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This 219 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 219 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 > >     
Google.com SERP Changes - May 2009
Pass the Dutchie

 8:05 am on Apr 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

< Continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

Something is up. We monitor google.de very closely and the SERP's have remained very static for a couple of weeks now. No jumping around of sites as we have seen over the past months with the exception of a few sites that should not be ranked as highly as they are. Last time I saw this there was a big shake up. Lets hope for the best results ; )

[edited by: tedster at 5:39 am (utc) on May 1, 2009]



 7:29 am on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Can it be possible that Google has identified some link pattern, like most of the big companies (or even small) might be taking Link building from similar service providers and Google might have started to keep a record (read it as started to take action) of them by giving -50 to all sites that have common linking sites. This might be tracking the services that sell 10's of 1000's of directories and link building at one go in few months time...


 8:17 am on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Seems to have been another big drop in traffic over this weekend. Still can't see any changes on my actual SERPs.

And now it's not only my sites, but some of the sites I host for other people on other servers (different hosts, IP ranges) are experiencing the same thing. Just big traffic drops from Google, but no SERP changes.

"site:" results seems to have stopped dropping, although all link data disappeared from one of my domains in the new look GWT, but they've come back now.

Extremely frustrating.

Martin Ice Web

 8:51 am on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Good morning from Germany.

Google.de now gives back a set of results with mostly price comparing sites on page one. One or wo sites are commercial or with usefull content. All competitors are way down +2-3 pages. Why arenīt the price comparing pages not affected. With their link building with a lot of links in a short time, they must have triggered a filter?
Is it the relation between incoming and outgoing links?


 12:41 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google really has to work on his new algorhytm because this current situation really sucks, I mean I'm nowhere to be found before 5th or 6th page for given keyword, and some cheating dude who copied my article word from word is at No.3 on first page from given keyword, I simply do not believe this is happening.
Where's the justice?


 2:20 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Walkman, in your previous post you mention you were hit by this 2-3 years ago and go on to saying it was out by the end of the month? Do you recall the exact time you were in this -50 penalty? Also, if I may ask, what did you do to deserve it?

One of my sites is also suffering from this penalty and we did nothing wrong and have been writing great articles and content for years, white hat SEO links, by forums, blogs and social media. I also believe we tripped a filter and hope to see the site come back soon.


 3:20 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Maximus 12 is google still visiting your site regularly? My site index tells me that google hasn't updated my site index for almost a week now.


 4:10 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)


No it is not, it comes once a week now instead of the usual every other day since the penalty. Last time it cached was the 18th of May!


 4:12 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

same here, 18th may was the last time...


 4:41 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

May 23 is the last snapshot of Google cache for my site that was also hit by this -50 penalty.


 4:59 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)


It's not a one week thing, could be months. I have been in this for 3 weeks going on 4. I believe as a few have mentioned here before, it is a wire we tripped or a filter that google applied to it's algorithm and I am still hopeful sites will come back soon.


 5:46 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

if this will last for month or more I'll have to come up with something either redirect to new domain or something of a sort because this is ridiculous, working had for years for nothing...


 9:30 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

You are preaching to the choir pelizden. I have been busting my butt writing articles, getting the word out via social networking, forums, blogs etc. and then all of a sudden gone! Right after we were achieving an optimal and stable position.


 9:55 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

A member here, idolw should know more. Look at this link regarding the -50


"This is definitely connected with spammy incoming links - we just got it confirmed by a Googler on a conference in Poland."


 10:45 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I do not assume that every time a ranking falls to page 4-6, it is "the same" penalty. It is entirely possible that different situations take a similar numeric hit - or that Google has put together some new criteria and still applied a familiar looking penalty or filter.

So it is NOT a case of "I fell -50 positions so there is no hope." This is giving a name or label too much power. I know two sites penalized last week that are already back from being down -50 after making a number of changes. And yet, there may well be other sites that are relatively locked in - and their total profile may be quite different.

It's important to keep your head, and to put a well-made thinking cap on top of it.


 11:26 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks SEOPTI,

I read the whole thread. Idolw did say a googler confirmed this with him so now it is back to the drawing board to remove any spammy links I can find :)

One thing I did like about that thread was allot of positive responses, a few webmasters did say their site returned after some time, so not all hope is lost my friend. I am still optimistic.


 11:49 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

This is definitely connected with spammy incoming links

If you see a lot of spammy incoming links and your business definitely did not place them, then I'd suggest indicating this to Google in your reconsideration request. I know of several situations where this kind of action seemed to help, in that the penalty was lifted soon after.

Google does not want to allow others to knock you out of the rankings this way (it's often called google-bowling).


 11:52 pm on May 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I agree with Tedster's remarks. Most webmasters will likely know what it is they have done , since it will involve pushing the Google guidelines boundary in some way.

Backlinks would seem to be a major area of concern.

However, I've no idea what to do if those backlinks can't be removed. Does Google re release those sites in time ?


 2:25 am on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I know of one case where over 2,000 spammy backlinks stayed in place and the site was removed from the penalty. If Google know about those links, then they also just tag them to be ignored - at the link level, the url level or even the domain level.


 7:42 am on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Be punishment for spammy incoming links is ridiculous in my opinion.

Your competitors can tomorrow pay one or another cheap service for not more than $100 and knock you out top.

Here will be more honest from search enignes to ignore such a links and do not give any value to them then punishment site that very oft do not have anything to do with it.


 8:40 am on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

dolcevita, the counterpoint to that argument runs as follows.

1) You may have just paid $100 to PROMOTE your rival
2) If you are small-fry, you probably are not worth someone spending $100 (or at least the opportunity cost of that $100 is too great- more could be achieved by spending it elsewhere
3) If you are worth spending the $100 on, you may very well be immune to this type of G-bowling. Authority and Trust grant certain levels of immunity. The likely result is that the links are devalued, and the link seller punished.

No, what seems to be happening here is that the immunity has been somewhat lessened. This is particularly clear for the mega-brand link buyers, who really have been able to act with impunity up til now. Also caught are some small-time link-buying dablers.

My gut says this is the natural conclusion to the Vince suite of algo changes. First of all, give the Brands a boost so they can stand in their own right. Stabalise the SERPs. Then, remove the crutch that the brands previously relied on- paid links. Stabalise and re-normalise SERPs. Expect the Brand dial to increase and ImmunityRank(TM) to dial-down over time.

The NICHES that existed in a paid-link arms race were probably collateral damage, and may very well get their own footprint to allow this to continue. Alternatively, they may find their industry playing by new rules- to be successful, they may have to "Brand up".

Final thought. MegaBrand Corp spends $10m on AdWords, and $2m on paid links. Paid links no longer work. What are they likely to do with that spare marketing cash?


 9:14 am on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)


;) I love it!


 10:04 am on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Shaddows authority and trust site's are not immune.

I have typical example with one of my site that is 6 year old authority site and is not immune.

Every year at least once or twice site faced -50 or -300 or whatever penalties for almost all terms.

After 4-6 weeks come back to old positions.

I still think that it is ridiculous to be punishment for spammy incoming links because it is out our control.

Link should be not counted and link seller should be punished but not site that do not have control over links.


 12:52 pm on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have typical example with one of my site that is 6 year old authority site and is not immune.

Every year at least once or twice site faced -50 or -300 or whatever penalties for almost all terms
[Emphasis mine]

I don't mean to be harsh here, but how much Trust equity do you think you have if you are getting MAJOR penalties on ALL keyords on AT LEAST an annual basis?

The problem here is that different people have different concepts of authority. Good information and first page SERPs on a few kewords is not "Authority".

Is your site THE go-to place for information (think Which?, Consumer Reports, WebmasterWorld)? Referenced by .gov and .edu (proper ones, not old, lapsed domains)? Recognised as a brand by, say, 3-5% of your target market, and used by 1-3%? If not, you may have a good informational site, but its not an authority.


 1:42 pm on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

I have found a number of sites that copied my website content (or parts of it) word by word... or they just rewrote my content.... I am collecting those links, it would look nice in my potential reconsideration request.

Also I am seeing in my logs that now people are searching for:

"my_author_name_on_my_site + my_keywords"

because they obviosly can't find my site in top of SERPS for my big keywords.

Something has to be done here.


 3:18 pm on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

We are also seeing some sites that we know suffered this -50 penalty from May 14 seem to be back now. Some are big brands, some are smaller. One is a small company that removed some paid links, not all, and did a reconsideration request maybe a week ago, and are back with good rankings now.

Does anyone know of sites bouncing back yet that did nothing? Tedster you mentioned the sites you saw back had made changes-- link removal? Do you happen to know if they did a reconsid request also, or just came back this quick after changes?

We are aware of a few that did reconsid requests just a few days ago that are not back yet but it is just too soon.


 7:29 pm on May 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

What you think about this - just got couple of really quality backlinks including one pr8 backlink, of course niche related. Will this be enough to convince google that my site is really quality site or will this make things even worse?


 12:12 am on May 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

>>Will this be enough to convince google that my site is really quality site or will this make things even worse?

If you're under some kind of penalty for linking, then this will certainly only delay any kind of comeback.


 5:04 am on May 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

"What you think about this - just got couple of really quality backlinks including one pr8 backlink, of course niche related."

The biggest mistake you can make IMO. Google has mapped the PR8 - PR9 links by now and they have an idea who sells and who doesn't. If all you have is four cheesy forum links and 7 directories a PR8 will stand out!

Remove bad links by asking nicely (maybe sending $10-$20?), and ask for re inclusion.
Seems to have been another big drop in traffic over this weekend.

Memorial Day weekend, ignore it.


 6:14 am on May 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm not buying link nor is this site selling them, this site is one of the most authoritative sites on the web for my niche but they loved my content and included me to their link list. I do have many other niche related backlinks that are not directories or forum links so this shouldn't be a problem.


 7:43 am on May 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

pelizden, please let us know if your site pops out of the penalty box. A really good new backlink has been known to help with penalty removal in some cases - would be interesting to know if it helps in this case.


 8:10 am on May 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

no worry, will inform you guys if penalty ends. This will also be an interesting test because couple of my sites were penalized, and I have only worked on one to get more quality backlinks, others were left intact, so we'll see if this really helps or not.

This 219 message thread spans 8 pages: < < 219 ( 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 > >
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