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Over Optimization June 2 Penalty - steps to reverse it
newborn




msg:4151943
 2:47 pm on Jun 13, 2010 (gmt 0)

My business model was building mini-websites with strong content. However we chose topics that we could fill out using 5 to 10 pages.

Many of these were local based and we ranked well for them. We had upwards of almost 100+ web properties and growing. We did use Adsense and other methods of monetizing the websites, we were not MFA sites, we sold our own ebooks, free downloads of guides etc. And updated the site if there were any relevant changes. All the local sites were on the same IP as well because we weren't doing any Spam practices and the content was well written and not Spun.

We invested heavily in that arena.

In May we hired a "reputable" link building team on an outsourcing website that indicated the method they were going to use was article marketing. So we agreed as our link building was quite slow and we were hearing so much about Caffeine.

On June 2 all traffic fell and I mean off a cliff. I was stunned. We did not know what was happening as most of our domains targeted longtail traffic, keywords were even in the domain. So we thought the Google MayDay would help us.

I have checked and all the sites are still in the index, none are de-indexed as they show when I do an exact search, and site:mydomainname they all show up. Though the cache date does not seem to change.

After discussing with the link builders they said they used an automated link building service to distribute the articles. I cried foul and demanded a refund - which the gave me - however nowhere close to the revenue being lost as a result of their actions.

Having read on the forum I have seen others address the June 2 update as an over optimization update and suggested several methods to regain rankings.

I have added these and wanted to hear thoughts on which would be appropriate to conduct:

- Get more authority in bound links and wait 2 weeks to 4 months
- Add more content and get more authority inbound links and wait 2 weeks to 4 months
- Dump those sites, take the content and create new websites
- Send Google a reinclusion request and wait doing nothing

If anyone who has been hit by the June 2 update and has seen a return of normal traffic can they weigh in here...

 

tedster




msg:4155096
 12:00 am on Jun 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

So I might be dead in the water.

I've seen several successful reconsideration requests in this type of situation, and even much worse. Explain what happened, give Google a list of the bad links (if it's big, put them on a URL and just include a link in the Request), and let them know that you no longer contract work to thus third party.

aristotle




msg:4155114
 1:05 am on Jun 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

I thought it was a violatiln of Google's Webmaster Guidelines if you pay another company to build links to your site

tedster




msg:4155116
 1:26 am on Jun 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

It depends on what you mean by "build links". If you hire a third party to research and reach out to other websites that might want to show your site as a service to their visitors, that's fine. If you hire them to pay someone to link to you, that's something Google is clear that they don't want to see.

newborn




msg:4155125
 2:07 am on Jun 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

gotcha.... I should add more content first though right?
Arrrgh!

Tobyha




msg:4156789
 1:26 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Any news about 2nd june penalized sites?

Planet13




msg:4157064
 7:18 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

Any news about 2nd june penalized sites?


And more importantly, has anyone come up with solutions for increasing their positions in the SERPs?

np2003




msg:4157168
 9:33 pm on Jun 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

One of our sites got hit by this around June 2.

It was ranking on page #1, then dropped to page #3 for a certain popular keyword.

The other keywords we optimized aren't affected, only the one we heavily optimized was hit. For example if you searched for "widget", it would still rank well but "widgets" crashed and burned.

We had to cut our Adwords budget back from $150,000/mo to $40k/mo because of this. Knock on effect of what happens when Google penalizes an Adwords customer.

I found some massive spammy sites that still continue to rank well and they don't spend a dime on Adwords. They use hidden css/div footers that contain a boatload of text links and rank well for all top keywords. (Keywords that have over 1 million searches a month).

I'm gobsmacked as to how Google leaves these spammy sites alive and hurt their paying customers. Oh well.

walkman




msg:4157293
 1:48 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Looks like this is working just as google expected, they largely see mini-sites as built for search engines:
What about microsites? Are they a good idea?

Microsites were originally created to dominate search results. It was originally kind of a spammy technique. I normally donít suggest it, Mayday and future updates are only looking for quality sites. If you want to dominate search results, you can do things like add videos/images and other data. Microsites confuse users, there are links coming in to another site that isnít your main site, and they are hard to maintain as now you have multiple sites. Itís a jarring user experience; I donít think they are going to work in search results in the future as they did in the past.

[toprankblog.com...]

Robert Charlton




msg:4157296
 1:57 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

...they largely see mini-sites as built for search engines...

What other reasons are there for them?

Lorel




msg:4157304
 2:30 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

One think I've seen mentioned several times in this thread, by those who have been affected on or around June 2, is that many of you have a network of sites.

Couldn't that be Google's prime target?

vandread




msg:4157405
 7:17 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Lorel would not then all sites of the network be affected? I run two blogs in the blue widgets niche. One was affected, the other not. The one that was affected still ranks for some keywords but lost much of its long tail traffic and some high volume keywords as well.

The sites that are now ranking in the top 10 for the keywords are mostly ridiculous, talk about 300 word article sites with no value but lots of ads and a spammy backlink profile from unrelated sites (but a lot of those)

walkman




msg:4157410
 7:21 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Lorel would not then all sites of the network be affected? I run two blogs in the blue widgets niche. One was affected, the other not. The one that was affected still ranks for some keywords but lost much of its long tail traffic and some high volume keywords as well.


Maybe those that survived had decent out of network links. Just a suggestion

Hissingsid




msg:4157418
 7:29 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

The other common element is they were created by the same person. It could even be a simple mistake in the mark up which causes massive repetition in one area of the page.

Also I've not seen anyone mention what they are seeing when they use Lynx or do some keyword analysis somewhere like GoRank. I'd also like to see some reports on the balance between internal links and external back links shown on siteexplorer, also try Open siteexplorer on the anchor text tab to see if there's something there.

It seems to me this is abit like a crime scene where the detectives haven't bothered to do a proper search for evidence.

Good luck

Sid

vandread




msg:4157419
 7:33 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Walkman both sites are authority sites in their niche with lots of solid links from other authority sites in that niche. The only differences are that the punished site was three years older, had more pages because of this and was not that focused on a specific topic than the unpunished site.

Site A focused on widgets while site b focused on red widgets only.

I'm still seeing strange results when I search for the page titles of site A. A scraper site that only copies the title and first paragraph of the article always ranks in front of the site in the SERPS. It even links back to Site A.

From what I can gather Google seems to have changed the weight of the homepage and pages of the Site in favor of the homepage.

Hissingsid: site A and site B have actually not been created by the same person :)

vandread




msg:4157423
 7:43 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

Here is the Siteexplorer data

Site A:

Pages: 170,070
Inlinks: 622,576
Except from this domain: 588,268

Site B:

Pages: 38,913
Inlinks: 68,115
Except from this domain: 58,176

Open Siteexplorer:

Page Authority: Site A 70 - Site B 61
Domain Authority: Site A 61 - Site B 52
Total Links: Site A 101,318 - Site B 59,601
External Followed Links: Site A 74,400 - Site B 48,705
Linking root domains: Site A 934 - Site B 810

I do not have a PRo account, can't see anything in the anchor text tab but the first five entries which are all different anchor texts containing variations of the site name.

If there is anything else that I can take a look at let me know.

The other common element is they were created by the same person. It could even be a simple mistake in the mark up which causes massive repetition in one area of the page.

Also I've not seen anyone mention what they are seeing when they use Lynx or do some keyword analysis somewhere like GoRank. I'd also like to see some reports on the balance between internal links and external back links shown on siteexplorer, also try Open siteexplorer on the anchor text tab to see if there's something there.

It seems to me this is abit like a crime scene where the detectives haven't bothered to do a proper search for evidence.

Good luck

Sid

petehall




msg:4157501
 9:55 am on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

From what I can gather Google seems to have changed the weight of the homepage and pages of the Site in favor of the homepage.


I can see this happening more and more as the web grows...

vordmeister




msg:4157713
 4:57 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

I noticed a change on 2nd June - Google Products reported a 60% fall in referrals. Google Webmaster Tools also reported a drop.

Checked against referrals in my server log files and they didn't show either drop.

Can I ask whether everyone who noticed the 2nd June thing is using Google Analytics? My theory is that switch was primarily a reporting switch.

Sure there are other things going on that coincide roughly with the timing. Things have been all over the place the last few weeks - one day massive sales, the next none. Just I don't think Google tools are useful in working out what the change was - especially for those using analytics who were hit on 2nd June.

Victor1




msg:4157923
 9:21 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

MY big hit came on June 4th/5th. Dropped three quarters of my traffic over 60+ sites.

One one site stayed at #1 - many #1s to 9-11 many #15's to 300.

All of the above are micro sites with the Url being the keyword.

Funny thing is that one site stayed at #1 and another is still solid at #4. I have looked at those sites that did not shift with a fine tooth comb looking and comparing those to the other sites. The difference is almost imperceptable but I think the ones that fell were over optamized for the 3 word key word phase.

So, as per Sid's suggestions which have been very helpful, i have take my most profitable sites and taken out some extra keywords, added semantics and have been building new links. Looks like a few of the sites have inched up ever so slightly.

I think there will be a lot of web sites going cheap on sites like Flippa very soon. If some one can learn how to fix up these sites they could make some good money.

For now I just want to get my former income back from the sites I am trying to bring back to life.

Lorel




msg:4157955
 10:10 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)


MY big hit came on June 4th/5th. Dropped three quarters of my traffic over 60+ sites.

One one site stayed at #1 - many #1s to 9-11 many #15's to 300.

All of the above are micro sites with the Url being the keyword.

Funny thing is that one site stayed at #1 and another is still solid at #4. I have looked at those sites that did not shift with a fine tooth comb looking and comparing those to the other sites. The difference is almost imperceptable but I think the ones that fell were over optamized for the 3 word key word phase.


Ok, here we have a "network" of 60 micro sites and all focused on the same keyword phrase. How can anyone build 60 sites all focused on the same keyword and expect Google to rank them all well?

I think google has finally gone after networks.

trakkerguy




msg:4157969
 10:43 pm on Jun 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

How can anyone build 60 sites all focused on the same keyword and expect Google to rank them all well


I don't believe Victor1 meant they all targeted the SAME 3 word phrase.

A site with 1,5, or 10 pages relating to a phrase COULD have much more info about that phrase than a single paragraph on a page with 500,000 pages.

Hissingsid




msg:4158246
 8:23 am on Jun 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

@vandread - well I think that we can probably discard lack of backlinks or two highly focused a backlink profile. If anchor text is not too skewed to one or two keyword phrases I would also discount anchor text as an issue.

@others - Are these micro sites on the same IP range, same server, same domain owner in whois?

I have a number of micro sites (less than 10) but these are on different servers, with different hosts and as far as possible I've rung the changes in terms of the domain owner by registering them with somewhat different owner details (home address, office address, company name, own name etc), as a private person in some cases as in UK we don't then have to disclose and for some US/international domains I've paid to keep details private. In short I've tried to distance them from me and I've also taken steps to make sure that a human checkover wouldn't result in a penalty by creating unique and high quality content. In one case a local government authority now thinks I'm an expert on the subject and has invited me to meeting to discuss future plans! These have not been hit but that doesn't prove anything as they also don't have the internal site and page content issues that we are discussing. I'm just saying what I've said above for future reference for anyone following on this path. If you are going to build multiple micro sites do everything you can to hide the fact as well as doing all of the building quality content, broad semantic language things that you normally would when building a quality site.

I might just be paranoid!

But that could be a good thing!

Cheers

Sid

seabreeze




msg:4193601
 11:26 pm on Aug 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I hope you don't mind if I chime in - albeit dated reply. Every domain I had with amazon affiliate products dropped off the charts early June with the implementation of Google Caffeine.

I dropped Amazon products, and the sites returned to their formal spot. Cutts admitted as much that google treats amazon products simply as duplicate content - and I was overboard with amazon affiliate feeds.

tedster




msg:4193603
 11:40 pm on Aug 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hello seabreeze, and welcome to the forums.

Cutts admitted as much that google treats amazon products simply as duplicate content

My understanding is that it's not Amazon in itself, but only situations where the site republishes the exact text that Amazon uses.

It's the same for any affiliate website - not just an Amazon affiliate. It's been called a "thin affiliate" when the site doesn't offer visitors anything beyond whatever any other affiliate offers with the same feed. But if the site offers unique value, then it still can rank even using an affiliate link for the purchase.

Mikey85




msg:4218970
 7:26 pm on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Did you recover form the june 2 penalty yet?

Victor1




msg:4218988
 8:28 pm on Oct 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Also wondering if others recovered from the June 2nd change?

I haven't been able to nail down what would easily help...

...of course there are many time consuming link building fixes that work and I have applied additional link building to a few sites and that has got them back to page one. But 30 or so of the small keyword based original content micro sites of former page one status are still way back in the rankings.

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