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Matt Cutts: "Some old penalties to go" - which ones?
Whitey




msg:3706939
 3:52 am on Jul 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Im expecting that also in the next few days that well be expiring some older penalties on websites

Over Here [mattcutts.com] . Which penalties are coming off ? Any reports ?

 

tedster




msg:3706956
 4:12 am on Jul 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Given the context (an upcoming PageRank export to the toolbar) I'd guess some of those PR demotions from last October for selling links - the ones that never affected the SERPs.

edit_g




msg:3706980
 4:39 am on Jul 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Here's hoping it'll get some of us out from under the weight we've been carrying since the start of May/June (whichever one you were affected in).

whitenight




msg:3706984
 4:42 am on Jul 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Given the context (an upcoming PageRank export to the toolbar) I'd guess some of those PR demotions from last October for selling links - the ones that never affected the SERPs.

i'm going to smugly laugh myself to sleep tonight if this is the case.
(although my rock solid legal case now has no merit)

Rest well Goog!

Nice to see GG back visiting the board.
Webmasters make better friends than "perceived" enemies. ;)
...aside from the billions we make you every year ::rollseyes::

Whitey




msg:3706998
 5:17 am on Jul 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think Tedster's referring to these issues - [webmasterworld.com...]

So which one's are staying ?

TerrCan123




msg:3707005
 5:28 am on Jul 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

Older penalties sounds like last year or later. Unless he is talking internet time.

whitenight




msg:3707008
 5:29 am on Jul 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think Tedster's referring to these issues - [webmasterworld.com...]

Now I'm confused to what you're referring to...

I'm all over that thread. (and just about every "bought" link thread similar to it for the past year)

All "reports" of sites that were "actually penalized" for selling links are purely anecdotal
ie.
"I know of a site..."
"My friend's site..."
etc.

Yet in all my research NO ONE actually received such a penalty.
Like most of the psuedo-SEO, bone-throwing that occurs on such boards,
people jumped to the most outlandish reasons (encouraged by Goog FUD) for their loss of rankings, instead of the nuts and bolts of basic SEO reasons.

In fact, even the "respected" (but uninformed) SEO gurus stopped making the claim of bought-link penalties after a while, as I'm sure they started to realize it was caused by other reasons.

(For the purposes of this discussion, a TBPR "penalty" was NEVER really a penalty but i've beat that argument to death in the aforementioned thread.)

YuviG




msg:3708994
 7:06 am on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

we got a dip in page ranks on old websites and 0 to 1 for new websites!

stgeorge




msg:3709023
 9:00 am on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

We saw a site 950'ed come out on Saterday. So I think its sites that were penalised and that have done work to remove the affending stuff.

I just hope it lasts.

Whitey




msg:3709059
 10:28 am on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

stgeorge - What components that you fixed do you believe released you from the -950 ?

union_jack




msg:3709144
 12:56 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

My site has just appeared out of the wilderness. After 3 years. I was doing a lot of interlinking at the time. One hell of a penality. I removed the links almost straight away.

zehrila




msg:3709153
 1:09 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

stgeorge: When did you receive this penalty ?. any one who was penalized on 3rd-4th June got back their serps?

bwnbwn




msg:3709163
 1:25 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

It looks like I am as well been lifted although I never did a thing.

I take that back I neglected to keep my site current to the algo so I am guilty of neglect.

I think it was a filter due to duplicate content and or a manual review were my site was revied by a number of human reviews and given a bad report. All can think of as never bought links nothing. It was hit at the time 950 came into being, what was that 2 years ago?

Sure does feel good seeing pages that were buried under for years coming back in the serps.

I might add to I have followed some very good advice from fellow members and a special hat tip to Tedester for some really good post that gave me some insight into possible issues and solutions to those issues.

Without the use of the board and information freely provided by ALL the members I would sitll be buried.

I do know this I am a much better SEO webmaster from being under a penality.

zehrila




msg:3709360
 4:19 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn congratulations, so your site came back after 2 years ? and what are the tips did you follow, can you please quote thema gain.
thanks

clearvision




msg:3709435
 5:14 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hey folks, I wanted to let you know that new toolbar PageRank values should become visible over the next few days. Im expecting that also in the next few days that well be expiring some older penalties on websites.

Why so was Matt so vague, why not just say what has been fixed?

Optimus




msg:3709460
 5:34 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Perhaps what Cutts failed to mention is what new penalties will be rolled out to replace/usurp the "expired" penalties for which many good sites got hammered...just like Microsoft, google now has to put out fixes to fix the fixes that were meant to fix a flaw. Although I see improvements, it is not time to rejoice.

[edited by: Optimus at 5:44 pm (utc) on July 28, 2008]

stgeorge




msg:3709611
 7:41 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree.

Our refound rankings are great but I am very nervous that they will disappear as fast as they appeared.

What did we do when we got the penalty (by the way it happened in the February shuffle)

- Redid all our descriptions so they were all completely unique.
- Removed a ton of links from link directories that could have been considered bad.
- reformatted all pages and reduced on page SEO to basically nothing
- reduced the nav on all pages to just 3 links to each main section
- Made sure every single page was completely unique.
- This all took 5 weeks and we were actually about to throw in the towel.

- Oh and we prayed to the Google God and sacrificed a few poodles :)

hope that helps

g1smd




msg:3709637
 7:58 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

Elsewhere I saw someone say something like:

*** Until this week, I haven't had any Google traffic since Google's 2005 October Jagger Update. ***

Now, that is a long time in the wilderness.

AnonyMouse




msg:3709686
 8:46 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'd like to claim a longer time in the wilderness :-) May 2005 update (I forget the name).

Last month we experienced the "roller coaster" for 2 - 3 weeks, then nothing again. After MC's post, I was kinda hoping that the roller coaster had been a test to see what happens to SERPs if the penalties on older sites are lifted. If it was, then maybe just maybe we'll pop back up in the SERPs again. Either that, or we've been hit by some other penalty right after finally recovering...

bwnbwn




msg:3709727
 9:17 pm on Jul 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

zehrila
1- I removed all duplicate pages about 400 of them and did 301's
2- Put the site up for a site review after working on it for about a year. Did most all the suggestions some I still need to do but time constraints are hindering me.
3-Reduced the mega menue to about 8 links on the pages
4-Started back an active link campaign.

I baically redid the entire site and DB from the ground up.

What I did may or may not work for you. I would suggest getting the site reviewed and taking an open approach to the site suggestions. It is easy to get upset when someone says your site is in bad shape or the nav is all wrong. You use it to your advantage and take an honest look at the site as a new visitor would remember you built it you know it so that is why a review is so good.

wrkalot




msg:3710419
 5:04 pm on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

I guess this explains why one of my sites suddenly came back. Not to it's former glory but light years ahead of the last years SERPs. Here's hoping it sticks and sales start to roll in.

I too was hit in 2005 but came back briefly in Sept 07. I have no idea what the penalty was and changed next to nothing on the site. This is a home made ecomm site, original content/copy, no paid links, etc... it was actually built in 2002 before I knew what SEO meant.

zehrila




msg:3710732
 11:56 pm on Jul 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn: Thank you very much for in depth details. Well, i have started fixing up duplicate errors and have fixed about 99% of errors in WMT which now reduced to 100 from 1200 but i am not counting on to it as i have found several other discrepancies in my content such as internal duplicate pages etc. I hope this penalty removes asap as its not funny any more :(

Whitey




msg:3710961
 8:15 am on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)


1- I removed all duplicate pages about 400 of them and did 301's
2- Put the site up for a site review after working on it for about a year. Did most all the suggestions some I still need to do but time constraints are hindering me.

1. What % level of duplicate pages [ URL's ] did you have ?

[ I'm intrigued to discover what % becomes critical enough to send a site out of the results entirely ]

2. Did you use the WebmasterWorld site review forum to do the reviews ?

menton




msg:3711002
 9:09 am on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

My site dispeared in October 2005. I spent some time correcting things like those mentioned above and went through a couple of redesigns. I could be way off the mark, but I think my domain received a ban for having too many dashes and looking spammy.

arubicus




msg:3711007
 9:17 am on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

bwnbwn...and everyone else who may be interested,

"It was hit at the time 950 came into being, what was that 2 years ago?

Sure does feel good seeing pages that were buried under for years coming back in the serps. "

After a couple years or 3 for that matter we have seen a small bounce out of the 950 thing. A few pages and sections are now ranking for various keywords/phrases. It started on July 26th and so far they are sticking.

The bulk of our changes we did were many months ago. We have only 1 more secion to do. Pages from the old section have bounced up so really I can't say that any particular change did any good. Only recently I removed our xml sitemap from WMT about 5 days prior. And that is about it. WMT tools only reports the newest of our incoming links and nothing prior to the "penalty" (never bought links or anything) -- Internal links aren't anywhere close to where it should be as it is listing just a few internal pages with links.

What I really think is that something got tweaked or expired. -or- old links are starting to have an effect again -or- supplementals could have been freed for us -or- trust/pr could be flowing once again through the site -or- hell could be anything knowing big G.

At this point it is too early to get real excited until we see more pages bounce back. Although our PR is trashed now so we aren't seeing original rankings (peaked and bounced between a 6 and 7 and slipped to a 3) it is sure nice to see something other than the end of results that is for sure.

potentialgeek




msg:3711043
 10:44 am on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

> Given the context (an upcoming PageRank export to the toolbar) I'd guess some of those PR demotions from last October for selling links - the ones that never affected the SERPs.

Not sure about that. It may have been simply a quick post by Cutts and two unrelated ideas tacked together (instead of two separate posts).

But is this the first time Google has ever rolled back a penalty?

p/g

stevelibby




msg:3711045
 10:46 am on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

A few sites of mine that have been not appearing in 1st position for domain have re appeared.

ecmedia




msg:3711140
 1:34 pm on Jul 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think one penalty that many of my friends had was that the home page was not appearing at the top during a regular or a site: search. That has now been removed.

rankfast




msg:3712262
 5:07 pm on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Amen! I've been penalized for over 3-4 years, probably for many things that we're the result of a lot of "after the fact....ooooops". Maybe some bad work done by an SEO, maybe some paid links, etc. We've come back....I can't believe it and it has stuck for about 1 week.

But the site has been clean for a minimum of three years....Google is like a mean wife that just never forgets or forgives. Go Cuil Go.

Nonetheless, I'm going to send google a fruit basket to say thanks.

bunnyburybaby




msg:3712336
 6:49 pm on Jul 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

Hi folks,

I have been working for 18 months to get ANYTHING out of google. On the 28th and 29th our site finally ranked at position 39 for < one target keyword > but on the 30th we went back to position 580. We have been floating between 500 to 900 forever and no matter what we have done the site has not cracked 100 until just a couple of days ago. Its obvious that a penalty is in place of some sort but I cant figure out what its for.

The site is clean, been around since 2004, since that time the owner had hired a few 'seo' folks prior to hiring me. I suspect that early seo work tripped a penalty of some sort. When I came on in Feb of 2007 I corrected all the errors and problems with the site. I dont know exactly what was done prior to me because the owner is not a tech guy and trusted his seo people to do the right thing. (they must have screwed something early on.)

We have 500+ inbound links to the home page (says Google webmaster tools external links section) and it floats between 3 and 4 PR. This last update did something to kick my site in the butt, but then disappeared. Any help as to why would be appreciated. We are tired and frustrated after 4 years of this crap. (I have been with the company 18 months as webmaster).

How often does google review a sites penalties? I have put in two 're inclusion' requests over the last 18 months but have seen no movement.

We went so far as to switch webhosts, and shopping carts at the beginning of this year.. Our previous host and cart were 'Leased' which did not allow us to control 100% of the content. I spent 4 months rewriting the site for x-cart (the original was BVsoftware), we launced the new cart in Jan of this year, we had some duplicate domain and content issues, but those were resolved in April of this year.

The google webmaster tools are not showing any problems and shows 1100 indexed urls via the sitemap, but when I do a site: search google is only indexing about 400 of the 1100 pages.

Any suggestions? How can I identify the penalty in place, what do you suggest I do to get it removed?

Thanks folks
Herb

[edited by: tedster at 7:24 pm (utc) on July 31, 2008]
[edit reason] no specific keywords, please [/edit]

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