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Google's Wrong-Page Penalty

 5:12 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

For no good reason other can collateral damage, we've been suffering from various filter/penalties for a few months now.

Where we used to rank between 1 and 20, we now rank 40-200. Usually, our english-language results are listed somewhere after the french-language results but before the turkish-language results. So, there's no doubt that this is a penalty, rather than any kind of natural ranking.

Recently though, sometime in the last few weeks, I've noticed something different that I've not seen mentioned anywhere else: in every case that I've looked at, Google are now ranking and listing the wrong page. So for Widget X, for example, we now rank 87th with the page for Widget Y. The Widget X page is nowhere to be seen. As I say, this is true for every one of our pages. Google are always choosing the wrong page as the most relevent (usually Widget X will be mentioned once as a related product).

From what I've seen this seems to be a bit of a general pattern at the moment. Looking at the first few pages of Google's results, you soon see many many examples of them choosing the worng page from a site. Looks to me like an Over-Optimisation-Filter run seriously amok.

<sarcasm>Strange, you'd have thought it would be really really easy for a dumb algo to spot pages that are simply too relevant to be relevant.</sarcasm>



 6:53 pm on Mar 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

ClintFC - Sounds like the same behaviour I see on a site that was hit with the -950 penalty. Some of the pages rank just as you describe, for another keyphrase, but not the one they used to be in top 5 for.

Seems like this is hitting more and more sites all the time.


 12:23 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with the previous poster - sounds like the -950 penalty. See the thread on this topic on this forum.

My site did the very same thing Saturday through Monday this week - ignored our home page for another less useful page inside.


 12:49 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

i don't think its the wrong page...its the original page demoted and then the next best match ranked on its merits but without any boost from the banned page. Though its hard to tell if thats strictly whats happening. Certainly the new page is the one that previously would have been an indented result, had you had one.


 12:50 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Looks like for some reason they frown upon your "real" page but left the other page where ist was. Would it make you happier if they just kicked the whole site?



 2:15 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

no they are not leaving the other page where it was.


 2:19 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Look at your webstats, look at the bounce rates for both pages. Then compare the layout. It could be that users are bouncing from the regular page and really liking the other page.

We have a similar issue, people look for a brand name product, then see a non brand name product url that we sell at half the price and click on the link.

Google changed up on the brand name term and started sending traffic to the non brand name url. Its ok with us because it converts to higher sales.


 4:22 pm on Mar 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

When the collateral damage kicks in, this is standard behavior from my experience.

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