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My site just got a minus fifty penalty

 3:07 pm on Jul 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

One of my sites is 11 months old. It got minus fifty penalty. I checked. For all keywords all pages are ranking from 5th to 8th page. Site can no more be found with sitename( without .com). It happened all of a sudden. I need help to understand what we did to get this penalty.
In terms of backlinks i did not find anything wrong.Rather i am too afraid of google, i never baught any links. On site we have made lots of changes.
1. On 18th June i made thousands of inner pages noindex.
2. On 5th of July we changed the css, color scheme, site navigation and added google maps. There is not keywords stuffing or anything like that.
Please help me understand what went wrong.
I have read many threads in this forum today and found most of people talking about backlinks as a possible cause for this. But our backlink sources have not changed in last 3-4 months. They are from the same sites.



 10:16 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)



 11:27 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I'm curious as to the variations of the -50 penalty , but the only causes I've heard about relate to links. Are you sure this is something different?

It seems strange the algorithmn would send you straight there following your change.


 11:39 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes i am also confused about this. I never thought you can get penalty for changes in site if you are not doing anything wrong. That is why i am also looking at my backlinks and trying to get of links we got during last few months. If this is because of links then it may be for speed of links. Because our sources of links did not change.


 1:38 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Can you elaborate a bit more on your backlinks ?

Did it cause your site to rise in a lot of positions , what was the speed of those links , did you have too many with the same keywords pointing to your site .... any other types of "over optimisation " through linking ?


 1:54 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Site was ranking on 2nd to 4th page for many pages but not on first page. Because we used so much variation in keywords. We were ranking for many of them, but not on first page for any( not even in allinanchor). I doubt about speed of links because google found most of our links within few weeks. And within these few weeks we make most of changes in our site.
We never got any sitewide links we did sometimes get 10-20 links from different blog's content( each link to different page of our site). That might have caused some problem.

Robert Charlton

 6:22 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

And within these few weeks we make most of changes in our site.

we put those internal pages in noindex to get better indexing for other pages and it really worked.

With everything happening at once, how can you tell? Maybe the indexing was a result of Google seeing all those links... ie, before Google decided to ding you for them.

Regarding Google's point of view, the very fast growth in this case is likely indicating to them a coordinated action of some kind, and that's one of the signals they use to evaluate whether link growth is spam.

Link growth and anchor text patterns that are too purposely varied can hurt you as much link growth patterns that are too obviously similar.

Take a look at the current discussion about aging factors in backlinks, and check out in particular Google's Historical Data Patent mentioned there....

Does Google "Age" Your Backlinks?

From what you say, it sounds like your links were in fact coordinated, and that might well be part of your problem.


 5:45 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Were those blog links part of a paid blog link network ?

Were the links fron blogs that were on the same topic as your site ?

Did you vary the link text , so that you didn't over optimise the keywords ?

My sense is that you linking tripped an algo penalty - but i can't be sure.


 5:59 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

No. they were not part of any network. Few of them were our own blogs. Few were from friends. And they did not have any paid links. All links were from related pages only.
IF this linking tripped an algo penalty, then how can we come out of it?
I have deleted all links from my own blogs. Asked friends to remove links from their own blogs. If after few weeks google finds that these links are no more there, can this site come out of this penalty automatically.


 9:02 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

It does sounds like those blog links could have looked unnatural or even paid to The algo and tripped a filter

Removing them is a good place to start. Finding a few powerful, natural looking links (not on blog rolls) could also help

If it is the filter I am thinking of recovery should come within 2 or 3 months


 9:23 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

I got rid of most of those links. Now second thing is difficult to get. Few powerfull natural links.
Can links like yahoo directory listing do that.


 9:35 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

A Yahoo directory link is almost never bad. The power of the link depends on how far down the directory structure your catagory is and how full it is but for sure it is a signal of quality and a good place to start.


 9:55 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I will try to get this and a few other good quality links.


 10:10 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Let me know how you get on!

A Y!, ODP and a couple of leading directory links in your niche will send some signals of quality.... getting other low quality links to replace the low quality, uneditorially given links you have removed, will not, so airing on the side of caution is advisable.


 10:31 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes. i have stopped all link building exercise. Deleted all links from wherever we could. and even sent email to get our links deleted from few blogs.
The only link i am going to get are just few quality links yahoo directory.


 8:37 pm on Jul 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

As google was indexing my listings pages more and city pages less. I put all those listing pages in noindex. and put surrounding cities in right nav in each city.

I'll just throw this out there for what it's worth - Over the last few weeks I've seen a number of sites with targeted local pages take a hit. Some are local businesses targeting their area and some are directory/information type sites that are optimizing for cities nationwide.

Curious - is your site optimizing for local search? maybe too aggressively?


 4:55 am on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

most of targetted keywords are city based with links to specific city pages. But not too aggressively. Because external links for only top cities.


 5:49 am on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

For -50 penalties I always recommend moving the content to a new domain. This is the quickest way if the site is your bread and butter.


 8:25 am on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

how long should we wait if the site is not bread and butter?
I have searched a lot on this and found most of the sites come out of this in 2-3 months after they find and fix all the problems that may have caused the penalty. Because this is an automated penalty. I dont think they will spend time on a site which is not getting even 100 visits from google.


 7:43 pm on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I waited 18 months a few years ago and nothing happened, I think only a reconsideration request can bring the site back.


 8:02 pm on Jul 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

It depends on what triggered the filter


 12:24 am on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've seen a site that's been 2 years into the penalty with no improvement , so the waiting game can be a waste of time.

On different penalties I've seen sites that have taken 3-4 years to be reversed. Some never.

That's if you do nothing though.


 5:11 am on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

That's if you do nothing though.

I am asking about waiting after you have done everything possible to undo which may have triggered filter.


 11:53 am on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Is it possible that site can rank at 41-45 range for few keywords( not low competition) after -50 penalty?


 1:01 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes. -50 is more like page 4 to page 6 fluctuation these days


 5:25 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

While searching google for different cases of google penalty i found that many sites were affected when they used noscript tag and my site also uses noscript but with just one sentence " Javascript must be enabled in order to use Google Maps".
Can this cause some penalty?


 6:09 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Not at all likely. How did you determine that those other sites are actually penalized, rather thn just ranking poorly?


 6:24 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

I did not decide. While searching in google i found many posts by different people like me who claimed to have got penalty for noscript.


 6:28 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

"I waited 18 months a few years ago and nothing happened." I had a site come back from a -40 penalty at almost exactly 2 years. I had purchased links from a couple of high page rank directories a couple of weeks before google went after directories.


 7:55 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

My website experienced a Google punishment caused by no-index a year ago. Google does not seem to like no-index.


 8:05 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hello MonkeyFace, and welcome to the forums.

What kind of no-index was it, link attribute or robots meta-tag? Were you trying to sculpt PageRank, or just protecting yourself from outbound links? And what kind of "punishemnt" did you see happen?


 8:23 pm on Jul 31, 2010 (gmt 0)

Hi tedster, thanks. It was in the link attributes to external sites. I was definitely not trying to sculpt PageRank. The punishment was that my webpage which was on page 1 was sent way back to 16 or 17. That scared me so much I installed a plugin to remove no-index even from the links comments. I disabled hyperlinking in comments ultimately though.

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