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Site recently hit - should I do anything or wait?
rlopes




msg:4431122
 2:04 am on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

On Saturday my rankings/traffic dropped about 30%.

I've hired someone to create backlinks on the last month, so I'm suspecting this could be the problem.

On the other hand, I was searching for duplicate content and I just saw that many sites have copied my content.

Should I rewrite my content (5 pages only)?
Should I stop the link building?

 

tedster




msg:4431135
 3:30 am on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

My first suspicion in a situation like you describe is always backlinks. There are many people who "build backlinks" today who are doing things that Google does not like at all. Couple that with other trust questions and you could have a mess on your hands.

rlopes




msg:4431326
 2:45 pm on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thank you Tedster.
Is there any way to clean up the mess now?

petehall




msg:4431340
 3:04 pm on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

What type of ways are you talking about tedster?

canuckseo




msg:4431349
 3:17 pm on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I would give it a few days before you start panicking - it is most likely the new links however the drop could be because google is recalculating your link popularity - I've seen this with my site in the past - I lost ranking for keywords i was link building for but the ranking came back 4 or 5 days later and actually improved due to the links.

In the mean time you should review the links you got - what sites are they on - are the sites indexed by google? Do they have a PageRank value. I know PR is not that useful - but if the PR is 0 (IE the toolbar is white) in my experience it means that site has been penalized and if you have a link there it could be negatively affecting you.

Also, how many links did he get you and over what time period - if he got you a bunch of links over a short period of time and you haven't been link building in the past he probably did set off a flag at google.

maddawg




msg:4431383
 4:32 pm on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

If you built a lot of links too quickly you probably just got hit with a penalty. You'll disappear for a while(not the top 10 pages) and then reappear in the rankings but where you ranked prior to your aggressive linkbuilding campaign.

I've noticed websites that have been penalized can regain their rankings if they engage in high quality, legitimate linkbuilding efforts, though it is certainly harder than if the website hadn't been penalized.

netmeg




msg:4431385
 4:40 pm on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I saw a couple of reports of sites related to linking and link networks that got hit bigtime in the past couple days. I suspect there's been a change.

tedster




msg:4431425
 6:14 pm on Mar 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

What type of ways are you talking about tedster?

Google really wants to see only freely given "editorial" links - one website links to another because they want to recommend that content to their visitors. Any approach to link building that wanders from that basic idea becomes more and more risky, by degrees.

petehall




msg:4431669
 10:10 am on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks tedster. I've never been involved in anything like that and touch wood, never had a problem.

Have always submitted sites to directories though... although I am now starting to worry about all links!

Perhaps this is what they want.

tedster




msg:4431689
 12:01 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Nah - just submit sites to quality directories that make sense for your target market and don't worry about it. Check out the other sites in the directory. If they include a lot of spam and dead wood, then the directory isn't quality. If they automatically list all submissions, then they are definitely not quality.

rlopes




msg:4431710
 1:37 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thank you for all the replies!

Would it be a good idea to ask Google for a reconsideration? Or could that be dangerous?

canuckseo




msg:4431732
 3:18 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

It doesn't sound like you were banned just temporarily penalized - unless you got a message from Google via webmaster tools that you've been removed I wouldn't ask google to reinclude you - the site is still there just lost some ranking

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4431736
 3:32 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

You can stop trying to 'build backlinks' by trying to find places to add them on other sites yourself, those are not editorial and they(sometimes) infer spam. The biggest exception to that is of course author credit, if you wrote an article on another site ask for it.

tedster




msg:4431763
 4:51 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

unless you got a message from Google via webmaster tools that you've been removed I wouldn't ask google to reinclude you

Important change - Google now calls it reconsideration requests, not "reinclusion' requests. It takes some pretty spammy actions to get totally kicked out of the index, and lowered rankings (penalties) are much more common.

If you have corrected the guideline violations that you feel caused the ranking drop, then a reconsideration request can be a good step, especially if rankings are not rebounding on their own. Just note - you must make a good faith attempt to repair the situation first. And also note, if your site and its entire profile hadn't received a manual inspection before, it certainly will now ;)

Here's a video with some helpful tips: [webmasterworld.com...]

martinacastro




msg:4431793
 5:29 pm on Mar 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

@rlopes are you sure that your site is penalized?

if you search your domain +kw your site is in the first page? or for example, a string of your homepage (100% original) without "" appears your site in the first page?

Regards

rlopes




msg:4432190
 5:47 pm on Mar 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

@martinacastro My site has been ranking for about 2 years at #1 for it's domain keyword, now it suddenly dropped to #7, along with all others keywords, that's why I'm sure it's been penalized.

kellyman




msg:4432327
 11:05 pm on Mar 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

In this last week many sites have suffered as you, I really dont think its the links you just had created but rather what had happened in the past.

I would put it that Google has devalued a hell of a lot of blog networks, so if you did happen to have a link on one of those pages I would say the value has gone.

As someone mentioned above try and get some quality links to your site, im sure you will recover in time.

The exact same thing just happened to me and it was my first thought i had been penalized, but im sure if that were the case you would be a lot further down than position 7

Funny enough my main keyword also dropped to position 7 which had been rock solid for over a year.

tedster




msg:4432328
 11:09 pm on Mar 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

kellyman - that was a wise post ;)

kellyman




msg:4432483
 10:11 am on Mar 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just one more point on this, as i mentioned the same just happened to me this week, and last night i took another dive.

I am seeing people that were page 1 a week ago now sitting at page 5, theres 4 in my niche alone, so something big has happend

Were UK based, maybe a glitch maybe a test but the reults that took our place are the kind of sites that would not be fighting for the top positions with agressive link build like mine and some of the others that dropped.

So it could be a test of the new algorythm that everyone is guessing would or would not happen, especially an overoptimisation penalty, as i will put my hands up now and say in the past my link profile has been poor, but not in the last 12 months so if i have been hit by anything of that kind its a stark warning that one day your past will catch up on you

petehall




msg:4432541
 1:12 pm on Mar 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

rlopes - how's this for strange.

One of my sites lost 30% of traffic overnight after being steady for years. And its in position 7 for many searches!

rlopes




msg:4432800
 12:13 am on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thank you kellyman and petehall for sharing.

Now see what I found on my Google Webmaster Tools inbox:
----------------------------------
Dear site owner or webmaster of ....

We've detected that some of your site's pages may be using techniques that are outside Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results.

If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.

If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.

Sincerely,

Google Search Quality Team
----------------------------------

And that was on 03/02.

My site only lost it's positions on 03/17, so maybe I wouldn't have been penalized if I got in contact with them on time.

Now I'm going to try get rid of the crappy links (how?) and get in touch with Google for reconsideration.

kellyman




msg:4432810
 12:39 am on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do Not contact them.. until you read the below

Not sure if you a paid member but Fathom gave me this reply to the same question i asked..

Do not try to feed them BS as they are far from stupid, be honest and sincere, if you have done something come clean and beg for forgiveness and tell them it will never happen again

From fathom
"Any links that are within your control should be removed.

Any links that are outside of your control catalog them and report them to Google with your story and a re-inclusion request.

If the catalog is huge start a thread at [groups.google.com...] for referencing and link to it in your re-inclusion request.

Google will likely respond only with a canned response but if you are genuine and sincere you can expect recovery near immediately or within a week or two"

petehall




msg:4432912
 8:50 am on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

So if what your saying is true... It's possible for a competitor to build dodgy links to your site and get you penalised?

Link exchange I get, as you link back and form part of the network.

Seems mighty unfair but then I suppose you did hire someone, but how would they know that?

kellyman




msg:4432921
 9:26 am on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ peterhall

exactly my point, i read an article and they say it is possible but is still in debate, [searchenginejournal.com ] however i have seen 4 other people in my niche alone drop to around page 5 also for their keywords so i personally think Google has rolled out something, but they have the mechanics slightly wrong and will be changed soon,

There is also the point where even many of those cheap backlinks get you to page one crap used BMR and linkvine networks as part of their packages and from what i hear they have been totally devalued, which is an easy footprint for Google to make examples from the site using them, but i think they underestimated how many sites were on these site and bam wiped out a hell of a lot of people,

petehall




msg:4432942
 11:59 am on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@kellyman to my knowledge the site would have no links what so ever from any such network, so you'd think the changes would be better for the site rather than worse if this was the case.

A few of the longer tail searches seem to be gaining more weight again, and it's only affecting the more popular brands on the website which I am thinking is due to our old friend Panda.

Lots of specialist sites on these brands are now doing very well, so I can't help but think I am going to be forced to fragment the content of the website to combat this.

petehall




msg:4432944
 12:08 pm on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

On the less popular brands the site is still 1-3 for all searches. The two big brands are the ones that have been hit, and the issue appears to be isolated entirely to these.

kellyman




msg:4432951
 1:08 pm on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ petehall

Its the same for my first site, but its obviously flagging something to get that message, i wish i knew more, so i could understand a bit better hence my thought on try to see it out for a month and hope its a glitch or tempory action.

When i put in a reconsideration request i went through loads of my links and i can tell you that for a fact that i have not backlinked for a year, however i found posts on blog sites as recent as February this year

I also found 40 identical I.P address from a scraper site with My URL in there, and i don't think for one minute this is done by someone to harm my site but a scraper bot harvesting URLS for a directory, or taking one of my Blog posts rewriting it through a spinner tool to 70% unique and getting a post that's senseless.

So i wish i could help you more but i cant help myself, at this time and everything im doing is speculation and hoping when i wake up in the morning my site is back where it was, i remember some one on here once said Google has a long memory, so dont expect a fast change

petehall




msg:4432961
 1:29 pm on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm holding onto the fact that this has affected lots of sites in the industry and not just mine.

If it had been the only site affected then I would be more worried.

crobb305




msg:4433105
 11:39 pm on Mar 24, 2012 (gmt 0)

Dear site owner or webmaster of ....

We've detected that some of your site's pages may be using techniques that are outside Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results.

If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.

If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.

Sincerely,

Google Search Quality Team
----------------------------------

And that was on 03/02.

My site only lost it's positions on 03/17, so maybe I wouldn't have been penalized if I got in contact with them on time.

Now I'm going to try get rid of the crappy links (how?) and get in touch with Google for reconsideration.


Exact same thing here. I JUST checked WMT first time in weeks, and there was the message dated 03/02. I actually saw traffic increase 30% for the ensuing 14 days. Just this week did I see a 10% drop in traffic -- keyword specific. I have very limited control over the backlinks, some are there to spam my site (I've been watching them for a few months).

I feel like there was just a time lag between those WMT messages and the algorithmic changes that took them into effect. It may have been the warning about "overly SEO'd" sites (the "changes" that Google has been warning about). Remedying the "unnatural links" is going to be daunting, if not impossible, when they are beyond our control.

It's possible for a competitor to build dodgy links to your site and get you penalised?


I fear this is the case. I was reading some forums yesterday, about the recent delisting of private blog networks (which I have never touched), and a couple of members stated that they maliciously changed out their links to point toward competitor sites. Granted I don't know how those networks work, but if links were changed out to point to competitors -- to get THEM penalized, it may have worked.

petehall




msg:4433155
 8:55 am on Mar 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

a couple of members stated that they maliciously changed out their links to point toward competitor sites


Great! This is the problem really isn't it, not everyone plays fair. Really you should not be judged on things you can't control.

Devalue 'dodgy' links by all means but not send you a warning leaving you wondering what has happened.

I haven't had any such warning, I do think this could be a new scare tactic to get paranoid webmasters to clean up their act.

This 58 message thread spans 2 pages: 58 ( [1] 2 > >
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