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How an Innocent 2-page site got fully banned
Google against friendship & family links?
ferfer




msg:3213810
 8:08 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have a friend that is a consultant, he built a 2 page site.com offering his services a year ago.

The home page has only one internal link to a second page called telephone to inform of long-distance cards because most of customers are international individuals and calls are long.

I suggested him he could put a special link (an affiliate program) to a telephone multi-card merchant and he could earn some cash while helping customers, and he did it, never received a commission but he left the link because was informative and earning cash that way was not an objetive.

The other link on that second page, was a 1-way link to his father's site, an informational site about the family store (no ecommerce, and this time an international domain).

He did that link because I told him that he had to get some links in order to get the site indexed by google. He also submitted to dmoz.

I also made a 1-way link for each site from my own site (a link to the consultant site in a related page, and a link to the family store from link-page with friend webs that requested me a link over the years).
My site is a 5000+ pages and 2000+ natural inbound links, a niche gem.

On Dec, 15 my own site got downgraded for most google searches (google traffic decreased by 3 or 4 times from that day until Jan 6 where it recovered)

When my site got hit, I checked his sites, and the consultat site had been totally banned. Listings for the family store site where normal, same as the affiliate program site.

He deleted the affiliate link but not the family store link. I removed both links to his sites (and others). I got in, but he remains banned yet. His site has a few inbound links and the usual big bunch of repeated dmoz ones.

The site got banned because:

has only 2 pages and few inbound links and..

- Has a link to an affiliate program
- Has a link to a family member site which only got a few links in first online days (and other link was from my site also linking to his site)

This is a case where someone got banned without manipulating serps, may be you could believe that placing a link to his father site was manipulating, but that sounds me like pretty normal personal/family recommendation in a real world.

 

LifeinAsia




msg:3213829
 8:35 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Unless one works for Google or receives specific details about the situation, one can not say for sure why someone has been "banned." All onbe can do is speculate.

Is the site completely romoved from Google, or is it just ranking very low?

You say this is "all" he did, but we have no way of knowing what else may be going on with the site. There are any number of other issues that could be the reason. (Who knows- maybe a competitor filed a fake DCMA complaint with Google.)

glengara




msg:3213854
 9:00 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sounds like you should stop advising him...

Patrick Taylor




msg:3213882
 9:19 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google against friendship & family links?

No way. I would doubt if what happened on Dec 15th is related to links on any of those sites.

ferfer




msg:3213998
 11:08 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is the site completely romoved from Google, or is it just ranking very low?

Only after being banned, even if you search for the site domain name (without the .com) other sites linking or mentioning it shows up, but not the original site. but if you type the domain name.com it shows, as well as with the site: operator.

BigDave




msg:3214005
 11:21 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

My guess is that they site just dropped out naturally when your site (the only inbound links) dropped in value.

It is completely normal for new sites with few links to drop out of the index after a while if they don't gain a few decent links.

LifeinAsia




msg:3214019
 11:33 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

If you search for it by domain name or with the site: operator and you get results, then it's not banned. The other symptoms indicate it's just ranking poorly, not banned.

Given that it's only 2 pages (and one of the pages isn't very relevent to the other) and doesn't have many inbound links, most likely Google has decided it's just not that useful.

Pirates




msg:3214022
 11:34 pm on Jan 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

The affiliate link won't help. I am sure the site is stored in the supplemental index, and searching the domain will find this site. If the site develops its unique content in the future I am sure it will be looked at again.

sobole




msg:3214076
 12:44 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sounds like Google just doesn't have it together.. We shouldn't have to jump through hoops for Google to list us, profit from us, and become popular from us.

Pirates




msg:3214083
 12:53 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sounds like Google just doesn't have it together.. We shouldn't have to jump through hoops for Google to list us, profit from us, and become popular from us.

Nah sorry it seems to me google are back on track. If you publish sites that just spill out the same content others have done better and earlier than you why should google list this crap at all?

Marcia




msg:3214086
 12:58 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google doesn't need me to defend them, but it's public knowledge that Google is looking for "signals of quality."

From the sound of it, this situation has nothing whatsoever to do with jumping through hoops for Google. A one page site leading to one interior page with affiliate links for phone cards is as thin as an affiliate site can get.

Pirates




msg:3214094
 1:04 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well said Marcia

Decius




msg:3214111
 1:12 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

From the sound of it, this situation has nothing whatsoever to do with jumping through hoops for Google. A one page site leading to one interior page with affiliate links for phone cards is as thin as an affiliate site can get.

It mimicking what affiliate sites do certainly does not make it an affiliate site. It is important to not blur the lines between what we fear to do and why we fear to do it.

What a contradiction it is to deem that Google is searching for signs of quality when not one person in this thread questioned what content the site had. If it is a page with his personal information that is useful to clientel in his field, then this is most certainly a situation indicative of what the original poster is stating.

[edited by: tedster at 1:26 am (utc) on Jan. 10, 2007]

sobole




msg:3214127
 1:23 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

My point is not completely specific to this situation so I should've thought more carefully before posting. I just don't think that a couple of wrong moves should not put you into an area of google that will hardly ever show up in the search index for a year or longer... Google used to make changes to their index much faster than they do now. I do agree with the affiliate problem but I also think innocent sites get banned with a slim chance of getting back in. Optimise, but not too much. Get links, but not bad ones. It's too much of a dance.

Pirates




msg:3214143
 1:54 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google are nailing junk sites that only purpose is to link to a target domain. The fact they are doing it on an algo is very clever and there will be some collateral damage. If your effected it can be cured by adding good unique content. Its a very well thought out system but as yet does not tackle a network of spam results (or maybe it does). To say I am impressed by google's work is a huge understatement. I am amased by it.

europeforvisitors




msg:3214146
 2:01 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Before jumping on Google and its algorithm or filters, ask yourself two questions:

1) How much intrinsic value does the site have for users (not just for the site owner)?

2) Are users being shortchanged in a meaningful way if they can't find the consultant's pitch page and/or his phone-card affiliate page in the SERPs?

If the answers to those two questions are "not much" and "not really"--as I suspect they are--then why criticize Google for showing good editorial judgment?

Quadrille




msg:3214150
 2:05 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

It may be disappointing for the owner, but it's not physically possible for every site to be in the top ten.

Hopefully, there is some kind of order to it.

This site, like so many before it, did well for a while; another bit of proff for the non-existant 'sandbox'!

In doing so, it has raised expectations, only to be dashed when reality clicked in.

A two-page affiliate site with a couple of incoming links, none from sites with any authority? And it's vaguely tech, an area that boasts some billions of pages?

And this is How an Innocent 2-page site got fully banned?

Gimme a break! Better yet - Give Google A Break

Pirates




msg:3214154
 2:12 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Quadrille I agree this site is not exactly blessed by the pope. Its a two page site that offers nothing unique. But I doubt its banned, you will find it in good company in supplemental results.

Sobriquet




msg:3214217
 3:33 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Simias thing is noticed on my two page site also, which is about a small remote area which si developing as a a business destination soon. I had put up two pages because that plac doen now have any genuine content as per now. It was on #1 result in google for an year. but now it is gone out totally. But the results that are showign for that area name now are just ordinary mentiones of that name in bigger portals, without even one line of real info.

I think google is ignoring the fact that smaller sites also CAN be unique and have real value.

ferfer




msg:3214358
 7:00 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hi, I am very lucky that Decius posted his opinion, that msg is a gem.

I clarify:

-The site IS banned: it is not a natural drop because you can't find it by searching keywords or multiple exact combinations, even with only de domain name without the .com that is a non-existant word, but others sites mentioning this site shows up.

It used to rank normal as expected for some terms in the past year, but now nothing but the domain name with the .com triggers it. May be some banned sites do not show with the site operator, but this one shows, probably has not been the removed from the index, nor partially downgraded as mine. This site has more than a year old.

-I don't believe that Google has decided it's just not that useful because it has 2 pages, I have seen 1 page site with good rank. This site has unique content. should a rule say: If you have 1 page of unique content, you will get banned because one page has no value, please create more?

-It is true that it sounds like a posible affiliate site, although the link is on the secondary page, and it is a private affiliate program I am not sure it was the reason, also this means that no small/new site can do an affiliate link without being banned? should a rule say: Do not place an affiliate link if you are not an important site?

Pirates:
Its a two page site that offers nothing unique. But I doubt its banned

Thank you for "asking" if the content was unique.

The information was detailed and good, as probed by the several customers he got overseas about the niche service he offers and fully explains how he works over distance (this detailed help ended leading into the long-distance link resource), maybe this kind of personal and commercial sites don'tget much links, but I am not asking for a good rank, just not being banned for every search.

Now, I just researched about the "unique" and found that the FAQ part was good and unique too, but 3 sites copied it, only that part, that is large enough as 10 questions (good content oftenly gets copied).

I did it by searching long exact phrases included in the site, in some 0 results, in other only the copycats, and in other the copycats and the original at the end only if you select to show the omitted results included (then it shows at the end, but not as supplemental, after other copycat that it is supplemental).

The copycats may be the reason of being banned if google takes the creator as the copier, this is not common, but may be if just a part of the text was copied, then the original modified some other text on that page, and it was re-crawled and found as partial copy not detected with the first algo...

Anyway I think that I found the copycats because this site got banned and leaved that space. There is no evidence that those partial copycats were the reason of being banned.

Decius




msg:3214407
 8:21 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Your research is certainly fruitful as it is more likely your friend got banned because of the duplicate content penalty than the affiliate link indicating that it is spam (or perhaps a combination of both). It certainly fits the profile of many sites that create duplicate content over and over and submit links to make a cent a click.

Of course, none of this is your friends' fault and this is the erroneous perspective that is surrounding the entire field of SEO: Blaming an innocent webmaster exactly like you would a wilful spammer... all because Google can't tell the difference.

Marcia




msg:3214420
 8:36 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>all because Google can't tell the difference.

How would Google be able tell the difference, when both types of sites have exactly the same characteristics and appearance, both to crawlers and in the process of indexing and scoring?

How would they possibly be able tell them apart?

Quadrille




msg:3214492
 10:51 am on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Blaming an innocent webmaster exactly like you would a wilful spammer ... all because Google can't tell the difference.

If you read around, you'll find it it's far more common for Google to be blamed for webmaster errors (or worse). In this case, we're all shooting in the dark. We don't know what the content is, and therefore cannot make any useful comments about it.

We don't know how much of the site is taken up by the affiliate stuff; we don't even know what else is going on, because the webmaster has not actually entered the conversation.

So hey, it must be Google's fault?

SteveWh




msg:3215055
 6:35 pm on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

If site:domain.com OR site:www.domain.com turn up any pages at all from the site in question, it is not banned. Also, sites sometimes do drop out of the index *completely* from time to time when reindexing is going on or rankings are being adjusted or whatever it is they do. It does happen.

If you register (if necessary) and review the site status at [google.com...] you should be able to determine whether it really is banned.

In some cases, Google is now notifying webmasters when a site is penalized.

You jumped too quickly to the conclusion that the site was actually banned, and the two reasons you gave for the ban were also arrived at too quickly.

Do more investigation, and it will take some time before you know it was banned.

Edit:

The site IS banned: it is not a natural drop because you can't find it by searching keywords or multiple exact combinations, even with only de domain name without the .com that is a non-existant word

This, in particular, is *not* a test for whether the site was banned. Searching for keywords, even phrases that you know only exist on your site, tells you absolutely nothing. SERP results fluctuate naturally from day to day.

[edited by: SteveWh at 6:41 pm (utc) on Jan. 10, 2007]

mattg3




msg:3215103
 7:15 pm on Jan 10, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google looks for popularity not quality.

The result can be most easily seen in the various Google, Youtube top 10.

Scholar will look most likely for quality as it's a list of expert content, not random searchers that are searching as they have no idea about it, otherwise they wouldn't be searching.

The old backlink fandago worked in the beginning as it was mostly a web of academics and computer experts. Now as the masses are on the web the system has the same problem as any democracy. Popularity does not equal quality.

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