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Penalised by Google? How long to wait for an answer

 11:28 pm on Jun 1, 2008 (gmt 0)


I recently found that my site had dropped from google, previously ranked 3 and 4 for my main search terms and pretty high for others.

I contacted google on the 27th of April regarding my exclusion and thought that because I had accepted to place some advertising links in good faith. I assumed these were classed as an infringement of the google webmaster guidelines and the reason I had been banned. After searching around I found that had been several other instances of individuals having the same problems with this company and, realising I had been naive, removed all links from my site and terminated any correspondance with this company.

I sent my re-inclusion request and I received a confirmation mail from google. Others here have written that google has sent emails regarding the reasons for a penalty and some kind of confirmation of a pentaly, I have received nothing and am in the dark as to whether I have fixed the issues or indeed am still being penalised.

I have spent all my time rectifying any issues I can find and believe everything is in order.

I have spent the last 4 years building my site priding myself on a no spyware and pop up free site. It was never my intention to use any underhand SEO techniques. Is it possible that I am still in the “queue” and need to sit tight? Do I need to send another request. Would love to hear your thoughts on what would be the best way for me to go.

Thanks again for all the useful information here, it’s been a real help

[edited by: tedster at 11:34 pm (utc) on June 1, 2008]



 11:49 pm on Jun 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hello desktopsUK, and welcome to the forums.

With the monumental scale of the web, Google cannot "get personal" with every webmaster. I think they're doing a pretty good job considering the challenge, and things continue to improve.

When you file a reinclusion request, your website gets a human inspection that can be much more demanding than the automated analysis that Google's algorithms can give. Youve waited some 34 days, and that is getting to be just a bit long.

Have you continued to monitor your Webmaster Tools account for any further information? Also, have you gone through the guidelines point for point, and considered if you might have any other unintentional violations? I'd look particularly in the area of links (ibacklinks and your internal links) but also in other all areas.

You may also find some ideas in the Hot Topics [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page.


 11:54 pm on Jun 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

I had another thought you can keep in the mix. Some penalties are not removed instantly even after the "flag" is removed. Instead the rankings return step by step, sort of like you're on a probation. If your urls are indexed - you can see them when you do a search on site:example.com - that's a good sign. Your rankings in that case might be buried deep in the SERPs for a while as the site recovers from the penalty.


 11:27 am on Jun 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hello tedster and thanks for your response , much appreciated. I check my webmaster tools account at least once a day in hope there has been an update or response, quite obsessively now! :0/

I do totally understand that google are unable to "get personal" with every webmaster, however, I have found it flustrating that there is not some kind of standard response if you have indeed been given a penalty, even if it only hints at what may have happened, just some kind of feedback acknowledging there's been or is still a problem.

I have checked using site:mysite.co.uk and my listings do appear, although they didn't for at least a week after I noticed the ban, so I guess this is encouraging.

It was very interesting your views on the on the step by step probabtion and I guess this seems kinda fair to be honest. I would so love to hear any others experience regarding time frames and regaining SERP position. Does this happen for page rank also, my rank is now 0 (4 previously).

Thanks again for your advice, and will check those links.


 3:05 pm on Jun 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

I am going through it now as well...I really have no advice...I plan on spending 2 months just adding content daily and some mild linking....if My Google traffic does not come back a little at least, I am putting the site on hold until I see a positive sign...

I cannot keep working on it if it just does nothing...I agree with a little stock reply from Google if you get a penalty, it is very confusing as to why and what happened...

I mean I really do not even know if it is a penalty, but all the symptoms are there so I just assume one tactic caused it and that it is a penalty....

anyway good luck, mine has been over a month now with no positive signs at all...

went from 10,000 Google hits per month to 100....


 3:28 pm on Jun 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

went from 10,000 Google hits per month to 100....

In my experience, if you are getting any Google search traffic at all, then it is usually possible to get the site fully restored without contacting them just by cleaning it up, getting rid of any dodgy links, etc., though sometimes it takes awhile to get fully back.


 5:50 pm on Jun 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Yeah, between at least some traffic and all pages still in Google index, I take it as a positive sign...hopefully in a couple months traffic will flow in better...



 10:43 pm on Jun 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've re-submitted my inclusion request again and pretty sure all has been cleaned. All paid links removed and loads of code cleaned up.

Hoping soon I may get a glimmer of hope that my site can climb out of those lonely page 6/7 google results - o.... and it truly is depressing seeing all those other sites ahead of mine! When not long ago all my hard work to be above was working and standing on top of the pile.


 10:24 pm on Jun 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

Ok, it was April 27th 2008 when I think I received my google penalty.

My eyes now sting from all the reading and trawling the net for sites and blogs trying to find out every bit of information of how to get the penalty lifted.

I think I have done all the steps possible to ensure my site is now "clean and within guidelines".

So, here's a breakdown of events.

I included some paid links from what I thought was a reputable company in good faith and installed their script. (Their code links did not have nofollow on them, being ignorant it never occurred to me that this could be dangerous).

I redesigned the site structure at the same time, all main content in tact just re-arranged and re-wrote text etc.. added some additional pages.

Within a day or so I had disappeared from google!

I have a couple of questions I am hoping someone can help me with...

Inside my google webmaster tools it states:

Googlebot last successfully accessed your home page on Apr 25, 2008.

Although googlebot is on my site pretty much 24/7

I don't really understand why google has not accessed my homepage, is this the underlying problem maybe?

As google has not responded to my reconsideration request, I have no idea what the penalty is and what was the cause. I have removed any dubious links and to my knowledge should be ok now. Could the re-design be classed as a new site by google?

Can anyone please help me check, or point me in the right direction, to see whether my site is now "OK" and it's just a case of sitting back and waiting for things to improve?

At at a total loss at what to do now. If I am still doing things wrong my waiting will be in vain, and valuable revenue is not likely to ever return.

Any help would be so greatly appreciated as my revenue has dropped 95% and now am getting seriously worried that my url (launched 2004) is doomed forever.

Thanks in advance.

[edited by: desktopsUK at 10:29 pm (utc) on June 12, 2008]


 12:27 am on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

At at a total loss at what to do now. If I am still doing things wrong my waiting will be in vain, and valuable revenue is not likely to ever return. Any help would be so greatly appreciated as my revenue has dropped 95% and now am getting seriously worried that my url (launched 2004) is doomed forever.

You might want to think about starting or buying more sites and spreading your risk around. It is easier to see the patterns of why some sites or particular pages get penalized and others do not when you have a variety of sites to analyze. One site just gives you one data point to work with, which usually isn't enough to ascertain any patterns in algo changes.


 12:36 am on Jun 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

With regard to the spidering of your home page - that might be a bug or a slow-down in the GWT's reporting. Those do happen. The best way to know about googlebot's spidering for sure is from your own server logs.

June 3rd (the date you resubmitted after removing the links you were paid for) is not so far back at this point. As frustrating as it is, you probably need to wait a bit longer.

I included some paid links from what I thought was a reputable company in good faith and installed their script. (Their code links did not have nofollow on them, being ignorant it never occurred to me that this could be dangerous).

I guess Google feels like they gave "the world" fair notice, even though many businesses do not hang on Google's every word. Certainly removing the paid links on your website can make a difference - that stands an excellent chance of being the trigger for your ranking troubles.

Google is pretty fierce in expressing its dislike of link selling and buying, and getting out of the penalty box can take a while. It's one of the ways in which websites can "lose trust".


 6:25 am on Jun 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tedster,

Apologies for not being clear but I removed those paid links on April 27th. I meant that I sent another reconsideration on June 3rd as I now feel everything on my site has been cleaned to the best of my knowledge. Therefore, it's now been just short of 3 months since my original request for inclusion. I have now sent 4 in total. Each after finding and removing (fixing)something potentially in violation of the guidelines.

June 3, 2008
May 14, 2008
May 9, 2008
April 27, 2008

I am now thinking that perhaps it was not these paid links that was the problem in the first place, this is frustration, as I don't know for sure.

And of course you're right regarding the fact google does clearly state its policy on this, my point was as just a novice webmaster it was my inexperience not to follow the google guidelines or really knew they existed before my troubles.

Thanks again for all your advice, it has been so helpful

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