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Spammers hit my Guestbook - PR went from 3 to 0
mslina2002




msg:705332
 8:43 pm on Apr 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am a small business providing a service in a local market. I set up my own site about 3 years ago with the little knowledge I have ( I learnt alot from reading posts here). The site has had a PR 3 to 4 and get most of my business through Google. It is enough to keep me busy until now...

Since March 30th I noticed a drop in visits and found that I had left a test Guestbook (no webpages link to it) floating in the web (kicking myself) and had totally forgotten about it. It had some harmless spam on it since mid March but on the 29th March it was a few <adult> sites. I immediately deleted the page yesterday Apr 2nd when I found out about it but I think it is too late.

Today I looked at all my pages (about 65 pages website, all indexed) and they all have a PR 0. All results of site:www.myhomepage.com, link:www.myhomepage.com produce 0 results. Search for "www.myhomepage.com" results 213 pages none of them my homepage. Google traffic has completely dropped, Y! and MSN are so minimal it does not even count.

I sent Google an email today and they replied with a reference number and generic links. Please help. Have I been banned and what should I do?

[edited by: tedster at 9:38 pm (utc) on April 3, 2006]

 

mslina2002




msg:705333
 3:10 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

If my site has been banned, how long would it take to get it back?

Vadim




msg:705334
 3:39 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

As for the time and how to submit reinclusion request look at
[webmasterworld.com...]

Also remove your page manually from the index with
[google.com...]

Vadim.

dsfhgdh1




msg:705335
 9:15 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

i think the reason is not in guestbook.
look at the other guests. tons of spam including adult and even CP.

mslina2002




msg:705336
 11:11 am on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

look at the other guests. tons of spam including adult and even CP.
.... do you mean adult sites that link to me?

A few months ago I did find adult sites linking to me in my stats and my service provider told me to put this code in my .htaccess file. Does that help or hurt me?

setenvifnocase Referer "^http://(www\.)?spam1_homepage.com" spam_ref=1
setenvifnocase Referer "^http://(www\.)?spam2_homepage.com" spam_ref=1

It then stopped for a few months and then recently I still found one of the same homepage that was supposed to be blocked through my .htaccess, back in the stats.?

Also remove your page manually from the index with
[google.com...]
I don't need to do this since they have already removed all my 65 pages from Google so it virtually doesn't exist in their eyes...zilch, nada, rien, zero, nothing,..... :)

Vadim




msg:705337
 1:06 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

do you mean adult sites that link to me

As far as I know Google does *not* punish for the sites that are linked to you because you cannot control it.

The primary reason was probably the outbound links in the guestbook. However the inbound links could add to Google algo more confidence that your site is porno one.

As for manually delete the guetbook from Google, I am not sure that it is the same as to be deleted by Google. Google may still have information about your site and simply does not show it.

When you delete *yourself* you send to Google the signal that you have fixed the error. I don't clime that it will help, but since it is easy, why not to try?

Vadim.

mslina2002




msg:705338
 1:46 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am not sure that it is the same as to be deleted by Google

You are right. They probably have a copy of it somewhere. Is there a way to just remove one page and not the entire url? The link is for url removal.

I just found out that there seem to be a problem with the security on my htaccess file too and instead of returning a 404 it was viewable by everyone. :(

mslina2002




msg:705339
 2:00 pm on Apr 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is what I get trying to remove the page from Google:

"We were not able to fetch that URL. Please check your URL and try again."

lammert




msg:705340
 12:56 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Let's start with a warning: do NOT use the URL removal tool [webmasterworld.com] to correct problems with Google's indexing. Only use it to remove pages you really want to be removed. Several WebmasterWorld members have licked their wounds after using the URL removal tool in the wrong way.

Now back to your problem. After having found your site, I think you might have been removed as collateral damage by Google cleaning up some adult networks in their index. Your site--if I found the correct one--is a site targeting adults and girls with non-adult related content. Yet because of the overlap of your keywords with those from the adult industry, it might be of interest for the latter group. Smart adult site SEOs might have used it as a vehicle to get their adult sites at good SERP positions. I.e. they first created links from sites to yours to increase PageRank and visibility in the SERPs of your site. This is indicated by the referrers you mentioned. Once your site had good enough rankings and credibility, they used your guestbook to point back to their adult sites to increase ranking and credibility of their own site. Because your site was in the middle of this network with a reciprocal link, you might have been caught by Google while this network was cleaned up. Mentioning that you having a reciprocal link exchange program on your site is not really helpful in this case as Google might have used it as evidence that that adult reciprocal construction was there with your knowledge.

lammert




msg:705341
 1:07 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Added to my previous message:

What also doesn't help is that the website I talked about in my previous post and which I assume to be yours was posted in a comment on Matt Cutts' blog about web spamming two weeks ago (ahum...) So maybe Matt knows more about this recent removal?

Vadim




msg:705342
 1:25 am on Apr 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

We were not able to fetch that URL. Please check your URL and try again

It may be related to you 404 problem. First fix it and then use the removal tool for the not existent pages.

Actualy I assumed that, since guestbook was the reason of the ban and you mentioned that you did not use it, it is better to remove its URL.

If you would like to preserve the page, just make sure that it will stay clear from undesirable links and report to Google that you have fixed it. However, it is longer and result is unpredictable since it is not automatic.

Vadim.

mslina2002




msg:705343
 6:25 pm on Apr 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Lammert --> je bent een knappe vent

Your site--if I found the correct one
yes you did

Because your site was in the middle of this network with a reciprocal link, you might have been caught by Google while this network was cleaned up

I think that is what happened. It is disheartening to me that all these tricks are used at the expense of someone else's hard work.

yours was posted in a comment on Matt Cutts' blog about web spamming two weeks ago (ahum...) So maybe Matt knows more about this recent removal?
Yes again. I found that blog comment by looking at my stats. Something I did and thought was OK was apparently not. Being a creative person and wanting your website to look aesthetically pleasing does not coincide with SEO. The text was clearly visible and my intent was definitely not to fool the spiders. It was done so it wouldn't distract from the overall look of the page. I guess they didn't like it.

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