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This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >     
Google -50 Penalty Across 3 domains
learnseo81




msg:4326351
 11:04 am on Jun 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

My all three money making domains have been hit with a -50 penalty and I'm back to where I was 4 years ago. All of my assets have vanished overnight and I'm REALLY very sad about this.

Here are some facts :

1. All the domains were ranking on Page 1 for many keywords since quite some time now.
2. One domain was penalized in May and two other were penalized today almost at the same time.
3. All three domains were listed in One GWT account.
4. None of these three sites link TO anyone except microsoft and wikipedia.
5. Reconsideration requests have confirmed manual penalties. I've done many on-site changes (like improving user experience, making things more clear on the site, rewriting the content) but nothing is helping. I'm just getting reply that "some pages still violate quality guidelines".
6. I've been building links to these sites via articles, press releases and forum posting. All three sites also have LOTS of blog comment spam links which were created when I started out and It was my fault. At that time, I wasn't sure that these links can hurt but my delusion has vanished. Since last 6 months, I've ONLY got contextual links to the domains but I've been hit very hard.

I had NEVER thought that incoming links can hurt you this much but it looks like they can hurt you a lot! It is my fault and I admit it.

Now I see :

1. NOW Competitors can harm you really easily.
2. Manual penalties were applied for off site link building. It is completely clear to me since ranking drop is SITEWIDE in all 3 cases.

Now what can I do from here? I don't have enough courage left to start out afresh and don't know when this #*$! will happen again. To any of you who had such things happen before, what I can do to get the penalties lifted? How should I go about reconsideration request?

I'm ready to do anything to get the penalties lifted. Please post about any possible solution here.

For the first time in 7 years, Today I'm thinking about leaving the online biz........

 

globals




msg:4326439
 4:10 pm on Jun 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

If incoming links can hurt you, the consequences are horrifying as competiors will be able to easily sabotage your site. If this is true, it is the worst move google could have taken. I hope it is not true

walkman




msg:4326507
 6:07 pm on Jun 15, 2011 (gmt 0)


I had NEVER thought that incoming links can hurt you this much but it looks like they can hurt you a lot! It is my fault and I admit it.
Sadly too late for you but they do, or at least give you a manual review. People also need to stop listing all their sites on WM Central because all your sites will be inspected.
For the first time in 7 years, Today I'm thinking about leaving the online biz........

I've been thinking of selling my best domain name and do what a user here does, many 200 word 'sites.' If one or a few stop ranking, it was money I never had. No need to get emotional over it.

learnseo81




msg:4326724
 2:40 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Any thoughts/guidance about reconsideration request?

Still I feel that It is very odd to penalize me for incoming links because anybody can hurt your site. Since google never tells the problem clearly It is very difficult ot make a guess.

Is there any penalty for affiliate sites?

Kenneth2




msg:4326735
 3:11 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Do you run affiliate sites with manufacturer's provided description?

learnseo81




msg:4326744
 3:24 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

No, I don't use that description at all. All the content is unique and written by myself. I don't copy anybody's work.

tedster




msg:4326748
 3:28 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

hit with a -50 penalty

That's a phrase that gets used quite casually. However, if a ranking was supported by backlinks that just simply lost their value, then rankings might fall drastically without any true penalty entering into the picture.

What, exactly, are you seeing in the rankings that makes you call it a -50 penalty?

learnseo81




msg:4326749
 3:32 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Its because reconsideration request response is

"some or all pages of your site still violate quality guidelines"

This is what confirm that there is a manual penalty. I think it is a -50 because nothing is ranking in first 5 pages. Everything is jumping between 5-7 pages.

Planet13




msg:4326750
 3:34 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Still I feel that It is very odd to penalize me for incoming links because anybody can hurt your site. Since google never tells the problem clearly It is very difficult ot make a guess.


How long had you been building questionable links to the site before you stopped 6 months ago? Probably google could have "detected them within a few days, but may have been waiting a while to "confirm" that they were questionable links.

How many links did you build? Was it a handful of links? Dozens of links? Hundreds of links? Thousands of links?

How old was your site when you started building them?

How many places did you drop? 50? 200? A lot more?

As for your question about penalty length, I have heard some people say three months, some people say 6 months, some people say 18 months, a few said two-and-a-half-years.

If your content is REALLY GOOD, then it might be time to get a new domain (or find a domain about to expire and contact the owner and see if they will sell it to you).

learnseo81




msg:4326751
 3:40 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

They were hundreds of links, most blog spam and I stopped completely 6 months ago. Even If they were waiting, It still open doors for competitors sabotage.

My site is more than 3 years old.

It dropped 50 places for all terms.

Kenneth2




msg:4326755
 3:49 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Since you had great SERP before the penalty. Someone could have reported your site to Google for all the blog spam and that brought you the manual penalty. Is it possible for you to remove all of the questionable links ?

learnseo81




msg:4326757
 3:52 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

It is not possible to remove the links but I can send out emails to them. I've only three things in my mind which could have lead to penalty :

1. Links coming from blog spam.
2. Considered as thin affiliate site.
3. No followed affiliate links?

Kenneth2




msg:4326758
 4:06 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Well, I have just checked the SERP of my pandalized affiliate site with nofollow affiliate links (11 April). It has been demoted even more today. My other non-affiliate sites are not affected though. So i guess what Walkman posted on another thread could be right.

Google only wants original branded/non-affiliate sites on page 1.

Planet13




msg:4326761
 4:14 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Hi again, Learnseo81:

I have never had a penalty, so my advice might be wrong. I encourage you to look for people who have had a penalty. But until then, this is what I think. But again, I have no direct experience with a penalty.

3. No followed affiliate links?


Nofollow affiliate links are a GOOD thing. You are NOT supposed to flow page rank to your affiliate links, so to be safe, you are supposed to nofollow those links.

2. Considered as thin affiliate site.


That would probably get you in trouble with Panda, but not with a manual penalty. Panda wouldn't drop you 50 places across the board. An over optimization penalty would.


1. Links coming from blog spam.


This, in my humble opinion, is most likely the cause. Maybe your competitors saw what you were doing and used their google webmaster tools to report you.

How spammy were the blog posts? Were they just fluff? Or did you actually try to contribute to the conversation. Maybe the blog owner got tired of being spammed and decided to report everyone?

learnseo81




msg:4326827
 11:28 am on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Blog posts were not spammy at all. I did contribute to the conversion. If I was penalized for spam blog comments It has really opened the doors for competition sabotage. I simply do not know why google is taking action against me while other sites replying ONLY on blog comments are ranking higher.

shazam




msg:4326882
 1:54 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yeah it's sad, but true. Google always DID allow competitors to use nasty blackhat SEO methods to take down other sites. Now with panda they just made it a lot easier for them. The only ones that are immune are certain big brands that are spending lots of coin on adwords or have otherwise been manually white-listed.

An algo is one thing, but it's purely evil to have a company manually picking and choosing which businesses fail and which succeed.

For many searches now, even the top results don't get the traffic they deserve. The top three are always adwords, followed by way too many google places spam, with the legit sites hidden down below the fold. It gets worse each year. Soon there will only be one or two legit non google results on the first page.

learnseo81




msg:4326913
 3:18 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I believe that when It comes to blackhat SEO, Google IS WATCHING the linking patterns very carefully via some kind of algorithm. Google flags the site but doesn't penalize it before collecting some very CLEAR patterns which indicate that It is not a competitor's attack. I don't know how they do this but the process must be similar.

Planet13




msg:4326918
 3:32 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google flags the site but doesn't penalize it before collecting some very CLEAR patterns which indicate that It is not a competitor's attack.


If that is the case, then making blog posts that actually DO contribute to the conversation are MORE dangerous than just comments like, "This is a great post. I have bookmarked your site."

If a competitor is going to try and bowl you out of the serps, then they would NOT take the time to write posts that add to the conversation. They would write simple, generic posts.

So maybe generic posts are "safer" than detailed posts?

Planet13




msg:4326920
 3:35 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I would search these forums for over optimization penalty (oop) or -50 or -950 and see what the posters in those threads have done.

Again, I have no direct experience, so I don't know what you can do to help. Although someone in another thread said that you could get a new domain name and transfer the content over and then 301 redirect and that the -50 penalty would NOT be applied to the new domain.

But ask around first.


I've been thinking of selling my best domain name and do what a user here does, many 200 word 'sites.' If one or a few stop ranking, it was money I never had. No need to get emotional over it.


That is also something worth thinking about.

shazam




msg:4326924
 3:40 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

There's no algo that could possibly tell who is running a link building campaign or who paid for it. Simply too many variables and variations.

learnseo81




msg:4326936
 3:59 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm not saying that Google is trying to determine "who paid for it". I'm saying that there is an algo which keeps AN EYE on linking patterns and Google knows very well about what patterns indicate.

Planet13




msg:4326937
 4:06 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm not saying that Google is trying to determine "who paid for it".


I think that shazam might be referring to my post.

netmeg




msg:4326939
 4:13 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Do not let your certitude that it's a linking penalty keep you from checking every corner of your site for possible alternative or additional issues. And maybe get a friend or hire someone to go over your site with a fine tooth comb as well. A second or third pair of eyeballs never hurts in these situations.

tedster




msg:4326941
 4:15 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

There's no algo that could possibly tell who is running a link building campaign or who paid for it. Simply too many variables and variations.

I think you've underestimated the power of Google's machine learning and their ability to build complex profiles that become more and more accurate over time. They've been working on this one for years.

Can competitors sometimes damage your rankings? Certainly - but it's no walk in the park these days. I've heard of several people who stopped offering this "dis-service" because the preventative profiling at Google got very strong.

Planet13




msg:4326944
 4:24 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

Do not let your certitude that it's a linking penalty keep you from checking every corner of your site for possible alternative or additional issues.


Amen.

A friend pointed out to me not too long ago that I had put a noindex metatag on my home page. Not a really good thing to do if you want to rank well.

I had COMPLETELY overlooked this. I was CONVINCED that I did not have that tag on my home page, so I didn't even bother checking.

Hoople




msg:4326949
 4:51 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

+1 to looking at other threads here as there are many aspects to the actions that cause penalties.

My direct experience in over optimizing backlinks http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4303740.htm [webmasterworld.com] post # 4304492

WarrenBuffett




msg:4327252
 9:51 am on Jun 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

From someone that was hit with a -50 penalty 2+ years ago, it is the lack of anchor text variation within a short period of time that has caused your -50 penalty. I honestly don't think it is a manual penalty, as there are many sites in the top 10 in niches I look at, with blog comment backlinks and so on, without penalties or being 'hurt' by Panda updates.

learnseo81




msg:4327311
 12:59 pm on Jun 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

One think that came to my mind. All three sites have outgoing affiliate links which are dofollow. Though these links are masked like go/click?17 but I believe they still pass link juice like bit.ly links?

I think those links might be considered as paid links and It would be wise to nofollow all of them? Suggestions?

Planet13




msg:4327499
 6:39 pm on Jun 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

...and It would be wise to nofollow all of them?


I think it would be wide to nofollow them.

linkbuildr




msg:4327530
 7:35 pm on Jun 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

In my vast experience, you need to build higher quality links with just the site/brand name, as well other very natural looking anchor text. If you top anchor text are keywords you're going after, then you have some work to do.

This is my opinion of course.

This 36 message thread spans 2 pages: 36 ( [1] 2 > >
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