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Did I Just Get Whacked by Google?

 7:42 pm on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)


My site - number 7 on google.co.uk and number 2 on google.com when searching from UK

Its a .com - hosted in UK.

Today - number 48 on google.co.uk and number 12 on google.com

An interesting drop - I have been adding links to it this last week or two with a good mix of anchors but around 70% "word1 word2"

The reason I write in about this is because I have heard that as links are added (say fairly rapidly for a site (relatively)) of about 6 or 7 per day, google can often drop a site like this whilst it recalculates its position - or works on the links to see if they are somehow trustworthy (they are all blog links in text paras)

I had even read that sites being bulked linked into using Xrumer and Scrapebox drop - and then come back in a stronger position than they started.

Does anyone know if this is true - or - as my title says - did I just get google whacked :)



 8:44 pm on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

a google whack is where you enter a search term in order to try and get only one result.


 8:47 pm on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Oh - I hadnt heard of that - maybe I should change the topic.

Just tried and I cant edit it - what I mean is did I get a punishment.

I wanted to add that I have read that some people call this dropping during the aquisition of links the "Google Dance". Thats a far cry from what I used to call the google dance.

On reflection though - whilst the old google dance used to be monthly - this is ongoing so I suppose it could well be the "google dance" - I call this movement though the Everflux.

Im waffling - but would still like to know if Ive been filtered or demoted some measure.



 9:13 pm on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

I made a small title edit to clarify that we're not talking about a traditional "Google Whack."

Yes, you've lost rankings. The question is whether that's a change in the algo, or an algorithmic penalty, or a manual penalty. From your description, it sounds like an algorithmic penalty to me.

I'd stop building those junk backlinks with keyword anchor text and work on attracting strong natural links.


 10:19 pm on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Tedster - noone links to my sites - they just dont.

I am totally at a loss when it comes to this "natural" linking - who would want to link to a product site? Even though its a great product - in demand - nice site - great prices - great conversions.

Noone links to it tho. The only natural links I ever got were to a hobby site on which I make no money.....


 10:48 pm on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

People do link naturally to product sites - just not to sites that are nothing but lists of products to buy.

It can take some cleverness to create link-worthy content, especially if your products are so generic that people can buy them all over the place. But that gets outside the scope of this forum. It's a business issue, and marketing issue in general.

We do have a Link Development forum [webmasterworld.com] here - and there are experts in the field of building links the natural way - here and around the web.

I do hope your rankings bounce back - if this is an algorithmic penalty, they probably will in a month or so. But for the long-term health of your business, stepping up your marketing game a bit sounds like the best thing you can do.


 10:55 pm on Feb 18, 2011 (gmt 0)

Not sure I should go off on a tangent here, but I want to address the following comment...

who would want to link to a product site?

I link to product sites all the time without being asked, and even when I am asked. No return link asked for.

Here's why ...

The products meet the interests and needs of the people who visit my hobby oriented site.

These links go onto one of my links pages, they do pass PR, but I'd guess it's not much, too little PR, too many links.

More importantly they pass on traffic, good solid shopping minded traffic.

But not all "common interest" sites are "hobby oriented" sites, so even if there is not a hobby involved, there may still be an "common interest" group that fits with your product(s).

Might not work for your site, but well worth looking at. I tend to think if people are buying stuff, they are talking about it somewhere, find that place.

When you find, study it. That place might not give you a link, but some of the people posting there might well have sites of their own dealing with whatever issue/hobby/interest that your product is related to.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled discussion.

[guess I was typing while Tedster made his last post]


 12:58 am on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

I have a site where most of the traffic comes via articles and tutorials -- not necessarily exactly focused on the "product". People read the articles, are impressed, and then buy the Product. The product doesn't even need much marketing because of the articles. So, if you can find something people might like to know about your products that is not written anywhere else it might help draw traffic, increase ranking and draw more business.


 5:55 am on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

This might be a "whack" from an algo change rather than a penalty. In that case, your previous rankings might not ever return unless something changes about your site. If I were to guess, I'd say one good chance for an algo change would be something we've heard a lot from Google lately - "we changed the way we are scoring backlinks".

We rarely get any detail beyond that, but it seems clear that Google wants to give the most weight to links that are true citations from truly independent sources. The more I think about your description, the more credence I give this possibility - not a penalty but an algo change.

I'm focused on links because that's the angle your original post focused on. However, there may be something else about your content, on-page configuration or site structure that the algo now scores differently. If that's so, we may be seeing comments from others.

I had even read that sites being bulked linked into using Xrumer and Scrapebox drop - and then come back in a stronger position than they started. Does anyone know if this is true - or - as my title says - did I just get google whacked

There is wide variation in black hat results. You can be 100% sure that Google works hard to combat those programs. Those who do black hat also develop a big domain portfolio, since that game needs big networks with churn & burn websites. It's 180 degrees off from what I do.


 7:52 pm on Feb 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

It's not uncommon for a change in link graphs to cause a temporary change in rankings. Be patient, each page is viewed on it's own merit and it takes time for any link changes to propagate to all pages.

If you're doing what you should be doing, ie: creating solid content and letting interested people/webmasters know about it, don't fret a temporary drop. It takes time for all pages to adjust, especially on larger sites.


 3:32 pm on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi, I wanted to follow up on this for anyone else experiencing anything similar.

I reported that.....
My site - number 7 on google.co.uk and number 2 on google.com when searching from UK - Its a .com - hosted in UK.

Today (18th Feb) - number 48 on google.co.uk and number 12 on google.com

But now (21st Feb) - Number 45 on google.co.uk and number 2 again on google.com

So it seems to have gone back to how things were on the .com - but for the moment seems to be staying put in the mid 40's on the .co.uk

It is all very strange.....


 5:00 pm on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

HI, Just thought I would post my observation from a few weeks back - I was playing around with a test site - trying to vary its link profile - and realized I 'Didnít' have any junk links with anchor text - so I thought I would do a few weeks link manual link building, to see if the variation in link profile helped, as opposed to switching techniques.

The site was bottom of page 2 before I started then fell back to the bottom of page 3 - 2 weeks later it had not only regained page 2 but had moved up to the top of page 2 9that damn hump ;0 ).

This could of course be something entirely different - and complete coincidence - but i have noticed with a few other sites where I have varied the link profile - and had 'a bit of everything' the same occurrence has happened (this has involved everything from social media, articles, blogs etc).

I have also observed - this seems to be different for different verticals - I was wondering within some industries - certain types of links are almost expected/accepted - so it could possibly raise a flag of some sort - if the profile is too clean?.

Again, these are just observations and not at all fact.

And thanks for all the useful help I have been able to read up with on this forum over the years, its been a life saver from when I started in the industry.



 6:38 pm on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

My global product supply company example.com hosted in the UK is nearly always outranked by my product information example.co.uk site.

This also happens to me in other countries as well such as China and India however in the US SERPs my example.com reigns over all my others.

It's years since I last used a .com for a UK focussed site. Have you got the .co.uk name?


 7:58 pm on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Thanks guys - yes khem - the link profile on this site is indeed squeeky clean. Whilst I have varied the anchor text across links - all the links come from blogs (various platforms), all the links are text links, dofollow. I'll try to do some work on social media links, throw in a few spam forum profile links etc to mix things up.

Huskypup - I am assuming here that you mean when you search google.co.uk then your uk hosted .co.uk domain outranks your .com, and also that both your .com and .co.uk are hosted in the UK.

I have a few .co.uk sites promoting the products - and yup - I agree with you - because as I am targetting the UK only - and strictly only for shipping reasons, I have put most of my efforts into those. This includes hosting in the UK. These sites do indeed do ok on google.co.uk

So we could be saying here that the .co.uk engine has maybe increased its "anti .com" dial (not a nasty thing but a logical one).
This may explain why its come back on google.com - but not on google.co.uk

Its getting harder to track all this - because additionally - despite clearing out cookies - using different browsers and operating system versions (XP or 7) - I get different results anyway!

There appear to be an ever increasing number of permutations of browser and operating systems which cause different result orders in the serps. Im not even going to try and answer why that could be - ever! :)

I guess im happy im back as follows :-

Number 2 on google.com when searching using IE x? from within the UK on my XP loaded PC
Number 4 on google.com when searching using IE x? from within the UK on my Win7 Laptop.
Both on the same network.

In essence - that is actually a great result for google - and also for me. Albeit a bit strange.

Just hoping the .co.uk comes back aswell now.


 8:01 pm on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Dam - my .com is now at 13 actually on google .com on my laptop

Im not sure I should bother going too deep on this tracking anymore -because to be honest without knowing whats going on on everyones PC across the country - me knowing where I am seems not to mean anything.

Hmmmmm. Dont know what to think now.


 8:21 pm on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Huskypup - I am assuming here that you mean when you search google.co.uk then your uk hosted .co.uk domain outranks your .com, and also that both your .com and .co.uk are hosted in the UK.

And interestingly my .cn and .in sites are hosted in the UK but rank extremely well in their local SERPs.

So we could be saying here that the .co.uk engine has maybe increased its "anti .com" dial (not a nasty thing but a logical one).

I've been wondering that for quite a while now after studying what my .co.uk sites have been doing in Google UK and the even more bizarre Google UK .com results, they're just crazy for my stuff.

I test my SERPs using this [google.com...] and also using the Firefox Google Global plug-in.


 8:52 pm on Feb 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

In the past few months, Google did have the .com dialed tweaked too much for many UK users tastes. We had a thread about it here, and many other forums on the web did too. So a turn of that dial would not surprise me.


 11:07 am on Feb 22, 2011 (gmt 0)

If this is just an overnight thing i would hang tight for a few days

Last week i added around 40 links to one of my longer tail keywords a few days later i dropped 30 places and bounced back 2 days after that 10 places stronger than i have ever been,

bare in mind this was a test for me and would not normally add that many links in one go but i was testing a theory with the new algo change,

If your page stays down for more than 5 days it could be a problem but i doubt that seeing as your com has jumped back.


 3:10 am on Feb 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I can report some sudden drops in rankings after some "marketing" or link building. Its recent and so far none of the sites have gone back up in rankings. One site in particular has been on page 1 for a few years and is now on page 57... Its been over a week so I'm thinking its a slap rather than a dance. I guess the next step might be to test the theory on some of my competitors websites to see if we can bump them down as well.... hmmmm The problem we all have is that "natural" linking does not work when your up against black hat, I can understand webmasters fighting fire with fire, the problem is you end up risking your brands rankings and reputation.


 10:54 pm on Feb 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wanted to report the first site that went down has now returned to slightly better rankings. Looks like about 2 weeks in the sin bin for our troubles. Site number two is still in a very dark place and we are talking about a very competitive online market with high saturation and affiliate competition.


 9:42 pm on Feb 28, 2011 (gmt 0)

Curiosity Question: How did things go with Bing?

I know this is a G SEO forum, but for every Ying there is a Yang.


 3:50 am on Mar 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think we are ok in Bing, its such a small percentage that it does not matter one way or the other.


 3:15 pm on Mar 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

Ok - today (Sat 5 March) the site is back to its original positions on google.co.uk - but still at 12 on google.com

Looks like a rollback on the .co.uk with a few other sites in their old positions aswell.

Very strange.


 7:37 pm on Mar 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

I am paying close attention to this topic. My site is suffering the same problem. Now it is like a month. I am going to start a new topic about -20 filter when it is over.


 9:02 pm on Mar 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

Interestingly - my sites traffic has not changed at all during all this.


 10:38 pm on Mar 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

How can you fall off the first page and not see that reflected as a traffic loss? Sounds like the keywords you're watching may not be the right ones.

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