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Got too many links. Got penalized. Now what to do!
Jagger aftermath
certblast12




msg:718434
 10:07 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi,

I have a site which got hit on sept 22 Jagger1 and never came back. I believe that I went a bit too crazy with link building and built like 500 links per month for the months of August-Oct. Prior to Jagger1 my site was on page1 and now dropped to page 80 or so for my major keywords. Site is a Pr6 still and several thousand backlinks.

What I need to know is a couple of things.

1. I believe a lot of other sites had same issues but no one ever mentioned if they ever got their site back where it used to be?

2. What speed of building links per month is a safe one. Dont tell me 20 because keywords I am trying to optimize are very competitive and 20 links per month wont do it even in 5 years.

3. So if someone was hit and got it back. Did it come back to exactly where it used to be or even higher and how many links were acquired from the time it got hit and then got back to its original rankings. Please specify monthly or weekly speed.

4. How long it took since the site got penalized and got back? Can it come back in next update example if a site got hit in Jagger1 and say link building since then has been slowed to less than 50. Can I expect it to be back in next update? Or is it gonna be several updates till I would have to wait.

Could someone please share their experiences?

 

RichTC




msg:718435
 12:16 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Cert,

One site we worked on, effectively went back into the sandbox for nine months after triggering some sort of link build penulty - to many links to quick, it then came out fighting!.

This isnt a Jagger thing, its been this way for the last couple of years i think, you just got caught in it. Its bad look because others in your sector may be doing the same and not caught out.

I dont think you will get a model answer to this as i think it could be a case that google looks at sites in your sector, how quickly they gain links and if it thinks your site is getting them far to fast, suspects you of buying in links and whacks you!

Anyway, in time the site will be back out ranking but you will have to wait a while imo. If the positions you previously had that were top 10 are now 200+ you have been whacked back in the sand imo!

walkman




msg:718436
 12:41 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> Dont tell me 20 because keywords I am trying to optimize are very competitive and 20 links per month wont do it even in 5 years.

What we tell you doen't really matter. How old your site is, where are the links from, and how google views them matter. Google isn't stupid, they now count links and dates first appeared, and they could care less that your competitors have more links and you need to catch up.

My ancient main site is in the box for 4 months now (by accident /my fault) and I've been lucky that site #2 is doing pretty good, despite being much inferior in terms of content. I removed the links /fixed the mistake a week after beign hit and I'm hoping that the next update will fix it, but no one really knows. It could a 3-9 month, or more, penalty, that will not go away before the time expires. Only google really knows, and for "mydomain.com," I rank #50 or so.

Rich, did you remove the links or simply left them as they were..?

certblast12




msg:718437
 7:51 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replies.

Site is 3 years old. Doing really well on yahoo in first page of rankings like it used to be.

certblast12




msg:718438
 7:53 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Secondly, What should I do until then. Should I continue to build say 50 or so links per month until then? Or just wait it out?

buckworks




msg:718439
 8:38 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Setting aside the question of how many is safe, what kind of links were you getting so quickly? What sort of message is being projected by your overall "link footprint"?

  • Did they come from quality sites with quality backlinks of their own?
  • Did a good proportion of them come from pages where the relevance/theming would have a clear and logical connection with your site's topic?
  • Did the majority come from sites that were clearly external to your own networks, both your own sites or others you've exchanged links with?

I can't prove this, but I'm convinced that getting those factors right is more important than just "how many" links.

certblast12




msg:718440
 8:42 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did they come from quality sites with quality backlinks of their own?

More than 60% of links came from quality websites yes.

Did a good proportion of them come from pages where the relevance/theming would have a clear and logical connection with your site's topic?

I would consider 40% of links to be very very relevent. Another 30% to be pretty relevent. And last 30% to be not relevent

Did the majority come from sites that were clearly external to your own networks, both your own sites or others you've exchanged links with?

Yes 95% of links were from sites which were clearly external from my own network.

vincevincevince




msg:718441
 11:01 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Were these one-way links or exchanged ones?

certblast12




msg:718442
 1:02 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

All these were 3 way links meaning I was giving links from another relevent site and getting back one way links to this main site. but all were exchanged links. The other site was on a separate Class C so there is no way it can be linked together.

glengara




msg:718443
 1:29 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

In the old days it was generally believed a re-included site never "performed" as well as it did and many chose to start again, but in these days of penalty notifications and re-inclusion requests, who can say ;-)

Assuming your penalty was linkage based, I'm sort of surprised you don't see the three way linking as a possible factor despite the C class thing....

certblast12




msg:718444
 1:37 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

IF siteB is giving links and Site A is getting back the links. How are they not considered one way?

glengara




msg:718445
 2:56 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

M.Cutts somewhere states that 3-ways can be spotted, that may just be bravado, but at one conference session a respected member here was seriously impressed by whatever link mapping software MC was using.

I'd just be less prone to see it as coincidental... ;-)

certblast12




msg:718446
 3:33 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well thats not where the discussion was intended to go. I believe the issue is more related to speed of links and no one has really given their own experiences in that case. Sites doing reciprocal links are still doing good in google so I believe that even then 3 way is better than reciprocal.

With that said. I firmly believe that the issue is more related to speed of links. And all I am wanting to know is that if anyone got their sites to their full rankings back after being hit in that situation and what did they do in order to get it back.

rkhare




msg:718447
 3:47 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

no one has answered how much time it takes to come back? maybe not to orignal ranking but still not on the last page

caveman




msg:718448
 4:01 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Because there is no set answer. Depends on what else the site already had/has going for it, and what the site does from here. Rankings are relative and therefore, of course, all dynamic.

netmeg




msg:718449
 4:06 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have a client who has been out of the SERPs completely for over 21 months. (We designed their original database and host their site, but all subsequent work they've done themselves) I noticed when doing the year-end bandwidth reports that they'd had no traffic whatsoever from Google; a site:www.theirdomain.com returned no results whatsoever, and they have several thousand pages. I asked them about it, and they claimed to know they were penalized, but didn't know what exactly for - they'd hired an overseas SEO a couple years ago, and whatever they did got them knocked out. I went over their site pretty thoroughly - couldn't find any hidden text or redirects or anything too obvious - except that there were several pages of links that were obviously part of some link farm.

So I had them remove those pages, and then begged and pleaded and stamped my feet and begged and pleaded some more with Google, and they put the site back in a week ago. Not great rankings as yet, but at least they are back in and being spidered (slowly at first, but it's picking up)

I can only think it was the links that put them in the penalty box in the first place, and the removal of them that got them out. Took me about three weeks to get them back in after I discovered the problem, but they were totally out for almost two years before that.

FWIW and YMMV.

[edited by: netmeg at 4:07 pm (utc) on Jan. 30, 2006]

walkman




msg:718450
 4:06 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> I believe the issue is more related to speed of links and no one has really given their own experiences in that case. Sites doing reciprocal links are still doing good in google so I believe that even then 3 way is better than reciprocal.

It's like going to the doctor and saying "this is what I have," and not listening to his opinion :-).

Of course we're all speculating, but the idea that Google, with those smart PHDs, can't detect link schemes it's not something I'm willing to accept. That's all they do all day, try to spot patterns, and something tells me that by now they do have a pretty good idea.

buckworks




msg:718451
 4:11 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

More than 60% of links came from quality websites yes

And the rest ...?

I'd bet that the three-way links are a major part of the problem.

It's a matter of proportion, and "signals of quality". One here and one there won't be an issue if you're doing enough other things right, but with too many your overall pattern becomes unnatural. Also, by linking to sites that practice three-ways you'll often be linking to sites with unnatural link patterns of their own. Again, a few of those won't cause problems, but getting too many in your mix will raise red flags, regardless of what speed you acquired the links.

certblast12




msg:718452
 4:33 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Right that I know that the problem was getting too many links from too many same patterned sites. Now the thing is. What should be done to get back?

Ps: site is still indexed completly and all backlinks are showing.

glengara




msg:718453
 4:38 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

* I believe that even then 3 way is better than reciprocal.*

Thing is, unlike normal reciprocals 3-ways are deceptive by nature, and may well be seen as a more serious breach of the guidelines.

But to get back to your speed thing, from what I've read so far it's mostly conjecture on what factors may trigger the "sandbox" based on circumstantial evidence, again no set answer.

certblast12




msg:718454
 4:44 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok what I am trying to say let me say it agian.

I am sure there is something wrong in my strategy and it is due to unnetural linking patterns true. If my strategy was working so great I wont be asking you guys for help would I?

What I am trying to get help on is that what should I do from this point onwards to try to get the best shot at getting back to old rankings.

jrs_66




msg:718455
 4:50 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

---More than 60% of links came from quality websites
---built like 500 links per month for the months of August-Oct

3 months X 500 links = 1500 links
1500 X 60% = 900

Are you trying to say you got 900 inbound links from 'quality' sites in your area of interest over a three month time period? If it smells like spam...

certblast12




msg:718456
 4:52 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

No spam I just had a lot of different people working on them!

walkman




msg:718457
 4:59 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

honestly, I doubt there's much you can do at this point, but hope that soon time will solve it.

If it was one site or a few that linked you, I would recommend asking them to remove the links, but I don't see how that can be done with links from 1500 or so sites. Last time my site came back, it was after I removed, what I thought were, the offending links. Maybe it would have come back regardless, but I didn't want to take a chance.

certblast12




msg:718458
 5:01 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Walkman,

Could you please let me know how long that took your site to come back?

jrs_66




msg:718459
 5:08 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

I can't say I know of any target group on the web today which has 900 quality sites... I guess the definition of the word 'quality' is the issue here.

certblast12




msg:718460
 5:16 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Relevent links PR2+ on link page PR4+ on home page. Less than 100 links on the page where my link is placed.

However , yet again I am not sure if I should be repeating is again but,

What was done has been done what I need your opinion on is what should I do from now onwards until next updatE?

buckworks




msg:718461
 5:17 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

It will be hard to get rid of the unnatural patterns but you could take some steps to make them a smaller part of your mix. Keep working on link development but slow it down, and keep a tighter focus on relevancy and signals of quality. If your site is good it will pick up organic links over time that will help the process.

Another thought: are your anchor texts for all those links "too perfect, too often"? Adding more variety in the anchor texts you control might help to restore a more natural balance.

certblast12




msg:718462
 5:22 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Buckworks, Thanks finally some good advice!

REgarding anchor texts. The links were spread across 35 anchor texts so I believe that is variety enough.

As far as speed of links I have been going at the speed of 50 or so top quality and very relevent links per month since then.

Kufu




msg:718463
 5:27 pm on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

> Relevent links PR2+ on link page PR4+ on home page. Less than 100 links on the page where my link is placed.

If you are basing 'quality' just on those criteria, then you don't have 900 quality links. Just because a site has a PR of 4 it doesn't mean that PR is worth much if it is coming from just one external link.

On top of that you have 600 links that are even worse than the supposedly quality 'links'.

Personally, I'd try to get rid of all of those links and work on content. If Google is penalizing you for spamming, simply waiting won't help.

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