Around mid-august our site appeared to receive a -50 penalty in G search. The site was set up in early 2005 and is a specific resort's guide with unique hand written content and imagery. The penalty only affects the single keyword which is the "resort name" and also the domain name i.e.
"resortname" has shown up in the top 3 in G for about 2 years before dropping to 6-7 about 4 months ago. We then went to 51 and 2 days ago fell further to 63.
I've spent some time reading about this penalty and see that the likeliest cause is bad inbound links. I've checked all the inbound links via Yahoo and various backlink checkers and there appears to be nothing dodgy going on.
My first attempt at clean-up involved reducing the density of "resortname" on the front page, adding nofollow to affiliate links on the front page and also
nofollow on the links page to 2 other related websites we own on the same IP. An inclusion request which was duly reviewed but with no change.
Going forward I suspect that over use of inbound anchor text with the single term "resortname" might be an issue. There are also a reasonable number
of "resortname.info" anchor text links. Combining resortname and resortname.info means that this anchor text accounts for around 25% of total inbound links. I will try and get some changed and also get more links with varied anchor text.
The second potential issue is that the static html pages all begin with the resortname so that the urls look like this:
I set this up when I didn't know any better! I'm considering putting in 301s so that /resortname-reviews.html becomes /reviews.html etc etc
This keyword accounts for 40% of site traffic and with the key season fast approaching any thoughts or observations would be greatly appreciated.
[edited by: tedster at 6:14 pm (utc) on Sep. 4, 2009]
[edit reason] make information more generic [/edit]