don't create content just for the sake of TOP $$$... or you risk losing ALL earnings potential when Google deletes your site(s) for TOS violations.

Best Luck to One & All (except for the REAL cheaters)

brizad




msg:726466
 8:39 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

bizrad,
it sounds like you are condoning the irresponsible wide-axe behavior of google.

Not condoning anything, I'm just giving an opinion of what is probably happening.

As far as "irresponsible behavior" that's a matter of opinion. To someone who's site gets knocked down, they consider it "irresponsible behavior". But the sites that rose in the SERPS probably consider it a pretty good thing.

You have to keep in mind that the SERPS are FREE. Nobody is paying a cent for them or the traffic they generate. So for someone to expect a SE to somehow be good to their particular site is just wishfull thinking and unrealistic. There are billions of pages now in G's index and I am sure that every site owner wants to be number one but obviously not all of them can.

If you happen to get free traffic then consider yourself lucky, but you have no right to complain that a company does not do what you particularly want them to do for you. If you want control over your position then buy advertising, adwords, or yahoo search.

The internet is constantly evolving and the era where everyting is free seems to be going away. That being said, yes it s*cks when your site gets canned.


But if you want to be a legitimate, not small mom & pop shop, real business, all your eggs have to go into one basket at some point in time. Otherwise, you are just not committed.

Just a matter of viewpoint and opinion. If that style of business works for you then great. But if you find that that model no longer works then you have choices to make. Do you just sit around and complain about how unfair the whole thing is or do you find ways to adapt to the new reality and become profitable again?

fearlessrick




msg:726467
 9:24 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I surely hope Google and other SEs are handling the scrapers with this update because my EPC has improved drastically since the 27th-28th. With the scrapers out of the way, more $$$ for honest webamsters.

Today, I'm pleased. Tomorrow, who knows?

ltedesco




msg:726468
 9:39 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Anyone see something similar?

when I search for mydomain I just see sites who mention my domain and I can't find my own site.
How can Google consider sites that talk about my site more relevant that my own site? Google is broken! It needs to be fixed a.s.a.p before people realize that!

moftary




msg:726469
 11:20 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I can't find my own site. Google is broken!

Geez!

AlexMiles




msg:726470
 5:16 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

>You reminded me of my favourite quote from the movie Hitler: the rise of evil, "We are runnung towards a monster that we should be running from".

>Frankly, although being an empire and undisputed king, I dont see them as a commercial monster *yet*.

Have you ever thought about the sheer amount of information Google has? The potential there for understanding human thought and behaviour?

To what end do you suppose it will apply its talents once it really gets the hang of semantics?

I vote we kill it now, before it bankrupts the lot of us.

And, I like the idea of our own search engine.

.

mahoogle




msg:726471
 5:29 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

For those of you that were hit july 22 and were hoping (like me) for the results on 66.102.9.104/99 to spread to other dcs, unfortunately it appears as if this dc has been brought up to date with all the others.

Has anyone else who has been watching that dc noticed the same thing?

On a side note, I do still see some intermitent decent rankings for a few terms from time to time, but they never last long.

reseller




msg:726472
 6:13 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

mahoogle

>>For those of you that were hit july 22 and were hoping (like me) for the results on 66.102.9.104/99 to spread to other dcs, unfortunately it appears as if this dc has been brought up to date with all the others.

Has anyone else who has been watching that dc noticed the same thing?<<

Yes. I have noticed the same, unfortunately (:(

jayrrome




msg:726473
 6:15 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Can You Say, YAHOOOOOO!

iw5edi




msg:726474
 6:42 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>For those of you that were hit july 22 and were hoping (like me) for the results on 66.102.9.104/99 to spread to other dcs, unfortunately it appears as if this dc has been brought up to date with all the others.

Has anyone else who has been watching that dc noticed the same thing?<<

Yes, is true.
It means that those dc were not affected by the filter.

Btw, googlebot is still keeping visiting my pages from time to time, but really seems that G has hardly penalised my domain.

For some of the most popular keywords, where I used to appear at least on first page, I've been shifted of 5-10 pages consequences are:
Adsense revenue and traffic decreased of 40-50%

I've read someone has been helped by Adsense, for reinclusion after a full banning, Should I write to Adsense asking for any help?

reseller




msg:726475
 7:09 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

iw5edi

>>I've read someone has been helped by Adsense, for reinclusion after a full banning, Should I write to Adsense asking for any help?<<

It wouldn´t harm to make the folks at AdSense aware that Google engineers at the plex are panelizing AdSense publishers for no logical reasons. The more publishers write to AdSense the better, I guess.

I really do hope that the media write about this disaster too.

runboy




msg:726476
 9:39 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Has GG made any comments regarding the 28 JUL events? I would really like some feedback regarding the ODP issue. Initially I deleted the part of my site that was ODP fed (although only feed with appropiate content), but I have decided to reinclude it since Alwaysthinking had his site unbanned with the ODP included and I am thinking I am just adding to the damage by deleting it and hurting my presence on all the other SEs.

The Contractor




msg:726477
 10:53 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

It wouldn´t harm to make the folks at AdSense aware that Google engineers at the plex are panelizing AdSense publishers for no logical reasons.

Where is there evidence they are targeting AdSense publishers?

Of all the stickies I have received concerning this topic from people posting in/concerning this thread – 7 out of 8 of them have at least 4 other sites that are either duplicate sites or very similar on the same topic with many being crosslinked together. They also share another common item. You can do a search for most of their content (even misspelled sentences) and find it in 100's/1000's of places. Most of these share the same IP and/or go to the same datacenter.

Every sticky innocently states "I have no idea why I have been banned". No one openly admits they have these duplicate sites or are using the exact same data on/from other sites.

After pointing this out to them most comment with "this always worked in the past" or "it never hurt us before". Just because something worked in the past doesn't mean it will continue to work – every person posting at WebmasterWorld should know that.

For those that got caught up in a filter – I feel for you. It should be evident to you as a professional why it has happened or what similarities your site shares that has confused Googlebot into classifying your site as one of the types they are trying to hit.

Even after pointing this out to those in a sticky they pretend the problem doesn't exist and continue to post in threads asking "why" or "I think I have identified the problem …(add something inane here)".

No disrespect meant, but this thread has lost all credibility with me.

moftary




msg:726478
 11:03 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

And, I like the idea of our own search engine.

I have my own searching engine, on the site that has been banned of course!

It means that those dc were not affected by the filter.

No, those DCs have been showing different serps than the other DCs for ages now, it was a matter of time before the syncronizations to take effect. But banned sites have never been in serps on any Google DC since the ban.

The more publishers write to AdSense the better, I guess.

I have assumed so and wrote twice for adsense. The good thing is that I received a personal reply. The 2nd reply was informing me that they would forward my ticket to their searching engine specialists. The bad thing is that I am still banned without even knowing why, never heard from their searching deparment yet.

I really do hope that the media write about this disaster too.

I just hope that GG drop by and tell us what happened!

but I have decided to reinclude it since Alwaysthinking had his site unbanned with the ODP included and I am thinking I am just adding to the damage by deleting it and hurting my presence on all the other SEs.

Wise decision. It's nonsense to act towards something you know nothing about. We have no single evidence that ODP is the problem. And to remind the world, I have three other directories based on ODP and performing well in google serps.

--

If I kept acting this way with nothing to think about except this issue, I will be totally running out of business very soon. I'm going to start a new one today.

~Moftary

JuniorOptimizer




msg:726479
 11:11 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Captain's Log: 8/2/2005

crawl-66-249-65-176.googlebot.com - - [01/Aug/2005:13:07:44 -0400] "GET /robots.txt HTTP/1.1" 302 333 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"

After writing an email to Google, the bot has returned. No response from Google and nothing returned by the site: command.

Andem




msg:726480
 11:38 am on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>>After writing an email to Google, the bot has returned. No response from Google and nothing returned by the site: command.

I have seen a bot on my site too, but for me it's hard to tell whether it's the Google News bot or the web bot, as I believe both of these bots share IP addresses.

66.249.67.185 - - [01/Aug/2005:19:33:55 -0400] "GET /robots.txt HTTP/1.0" 200 799 "-" "Googlebot/2.1 (+http://www.googlebot.com/bot.html)"

I am also getting the odd google search referral, but when I goto the page they came from, I am no-where to be seen. There is still nothing for the site: command.

Let us know of any other developments please, Junior.

Ian Cunningham




msg:726481
 12:43 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

It looks like my newsgroup section of the site might have also been causing problems, as well as the DMOZ directory. Both are now removed and the site is 100% pure my own content now :) Fingers crossed for re-inclusion.

moftary




msg:726482
 12:48 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am also getting the odd google search referral, but when I goto the page they came from, I am no-where to be seen. There is still nothing for the site: command.

Ditto

moftary




msg:726483
 12:58 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

It looks like my newsgroup section of the site might have also been causing problems, as well as the DMOZ directory.

Once again I suggest not to touch your sites as we know nothing yet. If ODP was the problem, then how all major portals survived? What? Google is beeing a racist? There is absolutely nothing in their TOS against using ODP feeds, and ODP itself, and its well respected from Google, is happy to provide these feeds and also provides a link to whom using their contents!

NazaretH




msg:726484
 1:37 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Entire directory with over 10K hand-submitted links DELETED from my server altogether (years of hard work). Take it Google, and let us survive!

BrianBear




msg:726485
 1:40 pm on Aug 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi all
Can someone post a few sites URLs that were pr and backlinked dropped, that have not been changed or coded since googles hatchet man got on the job at the end of July, there are a few things I want to compare.

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