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Is there some kind of 40 Serps- penalty?

 7:57 pm on Jul 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hey guys,
I am wondering if google has some kind of 40 rankings down penalty? I ask that because my site that was ranked 8th for its main keyword now has the SERP of 48, looks like some kind of penalty to me. Although I didn't do anything wrong other than adding few links to blog directories (site is a blog, btw).

U got some ideas?




 12:03 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Manca, I can confirm that we have seen what we call a "page 4 penalty" for some 9 months. The search that reveals this for us is for "www.yourURL.com" or
this search [google.com]

where you'd expect to see the site www.yourURL.com on page 1 in position 1

[edited by: jatar_k at 11:22 pm (utc) on July 11, 2006]
[edit reason]
[1][edit reason] fixed sidescroll [/edit]


 12:22 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately I don't see my url listed 1st when I do "www.site.com" query. It's on 4th or even 6th place on the first page. I actually see some urls that link back to my site, don't know why's that?

Got some clue?


 12:27 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Why couldn't there be such a penalty? It's happened before.


 12:36 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

the main question here is what caused such a penalty happen? I didn't do anything wrong on my site...didn't (don't) have any black-hat stuff there or anything similar. The thing has just happened and my rankings dropped so bad, 40+ places bad....
The only one thing I did is I submitted my site to few blog dirs, but I really doubt it can cause my rankings drop so bad, even if the directories are "not quality" (although they all have PR4+).

Please enlight me....


 12:38 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

enlighten us all.. google do you care?

I have the same thing.. from April 26th, dropped to pages 4,5,6 from page 1 of 3 years. Clean site always. This whole latest google madness will hopefully sort itself out.. even though I doubt it.


 1:14 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

now that you mention it, my site seemed to have just come out of the sandbox and was moving up the ranks to settle at #85 and after July 01, it went down to #250 before some miracle happened and am now at #125... which is 85 + 40!


 1:15 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I heard Matt Cutts says that google has refreshed data right now and he thinks everything will be sorted out in 2-3 weeks... That's at least what I heard from him. Even though it was about my other site that held position 2 for awhile, then suddenly it dropped out of top100, still w/o doing anything wrong there....It happened after June 27th. The other site that I asked about here was ranked, as I said, 8th and now it's 48th...also w/o any reason IMO.

I am just curious what is happening w/ google these days? Also I really hope it'll be resolved very soon.


 2:21 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I tried it as well, my main page shows up as number 2, and the number one site is......
www.example.com with an adwords ad on it for my site. Sigh, I love how goolge ranks relevance. Pay us to see the site listed right below the link you clicked on to get here.


 4:59 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

We got hit by this "page 4 - 40+ serp penalty" last november. We have done absolutely everything possible to recover. No matter what we search for, even our unique copyright statement we appear at the back of the SERP's behind a bundle of scrappers either plugging RSS feed data or simply downloading and duplicating the entire site. For what it's worth we are a PR 8 and have been for over a year - go figure!


 7:27 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

indigojo your case is even worse than mine. Somebody from google to help us on this one? What should we do, how to recover our pages?


 8:02 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, the 40 serps phenomenon sounds pretty good to me, I think I've got it on a couple of my pages. I've also got the 120 serps penalty too I think - 3 X 40

Maybe I can get the -40 serps penalty and be no. -41? Does that mean I get free AdWords advertising?


 11:53 am on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

In my site's case the penalty is for evident for ANY search, the site is ALWAYS BOTTOM or 30TH +.

Try an "almost unique" search from your site on Google that returns less then 30 results. Is your site Bottom of this Serp?

The site is always at least 30th, our G Sitemaps stats show this. This penalty has been evident since 16 July 2005 and we have asked on a couple of occasions for this disadvantage to be removed but all I get is the usual nonsense of a canned response.


 12:45 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I'am also on page 4 and the URL is having a canonical problem regardless of the 301 I've putted 6 months ago.
Is this a ban or a glitch?


 2:46 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Should I setup some 301 redirection because my site doesn't have that and might be having cannonical issues?


 3:35 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Manca, yes if you are using apache.

from non-www to www.

Really can't tell you but I suspect it might be an OOP or some sort of dup content within your site penalty.

But honestly, these are complete guesses.

Maybe it's just that other sites are better than ours :(

[edited by: Pico_Train at 3:36 pm (utc) on July 11, 2006]


 3:45 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)


I believe you offered a big clue to what is happening when you stated:

Unfortunately I don't see my url listed 1st when I do "www.site.com" query. It's on 4th or even 6th place on the first page. I actually see some urls that link back to my site, don't know why's that?

Did you mean you used the site command, i.e., site:www.yourdomain.com and links to your site showed up in that command? If so, it sounds like your site might have been hijacked because only urls from your own site should show up there.


 3:53 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've been ahving this problem with one of our (older, PR6) sites since July 15th of last year. As soon as the index page of the site started appearing 2nd when using the site: command, all the thousands of pages that had appeared in the top ten for relevant keywords dropped to pages 4 or 5. It's been like that ever since (despite having the 301 redirect from non-www to www). I gave up trying to find a solution months ago.

It's some kind of technical issue with google (doesn't sound liek a typical penalty), but I have no idea what kind.


 3:54 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Can eloborate on your "hijackded" comment. There are a few DC's where this seems to be the case with my site.

It shows a bunch of pages that have never existed before... I don't sell ringtones! :/


 4:02 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

A few 302 Hijacking threads:



 5:54 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes I am using Apache as web server. When i search for domain.com on google it shows my page but in the shape of www.domain.com (which in fact means google hasn't indexed domain.com (non www page) yet). Can you please advise how to properly setup 301 redirection (what exactly should I include in my .htaccess file for non www to www 301 redirection - also I assume the .htaccess file should be the root one, placed in the root of website)?

I didn't use site: query for searching for my domain. I just simply search for "www.domain.com" (note these quotation marks), and it doesn't show me my domain at 1st SERP. That's the problem...

Thanks for all inputs...Need more advices...


 6:18 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

I too have suffered a 30+ penalty but I think I was penalized due to my former programmers putting up a dev.domainname.com mirror site to test their programming without excluding that development site in the robots.txt file (duplicate content penalty).

Anywho, my former #1 rankings disappeared 7 long months ago today and have not returned. Still stuck in the #31-#41 range.


 6:39 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

This works for me but other pros may have other suggestions:

RewriteEngine On
# Redirect to preferred www domain
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^sitename\.com
RewriteRule (.*) [sitename.com...] [R=301,L]

Obviously, change sitename to the name of your site....

put this in a file in notepad and save it as .htaccess and upload it to the root folder of your domain.



 8:34 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the code Pico_Train.

I just tried it and it works....Are you people sure that won't affect my site(s) at all? It should only help, right?

Btw. How could I know if google indexed non-www page already? (searching for domain.com returns 1st SERP as www.domain.com - and that was before I setup this 301 redirection).


 8:59 pm on Jul 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

My number one domain is afflicted by this :(

Tried all sorts but can't rank for nothing, past page 3, been this way for ages now.

Thing is, I've written to Google and have been told there is no penalty, the line was, "get more quality links.."

Go figure


 12:05 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

It might be the problem cause the lack of quality links, but why would then the domain be ranked at first on top10 and later dropped down, by exactly 40 places, that's something I don't get.

Maybe GoogleGuy or Matt Cutts can assist on this case?


 12:42 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

from non-www to www

Just a brief note on that - don't want go totally off-topic on the thread:

Everyone who reads advice on canonical issues, please remember that "with the www" might not be the best solution in your case. A recent series of posts here (sorry, can't find the thread right now to link to) very much illustrated this - someone had moved everything to www, and then had major problems - reading the thread, it very much seemed like it was because G preferred the domain with no www. It's best to look at things carefully before you commit yourself to a definite canonical version of the domain - you have to have to take care of the canonical stuff, of course, but don't do it until you know exactly what you're doing.


 12:57 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

I totally agree with you Stefan.
I really don't know how to understand that cannonical issues. Somewhere I read that BigDaddy fixes that issue, but still has some problems with non-www and www versions of site. It would be the best if we could anyhow realize what is happening with our sites in G's database. Does it prefer non-www (did it index it at all, actually) or classic www type. I read also the thread where problems with 301 redirection were involved. It seems pretty strange to me, but on the other hand it's a little bit logical. Let's say you got thousands links coming to your domain.com version (non-www) and only few links that link to www.domain.com version (www one). It's logical that domain.com (if not 301 redirected) will obtain much higher PR than www.domain.com would. Also that gives nice link popularity to non-www version, hence google loves it more... And if you redirect it to www after such a long period (Google "used to" non-www version), it will probably affect your rankings. And that's in fact that happened to that guy who did this.

I don't know if this theory is true, but that's how I look at the things.

The biggest question we're trying to answer here is WHY the HELL rankings dropped so bad w/o any reason...and that is exactly for certian places (I would understand that somebody overranks me if my site dropped for say 12 places or 17...but not for exactly 30 or 40). That's the question...



 2:36 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

For those of you who set up a 301 redirect and see no improvement in the SERPs after a resonaable amount of time (long enough for Google to index your 301 and time for it to affect the SERPs) then check your site for hijackers by checking every site listed in the inurl:yourdomain.com and intitle:yourdomain.com.

Hijackers only go after top ranking sites so the fact you were ranking well and dropped suddenly it could be the later problem. Actually I would advise doing both at once. There are so many ways to hijack a site now it's hard to keep up with them all.


 7:26 am on Jul 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Stefan is right, it's up to the webmaster to decide whether they want to redirect to www or non-www...

This 50 message thread spans 2 pages: 50 ( [1] 2 > >
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