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6 months after reconsideration request - still no recovery

 11:54 pm on Jan 13, 2009 (gmt 0)

Back in June 2008 we lost 90% of traffic from Google. We did have pages which we were never 100% sure if they would fall into the category of "doorway" pages, so assuming that's what happened pages were removed and reinclusion letter was sent to google.

Our site is still in the index, just results dropped to further pages.

We figured we'll wait and see what happens. Here we are 6 months later and still no signs of recovery whatsover.

What options do we have at this point, site is 5+ years old, good content and we don't complain about number of links to our site (which are generic).

Would another reinclusion letter be a good idea at this point?



 3:30 am on Jan 14, 2009 (gmt 0)

Another reconsideration request might well be in order - if you have identified and fixed some other issue. Otherwise you would most likely just be spinning your wheels. Your most important oaction is identifying what caused Google to give your rankings such a hit back in June.

If you haven't already done so, I'd suggest going through the topics in the Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page. There's a lot of shared experience and successful actiions discussed in those threads.


 10:51 pm on Jan 15, 2009 (gmt 0)


Did you ever think of changing your domain name and see how if you rank better ?
Ok, I know this is not politically correct but I think Google is really unfair giving a penalty, maybe puting your business down and not tell you why.

I understand Google doesn't want cheaters and unless you're an idiot, you are aware that you cross the border when you do thinks that Google doesn't like.

The way I see it, when you have a 5 years old Website (and mine is 11 years old), Google should know you, and they should know if you are some sort of cheater or not.
The least they should do is give you some sort of warning before they shoot you down.

Tedster, your link is full of very interesting stuff indeed, but after 6 months of reading it, reading it again, making changes and not having any result I just don't feel like going through this again.

I'm really mad at Google.

Not for shooting me down, but just for not telling me why.

Now, of course, if you start over with a new domain, you loose your PR, but what is it worth anyway ?


 1:36 am on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Changing your domain name will mean starting from scratch so I wouldn't recommend it at this point as it's likely there is something else wrong with your site--have you considered over optimization? Google is getting real pickey about that lately.

I've requested two sites for reinclusion recently after correcting the problems in a redesign and both recuperated within about 2 days from the time Google got the letter.


 11:45 am on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Two ways that sites have been fixed recently from as you say, listings which were once high suddenly dropped down in Googles results.

One is over optimisation of keywords - check you haven't got even your company or domain name repeated many times through pages.

The other is that pages do not contain enough unique content. This can happen when you have a basic template with different content on each page, but that content just doesn't vary enough.

Also check just how many pages are available to Google on your website, and think about restricting some if there are more than 50,000 or 100,000.


 11:59 am on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I did consider over optimization.
I worked on it.

As a result de "de-optimized" pages get less traffic (not that it was over-optimized anyway)

Like I said, I went to pretty every suggestion I've read here and every modification I made got me lower in the SERPS

The only thing I didn't do was asking for a reconsideration request...
I'm going to do this but i'm almost sure they won't even answer it, I don't know why...

I'll let you know


 12:23 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

No, they won't answer you. You just have to wait a while and see if your site goes back up again. You might get one or two pages at first, the rest will be slower.


 1:13 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)


Try looking at it from Google's POV.

If they start telling people exactly what they have done wrong, they will be almost giving an instruction book for spammers. They'd have to be crazy to even consider it.

And what they do is not unfair. Google says (effectively) "We'll include any url that sticks to our guidelines. Please read them. PS we're serious about that. Read them carefully".

In many, many cases I've seen, there are glaring examples of the webmaster ignoring guidelines.

In many more, they fix the thing that 'pushed them over the edge', but don't fix the other problems that they knew about, but thought they'd got away with - Once a site triggers the filters, EVERYTHING should be considered under the microscope.

Probably the biggest single group of problem sites is those that try too hard; they have a sick site because they've overoptimised. And they are usually the easiest to fix; simply look afresh at the site, and remove all the bits that make human beings wince or laugh. Sometimes, the ONLY WAY, is to take the Doug Heil approach - Forget Google, Forget Yahoo!, even forget Ask - just look at the site as a human being would.

Sadly, of course, many sites from all those three groups (and more) have suffered bad advice from 'SEO experts'; it's still essential for serious webmasters to know enough to understand what the SEO is doing. Or not doing.

[edited by: Quadrille at 1:16 pm (utc) on Jan. 16, 2009]


 1:33 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Gandhalf - changing domain name? well, thought has crossed my mind, but to give up 5+ year old domain and start from scratch? no, I'm not giving up yet.

Not for shooting me down, but just for not telling me why.
- oh, I feel your pain.


 5:01 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)


it all makes very much sense, what you say.


I don't think spammers need an instruction book to do what they do.

And how long will it take me to consider an 11 years old website under the microscope, knowing that it is just for the fun and the service it used to give to my users.
Here's a concrete exemple:
I read in another post that keyword density on a page should'nt be above 5%
Now what ?
I have to check 4000 pages to find a couple of pages that are up to 6, 7 ?
Is it too much too ask for Google to point these in the Webmaster tool ?

Of course something's wrong somewhere, I don't deny that.

But is this like some religion ? Have faith and you see the light ?

anyway, thx for your feed back ;-)


 5:37 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

I read in another post that keyword density on a page should'nt be above 5%

You won't see that in Google's guidelines (and there's little evidence of any such number!).

If you read your pages as you prepare them, you'll know if the keyword limit has been exceeded, because the words will sound silly; if in doubt, get an honest friend to read them - or read them out loud.

I really don't think religion comes into it; and I don't even think ethics necessarily feature, either (that's entirely a matter of choice).

SEO, especially for Google is mostly reading the guidelines, and recognising that Google seeks to emulate the human experience. The rest is very largely common sense!

I don't think spammers need an instruction book to do what they do.

You do take my words very literally, but fair enough; let me rephrase: If they start telling people exactly what they have done wrong, their advice may be useful for spammers. They'd have to be crazy to even consider it.

Thanks! ;)


 8:44 pm on Jan 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

How is your site doing in Yahoo and MSN Gandhalf? Did the whole site vanish from Google or just portions from particular countries or a country?


 7:41 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Where do you send these requests to Google, and is there any particular 'format' the letter should be in? (i.e. what exactly do you have to say)


 7:46 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I've discussed banned sites with enough intelligent people to know that the border can be rationalized a lot further than it ought to be. I'm not above this phenomenom, either. That's why a reality check by a second set of eyes is helpful.


 8:09 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

floridadesigns, send it through your webmaster tools account. There's no particular format, but most folks recommend stating what guidelines the site might have been outside and what steps you've taken to correct the situation.

Again, that for guideline problems. For simple optimization problems, well, Google's not going to do much about that.

If you do need to submit a reconsideration request always, as MB points out, get another set of eyeballs on the site before telling Google that it's clean as the driven snow.


 7:17 am on Jan 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

cazzzk, would you say what percent of duplicated content was on your pages before? Thanks.

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