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The "Minus Thirty" Penalty - part 7
b2net




msg:3531097
 1:58 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >
< part one is here: [webmasterworld.com...] >

I've had some 20 sites -30'ed. The penalty seems to have been replaced by -60. All sites were manually checked by G the previous day. I've also helped others check their logs and G employees were lurking on their sites 1 or 2 days before the drop. I have not seen an automatic -30 since December 06 but it may be still possible.

My sites were mainly thin affiliates so I understand the penalty but in my latest case the site didn't have any affiliate content so the main reason for penalty remains unknown. Looking at the latest -60 penalties it seems you don't have to be a thin affiliate, thin is enough. Mini sites with very little content can be dropped even though the 10 links and some text they have are very useful for visitors.

[edited by: tedster at 4:47 am (utc) on Dec. 20, 2007]

 

1script




msg:3531193
 4:04 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

@potentialgeek:

Having such site live while the main site is doing OK is a recipe for disaster - think dupe content. However, after the main site is hit, it looks to be handy to be able to put up a site that can be 301-ed into so you can salvage some links and maybe get some of Google traffic back that way. Of course, it's not going to help you much if you spent years promoting the name of the original site because by 301-ing it into something else you basically negate all your past promotion efforts.

Bottom line: even though you may be able to salvage some traffic, having this penalty sucks immeasurably and makes most sites non-profitable (whatever the source of revenue) to the point that it makes most sense to simply abandon them.

More to the point: I heard it said many times here that you should not build your site around Google's traffic. I think that's just wishful thinking. Google is such a dominant monopoly these days that you simply cannot build ANY viable business on the Net without them in mind. I honestly think that they've gotten to the point that they should be broken down much in a way AT&T was back in 1984. Look at what that divestiture done to the telecom industry, in fact even advancing the Internet itself as a byproduct of the huge growth that resulted from AT&T break-down and increased competition. Internet now is like telecommunications in 1983 - there is no competition except in small niche areas.

marketingmagic




msg:3531299
 5:23 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Not sure if this is related, but I'd like to know why when I do a proxy search we come up #3 yet searching locally we're #9. Is this because of datacenters not being synced, and it will just take time for them to propogate, or is there some other reason for the difference in serps?

When the Oct update occurred, we were in the same spots regardless of location - this changed about a week or so afterwards. Any ideas?

jaimes




msg:3531408
 7:42 pm on Dec 19, 2007 (gmt 0)

Would you say a site i work on has this " minus thirty " penalty

In april, on a very competive keyword went from 2 ( was top 3 for 2 years) to 28-30
- lots of pages went supplemental as well

Over the last 7 months it bounces between 15 and 35. Every month it jumps up on page 2,and I think i did something correct, but than back to 30's a couple days later.

- Added more content over the summer, footer with link to a content page and while the page shows PR my rank hasn't budged.
- Bought a few strong links in sept. and don't think that helped.

Is this that penalty based on bouncing from 15-35 on a keyword?

Thanks, J

potentialgeek




msg:3531683
 3:47 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

thin is enough

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner.

Thin is not "in" in Google Land. There's been a steady campaign against thin sites. Thin on value. Thin on content.

It started months if not years ago. You had that big update which hit affiliate sites which just referred people to them with little to no value.

Then there was the attack on Adsense users earlier this year who were basically doing the same thing--very thin, referrals, etc. They got kicked out of Adsense.

Then there was the -30 to -60 penalty you were talking about that's too thin.

And I've seen since October a redefinition of "too thin" by Google, raising the standard, to the point of 950ing interlinked sites that are now too thin.

And on it goes, one round after another. Google just gets more thorough and more aggressive. Be valuable or be gone.

Now Google just has to find some calibers to measure the thinness of parked domains!

p/g

1script




msg:3531685
 3:52 am on Dec 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

-30 penalty does not equal "thin" says the owner of a penalized 10 years old site with over a thousand hand written pages and only affiliate is Google themselves - via AdSense. If you are after a definitive reason for the penalty, keep looking!

stevelibby




msg:3608054
 4:15 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

over the past week when i type domain into g that i appear in between 30 and 40. In that same time the results have gone from 5000 to 8000 to 11000 and then 15000 to were at 15800. Also pages indexed have gone from 2000 to 4500.
also in web tools g has told me i have redirect errors that i ahve also fixed.
Can the above factors all contributed to being dropped 30 positions? Will it tidy itself out?
Are the above factors good signs apart from being dropped 30 positions that is?
I also have a new site almost ready in the wings waiting to be rolled out. I`m using the same urls though out the site but different link structure, should i hold off before putting it up or have i nothing to loose?

[edited by: tedster at 4:20 pm (utc) on Mar. 22, 2008]

tedster




msg:3608106
 5:57 pm on Mar 22, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are you talking about being -30 for the search on "example.com" or just "example" without the extension? If it's for "example.com", I'd say you definitely have a penalty and not just some technical issues to clean up.

Still, I'd suggest waiting a week or so before leaping,so you are sure your recent fixes are indexed and being factored in.

stevelibby




msg:3608332
 8:00 am on Mar 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

if i search domain.com thats fine its just domain

stevelibby




msg:3653210
 8:04 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

if my site does not show up in 1st place for the search of domain yet domain.co.uk does is that a penalty? If so what one is it?

tedster




msg:3653291
 11:58 pm on May 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

The big and telling sign of minus thirty penalty was that even on a search for the full domain, example.tld, the site still was in position 31.

If the search for "example" without the tld extension, does not bring up the site in #1, but the search for example.tld does, then that's not necesasarily a penalty at all. It could simply be competition, or any of a number of other issues that we discuss in other threads here.

stevelibby




msg:3653524
 11:13 am on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

can you point me to those threads please tedster, i sometimes get lost here now. I need to get my head around this and understand the issue and then i firmly believe the site will rank again.

stevelibby




msg:3653776
 5:31 pm on May 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

after spending much time scratching my head and researching may i refer you to [google.com...]
and pay particular attention to
"Do a Google search for www.[yourdomain].com. If your site doesn't appear in the results, or if it ranks poorly in the results, this is a sign that your site may be penalized for violations of the webmaster guidelines."
re inclusion request

stevelibby




msg:3659359
 7:44 pm on May 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

i have just done more looking into my site to find out why it is having issues and i have found the there are some dynamic links deeper into the site that point back to the home page and appear as domain.co.uk/?page=1. google has cached these pages and in all there are 14 of them. i have now corrected those links and used a 301 redirect to the main page, how long will it take google to re index and hopefully correct this error

kalthoff




msg:3661078
 5:15 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hey Tedster,

we definately have a "minus thirty" - in our case "position 45-65" penalty (also with search for example.com).

Odd thing: the day after the penalty was implied webmaster tools still showed external and internal links (even more than before the penalty).

Two days later neither internal nor external links are shown anymore. Is that a regular phenomenon with minus thirty penalties or is that something even graver?

tedster




msg:3661082
 5:20 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

That's a hard question to answer - I can't collect data from a wide enough sampling of Webmaster Tools account to say. But GWT is a reporting service, not a primary data course. It's information is often not synched up with the SERPs.

It does sound like Google has lost trust with your backlink profile - that's the common reason for such heavy-handed penalties.

extremegolfer




msg:3661092
 5:24 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Tedster,

Can kalthodff ever recover? If yes, during the recovery phase, does the site come back for a while in the rankings, but then disappear again?

stevelibby




msg:3661184
 6:55 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

kalthodff have you refreshed the page when looking at you links?

tedster




msg:3661289
 8:21 pm on May 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Can kalthodff ever recover?

Hard to say without a lot of information - of the kind that probably shouldn't be shared in public ;) Most people can recover if they work at it. Even in some cases of very aggressive marketing work, I have seen recovery - but only after a long time.

If yes, during the recovery phase, does the site come back for a while in the rankings, but then disappear again?

Can't say I've seen that - doesn't mean it can't happen. What's more common is the gradual removal of the penalty, one slow step at a time, instead of all at once. Think about what it takes for someone to regain YOUR trust after you think they've broken it in a major way. Google's trust is a lot like that.

1script




msg:3661469
 1:01 am on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Two days later neither internal nor external links are shown anymore. Is that a regular phenomenon with minus thirty penalties or is that something even graver?

18 months under penalty and no end in sight (as in gradual traffic increase Tedster is talking about). All that time links have been shown like nothing ever happened. Well, to be exact, the links in Webmaster Tools have become available only after my site already had penalty handed over so I can't really compare the set of links with pre-penalty levels. However, I do still see quite a few of those external links.

extremegolfer




msg:3661488
 1:29 am on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

18 months, I would say is a ban. I have read elsewhere for the penalty of minus 30 to minus 60, it should resolve after you clean it up and send in a reconsideration request. If that is not true, real life experienced webmasters should report it back as such.

1script




msg:3661525
 2:53 am on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have read elsewhere for the penalty of minus 30 to minus 60, it should resolve after you clean it up and send in a reconsideration request

extremegolfer, welcome to the club!

Several rounds of cleaning everything that seemed wrong or at least not squeaky clean, major site redesign and several re-inc requests later, the site is at its lowest point in 10 years history. Yet not banned. I do get 5-10 daily Google referrals (3,000 to 5,000 before penalty) Long lack of Google traffic seem to have snowball effect - fewer visitors means fewer new links (also some older links naturally fall off) hence even lower ranks.

I think the key in restoring a site is in getting someone at Google look at the site again after you made changes. This is I think where I am not getting a break. I think I need an experienced re-inclusion request copywriter to make the message enticing enough for the Google temp to click his/her mouse , LOL.

extremegolfer




msg:3661526
 2:57 am on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

1script, at any point did you ever experience the site returning back with its normal rankings on any of the data centers?

1script




msg:3661538
 4:08 am on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

1script, at any point did you ever experience the site returning back with its normal rankings on any of the data centers?

Sadly, no.

extremegolfer




msg:3661542
 4:11 am on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Im sorry to read that... I'm assuming you have checked the backlinks for any hidden links etc

1script




msg:3661571
 5:06 am on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm assuming you have checked the backlinks for any hidden links etc

Funny you should ask that question because we did in fact have problems with a search script that was vulnerable to XSS, including those pesky links to bad places. The script has been removed lo-o-o-ng time ago, re-inc request filed, no changes. Pretty much all the rest of site is static so there is no place the hidden links could even have gotten into. I think... As a site grows beyond 1000 pages, there are not too many things about its content you can be certain about... :-)

extremegolfer




msg:3661575
 5:18 am on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

Funny you should ask that question because we did in fact have problems with a search script that was vulnerable to XSS, including those pesky links to bad places.

I meant backlinks pointing to your site from other sites. Any hidden links pointing to your site from other sites? When you do a backlink check in Yahoo do you find any dubious links pointing to your site?

kalthoff




msg:3661660
 9:19 am on May 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I did refresh the page yesterday and also did a new login. It showed nothing.

Today the links are back, so that might have only been a glitch in the Matrix.

wintech




msg:3667476
 10:41 am on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

We are in a similar position but only on one language version of the site - all other language versions are still ranking very well in their respective Googles.

1script, at any point did you ever experience the site returning back with its normal rankings on any of the data centers?

We are occasionally seeing our old rankings return although when we see this, the result has no 'cached' link (even though the cache date is yesterday). This is concerning us as no cache link usually means you aren't indexed.

I believe this originally happened due to back link over optimisation which we have been correcting over the past 2 weeks. We're going to continue to dilute anchors for another couple of weeks and will report back if it reverses the penalty but has anyone been in a similar situation?

extremegolfer




msg:3668031
 11:08 pm on Jun 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

Can't say Ive seen that. It is usually showing the "cache" link when it bounces around the data centers. It may be that you have a different type of penalty. Possibly a hidden text or other such on-page penalty.

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