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Almost five months since June 4 penalty, still no luck
sunroof




msg:3750324
 10:52 am on Sep 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have US/English site with news and photos. The site is 2,5 years old, and we've never had problems with Google. No, black hat or any link buying or spam activity, only posting the news.

On 4th June, rankings for most keywords in top 10 and top 20 disappeared, having a total loss of 2/3 traffic from Google. :(

Ranking for "domainname" is still there, as well as for some main keywords. Most of the keywords went to 11-30 positions.

If I searched Google with the latest news exact title before the penalty I would always rank first. But now, I'm nowhere near the first page, and the spam sites that use my RSS come on top positions. It's weird.

It looks to me like the folder where the news are placed is banned. All the urls within "/news" went to lower positions, but the "/comments" or "/photos" folders' urls of the same news are there. We have cca 4000 news.

What I've done so far:
- removed mega menu from the homepage
- removed any suspicious external links
- checked the site with Xenu's Link Sleuth
- cleaned up all WMT Content analysis Errors
- removed Duplicate title tags
- removed Duplicate meta descriptions
- removed the only 2 paid links I had (I removed them on the next day after the penalty)

I've done a reinclusion request a few days after the penalty and still no luck.

Does anyone have any idea how to get back previous rankings?

 

JackR




msg:3750386
 12:21 pm on Sep 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

sunroof,

I've just managed to get my penalised site reincluded in the search index after five weeks with ZERO organic traffic.

A short while ago I sent tedster a PM asking if I could post my experience here on WebmasterWorld.

Let's wait and see!

zehrila




msg:3752620
 1:29 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm in a same boat, got penalized on 3rd-4th June. My home page still ranks number one for main keyword but 99% of long tail keywords are gone.

Fixed 80% of WMT issues ( i'm still working on fixing rest ). Whole site is still indexed with old pr. My new unique content pages get indexed in 7-10 days but never show up in serps for its keywords, people copying my new pages show up in serps.

Note: i am not trying to hijack your thread but just presenting the case study. Some one need to figure out what exactly went wrong and how many of 4th June victims got recovered and what strategies they adopted.

con771




msg:3752633
 1:55 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Just an FYI...This happened to me on July 4th and I am yet to recover.

HuskyPup




msg:3752692
 2:47 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I had one UK hosted UK brochure .com site penalised (No idea why) the second week of April and it came back overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

directwheels




msg:3752714
 3:07 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are you guys talking about the 950 here? I got penalized on June 20th, basically did the same fixes that sunroof had done, but no luck at all.

doughayman




msg:3752720
 3:13 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

sunroof,

I share your pain. My site is over 10 years old, and most of my Top 10 terms are now in the top 30-40 range, similar to you. I've made many mods similar to you, and things are just worse not better. I've done the following:

- Rectified WMT errors/warnings
- Fixed a possible domain.com and www.domain.com issue canonical
issue at the server (they were yielding different IP addresses).
- Removed all references to possible unscrupulous external links,
even if they were 2 generations out.

I have not attempted a reinclusion request, as I hate using my last bullet, and am still hoping that my rankings will one day magically reappear. This "lotto" mentality is probably a shot in the dark, but I am still hoping for the best.

I also make periodic and normal content changes.

After many, many years of strong organic traffic, this algo change/penalty has been tough to accept.

DannyTweb




msg:3752730
 3:27 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

We have been penalized for 2 years. If it is a manually imposed penalty chances are it will never go away.

HuskyPup




msg:3752746
 3:40 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

Are you guys talking about the 950 here?

Me, no. I went through 950 last year with another site.

This site is very clean, no errors in WMT although 3 or 4 duplicate title tags and no duplicate pages.

Besides myself several other SEOers checked out the site completely and could find nothing wrong. The only bizarre thing was Google had put into the SERPs the 10 yr parked name exampleexample.com instead of the correct example-example.com.

I suspected that this may be causing the problem therefore removed the parked domain and URL forwarded it from my registrar. Whether this was the problem I have no idea.

The only other thing we could come up with that Google's .co.uk geo-targetting had gone completely haywire since we could could not even find the domain under a search using company name + region and when it's only one of half dozen busineses in that entire region and still cannot be found...well, what to do?

Strangely typing in the company name it came #1 and was shown with site links.

I have absolutely no idea as to why it was penalised and why it has suddenly returned and right at the top of the SERPs, not just re-included a few pages in.

It's been totally baffling from my point of view however if G were to admit they'd tweaked their algo one way or another then I may say...oh, really:-)

SEOPTI




msg:3752749
 3:42 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

What I've found out about June 4 penalty:

I'm quite sure it is a thin content penalty/cookie cutter penalty.

Having a large number of dynamic generated thin URLs might be the cause.

Have you tried adding content to your sites?
BTW, fixing WMT duplicate meta tags issues will definitely not fix the June 4 penalty.

I see some people start posting in this thread who have not been penalized on June 4, which is bad,.

DannyTweb: Your 2 years lasting penalty has nothing to do with this issue.

[edited by: SEOPTI at 3:44 pm (utc) on Sep. 26, 2008]

doughayman




msg:3752781
 4:05 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

SEOPTII,

My site, which was effected, is on the thin side. But, I have "thinner" sites that have not been effected at all. Does this imply manually imposed penalty perhaps ? I dunno.

My effected site has NO dynamically generated pages or URL's at all.

I agree, fixing WMT issues had no effect at all (possibly a slight worsening effect).

I've avoided the total redesign remedy, as I am hopeful one day that I will wake up, and the penalty (-30, of sorts) will be lifted.

Doug

HuskyPup




msg:3752799
 4:30 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I see some people start posting in this thread who have not been penalized on June 4, which is bad,.

And who is to say that my April penalty was not a precursor of June?

There seem to have been several, as yet unexplained, penalties this past few months, maybe they are all connected in a tenuous way?

Any assistance, no matter how generic, may be of help, don't knock it or you'll find no one offering any input whatsoever.

JackR




msg:3752804
 4:38 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

If it is a manually imposed penalty chances are it will never go away.

I'm sorry to disagree with you, but that's simply not true. My site was manually reviewed after downtime and removed from the SERPs in a matter of hours.

That was on the 11th of August.

I then spent a week reading everything I could to fix whatever possible problems Google might have identified.

The Reinclusion Request was submitted on the 18th August.

It was accepted - and the site reincluded - on the 20th September.

DannyTweb




msg:3752917
 6:38 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm sorry to disagree with you, but that's simply not true. My site was manually reviewed after downtime and removed from the SERPs in a matter of hours.

That was on the 11th of August.

I then spent a week reading everything I could to fix whatever possible problems Google might have identified.

The Reinclusion Request was submitted on the 18th August.

It was accepted - and the site reincluded - on the 20th September.

I am not speaking about a site removal that was reincluded, our site was never removed, just manually penalized in the Serps, and that has never been removed.

[edited by: tedster at 8:37 pm (utc) on Sep. 26, 2008]

tedster




msg:3752991
 8:41 pm on Sep 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

There are definitely cases of manual penalties being removed, but it usually takes a complete address of the problem and a reconsideration request.

There may even be a periodic review of manual penalty flags without a reconsideration request. I know of a couple cases where the old -30 penalty was removed with no request being made - and I'm talking here about the penalty that put your site a #31 for a search on example.com.

outland88




msg:3753243
 6:00 am on Sep 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

The Reinclusion Request was submitted on the 18th August.

It was accepted - and the site reincluded - on the 20th September.

JackR how did you know your re-inclusion request was accepted other than the reappearance of your site? Since you didn't mention any material notification by Google is there anyway to verify Google did exactly what you said they did? I'd like to believe Google does respond but through the years I've only seen a little bit of evidence some sites from the far-east (India as an example) have been manually readmitted. Overall most re-inclusions I've seen seemed to be for minor things that would likely have corrected themselves with time.

Pardon me, I just saw you had downtime which is a whole different ballgame than what most of these people seem to be experiencing.

SEOPTI




msg:3755889
 7:44 pm on Sep 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

doughayman, if it implies a manual penalty they have checked sites for weeks/months and applied the manual penalty at the same day (June 4).

I rather think it's an algo penalty because all my sites have been affected at this day ..... but who knows for sure ..

JackR




msg:3755923
 8:32 pm on Sep 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

JackR how did you know your re-inclusion request was accepted other than the reappearance of your site?

Google do NOT respond to Reinclusion Requests. When my traffic doubled within 24 hours, I knew the site was back ...

seanpecor




msg:3757404
 1:44 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

Some of my sites have been banned since January 1st, 2008. Despite quarterly reconsideration requests, complete architectural changes, and 100% compliance within guidelines, I've had no luck getting back in.

But the mentioning of a thin content penalty got me thinking. I don't have thin content, but it certainly is possible for an automated filtering mechanism to mistakenly arrive at that conclusion. As soon as I returned from the Vegas Pubcon in December 2007, I completely switched from tables to CSS for all of my sites. I reduced html code significantly, but I'm wondering now if I may have inadvertently hit a "thin content tripwire" by switching to CSS and universally altering the balance of code and content structure on thousands of pages across multiple sites. Hmm. Worth looking into.

Sean

SEOPTI




msg:3757456
 2:51 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's possible the June 4 penalty has been around much longer, it just got a Tsunami on this day.

They try to cover more innocent long tail sites with this approach.

[edited by: SEOPTI at 2:52 pm (utc) on Oct. 2, 2008]

tez899




msg:3757780
 10:51 pm on Oct 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

June was a demon month, for me personally the 29th June was a bad day!

sunroof




msg:3759553
 10:05 am on Oct 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've done another reinclusion request last week, and still no luck.

zehrila




msg:3759825
 5:12 pm on Oct 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think SEOPTI is right about cookie cutter and thin content sites, My site contains about 20k pages and i intend to add about 200 word articles in top 500 pages and see if any thing improves.

ryanep




msg:3760650
 5:23 pm on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

Geez, I only just found out that there are so many other people in the same boat as me. My site also took a severe dumping 5 months ago. My site was the No.2 site for most of the "bad credit loan" etc type keywords and was really making quite a killing, $$$ wise. All of the sudden my site got a -30 penalty which extended to a -950 penalty and has been there ever since.

I've done everything possible including a complete site revamp, de-SEOing the pages, removal of all outgoing links and even a few reinclusion requests. Nothing has worked. I suspect that my site has a penalty for dodgy link building which I can't do anything about.

To make matters worst, my site has always maintained itself at a level PR5 since the penalty but today I checked and it has a PR0 *cry. The strange thing is that all the backlinks still show up even in WMT.
My site shows up first for query http://www.example.com but is the last listing for "http://www.example.com".

Has anyone experienced a total PR drop too?

zehrila




msg:3760715
 6:43 pm on Oct 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

No Pr drop, its still steady pr5, however, few internal pages have dropped down from pr4 to pr3 or pr2.

Mbwto




msg:3760907
 12:01 am on Oct 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Its time for Google to break the silence now, otherwise many people will get buried in their silence.

I just don't understand whats going on?

SEOPTI




msg:3760941
 1:10 am on Oct 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I think it's impossible to escape the June 4 penalty without a reconsideration request. After adding content I see a small lift but the sites will never come back to prior positions.

So let's add this penaly to the penalty list where you can work your ass off, but nothing will happen.

KlingWRAP




msg:3760946
 1:23 am on Oct 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm an old-schooler amd recall in 2005 I had sites do the same thing; they tanked from number one to nowhere...they never recovered...the sites died and I lost 4 years of work...I had to move on...you may have to do the same and abandon ship!

SEOPTI




msg:3760950
 1:25 am on Oct 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

Moving on means dropping the old domains and shifting the content to new domains. This is of course an idea if everything else fails.

KlingWRAP




msg:3760970
 2:00 am on Oct 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

That is ONE definition of "moving on" not THE defintion...sometimes you have to dump the content as well and move on...as in...start from zero with a whole new concept...don't think you can package the same content under a new domain and make a big comeback...a turd with a wax-job is still a turd!

[edited by: KlingWRAP at 2:01 am (utc) on Oct. 8, 2008]

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