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This 588 message thread spans 20 pages: < < 588 ( 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 [9] 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ... 20 > >     
Does Google Ban or Filter Web Directories?

 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.



 6:28 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Now I know not everyone will, because to get webmasters to take collective action is like herding cats, and thats what Google is relying on. Inertia. But it is our way out of Google Hell. We hit the road and take up with Dogpile, or whoever we can agree on.

I have been telling people for over a year now that they should promote another engine. I don't think we even need to agree on which engine. Let people know there are good engines out there and they will use them. Variety is good for everyone.


 6:59 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

That would work too.



 7:13 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Okay, here is what worked for me & I was a directory site that was completely deleted on 27/28, and now completely reinstated back into Google's SERPs as far as I can determine.

MY THEORY: Google was saving up all user reported TOS violations, and then purged them all on 27/28. That is why many types of sites have been complaining, not just Directory type sites.

NEXT - Google waited for the complaints to flow in from web masters that think they were unjustly deleted, and then Google Reps manually review each site for evaluation & "worthiness."

Google figures that the vast majority of sites that were reported for TOS violation, were in fact web masters that were stretching the limites of TOS... if not gone far beyond, and knowing their own malintent, would not bother contacting Google to try to get their site back in Google's SERPs. They flat out got busted and they know it.

Then a "relatively speaking" few remaining web sites with lessor or no real TOS violations are left, and Google can concentrate on restoring the sites that do have "worthiness" by passing Google's Evaluation Team's "smell test" upon manual review.

HERE"S WHAT WORKING (still in progress - but my site is in Google and getting normal traffic).

I observed what all the Google Evaluation Rep looked at during his/her several visits over 2 day period. On the second day, they accessed my site from what appeared to be a cached link from a time period of several weeks ago, that stated that it was a "snap shot" of how that page appeared on that date.

So I think that when users reported a page that they felt was a TOS violation, Google's reporting system automatically made a "snap shot" of the page the user was complaining about as evidence.

In my particualr case, it was a page from my Reciprocal Link Directory which was "empty" except for 2 blocks of AdSense and 1 set of AdLinks, BECAUSE nobody had submitted their link for inclusion in that particular category yet. I use an automated template system and made various categories for submittal suggestion when I initially installed the script.

The Google Evaluation Rep saw the empty category, BUT made "the right call" and scheduled my site for reintatement that evening because it was an UNintentional infraction caused by the nature of the script I was using. I did NOT create the directory with the SOLE intention of just feeding up ads on pages lacking content... like we all have witmnessed some people doing. The Google Rep could tell this by checking out all the effort that I have put into my primary content, and I am greatful that he/she recognized it and rewarded me justly by reinstating my site into Google.

FOLLOW-UP... Initially I just rashly deleted the entire Reciprocal Link Directory because I identified it as the probable cause of my site's trouble, other web masters may have different problems with their web sites. However, I have reinstated the script because I was worried about all my link partners dumping their links to my site, because I wasn't providing links to them anymore.

KEY POINT: I am going through and placing "seed Links" in the empty Categories that I have (maybe 10% of all categories were empty), so I won't be in violation. However it takes TIME as I am only one person - my site is ALWAYS a "work in progress."

My site is rather vast and I usual focus my attantion on my primary content, this Reciprocal Links Directory was an afterthought to handle all the Link requests i was getting from people - before I'd just ignore "you all" when you wanted a link from my site. However now I devoting my full attention to this Reciprocal Link Directory to make it in full compliance with Google's TOS. It's just that this is NOT a "money amking" area of my site, like some may think it would be. Mostly visited by web masters looking for FREE links for their sites!

DMOZ _ I do run a ODP script in a section of my site as an aid to my visitors who might not have found what they were looking for in my "primary content," or as complimentery informaton to their initial search interest. I do NOT use it as a primary feature of my site. The Google Rep also saw this, only looked at one page, and apparently saw no problem with how I was implementing DMOZ in my site - as an "add-on" not THE entire site, like some web designers do.

Hope these thoughts and observations help some of you.. because it IS POSSIBLE to get your site back into Google after being deleted during the most recent purge. I know for a FACT because my site is now back in Google after being completely deleted.

[edited by: alwaysthinking at 7:15 pm (utc) on July 31, 2005]


 7:14 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just replaced every "Search Google" box on my sites with "Yahoo! Search".

Feels good, looks nice and should have been done long ago.

Ian Cunningham

 7:22 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

That is reassuring to know alwaysthinking, as I am in a similar situation to you. Did your site appear back in today?


 7:51 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Ian Cunningham - No, I was fortunate to get back into Google very early Saturday morning (probably Google scheduled put back in at Midnight)... So in effect I only lost 2 day worth of "normal" earnings... I was only earning about 25% of normal from the traffic I was receiving from other search engines, because Google is the NUMBER ONE source of FREE visitor traffic

(food for thought for all those mutinous talking web masters)


 8:46 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>> food for thought for all those mutinous talking web masters

Many thanks, but I'm already fed up ... :)

Being "mutinous" implies that there exists sort of "regime" to be mutinous against, right?

In fact there is a symbiosis between SEs and webmasters, one depends on the other. If one of these partners doesn't behave well (and for weeks it is G treating me bad for reasons I am not told), the other should be allowed to remind him of the basic rules, don't you think so? Since G is not what one would call "communicative", what other means do we have? Believe me, I really tried hard to get more than their repetitive canned responses, alas to no avail.

If they don't link to me, I don't link to them - it's that easy.

Not to forget that probably many of us were advertising THEM for FREE back in the 90s - just to find that we might have been digging our own graves by helping them to dominate the web. But it's never too late, even ancient Rome had its ups and downs.


 8:53 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Alwaysthinking, first of all my congratulations.

Secondly, have you contacted google regarding this penalty and then received their automated reply which in turn you replied to, etc...?

I dont want to envy you but two days are nothing. I just hope and pray to be included in a week but then again I feel optimistic when I think so!

Let me know what was your process..


 9:17 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

moftary - I tried 3 points of contact.

#1) FIRST: I contacted SdSense Team because they always reply and are resonable & polite, responding 100% of the time I contact them. VERY GOOD in my opinion for "Corporate America" dealing with a "small time partner" like me. I asked them to pass on my inquiry to the right department because it was damaging BOTH of our AdSense earnings - and I hoped they added some comments to the effect that YES Google Earning were taking a significant hit by deletion of my sight (but negligible in Google's eye of course).

I did NOT WAIT for a reply (but I received one from ASense - partialy canned & personalized to my situation)

#2) NEXT - I conducted a search for an "appropriate serch tearm" that normally would have brought up my site in the TOP of the SERPs, and at the bottom of the results page I clicked on the "Dissatisfied? Help us improve" link at the bottom of the page:

Dissatisfied with your search results?

Thanks for helping us improve our search. While we aren't able to respond directly to comments submitted with this form, the information will be reviewed by our quality team.

Then I filled out the comment form nicely inquirying what happned to my site that used to be in this results (and many other similar)? I asked if they could provide my with an explanation so I could fix the problem. Or, if there wasn't a problem, could they please restore my ENTIRE site to its former performance in Google's SERPs ASAP because it was dramatically impacting my AdSense earnings.

I didn't ever get a response - but I did SEE a Google Rep manually evaluating my site over the course of 2 days, three visits, and my site was completely restored as if NOTHING ever went wrong!

#3) Finally, the avenue which I think was least likely for my quick success, was resubmitting my site for inclusion to Google's data base:



 9:24 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not to forget that probably many of us were advertising THEM for FREE back in the 90s - just to find that we might have been digging our own graves by helping them to dominate the web. But it's never too late, even ancient Rome had its ups and downs.

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*. For me, ethically speaking, they are better than yahoo, msn and the rest.

Again, when the normal internet user finds any SE other than google delivering better serps, s/he would run to it. And then and only then we would be optimising for that other SE.


 9:35 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the clearifications, alwaysthinking.

"Dissatisfied? Help us improve"

I remember seeing this question months ago, never saw it recently even when searching as a normal internet user! Where is it exactly?


 9:40 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Oh I must have gone blind, never mind my question; I took your steps.


 9:42 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

The "Dissatisfied? Help us improve" Link can be found at the bottom of the first page of search results, DIRECCTLY BELOW the "Search Button" on the Bottom Google Search box, and ABOVE the Google Copyright and "about Google" links

Opps! I see that you found the link yourself.

Sorry... I'm a VERY slow typer... that's why this is ALL a LOT of work for me!



 10:22 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Slow but helpful with a better attitude, thank you. and congratulations again, wish me luck too.


 10:37 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's very difficult to help others when one is having difficulty trying to help oneself... But after accomplishing my primary concern, it took the pressure off and thus my attitude did improve dramatically from my initial "gloom & doom" posts when I was panicked stricken.

It's MUCH EASIER to be a "nice guy" when everything is fine in the world (at least my little part of cyberspace)...

GOOD LUCK TO moftary (if you think my stating it will help you, I am obliging)ALSO I wish all of those HONEST web designers good luck in getting their sites back into Google again. If you have no major problems or offer to fix unintentional mistakes that you may have, I think Google will also reinstate your sites too.

They are probably swamped with requests at the moment... I was just lucky enough to have notice the problem very early on and launched my reinstatement campaign very quickly...

The lack of Google traffic is just TOO IMPORTANT to ignore.

Good Luck One & All... (except for the TRUE cheaters - you know if you are one)


 12:37 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well, I see many of you doing a fantastic and new revolution. The general idea is perfect. Just let users know that are other alternatives to Google. Diversity will be good for all.
Talk with your friends, with your customers, place ads for your visitors, and keep growing a little wave until becomes a "tsunami".
For me doesn't matter if this next week Google replaces my directory to previous status. Real matter is that is impossible to develop a business as slave of any Big Brother.
Dogpile, Yahoo, MSN...as many we can promote, better for all.
And one more thing, anyone with an unlisted directory who wants help for improve his results in this search engines... just contact me.


 2:40 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tell visitors to use other search engines....

The problem I see with this is that you will not have many visitors unless they can find you in Google.


 6:10 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

But why not have our own brand new search engine? There are plently of dissatisfied webmasters around, with a thousand dollars each (even less) we can raise millions. But actually we don't need millions because we've got the upper hand on prromotion though our own websites. We'll never agree on a third party search engine. You may like Dogpile or Yahoo, I may like MSN because it seres me better. But our own search engine is somthing else. We'll have a set of rules of course to keep black hat techniques out but at least we'll be able to defend our case ( if we do have one) if our sites fall out. If others can do it webmasters can do it and I bet we have the brains for it also an more to do it better. Then other webmasters will rush to join.

What we need is a trusted co-ordinator both for the financial aspect as weel for the administrative and executive aspects.

If two guys out of a garage workshop did it (with the help of us the webmasters) why can't we do it?

Am I dreaming here... I think not.


 6:38 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

All right. We are in August.
Today (August 1) Googlebot started to visit my site again. According to Awstats:

8 different robots* Hits Bandwidth Last visit
Googlebot 1954 0 01 Aug 2005 - 06:12

Why is bandwidth 0? 1954 hits and 0 bandwidth? Very strange. What do you think?

Still nowhere in google. Where should we check different DCs?


 6:47 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Mystery resolved. It was Googlebot-Images... What they want with my original images if they do not want my content?


 7:44 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Put Adsense on your directory pages. ;)


 7:48 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

My observations on this whole thing--

Google does a major shakeup of their algo every so often. Then we get a huge panic-filled post like this one with nothing but speculation as to why it happened.

How many times have we seen G make a huge sweeping change like this only to have them readjust it about a month later? They tend to chop with a big axe and then slowly tweak things back to "normal" after they see how the algo actually worked.

I am sure that this will be the case again so don't panic and don't overreact until you know what you should *really* react to. I'm sure that the legit sites will come back.

Popping out hundreds of huge auto-generated adsense directory and non-directory sites and then blogging and pinging them into the SEs has been a trend for about a year. G was bound to react sometime and now it has happened. Unfortunately as in point #1, some legit sites got thrown out too (I'd bet temporarily).

This is another perfect example of why you shouldn't have all of your eggs in one basket. Things can change in an instant and if you rely on one site (or type of site, product, etc.) for all or most of your income then you then you are bound to get hurt sooner or later--DIVERSIFY for a long internet business life!

Try not to worry too much about G. There is nothing you can do about them anyway. Just like Altavista, AOL, Netscape, Digital Equipment, Wang Labs, and all the rest of them that were stupid, arrogant or just had bad luck, Big G too will have its day. It's just the cycle of life...especially in the internet world. There's always a new pup coming up to kick the big dog's butt and there is always another way to make a buck. Keep one step ahead of the game and look for the up and comers.

Yahoo controls more search traffic than G does now anyway. MSN and Ask Jeeves are trying hard to be players. Things are always changing.

Just my 2 cents.


 8:04 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

brizad, you just forget one thing... We do not talk about loosing positions (this happens all the time), we do talk about a full penalty, we do not rank for our own domain name... not in page 1, page 100 or page 5000....


 8:19 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)


This is another perfect example of why you shouldn't have all of your eggs in one basket. Things can change in an instant and if you rely on one site (or type of site, product, etc.) for all or most of your income then you then you are bound to get hurt sooner or later--DIVERSIFY for a long internet business life!

Well said!


 9:17 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

Yes...diversify. I do too. More or less 175 websites PR5 to PR7 in production. 1 very good directory banned by the Big G-brother...I'm furious, but not worried, because I follow always the rules, not because Google rules, just because to be honest and serious i the best way to do business.

I never use adsense on my websites (sorry, probably I use in 1 or 2 of the 175 just because layout purposes), I'm convinced from many time ago that is a fake. I resell my spaces to others, usually customers of adsense or overture, and I get the 100% of my money , not the 10-15%.

And as I said at the very beginning, most of my traffic is from all the other search engines. I never optimize for Google.

From these 175 websites, the only one receiving a significant traffic from Google is the only one banned. Interesting detail isn't?

To survive and to win money like that is not only posible, is also safe and healthy. Is the way to have a business for a long time.

To have a business with Google free traffic, reselling it to Adsense, is absolutely absurd.

To help Google to grow, placing at websites searches of Google,links saying how funny boy it is, and stuff like that is just a suicide...is the road to perdition... And also is a fake for your visitors, because Google has no more the best search results and is not -never been- a friendly nice boy.


 10:35 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

you just forget one thing... We do not talk about loosing positions (this happens all the time), we do talk about a full penalty

Whether this is a case of losing positions or getting kicked out of the index (both of which happen all the time), I still think that since there seems to be a big drop in directory sites, that this is very much related to the proliferation of all the spam/scraper sites that have been made with any one of several automatic programs.

You can kick out a 5000 page directory in about 15 minutes and you can get yahoo and MSN (google is a little slower) to index it within a few hours. It was just a matter of time before the SEs started dealing with it. From what I read in other forums, it started happening about 2 weeks ago in large numbers.

But regardless of the *details* of what happened, the pattern of the *way* it happend is not unusual. So I'll still stick with my earlier points. Similiar actions have been taken by G many times in the past. Then they analyze whether or not their tweaks had the desired effect and then they readjust slowly until they have dialed in the exact results they want. Usually within about a month the good clean sites come back.

No guarantees of course, but if you had a good clean site that got booted out I wouldn't be making any radical changes untill you are pretty sure that your changes will have a positive effect. If not, then there's nothing you can do about it anyway. So find out how to make money in the world as it currently is...not how it used to be or how you wish it to be :-)


 10:35 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

"To have a business with Google free traffic, reselling it to Adsense, is absolutely absurd. "

I agree, when your source of traffic is volatile-(google), and your main customer is volatile- (adsense-with its mystery pricing etc.)the chance of major income bumps is high.

Actually I'm probably just jealous of all the adsense wiz's who make more in a month/or week, than I do in a year...


 11:24 am on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

I never use adsense on my websites...I'm convinced from many time ago that is a fake.

Probably true

I resell my spaces to others, usually customers of adsense or overture, and I get the 100% of my money , not the 10-15%.

very smart

From these 175 websites, the only one receiving a significant traffic from Google is the only one banned. Interesting detail isn't?

Yes, interesting

"To have a business with Google free traffic, reselling it to Adsense, is absolutely absurd. "

Absurd or not, I like getting their checks ;-)

But seriously. Business and marketing in general is pretty absurd. Most of it is convincing people who don't really need your product that they DO need your product and that they aren't cool enough, fashionable enough, hip enough, slim enough, tall enough, sexy enough, or safe enough unless they buy your product.

So unless a business (or website) is selling basic food, water, shelter, or clothing, they are really participating in the absurdity of marketing in general...convincing people to part with their disposable income for things they don't really need.

Since I have to make a living just like everone else, and as the whole thing in and of itself itself is absurd, I don't concern myself with what minor nuances of absurdity that I myself am participating in. I'm just trying to make a living.

(Oops I didn't mean to get all existential. I'd better get to sleep ;-)


 12:10 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)



All spidered, cached and indexed differently. Very very interesting really!


 12:39 pm on Aug 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's just a Google's opinion about what good (uniques, non reciprocal, not scraper) directory is ;)


 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.

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