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Help with Oct 5 penalty
proboscis




msg:4403269
 7:35 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

On Oct 5 this site lost almost all traffic from google, very few terms show up before page five in the serps, and a search for the domain name returns the site on page five as well.

The site was also affected by Panda back in February, I noticed that there was a lot of duplicate content on the site in the form of site descriptions - when linking out to a resource I copied text from the resource and used it to describe the link.

Shortly before the Oct 5 penalty, I started rewriting all of these desrciptions to try and escape Panda.

So since the site is 12 years old and has been copied many times, is it possible that my rewriting caused the penalty, because now I am no longer the original? (Original even though some of it was copied...)

Either way what should I do now? Start rewriting again, delete the resources (they're really good researched sources I don't want to delete them), just delete the descriptions, noindex those pages?

 

bwnbwn




msg:4403286
 8:51 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

delete the resources
Not unless the sites have been hacked, gone down, or been changed to something not good. Having a godd recource page won't cause a penality unless the link leads to a bad page, malyware etc.

You got something else going on and with the limited information no way to give any helpful advice other than what I already said. I would revisit all the links out and make sure the information hasn't changed from a resource to a big problem. If they are still all good you need to see if it isn't your site the problem sounds like it might be to me.

Planet13




msg:4403287
 8:57 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

...delete the resources (they're really good researched sources I don't want to delete them)...


Is it safe to assume this is a directory site of some kind?

since you think this is a PENALTY (in addition to being Pandalized), can we ask if you have any suspicions on what actions you may have taken that would lead google to penalize your site?

for example; was there a significant amount of link building done in a short period of time?

also, have you filed DMCA requests against those sites that have copied you?

proboscis




msg:4403308
 9:56 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, it's an old directory. I haven't done any link building for at least a year, and never any shady link building or buying - in the early days I did link exchanges but that practice was dumped many years ago.

There are bad links pointing to my site, but I didn't cause them. For example up to 26,000 sites show up on a search for my meta tag description and none of them look good.

I also checked every outgoing link by hand, only one was really bad but all are good now and up to date. I've already sent a reconsideration request as well. I received the standard response with no information good or bad.

The only thing that seems suspicious is the copied text and the penalty did happen right after I started changing it.

I started sending some DMCAs - should I continue?

Also, the one bad outgoing link that I found was a site selling software designed to create fake content and links to fool google...could that one link cause a penalty?

tangor




msg:4403318
 10:38 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Also, the one bad outgoing link that I found was a site selling software designed to create fake content and links to fool google...could that one link cause a penalty?

Given the tens of thousands of apps offering to do the same, and the existence of only one... that's not very likely a trigger.

This is a Google forum but it helps when troubleshooting to check other search engines to see where your site is located. If you're also doing poorly in Bing or Yandex, etc... then it's quite likely there's something in your site that needs to be addressed.

Planet13




msg:4403322
 10:45 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

The only thing that seems suspicious is the copied text and the penalty did happen right after I started changing it.


When you say "copied text" do you mean text that other sites copied from you AFTER you started rewriting the descriptions?

If so, how many sites were copying your original text?

I started sending some DMCAs - should I continue?


I would.

Also, the one bad outgoing link that I found was a site selling software designed to create fake content and links to fool google...could that one link cause a penalty?


I can't say for sure, but I would sure mention in your reconsideration request that you removed it and mention any steps that you had taken to ensure that your site doesn't link out to such bad sites in the future.

Right now, are you waiting to hear back from google regarding the reconsideration request? Or have they responded? If they have responded, what was their response?

proboscis




msg:4403334
 11:19 pm on Jan 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

I see a decrease in Bing and slighter in Yahoo but I don't know right now if it's just because of all the pages I deleted right after Panda. I'll look more closely at that.

When you say "copied text" do you mean text that other sites copied from you AFTER you started rewriting the descriptions?


No, unfortunately I'm the one that originally copied text from other sites to use in linking back to them. Then others made copies of my pages.

I did mention the bad link in my reconsideration request, I think they can see that it wasn't like that when I first linked to the site.

I have heard back, they didn't say anything, just that they had reviewed my site and gave me a link to the webmaster guidelines.

proboscis




msg:4403350
 12:07 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for helping me by the way, I appreciate it a lot.

So I have definitely lost traffic from Bing and Yahoo as well and some of it is because I deleted all but the main section of my site and I have lost some of my positions too I think, I'm still figuring it out.

Planet13




msg:4403356
 12:15 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

What are you using to check your rankings?

I have heard back, they didn't say anything, just that they had reviewed my site and gave me a link to the webmaster guidelines.


huh... there are a few other people on this forum who have mentioned extremely schizophrenic responses lately. something to the effect of: We have reviewed your site (note: PRESENT PAST tense). If we find anything wrong with it, we will contact you (note: FUTURE tense)

Maybe lots of people on the spam team at google are out on vacation right now?


(I am assuming the spam team handles manual reviews but I could be wrong.)

proboscis




msg:4403373
 12:38 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm just going over my stats provided by my host to check my Bing and Yahoo traffic, then I just went to each engine and did some searches.

Oh yeah, I didn't even notice until you mentioned it:

We've now reviewed your site... If we don't find any problems, we'll reconsider our indexing of your site.

Planet13




msg:4403381
 1:12 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

We've now reviewed your site... If we don't find any problems, we'll reconsider our indexing of your site.


I believe this is new language they are using in their initial responses to reconsideration request, but PLEASE WAIT FOR SOMEONE ELSE TO VERIFY that this is a change in the language they are using.


(I have never suffered a penalty - knock on wood - so I don't have first hand experience with this. However, I have talked to a few people who have had first hand experience with penalties and reconsideration requests, and this seems like new verbiage.)

proboscis




msg:4403394
 2:20 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I received two responses one immediately following my submission and a second about 6 days later.

So maybe I am still waiting?

tedster




msg:4403416
 4:19 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

It does look like new language to me, too -and I think someone should re-write it. There's a confusion between the past tense (reviewed) and the future (if we don't) that makes it confusing and clearly ambiguous. Is there a future review after the first review?

Planet13




msg:4403450
 6:55 am on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

It does look like new language to me, too -and I think someone should re-write it.


Thanks for the confirmation, tedster, since I haven't seen one of these responses in real life, and am just posting what other people have mentioned to me.

Is there a future review after the first review?


I am only going on hearsay, but the few people I have talked to who have received these messages say that they have received the same enigmatic message multiple times. About a week apart, similar to the time frame of the original poster.

(I did not ask them to check logs to see if there was clear forensic evidence of a further review.)

linkbuildr




msg:4403669
 6:19 pm on Jan 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

perhaps your current links got devalued big time on the 5th?

proboscis




msg:4404626
 10:08 pm on Jan 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think it's more than devalued links, I don't show up for my domain name even...

So maybe I should try just removing the descriptions from the links because that's the only thing that's copied, or would noindexing everything but the new content help you think? New content is only 10% of the site at this point.

By the way, any others with oct 5 penalty?

Planet13




msg:4404656
 11:27 pm on Jan 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have a directory section of my site, so I can pass along what someone suggested to me:

If it doesn't have value (and only original content is going to have value), then noindex it.

I don't think a page with only a link and no description is going to be much value, in my opinion.

A really good directory is going to need really good content on it. You can't just spider dmoz listings / google serps and think that it is quality content.

On another point:


I think it's more than devalued links, I don't show up for my domain name even...


I ain't no expert here, but it sounds to me like you have a Panda symptom (copied content, lots of pages with little to no value), but have a non-Panda penalty.

I could be wrong, but that's what it sounds like. Hopefully others will chime in.

proboscis




msg:4404664
 12:02 am on Jan 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, I believe I have a non-Panda penalty in addition to Panda. I was affected by the first round of Panda back in Feb.

Definitely not dmoz listings or any anything like that, I put my time in as far as research. Stanford, Yale, and many other universities link to it and experts in my field have written me to thank me for compiling it. It's not sliced bread or anything, but people interested in the subject seem to appreciate it.

Okay, leaning towards noindexing then...thanks! I guess it can't hurt at this point, page five is practically noindexed anyway.

martinacastro




msg:4405077
 1:04 am on Jan 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I also recieved this ambiguous message as another members that recieved it more times (2 or 3 times). Also I read in other forums that after some days they recieved a final message like the violate guidelines.

So I can think:
a) Spam Team are out on vacation so we must wait for a final message
b) Spam Team are using for some sites this type of response. Perhaps as tedster told me in my post this sites were reviewed and we must wait because we are in a "penalty box". I also read this thought in another forum.

Also I found this response for sites that are not penalized

@proboscis if you recieve another message from G, please post it here :)

martinacastro




msg:4405093
 2:13 am on Jan 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Planet13 as forensic evidence, in my reconsideration I put in a page of my site additional information, and none from google access this internal page.

Planet13




msg:4405105
 3:33 am on Jan 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

There is another possibility:

Spam Team and Panda team are not communicating well with one another, or the Panda algo is SO complex that Spam Team itself is not sure whether the ranking change is caused by a penalty or by Panda.

It may be that Spam Team needs to "check in" with Panda. Maybe (wild guess here so please don't quote me) reconsideration requests will be handled by Spam Team but they may actually need to be run through the Panda Team to confirm that the rankings decrease was due to the algo?

proboscis




msg:4405131
 8:19 am on Jan 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

@proboscis if you recieve another message from G, please post it here :)


I certainly will, I received the notice after only 6 days, and they say it takes several weeks so I'm a little hopeful that I will receive more information.

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