|1 year, No Goog.A Humble story|
Ranking in Google, Banned in Google, How to rank in Google
About 6 months ago, I was lucky enough to speak to someone who recomended me to this great forum. Here is my story and plea for responses:
In the begining, I baught a real estate template through some company, I then realized it was time for a "unique website with value" and found the biggest spam artist in the USA to help me (man...I'm a youngin). This guy generated forum posting scripts, posted me in thousands of forums with other non educated seo masters, and has sense moved to austria to continue the "house that spam built" (this went on for 6 months, posting me to forums). I got calls, all of them from Lawyers and realized that this wasn't proper-per googles guide lines. What gets me is that I am in many search engines (I have used reciprical linking systems, software, and Link me to thousands for a monthly fee) and have basicly figured out all but Google.
A full year has gone by and the Gman still thinks of me as a worthless spam operation (or something). I requested "reinclusion" to google about 7 months ago and gave them a sob story, while ratting out my spam friend and google replied the normal reply per thier guidlines..."I am not blacklisted, my site is indexed and thier are no penalties." I can go on and on story after story...could someone please respond to the potential cause of my problems? I am so sick of looking at the same #1 real estate website for my area <edited>, and I know mine is competive per every other search engine. Look forward to any responses, and I'll respond back asap with answers to and questions from you which would continue the thread. Thanks seo's!
Huble and Sincerely,
[edited by: tedster at 12:33 am (utc) on May 28, 2006]
[edit reason] remove specifics [/edit]
I also have concerns about a "4xx" error and many of my indexed pages through my goog sitmap account are from my old template from about 1 year ago, which no longer exists now. I have just requested all of the 404 errors to be removed from goog (about 33 of them). I was wondering if for some reason these things may have affected my ranking in google?
You say that you are listed in "many search engines", but then back up this statement by saying that you have paid for these listings. But if you paid for the listings, you are not necessarily listed in search engines. In fact, the many spammy scammy link farms which seem to account for most (all?) of your in-links could very well be preventing your site from being listed in the (legitimate) search engines.
Sorry, but until you build a legitimate site with useful content, you're probably stuck where you are.
Thanks for the post Stapel. I'm more worried about what transpired in the beggining stages of my websites seo strategies than I am about the backlinks I have recently purchased (you are right, there are a few of them). These "new backlinks" that I have purchased very recently within 2 months, have not effected anything with google (as nothing ever does for me).
I do have one major concern and it has to do with one of the websites that my "spam friend/contact" (who I no longer pay, deal with, talk to, or think happy thaughts about) has been promoting sense day one. This website was about 4 months older than mine when mine went live. Up until about 3 months ago, it was not ever ranked in Google. Guess what? This site now ranks well for all the keywords involved with the spammy seo black hat tactitcs and is completely rediculs for me to belive. I just can't understand goog...its behond me. I know MSN, ASK, YAHOO, but GOOG- haha it just consumes so much time and I can't ever get anywhere with my research.
Do you know of any stories of a year or longer in the sandbox?
I think this is strange as well: site:www.mydomain.com pulls up the pages that were last with my template provider literally almost 2 years ago. I thaught 404 pages were dropped by google, I guess not...I just recently (today) requested goog to drop all of them. I'm wondering if this could be a hint as to why google wont wont touch my site. After seeing some of the spam crap ranking in google...
One more thing-I do understand that the links I have set up with the link farm recently is basicly spam, and I am payin for it $$ wise (how dumb), but I need to do everything I can to feel msn, ask, yahoo, and goog...because it has become my life (and I'm broke haha-2 years i generate about 30 visits a day), I know with the search volumes per month I can raise this number to at least 100, as tested with adwords campaigns on google as well.
Thanks again for the post Stapel!
It seems to me that you are in need of a good spring cleaning even though we have started the summer and maybe you ought to think traffic in stead of SEO.
First take a look at your listings; do they give you any traffic? Do they give you any real lasting traffic or are we just talking hits that bounce on to other sites.
If you find out that your spammy past is not realy giving you traffic I would recommend a clean cut. Out with the old spammy techniques and in with real content, real quality links, real listings and SEO for traffic instead of SEO for links and listings.
Iím sorry but if you want to succeed and get real qualified hits in stead of spammy bot hits and link farm hype, you must do it right, from scratch.
Thanks for the post Buferzone. I still don't feel like anyone knows what iv'e been thru (not tryin to be cocky). I'm a small player in a big world of the Gbot, but I feel like time is of the essance on a daily basis and goog just isn't catching that drift as well as they should. Don't get me wrong, I love google (even tho ive never seen a click), but <snip> is worth at least position 100.
Is a year to long in the sand box?
How long to rank position 999 if I erase the backlinks?
Has anyone taken a "penalized" site and braught it back to life?
Should I cross link some of my real estate websites and if so, what would be considered spammy?
Ask.com- I know they like text, Yahoo- I know they like on site optimization, and MSN- They eat up backlink ancor text all day...whats googs secrets?
Has anyone been able to experiment with goog search?
I've read thier policy a bizilion times, but when they list 404 Errors for a 1 year term...?
Thanks guys! Any help is very appriciated.
[edited by: lawman at 3:23 am (utc) on May 28, 2006]
[edit reason] No Urls Please [/edit]
vincent, it's to your credit that you realize that you have fallen for the typical seo garbage that most seos sell.
However, you need to realize that, unlike say in the catholic religion, going to confession [telling google what you've done], the damage can be much more severe and longlasting.
Short answers: if anyone wants to insure that they stay in the sandbox as long as humanly possible, they should do everything you did. There is no finer way to get your site flagged as sandbox material than the methods that were used on your site. And possibly other penalty flags as well. You did everything to tell google your site was junk, and nothing to tell it it was quality.
These methods work on other search engines because other search engines are simple, easy to crack, and basically just pale imititations of google's stuff. Ranking on other search engines is easy to do, number one, you want it, you got it. But at the price of possibly never ranking on google.
Again, to your credit, you've realized that you were scre#ed by your seo. But don't feel bad, most people out there have the same experience, that's par for the course if you go out blind and hire an seo. There are a few good seos out there, some of them moderate this forum, but there are not very many. So your odds of getting a good one are miniscule, and your odds of getting scre#ed are very high.
Now you know where you stand. You made a new site, then the first thing you tell google is that you are spammy, with lots of garbage links etc. So google says, ok, spammy site with garbage links, no ranking for them.
You basically now have to start all over again, rebuild the lost trust with google. Make a real site, real content, real articles, stuff that real other sites will want to link to. Can you do it? Only you can determine that.
Are you looking for more shortcuts? Then stop looking for long term google success. Are you satisfied with msn and yahoo rankings? That's easy, but often comes at the cost of google rankings. It's your decision. Google likes sites with track records, that have quality inbound links, that get quality links on an ongoing basis. Is there any reason for your site to get this? Ask yourself this honestly. And if you can't ask yourself, ask someone you trust, who doesn't really know your site, ask them to look at it, first impressions are very important.
Look at this from google's perspective, not yours: why should they trust any domain name that has used bad seo practices again? No flag is more reliable than past seo abuse on a domain name. Statistically, if I were google, I would probably wait a few years to allow any domain with seo abuse to rank again, because they have already proven themselves to not be trustworthy.
Think about it. It's not google's fault that you fell for seo junk, but at some point, it is your fault, you wanted a shortcut. Buying links, all that, you knew it was bad, now you know it really was bad.
Nothing irks me more than forum link spammers, ask brett tabke, the owner and manager of these boards, about that sometime if you want. Forum link spammers are the total scum of the earth, just like email spammers, only they pretend that they are different. So you hired these guys. Do you think you should be rewarded for that? Be honest. You tried to cheat, and you were caught. Next time don't cheat.
2by4, I realized my great depression about 9 months ago, when I faught to get my web files from this "scum of the earth" and began to work and understand html, seo, and everything except the infamouse G! It has began to eat at me so much, that I went back to college to get myself a degree...maybe someday I can walk to the doors at google, open them, and become like Charlie in the Chocolate factory. Its Just as you told it 2by4, everyone else is worthless and Goog is something special. But, after everything I've seen (and I really do love my website, I help people purchase and sell homes and Its been said to be the best website in the area, although a lil flashy), I am just assuming now after reading these 3 responses from everybody that "content" and more "content" is the best way to rank in the G kindome? Thats my issue. I just keep developing more and more...more and more, but I can't see starting from ground zero all over again. My domain is so saught after for every city (eg. city"estates")...I just can't give it up. Its much like the threads where family's become conflicted with the "web developer/master" and consistantly scream at you that you are so incredibly pathetic and will never amount to anything worthy. I mean, from the serp's that actually list my domain, I generate at least 3 leads a day, but because of this G-regime and me not being able to appear...it's behond***-my toilet is clean, but I often want to make it dirty and drown myself in the depths of the G forces.
I'm assuming that you (2by4) would suggest that I immediatly drop my "link exchange" and just develope content and wait another 2 years? I'm young, I can endure the wait...but man, the other players in the search engine industry...Will g's brand still be around in 3 years? Will MSN or Yahoo develope to be the kings? Is G the future of what I understand to be the absolute? I've never had any guidence-EVER, always learned the hard knocks...at least the internet is still alowing me a good nights sleep (with horable nightmares)! I wish, that someday everything becomes clear and I can say to my grandchildren..."you know, Gbot was the champ in the begining of this milenium (and I cracked the code), but after they merged with MSN, Yahoo, Ebay, and Amozon, everything became easy?
Thanks for the response 2by4, I appreciate it more than anybody who has ever helpped pay my bills. Is thier any way to get real help and not get scammed? I feel that Ive become the "trik" and I'm just waiting to have my throat slit. Its almost as if God has partnered with G-sus and left me with morals. I just got into the game "literally" 2 years 2 short...you would think I could capitalize with what I know...guess not. HAHA, too much crying, sorry about that for you who have read this far! I Think that Allan Rollsky needs a visit from me n the rest of this forum. I would like to destroy the people like my "seo master" that is literally makin millions off of bogus scripts...I was his fall guy, damn! It just doesn't stop haha, tear after tear...sorry again!
the best way to deal with your issues currently is get rid of as many spammy links as you can, but since they were probably created by automated link spam bots, nobody even knows what or where they are.
So that's a dead end, the damage is done there.
All link exchanges are garbage. Total trash. The only links you send out should be to great resources that help your users, and the only links you should be getting are because your content is good enough for people to link to it by themselves.
If you want to maintain the site, stop with all spammy link building immediately, and don't do it again, at least not until you are much more sophisticated, and even then, don't do it if you actually care about the site's long term survival and prospering.
If you never do that again, after a while, google will start to notice that the only new inbound links to your site are real ones, reasonably good quality. Then eventually, if you keep adding good, real, content, google will slowly start opening the door back to your site. I don't know the time for that, I do know that when I have experimented with spammy seo methods, the pages and keywords I tried that on were out of my reach for a minimum of 2 years, possibly longer. I do not do that any more, it's stupid tactic in my opinion, and a great strategy to take if your long term goal is failure.
If your site is getting good notice, then that should translate to getting good, natural, high quality links. These links should eventually help start to repair the damage done to you by your scum seos, who you notice were happy to take your money but now will do nothing to help you, because all they can do is tricks.
But, and this is just my opinion, I think, I believe, that google has no incentive at all to ever remove a spam type flag from your pages, or at least from your domain name, although other factors may eventually cause that flag to get overridden. That's roughly how I see it, I don't really care if that's technically exactly correct or not, it's more or less how I've seen spam penalties work, so that's how I think of it.
So a spammed domain is ALWAYS at risk for further downgrading in future updates due to the presence of this historical marker.
And since you can't actually remove the spammy links, you just have to let that one go. If it's under a few hundred, you could email the forum webmaster/admin with a removal request explaining your issues, but you probably won't have much luck with that is my guess.
It takes patience, google, I suspect, has correctly decided that sites with longevity are more valuable as a rule than new sites. This is hardly rocket science, it's kind of obvious, clearly a site that has been around a while, especially in the highly fluid worldwide web, is probably a better resource than a new site. So keep working on the site, it's close to not being a new site now, and if you don't ever hire an seo to help you, just keep learning the stuff yourself, post in good forums, avoid all black and gray hat seo stuff like cancer, you may do fine long term, especially if as you say your site is getting good notice in the real, non spammer world.
Re MSN: last time I heard, a few weeks ago, Ballmer said that msn was looking at a 5 year plan to succeed. That's a huge step back from a year ago. They have realized how hard it is to do good search, especially on microsoft servers, LOL..
Yahoo... the day they take search seriously again, that will be interesting.
Reality: google is hiring all the best people, msn and yahoo are getting the people google didn't want, unless msn paid too much to get somebody. and that person will leave in a year or two once they realize that msn is a waste of time, like all ms web products.
|I would like to destroy the people like my "seo master" that is literally makin millions off of bogus scripts... |
I just finally talked a client into dumping his garbage bogus scripts, he got them from somebody here, typical.
After losing a site for a while, now that he dumped the junk, it's starting to come back. Google will forgive you if you show over time that you will not do it again.
All scripts like this are cr#p, total and utter cr#p. They are junk programming made by people who only care about taking your money from you. Avoid seos like a serious disease and you will find that your site starts to recover after a while. Play with seos again and you may jump up for a few months, maybe a year, but they will be gone when the next update wipes you out, and so is your money.
1. clean urls, no query strings
2. no duplicate content, locally onsite or from other sites
3. valuable, unique content that nobody else has, that makes people link to you.
4. good services, same story
5. do not use seos
6. avoid seos
7. read brett tabke's successful site in 12 months, located here, in the library section, dont' have the link to it.
8. read it again, realize that it means you have to do work. seos don't like doing work, they like tricks.
9. read these forums, and others like it, try to learn the difference between seo posters and other types. There are a few good seos, scattered around these forums, but they are few and far between. In a year or two, if you keep working, you may know the right questions to ask them to separate the bad from the good, but today you can't.
10. even some of the good seos I've talked to here get weak and start using tricks that they know will work today. They will not, however, give you your money back when those same tricks get your site downgraded in the next major upgrade.
Ahh well, I gave it a shot HAHA. I will probably just start all over? Maybe leave this site on the back burners and just build, build, build, develope, develope, develope a new improved gking website for real estate? Maybe-Maybe I can buy a huge giant "red target" and slap that on my face and run to deep dark ally ways with large wads of cash in my palms (not like it hasent happened). Thanks for the excellant quick response 2by4, It almost took a load off my chest. I'll quit my smoking habbit and maybe if I endure the longevity of the serp's, someday with my knowledge...I'll have my morals and a fancy car to speed around in. Thanks agian man. Still lots of chatting I would like to do about this industry that has taken my life by the sole and said "you will become a slave, we will never appreciate your work." Only thing I got going for myself, I just laugh things away HAHA...potential internet idea? We'll see? It's purly rediculus how much the internet has re-developed any goal I once had in the "real world." It's also rediculusly sad that I still love the internet, like a mother haha...I'm off to bed,,,thanks "2BY4"!
you've got the right attitude, that's for sure ;-)
If you take a long term approach to this, success will come one day. I wouldn't give up on the main site unless spam methods were used on its pages directly. You take a good, careful look to see what was done codewise on your site.
Start cleaning the stuff out if it's there, this has two advantages, one, it gets rid of it, two, it shows google movement on your pages, change. Google likes change.
Watch your stats very carefully, look to see what kind of spidering you are getting from the 3 main search engines. If almost none from google, that's a very bad sign. If normal, like the other search engines, that's a better sign.
If there wasn't too much bad seo work done directly to your site, it's probably going to recover I think, but the time frame is hard to estimate.
Starting a new one might not be a bad idea, but to me, spreading yourself too thin across multiple sites is not nearly as effective as creating single killer destination type domains. Think of the successful sites out there, WebmasterWorld, google, ebay, amazon, any site you can think of by name. Most are unique. Not all, but most. I'm increasingly becoming a fan of having very few sites and making them be as good as you can make them. At some point the web will take note, search engines will take note.
Plus, your current site I assume already is a year or so old.
Takes patience, read brett tabke's 26 steps, add the steps I listed, and you will probably do fine if you are willing to be patient. The one thing that has changed since Brett wrote that from what I've seen is the time frame, it takes more than a year now, but the idea is the same.
As most of the members say, Start again, If you are on a shared server., Try to get a dedicated server first if you are into serious business. This might tell the engines that u r into serious business.
Get a new domain, Renew it for 10 years.,
Get listed in Quality directories, an entry into few , but quality directories is better than entering into a lot of new directories.
Build a clear navigation system and validate your site.
Instead of a "Flashy," "Spam Driven Wedsite," I'm gona pull a yhoo look to a new real estate domain (non keyword oriented), and set the mark at 200 pages of content by this decem, backlinks to 400, and DMOZ directories, etc. Should work.
I'm still real curiouse now that you said "a little longer than 1 year (sand box)," because I noticed another of his domains invoved in heavy sapm opps ranking in google very recently (non spam links to). This domain has been live for 3 months longer and is still very spam orianted. You can easily tell in 1 minutes how much spam is associated...rediculus its ranking in goog now. So I'm thinkin the sand box mirage might be for around a year-14 months now? Ill no soon enough, thanks for the direction to everyone that has responded.
I'm just going to give you the "devil" version of the advice....
Love all that stuff "yep,yep,spam etc". Except for the last 6 months that is the least of your worries.
My advice is simple.
If you have traffic from Google - excellent you are doing something right - if not then:
Ask yourself the question, am I playing by the rules? Do I want to? Do I even want to know the rules? Do I want to offer a good service without breaking the rules?
If the answer is yes to the last question then you are ready to monetise your website.
Do you want to push the limits - hopefully yes. If your site is penalised, create a new one and start again.
[edited by: tedster at 2:45 am (utc) on May 30, 2006]
Upon reading your posts I am left with the feeling that your expertise is in selling real estate, so you should spend time finding a good SEO company to solve your problem. Easier said than done.
Post a wanted ad in the Commercial Exchange forum (or other online ad media) and ask for a company to build you a new site and to get it ranked. Ask each company to tell you how they intend to get you this success. Compare the responses with what you have read here, e.g. if an SEO says they will build a link exchange program, ask more about their approach - do they submit to their own network of sites, do they submit only to real estate directories, etc.
You may not find the truly best company, but you may find someone who can do a better job than by you trying to do it on your own. It's not unlike building your own home versus finding a good house builder with some track record.
|Do you want to push the limits - hopefully yes. If your site is penalised, create a new one and start again. |
Just so you are clear on it: this is how all black and gray hat seos think about websites: disposable. I was going to mention that as one of the signs you were in the hands of one of them, but this poster was kind enough to provide a fine example of this type of thought.
A disposable website is the bread and butter of bad seos. Thinking your site is disposable shows that they cannot create a true destination quality authority site. Why? Because it's hard, and it can't be done usinug cheap or easy tricks. Having an authority site is worth a 100 times more than making a few dollars off a disposable domain: there's a reason they are doing seo after all and not running successful large websites.
Anyone who talks about pushing the limits is pushing your site towards eventual failure. That's because it's at the limits. This is precisely the type of seo I was referring to. Again, I would avoid using seos for quite a while. What good ones can do, anyone can do. It's not rocket science, believe me. Of all the web skills out there, seo involves the least technical knowledge, all you have to do is read forums, read some whitepapers now and then, read black and gray hat seo forums so you can know what methods to avoid.
One method I like is finding an seo forum that attracts very bad, low skill web masters, then read their questions. Since everything they have heard of is almost always old tricks repackaged and sold in things like 'seo newsletters' that you pay to get, pretty much every method they mention should be avoided, since it's a dead certainty that google is going to target it on its next update.
Link building on a commercial level is required only when your site has nothing particularly unique or valuable on it in the first place, in other words, most of the sites on the web. There's a reason duplicate content etc is a major issue, most people can't or won't create their own, but still want to collect the cash at the end of the day for doing basically nothing. Leave those people to the seos, it's a perfect match.
If you want to build a high quality destination type website, then keep as far from these types of people as you humanly can. Think of the truly successful sites you actually use, they don't do this stuff. I see new sites come up, with good content, happens all the time. I can think of at least 10 news sites I've been using routinely that just started in the last 2 years, I found them through real, organic links to their unique, valuable, and worthwhile content. I did not find them because they used seo.
If you don't want to build a high quality, destination type site, then I'm totally wasting these words, but you kind of sound like you do. I could be wrong.
It's true that seo tactics work short term, but remember, as the poster above reminds us so perfectly, it's short term, it's not for someone who wants long term success and who has the ability to create that success themselves because of their products, services, or content.
There's lots of stuff you can do to improve your chances, as noted, brett's 26 steps are a very good start, but you'll notice that you never see an seo recommend that, it's timeconsuming, takes a long time, and is a long term strategy aimed towards permanent and lasting success.
I'm glad these last two posters added their notes, since they both demonstrate this thinking quite well, and it's what you should avoid if you care about your site long term.
|so you should spend time finding a good SEO company to solve your problem. Easier said than done. |
What you should find, if you feel like you need help, is a collection of people with very good skills in the area you need help in. If you need programming, design, etc, help, then find help in those areas. Look for people with a knowledge of seo who are not seos. Again, seo is not complicated, it's not hard, it's just a relatively small handful of fairly cheap and easy to detect tricks. That's the reason for the 'disposable site' idea.
When you find good people, try to keep them onboard with you. It's worth keeping up on seo stuff, since search engines change all the time, but the cleaner your stuff is, the less time you have to spend on it, since you don't have to worry as much.
As some posters have posted here repeatedly, if your site's success depends on google alone that is not a business model that has any value.
Keep the existing site. Let the current visitors to this site continue to use it. Remove whatever spam links to this site as possible. If you have users who use this site, no point in closing it down. Anything suspicious or blackhat on this site - remove it all.
Start another fresh, clean site. Not even looking for "400 backlinks" etc. Get a few from good places, and stop there. Create good content which will bring you natural links without asking. Clean URLs. Keep this site completely separate from the other one, not a single link from here to there or vice versa. Run both as separate operations. If you follow 100 % ethical SEO, you will see this site coming up in the SERPs - if not today, tomorrow. You may have to wait for 2 years or 3, but its worth it.
2by4, I get what you are saying and I did mean to play devils advocate here - and I would second what you are saying in terms of creating a quality website for users and having a clean site - I was actually (probably wrongly) making the assumption that the site was fine.
The harsh reality (whatever the hat) is that at the end of the day most sites just do not rank in Google, and at present sites that did rank don't anymore because of a change in indexing depth and link analysis.
I have given many tips about good seo:
1) Quality content for users
2) Good use of keywords - more specific the better
3) Unique Titles and Descriptions on pages including those keywords
4) Flatter link structure so that Google can crawl more pages from your home page (important if your page rank puts you on "the fringe of the crawl" - which I reckon is PR 1-4, but just my guess)
5) Build links - better to have one way inbound links from quality websites.
What I am saying is that all that takes time - and to be honest this forum is full of people who have done this for years and it has worked until recently with the big daddy update. There are people who are doing fine, however.
I just think in the present environment a sense of reality needs to set in - you may have a great site with many users but if you at any time rely on search engine traffic at all then your website has no value whatsoever as it can be gone in an update.
So I am saying build a site for users and build a site for search engines.
And yes, search engine traffic is always short term - it has to be, would a bank lend you 10k secured on your websites search engine traffic? Would you buy a website based on X years projected income from search engine traffic - no.
My company hosts around 200 sites for various legacy clients. When I was doing the end-of-year bandwidth reports last December, I noticed that our largest trafficked site had had absolutely NO traffic from Google in the previous sixty days. Nada. Not one referral. Tons from Yahoo, a little from MSN, but no Google. I was curious, and went back a ways more, and found they'd had absolutely no Google traffic for around 21 months. A site:www.theirsite.com showed no results whatsoever, and his site has over 60,000 pages.
I asked the client if he was aware of this - he said he'd hired some overseas SEO company a couple years before, and after that, all their Google traffic had dried up. He assumed they were penalized, but he had no idea what the company had done, and wasn't knowledgeable enough by himself to figure it out, so he just figured he was screwed.
I emailed Google, and sure enough, they answered back that yes indeed the site was penalized.
I went through the site, and I couldn't find anything really obvious, like hidden text or egregious keyword stuffing - but on digging a little deeper, one thing that did stand out was that apparently this SEO firm had signed my client up to some kind of a link farm.
There wasn't much of anything I could do about all the irrelevant inbound links, but I could remove all the irrelevant links off my client's pages, tidy things up a bit, make sure all the HTML and CSS and PHP were working, validated, and no hint of spammyness anywhere, and then asked for reinclusion. I had to ask three times; I listed exactly what had been done to the site (and by whom) and what I did to fix it all, and by the end of January of this year, the client was back in and being indexed on a regular basis. He didn't rank very well at the beginning, but at least his pages were being spidered, and we're working the rankings now - gets a little better every few weeks. Total time was about six weeks from when I first noticed no Google traffic.
I guess the point is, you don't need to start over from scratch, and don't despair, because you CAN get back in with your existing site. You just have to persevere a little.
Very good stuff there, Netmeg.
|Do you know of any stories of a year or longer in the sandbox? |
Yep. I've had sites sit in the sandbox and then pop out after their one year anniversaries. In particular, I had one site move to a new domain (as part of a merger of several smaller sites) and drop from top ten rankings in various categories to the hundreds. One year after the new domain was registered, those pages were suddenly ranked in positions nearly identical to where they were before changing domains.
Maybe the following will help you make a decision.
I took over the job of redesigning a website last Dec. and didn't realize it till I had accepted the job that the original designer had copied text off other related sites for every page on the site which explained why it was doing so poorly.
I rewrote the text on every page and added about twice as many pages with new content. All old pages still have PR 0 and are still not ranking well. All new pages got PR 3 shortly after they were indexed and receive adequate ranking. It has now been 5 months and still no change in the SERPs for the old pages. This tells me the old part of the site has a long term penalty and even changing the content of the old pages has not helped.
Re your own site, vtalerico, because Google favors older sites I would advise you to keep your old site and start writing new content on new pages and start phasing out the old ones. The new pages may gain rank where the old ones don't and eventually that penaly will fade away (hopefully). If you start a new site you will have to wait another year anyway.
However, as others have recommended --you also need to gather quality links from related sites and those passing PR and would point them at your new pages as well as your home page. This will eventually help boost your home page.