| 6:00 pm on Apr 28, 2007 (gmt 0)|
There's no such theme in Google as "general".
Your site has all kinds of sections with no semantic relation and a theme that's not recognized as a whole. Event calendar may not fit with weather or jobs.
No one says this is normal by the way.
But it is happening.
I'd advise you to go through the inbound anchors and the navigation, make sure you know what phrases are used to link to which page, and see to it that all of these sections are relevant to their referrals.
- check whether section index pages ( video / directory / etc ) have their own quality inbounds with a descriptive or exact anchor text.
- check whether non-descriptive, off-topic inbound anchor text is outnumbering the proper ones.
- if it's the homepage people link to, make sure to pass on the relevance to the sections in full - but not exessively - and to pass it around with the anchor text within these areas.
- If there are no inbounds with the given phrases, neither to the homepage, nor to the subsections... well... then this isn't going to change. Get some.
- Check what wording people use to link to you. Do they use a synonym Google doesn't recognize, and one that you didn't include in the page? Include it.
- Have all important relevance signals in place, title, meta, content. Mention all words that are on-topic and found in inbounds at least once in the content area.
Basically if you're going to check how relevancy is passed to your site, and how it is handled within the site, you can still manage to have five different themes on a single page too. If you have the support for them ( links ).
Good luck though.
| 12:42 am on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|- if it's the homepage people link to, make sure to pass on the relevance to the sections in full - but not exessively - and to pass it around with the anchor text within these areas. |
Can you explain this more? Do you mean if their are no inbound links to a specific page (beyond scrapers I assume) that you need to carry the key word from the homepage?
It makes sense to link to individual pages with their most important key word or phrase but are you saying the phrase should be found on the homepage as well?
| 1:31 am on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|most important key word or phrase |
annej, I think we could say, choose your friends carefully and your themes even more carefully.
| 6:30 am on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|Your site has all kinds of sections with no semantic relation and a theme that's not recognized as a whole. Event calendar may not fit with weather or jobs. |
Well if you have a site about physics, the links will be about physics, the jobs will be about physics and so on. Information will be about physics and the basic information that might not be in a physics word list to make you understand a b or c in physics.
If you would have a site about biology, physics and chemistry (natural sciences as an example) that would include pretty much the whole known world.
It pretty much depends on the perspective. One could look at social interactions from a psychological point of view which isn't in the traditional sense of biology unless you go into either neuro biology anthropology and so on. Google seems to operate on quite simplistic theme lists and the hierarchies don't operate correctly.
A theme of intel chips is easier to distinguish than computers. Computers would also fit into physics. I assume that a physics site would be more vulnerable to Google's pseudo theme word lists and highly susceptible to Google's word theme lists.
Well the site usually always comes back since years, without any SEO, link buying and so on.
| 7:21 am on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
"Google seems to operate on quite simplistic theme lists and the hierarchies don't operate correctly."
It may be that most of the 950 collateral damaged pages are hit because of Google's prime attack against "too many synonyms"/"rank for too many terms"/"too much algo power for multiple related terms".
It's obvious that gibberish keyword pages are a huge target of the penalty, but they aren't the only thing hit.
Adding "furniture" and "apples" to your physics page seems to help, but that's a pretty discouraging thing to inflict on your websites.
| 7:28 am on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
Ok, please bear with me because I am new to this forum and to in-depth seo. I have a site that has been online since 1998 and is in a very competitive niche. My site has always been top 10 on G for 3 of my most competitive key words/phrases and is white hat, no hidden text or other games. I was hit with the 950 on 4-25. I have a few observations I’d like to pass along for what ever they’re worth. Maybe someone here can make sense out of the following:
1. Prior to getting hit with the 950, G was deep scanning my site for about 4 weeks – date range 3-19 to 4-20 (not usual for my site btw). I assumed they were in another major update mode similar to Big Daddy.
2. After the deep scans, I was still top 10 for my 3 main key words/phrases, but all of a sudden I also picked up around 30 or so more key words/phrases (mostly for inside pages), again all with top 10 or 20 placements. Obviously, I thought I was in heaven.
3. As stated above on 4-25 I was hit by 950. All positions were lost save 1 and my G traffic dropped by whopping 95%. As of today, we are still in same state on G. I have not made any changes wanting to wait 1 week and see if there is any bounce back like others posting here have mentioned.
4. Sorry if the first three are redundant as I am assuming that most all hit with 950 have similar situations. Here is the weird part though. I noticed on 4-24 (day before I was hit and same day that G deep scaned us for last time) that all of our Ad-Sense placements were changed to some survey advert, over 200 pages worth. Is this just a coincidence or could it have any bearing on 950?
5. 16 of the top twenty sites in my category have been hit with the 950 to some degree. Only three of 20 still have top 30 placements. All others are buried between 300 and 950. Our site is 961 along with three of my other competitive link partners which are on topic sites. I have spent over 40 hours researching the two other sites buried with mine to find a link between them, e.g., common reciprocals, anchor tags, off topic links etc. and I can not find any other than the obvious similar on topic content and the fact that we are link partners. Incidentally, the other three sites with me in 950 range used to also rank very well on G.
6. Another weird Ad-Sense fact is that sites that replaced penalized sites are very heavy A-S advertisers. Again, just a coincidence or could it have any bearing on 950? Could 950 be G revenue based? NOT accusing or stating any fact here, just asking questions and seeking opinions.
Thanks, any feedeback on the above would be greatly appreciated.
| 9:06 am on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|Adding "furniture" and "apples" to your physics page seems to help, but that's a pretty discouraging thing to inflict on your websites. |
Well Newton Apple ... Apple would fit into biology and chemistry see chemical contents
Furniture ... There would be a case for weight distribution in physics, wood in biology and chemical treatment in chemistry.
I would think that Googles link list might get the apple biology connection.
| 9:12 am on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|Another weird Ad-Sense fact is that sites that replaced penalized sites are very heavy A-S advertisers. Again, just a coincidence or could it have any bearing on 950? Could 950 be G revenue based? NOT accusing or stating any fact here, just asking questions and seeking opinions. |
Well sooner or later _I guess_ this will come if they want to maintain 67% profit rise within a collapsing dollar rate. :\
| 2:52 pm on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
Very interesting observation that i would agree with.
What makes a farse of this introduction by google is that its ok to buy google adwords from its search engine but not ok (google doesnt like it and will hit you with the 950) if you want to feature paid advertising links on someones elses site. IE you want to drive traffic to your "Blue Widget" site with links on say a popular off topic site that may have a high PR (which is likely if its a popular site) and may have customers that might be interested in visiting your blue widget site - ie passive customers.
With googles massive profit increase in the first quarter i think we can assume that this algo change is here to stay. Many sites are suffering at the hands of googles greed and the serps are no longer as effective but search quality is now a firm second to increased profits and that is the name of the game as proven by what we now see.
The most worrying factor in all this is that it proves that a competing site in your sector can damage you in the serps because of this introduction and this was something google originally claimed it protected you against - we all recall that google watered down the original statement recently and this implied that Google was fully aware that a competitor COULD damage you in the serps - maybe this was done prior to this roll out as Google knew that a much greater number of genuine sites would get hit following the algo change.
In all, short of making the serps 100% not relevent so that more people click adwords i cant see where else they can take this to push revenue higher, the serps are now so boarder line now, half the time i have to use Yahoo or MSN to find what i want.
If they dont fix the link issue it does leave the door wide open for sites to hit competing sites left right and centre
| 5:27 pm on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
I have just found in webmastertools hundreds of domain parkers have linked to us ......
Again and again the same page repeated on 101widgetdomains 102 widgetdomain 123widgetdomain...
All cr..p inbounds of my otherwise clean record ....
That would fit in with the unrelated inbound theory.
| 8:21 pm on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
Just to update on my testing and a back story on the site I am testing with:
I took a domain that really did not get any links at all and I began building it up. First, I obtained 300-400 links on link directory sites using identical anchor text.
Two weeks later, I obtained a good number (80-100) links using similar but different anchor text. At this point, I noticed that my site which did rank on page 1 for a few terms, moved to page 2.
After 1 week, the site almost recovered it's original ranking. I then purchased 1 off-topic PR7 link to the site using the same anchor text as the first 300-400 links that I received. The page almost immediately saw the -950 penalty.
Once hit with the penalty, I changed the off-topic PR7 link to point to a competitor. It has only been a few days but so far my site has not recovered and my competitor did NOT drop.
From this, I believe that to get in to this penalty, you need to obtain 400+ links in a short period of time (1 month?) with similar anchor text. Once you see some downward movement, you can then get an off-topic high PR link pointed at the site and that should be the final push to -950 land.
I have another site that jumped to -950 land by receiving many (400+) links using similar anchor text within a short period of time (again, around 1 month). The number of links to trip the filter is probably based off some sort of percentage (for example, typically you get 10 new backlinks a month, but all of the sudden you received 40x that all using the same anchor text).
I am now testing a method of recovery on the first site that I mentioned. I'll update if I get any results.
| 8:39 pm on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|(for example, typically you get 10 new backlinks a month, but all of the sudden you received 40x that all using the same anchor text). |
Yapp that's exactly what happened to us. All these domain grabbers under gazzillon of domainnames use 3 or four pages that are exactly the same and link to us. 95% traffic decrease. They now have the power to take sites down as they please and soon will probably charge for it.
| 9:28 pm on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
That's definitely not what happened to us, unless there's some sort of scraping that we haven't been able to detect thus far.
| 9:54 pm on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
No relation to mine either.
| 10:10 pm on Apr 29, 2007 (gmt 0)|
Does anyone know why my site would still show up in #1 or 2 G Related listings when it is in 950? Does G take a lot longer to update Related content? Will we also lose these down the road? Don't get a lot of traffic from related - just seems weird and wondering.
| 1:41 am on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
Im sorry but my situation don't acomplish with the 400+ bls.
This 950 penalty its a big mistery because dont have an exact pattern, sites penalized have in some cases very different situations.
I have de-optimized, redesigned, getting more goods links, erased some banned trades, erased sub-domains, maked sitemap, erased content trough robots.txt and filled a re-inclusion request.
I will update too if I have results.
Good luck for everyone in this situation.
| 1:44 am on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|Does anyone know why my site would still show up in #1 or 2 G Related listings when it is in 950? |
I don't know why it happens or what will happen in the future but it's been happening to some of us for a few months. So you sure aren't alone.
| 4:27 am on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
Guess I’m grasping at straws at this point. BTW, the old cliché about misery loving company is total bulls***! I truly hope everyone in this sick situation gets out and stays out even if we never do. Going to go take a valium, go to bed and hopefully dream better dreams tonight lol.
| 4:47 am on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|This 950 penalty its a big mistery because dont have an exact pattern, sites penalized have in some cases very different situations. |
That's the truth of it. We see the results which hint at the kind of mechanism that is in play, but that same mechanism apparently can be triggered by different situations.
| 7:37 am on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
Mine was one of the sites hit with this penalty on March 7th. The penalty (which affected my entire site) was lifted April 9th, and then re-applied on April 14th. The second time it did not hit my whole site. It was lifted again on April 21st and has been holding steady since, with the same traffic as before March 7th.
It was definitely a phrase based filter on my particular site. I have several closely related themes on my site, and whole themes cycle in and out of the search results, sometimes daily. Every day the search terms for my site are different in the results; however, traffic-wise it is staying pretty much the same every day.
For now the phrase based filter has been lifted from my site.
As far as changes, I have gained probably 10 or so more quality links to the sub-themes of my site since this all began.
I have been going through my site and cleaning it up...removing old links, etc. I do have a link exchange for selected sites with related themes, and I went through those pages and removed all links to large link directories or anything that might look suspicious. I am also no longer "advertising" link exchanges.
Other than that I don't really think the changes I made brought my site back. The added incoming links might have helped, but I'm not sure. I'm now concentrating on getting links to my interior sub-theme pages...just makes sense and certainly won't hurt anything.
| 4:18 pm on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
It seems to me Google has two stages of penalisation. Level one -30 and -950 for the next level. _ONE_ of them seems to be tons of low quality similar incoming links. Everything Google doesn't like get's kicked to the end of the SERPS.
I don't think there is just one reason for 950.
| 4:42 pm on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
mattg - I agree. One of the reason's is a ton of low quality links pointing at your site. The obvious problem with that is, you do not have control over who links to you. Even worse, the way to recover (it seems) is to off-set the low quality links with some high quality ones. That's a lot easier said than done.
It feels like the best way to move up in the SERPs is to just get lots of low quality links for your competition while you build up links to your site at a normal rate.
| 4:54 pm on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
I almost find it ironic that the recovery method is to get high quality links, most of which would probably have to be purchased, given Google's recent stance on the matter. I'm not entirely certain this is the only recovery method, but it does look like the most obvious.
If the quality fallout on the bombing fix is high enough, then they'll devote more resources to cleaning it up. Unfortunately, if quality difference isn't perceived to be too high, then we're in for a very long road.
Forecast: at some point, Google webmaster's console may offer the ability to ignore some incoming links, in effect making it possible to dodge or otherwise exist this phenomenon. Of course, that's a terrible solution given that it would require everyone penalized to have to sign up for an account.
| 5:21 pm on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
Hello everybody, it's my first post in this forum...
I'm stucking in -950-something-penalty too. I set a footerlink from my forum to my buisiness-domain - six weeks later I found my site in nowhere land...
Since there are a lot of sites stucking in this issue, one can't be sure to find the exact reason for that, but too much links with the same phrase sounds reasonable.
The penalty works for the "harder" keywords only, not for the entire site - but not just for the keyword used in the footerlink, and that's why I'm still in doubt about the responsibility of the footerlink for that trip to 950++. For some keywords and phrases there are no changes at all - they're still on top and were never away.
The whole thing started about two months ago, the site was away for about five days, then returned for about a week - disapeared again for about two weeks and came back again - and so on...
Now my site is away from top positions for some two weeks while sites optimized for some less important phrases as I mentioned above never left their top positions.
My site is quite a small one (54 pages) and about three years old / for the last 2 years always within top ten search results.
I'm now not sure what to do...
The footerlink pointing to one of my subfolders is still in place, because I don't want to turn things even worse - since there are many reports of sites coming back without having changed anything.
Would you remove the footer link, or just wait for what is happening the next weeks?
Will this penalty be removed than or is my site now marked as "bad" and will the removing of the link prove that there really was an intention to play some kind of game with google?
The entire site is absolutely "white", ther are no "black" tricks or something.
Thank you for your answers...
I tried hard to use my best english, since I'm from Germany there maybe still a lot of mistakes, I appologize for that...
[edited by: Pancho at 5:26 pm (utc) on April 30, 2007]
| 5:24 pm on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|Forecast: at some point, Google webmaster's console may offer the ability to ignore some incoming links, in effect making it possible to dodge or otherwise exist this phenomenon. Of course, that's a terrible solution given that it would require everyone penalized to have to sign up for an account. |
Well that would be great but you can bet your ..... that people would fiddle with this like mad. Maybe if Google would allow a one time deletion of incomings or once a month.
| 5:29 pm on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|Would you remove the footer link, or just wait for what is happening the next weeks? |
It depends on how long the text is. If the text is too long you will fall into the within site duplicate penalty. The advise given by Google was, that one should make the text short and link to a page that has the whole long blurp in it.
| 5:39 pm on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
Hello thank you for your answer..
First the linktext was one word, let's say productA pointing to a page where productA is desribed and of course mentioned (within title-tag and within a describing sentence within description-tag and so on)
Then I found this particular page having more inbound links than links pointing to my domain, so I changed the linktext to a phrase containing two words and pointing to my domain (my site has dropped then, and I was searching for reasons for that drop...) It's now a part of the phrase that is used by google directory (ODP-DMOZ) and of course the phrase is part of the text.
| 6:18 pm on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|It seems to me Google has two stages of penalisation. Level one -30 and -950 for the next level. |
I don't think they're related at all. The classic -30 penalty affected every url on the domain, and for every search. it appeared to be manually applied and nothing short of a manual removal would work. Even a search on example.com would return the example.con home page at #31.
None of that is what we see with thi -950 phenomenon.
| 6:56 pm on Apr 30, 2007 (gmt 0)|
|None of that is what we see with thi -950 phenomenon. |
Not trying to generally disagree, but on the day I started to loose traffic, for 2 days page 1 terms hung around at page 4 then they slipped to 950. That's how I came to the conclusion.
I hadn't looked into -30 or -950 before. We jumped in and out 4 times before (lasting about 5 days) but this time it seems to stick and is as bad as never before.
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