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This 194 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 194 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 > >     
Google's 950 Penalty - Part 7
Marcia




msg:3310738
 10:18 pm on Apr 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

< continued from: [webmasterworld.com...] >
< related threads: -950 Quick Summary [webmasterworld.com] -- -950 Part One [webmasterworld.com] >

trinorthlighting
Annej,
I read in another thread that you wrote that you have a recip links page. That is probably what is causing your site some grief.

No, it certainly is not. annej's SITE is not having any grief whatsoever. There are simply some individual PAGES that are not ranking for the chosen keywords.

In addition, having reciprocal links (or a recip links page, or even a whole directory with links) is NOT what causes this phenomenon. There are sites with reciprocal link pages and even directories with a percentage of recips that are untouched and have top-notch rankings. And that is a verifiable fact.

Remember, the algo is completely automated with very little human input. You probably need to take a long hard look at who your linking to and if they are spamming.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with OBLs and nothing whatsoever to do with link spam.

Remember, Google guidelines state not to have your site link to bad neighborhoods. If one of the sites you are linking to is spamming Google, it can have a drastic effect on your site. Check to see if all the sites you link to are following Google guidelines. If they are not, you might want to drop that particular link.

Linking out to ONE? Did I read that right and/or interpret that correctly? Or am I seeing things? Where in the world did that theory come from?

If a site is SPAMMING by a pattern of linking out to bad neighborhoods, it'll cause a problem with the SITE - not individual content pages that are simply not ranking. This is not the case, not by any means.

I don't know how many times it has to be repeated and requested to please not try to accuse anyone with this phenomenon of somehow spamming, because there's no basis in reality and it can cause unnecessary stress that's unfounded and unjustified and without basis. Trying to help is always appreciated, but this is serious, it's no place for folks to be chasing windmills.

[edited by: tedster at 9:16 pm (utc) on Feb. 27, 2008]

 

LineOfSight




msg:3311889
 8:08 pm on Apr 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been following this topic for a while after being hit last Tuesday by the -950 penalty. My main key word (very competitive financial term) went from #25 to circa -#950. I had others, again very competitive ranking #2 that are now #380+. I have no reciprocal links but what I have noted from my immediate competitors (I'm not talking about the big boys (6) but people doing the same thing (4) on p1 Google) is that they all have reciprocal linking directories on their site.

I was also intrigued by what trinorthlighting was saying about reporting sites. Is it possible that a genuine site, good on page and off page SEO could be reported as spam and suffer the -950 penalty? When you say it's about links, what in your opinion is the answer, just keep building relevant keyword targetted in bounds or is it time to shake the moths out of the wallet and start looking at good quality paid links. Thanks.

[edited by: LineOfSight at 8:11 pm (utc) on April 15, 2007]

tedster




msg:3311909
 8:55 pm on Apr 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

How about those sites who fall to -950 on just some searches and still rank well for others? How would they line up with this picture that trinorthlighting is describing? I very much suspect we are looking at more than one phenomenon.

steveb




msg:3311932
 9:44 pm on Apr 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

"It's that short summary of the problem that people have been asking for."

And is wrong, in multiple ways.

Everyone certainly should feel free to present their views, and there is no doubt some correctedness in a lot of ideas that are mostly wrong, but "this is it" is too simplistic.

This is a penalty, not a filter, and its not a "minus X places" penalty. It's a specific penalty box placement (although some pages are removed entirely as obviously if there are 10,000 pages being penalized that would be returned for a specific query, they can't all rank #950).

zeus




msg:3311933
 9:44 pm on Apr 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have removed all links to other sites,, so no links out, just the advertising links. I did that 3 days ago lets see what happen.

rawley2




msg:3311947
 10:57 pm on Apr 15, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have removed all links to other sites,, so no links out, just the advertising links. I did that 3 days ago lets see what happen.

That worked for me on one site. I made all the out going links nofolllow and it came back about a week later.

My other site I have done the same thing and it has been in the hole for about 2 months now.....

Also who knows if the site that came back will stay that way. It may drop with the next turn of the dial.

tedster




msg:3311964
 12:02 am on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just pinned down a difference in language usage between some of our posts.

trinorthlighting: Remember, “phrase based” does not apply to the text we all have on our sites, it also has to do with the way users search and what the majority of searchers want to see in the results. Google does study user behavior also.

However I've been using "phrase based' in the sense it is used in the Google phrase based indexing and retrieval patents [webmasterworld.com] of last year, and they definitely are about on-page text analysis.

Some of our differing opinions probably stem from this.

ALbino




msg:3311972
 12:15 am on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

FWIW, of the 30,000+ pages on our site we have less than 50 outgoing links, and none on the "affected" pages. At least in our case it would appear the -950 problem is in no way related to reciprocal linking.

jk3210




msg:3312019
 1:26 am on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I wonder if anyone had the forethought to ask MC about this penalty at SES NY? (if he was there)

sahm




msg:3312086
 3:47 am on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I just took a good look at my site statistics for yesterday, and I was wrong, my whole site has not been filtered or penalized. I found at least four instances where my site is listed #1 for a four or five-word phrase, and the phrase was broken up on the page, like I described earlier. I think the problem is that my site is so "optimized" for certain phrases (and these are not common phrases, just phrases I've picked up out of my server logs and optimized for), that this is why so many of my pages have been filtered. I don't think it is a penalty or those random pages wouldn't still be showing up.

Biggus_D




msg:3312126
 4:45 am on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

We're hit in February. In March the penalty was gone, but stats still ended 50% bellow of what it used to be.

We keep adding content everyday but the stats don't improve, in fact it seems to be getting even worse.

[edited by: Biggus_D at 4:52 am (utc) on April 16, 2007]

DontHurtMe




msg:3312190
 7:17 am on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I,ve been stuck in this hole also, up and down for the last 4 months. Been following this post also. Removed my forum that had undesiriable links, forum wasn't working anyway, closed and then reopened account, made changes to title, description, phases, content plus numerous other little changes.
It seems that I've have been chasing my tail.
Just a thought. Would it be possible to post a poll about this -950, with certain easy to answer questions that may help to point to a specific reason or at least give us some direction what the penalty is.
eg.
1. If you main page is -950, do you have a links page, without nofollow on the links?
2. If you main page is -950, do you have a sitemap?
3. If you main page is -950, do you have inbound links to your page, showing up in the results when searching for your key phrase?
4. If you are in the -950, are you connected with an affiliate program (do you have inbound affiliate links)?
Any thoughts on this?

hercules




msg:3312267
 9:33 am on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with "don't hurt me". a set of very good questions kan shed some light on this topic

I have been hit with the the -950 for a one page website that always ranked number one for years on that keyword. The user experience is the best for that keyword. I'm Combining affiliate banners in such manner that users have a good experience. I have very little number of incoming links. More then half of the links are irrelevant to the topic. I have a lot of competitors in spampages mentioning my domain name but not linking. (onekeyword country domain)

LineOfSight




msg:3312282
 10:02 am on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Something I've not seen mentioned yet may be the use of rank reporting software. I've been hit across a number of domains that were all creeping up the SERPs but are now all languishing in the duldrums (#380 - #950) - and I ....cough....may have been running automated reports each night. I know this goes against Google's TOS (but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person at Webmaster World doing this ;-)) and it's strange that all the domains in the reports have been affected......

[edited by: LineOfSight at 10:04 am (utc) on April 16, 2007]

Biggus_D




msg:3312630
 4:37 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)


1. If you main page is -950, do you have a links page, without nofollow on the links?
2. If you main page is -950, do you have a sitemap?
3. If you main page is -950, do you have inbound links to your page, showing up in the results when searching for your key phrase?
4. If you are in the -950, are you connected with an affiliate program (do you have inbound affiliate links)?
Any thoughts on this?

1. No. No.
2. No. Yes.
3. No. No.
4. No. No.

rank reporting software

No, in fact I didn't even know, so maybe I'm still enjoying this 950 thing because I'm unable to track more than 10,000 URLs.

annej




msg:3312639
 4:43 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

You want to be very_careful about trying to increase the authority score of a site while decreasing the hub score of the site by manipulating the links.

Marcia, could you explain what is meant by authority score and hub score? I've read a lot here about authority sites but with varied definitions. I have not hear of a hub score.

zeus, I'm not sure if it's a good idea to remove all outgoing links. Think about putting in some links to quality related sites where it's appropriate. Your visitors will appreciate it and it may be that Google will too. It's not natural to never link outside of your site.

foxtunes




msg:3312675
 5:09 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

If the engineers are running tests on Phrase Based Indexing, I think the spam detection dial has been tweaked much too hard. I'm seeing authority sites like Arstechnica, Businessweek and ZDnet with pages caught up in the -950 or end of results filter.

These are massive sites with huge amounts of Trust Rank. If they can get caught in it there's little hope for us :)

zeus




msg:3312697
 5:25 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Damn I just got a new design for one of my sites which do perfect all over, no 950 filter, but I dont know if I dare to change the design, be cause of google, it has really come that fare that Im scared to improve a site.

jk3210




msg:3312711
 5:39 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm seeing authority sites like Arstechnica, Businessweek and ZDnet with pages caught up in the -950 or end of results filter

I actually saw one search that had a group of 10 Yahoo pages on the last page. That's one reason why I don't put much faith in the "it's recips" theory, and also why I don't think this is a temporary thing that will soon go away.

A few pages back I mentioned "topical trustrank," where pages might now have to stand on their own for each individual topic/theme, rather than ride in on the coat-tails of the site in general.

People have complained for years about how big trusted authority sites have too much ranking ability, and now I'm wondering if maybe Google has simply lowered the ability of internal links to pass a trustrank value (if there is such a thing) to pages where no externals exist.

This wouldn't necessarily account for all the observations in this thread, but it would account for some of them, especially on sites like mine where the big-$$$ theme pages of the site have been strengthened in rankings beyond belief, but everything else has been flushed.

foxtunes




msg:3312731
 6:01 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

".....A few pages back I mentioned "topical trustrank," where pages might now have to stand on their own for each individual topic/theme, rather than ride in on the coat-tails of the site in general......"

You could be right. One site I see sitting at 1 for a very competitive tech term is only 6 months old, it's pretty spammy looking, has a large square google ad right in the sweet spot of the page, very few backlinks but supremely focused.

I can see where they are going with this, but I think they haven't tweaked the authority dial hard enough.

dataguy




msg:3312767
 6:37 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

How many people who have been hit by this penalty use some sort of spider trap to manage scrapers and rougue crawlers? Many larger sites do.

I have reason to believe that this was the problem with my site... I've removed the spider trap and indeed my rankings have returned.

Biggus_D




msg:3312805
 7:06 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just some rewrite rules to block out some common exploits.

And an IP filter.

dibbern2




msg:3312854
 8:31 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

This wouldn't necessarily account for all the observations in this thread, but it would account for some of them, especially on sites like mine where the big-$$$ theme pages of the site have been strengthened in rankings beyond belief, but everything else has been flushed.

Based on a similiar experience with my main site, I think JK3210 is on to something....

Marcia




msg:3312904
 9:08 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

How much do any of you guys think keyword co-occurrence is playing in this?

Crush




msg:3312923
 9:24 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

For us we could have overdone the links. We had 100k inbounds to some internal pages. Varied anchor but not too much. The short tail we were wiped out for, now just ranking for lots of long tail stuff.

So from my minor experience it could be overdone anchor and some sort of googlebomb fall out.

foxtunes




msg:3312986
 10:49 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

Crush sudden influx of inbounds could be a factor for us as well. I've been digging around our backlinks and found a site in a lateral industry recently linked to us sitewide from his blogroll as a resource. We did not ask for the link, and we are not linking back,

The link has now given us an extra 2000 backlinks, half of our overall links. The anchor text is not keyword stuffed, just the name of the brand name of our site which is a unique name not a keyword.

Tell me we're not being penalised for this? I have a sick feeling in my stomach that this could be a factor in us being hit with the 950 last week in combination with the phrase based indexing concept.

So I have to ask this site to remove a link that is a natural vote basically saying we are an interesting site? If this is true we DO get penalised or trip filters for things completely out of our control.

SEOPTI




msg:3313012
 11:13 pm on Apr 16, 2007 (gmt 0)

I had 3 inbound links and my brand new sites got listed 950+

trakkerguy




msg:3313041
 12:20 am on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

foxtunes - I would bet a data refresh or other google change is what caused you to fall below some threshold and into the penalty.

When did you get hit with the penalty? Probably coincides with date others have reported bouncing in or out.

zeus




msg:3313043
 12:23 am on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Im not a 100% sure that my site is hit with the -950, be cause the internal pages NEVER ranked on google, but are all listed, just be fore omitted results comes on a google search.

I also got a little older site, whith the same script, but with another topic, like not widget but blue widgets, it never had troubles and ranks perfect with all pages, if the first site is filtered, then I can say the only difference is of course text content, but then only that the one (god) site has a private domain name, be cause I wanted to protect against spammers, could that be a theory of some kind, be cause google knows what sites you have with adsense (spy)

Marcia




msg:3313045
 12:26 am on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree that what we're seeing at 900-1000 can be due to several different factors, but for clarity and to avoid confusion, I think we need to focus on what's "phrase-based," or a specific 950+ specific phenomenon that isn't the same as what some other sites are experiencing, as a different issue instead of mixing them up. There are 100 sites sitting between 900 and 1000 - it isn't possible that they're all down there for the same reason{s}.

As far as the occasional outbound link that may go bad, here's what Adam Lasnik had to say on the issue in response to a member's post when it came up:

It's unlikely that your outbound linking is causing your pages to be listed in the supplemental, rather than main index.

Also, be assured that we're not looking to penalize folks for a "bad" link here and there. Rather, our algorithms are tuned to look for patterns of "egregious" linking behavior... both on individual sites and in the aggregate.

With that said, it's certainly in your users' interest that you regularly audit outgoing links on your site (especially prominent ones) to ensure that you're not losing folks' trust by sending them to inappropriate places or 404 pages. Sure, it's great to keep Google happy, but it's usually more important (long term) to have your users be return visitors.


Linking to bad neighborhood [webmasterworld.com]

Of course, if anyone prefers to listen to speculative FUD from posts by someone else and ignore what Adam says on a particular subject, be my guest.

{BTW, the last page of results is a mere baby step away from being in the Supplemental index, where less information is stored for pages (which saves a lot of space).

trakkerguy




msg:3313047
 12:31 am on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Marcia - I go with the theory that too many keywords, especially in internal anchor text, that are not supported sufficiently by solid backlinks.

I've been ripping a site apart since December. Was hit for most phrases. As we removed more and more of the competitive keyphrases, more pages came out of penalty. No changes to backlinks.

In hindsight, probably would have been better to just "find" some good backlinks...

foxtunes




msg:3313049
 12:43 am on Apr 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

Trakkerguy - Was hit on April 10th. Still ranking for a few obscure long tails but 90 percent of Google traffic wiped out.

This 194 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 194 ( 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 > >
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