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Starting Over with a New Domain - will penalty follow?
kellyman



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 5:22 pm on May 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Guys, need advice.

my Main site is suffering and has been since i got the unnatural links message In my WMTs,

I want to start over but the cost implementations may out weigh the end result, the back link profile is not great I have tried to clean it up but to no avail, deleted over 700 links but still not good enough for Google.

My site is good survived all panda irritations up to the drop, the content has been uniquely written and will take forever to rewrite over 700 news posts and the 350 Individual pages.

What i want to do is 301 to a new site but i think the penalty will follow, i do know people that have done this and some the penalty followed some it did not.

Any suggestions on the best practice of what i can do I want to start all over but cannot afford the costs involved to do it right.

SEOmoz sees my site as one of the highest authority's in its Niche but the backlink profile is crap if im honest so Google see it as not good

 

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 7:42 pm on May 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi ya, Kellyman:

Sorry to hear about the slap.

You know I am no expert on this, so just take these as possible thoughts to mull over. I just hope someone with more experience than I reads my suggestions and adds something more helpful.

Do the links point primarily to the homepage?

If they point to various internal pages instead of the home page, I wonder if you could just change the URLs of those pages so that the links returned 404 instead? If you keep them on the same site with more or less the same linking structure (as in, the same navigation path from the home page to those internal pages) then maybe not even do 301 redirects?

Another thought is whether it might be possible to purchase a hobbyist site that is somewhat related to your niche, and to start putting your content on to that site, and then 301 the particular pages that ONLY have good links?

But if you start a whole new site, then MAYBE doing a 301 of ONLY the pages that have LEGIT links would be best?

Hmm... Penguin could be the start of a whole new business model: Renting space on Penguin-free domains.

If a site had enough authority, then could rent out "part" of their domain, and allow penalized sites to set up their files on that part of the domain. Basically, someone could run their business from another person's domain.

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 8:12 pm on May 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the reply planet13

The reason why i was thinking 301 was because there is a hell of a lot of unique info on the site and wanted to keep what i have already done.

It seems My SEO's Linking strategy was pointing links at the home page, which I kind of created 2 separate pages to split that page (I sell Vehicles in the uk) so now the home page is split into Cars and Vans so in theory i can target independently if i wish

However my unnatural links penalty seems severe and site wide, I have found all the links, Listed them taken around 30% down the others are on sites with no admin but Google wont listen and still says we see unnatural links even though i have listed everything but i suppose they don't think i tried hard enough.

But the reason why i want a new fresh domain is because the link profile is poor, and although when i first started the business i was not really aware of what my SEO was doing, but i am now and want a decent clean backlink profile.

If i could afford to get all the content rewritten i would, i dont mind starting from a clean backlink profile.

However i do like the idea of renaming those internal pages but im not sure if its just those pages with the penalty or the keywords i was targeting as that what it seems like to me and if that was the case then renaming the pages wont help.

If anyone has any other thoughts please share

Fiendix



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 9:49 pm on May 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

How long have you been removeing links? Ive been at it since 5 months and not much success. G says I still got bad links...

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 10:05 pm on May 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Since March

But I have to hold my hands up and 95% is spam, Well i do include directorys of not much worth in with those too and book mark profiles.

Must say before anyone posts well its your own fault for posting spam, it was a SEO Company i employed so kinda gonna take the blame for not looking at what they were doing close enough

Really been thinking of what Planet13 said about renaming those Pages and showing them as a 404 that could work and then i can just wait for those links to drop off the main index page naturally but i will have to work out and see if the keyword is penalised

petehall

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 11:14 pm on May 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I would be tempted to say a 301 won't pass on any penalty. Why? Because you could create a really spammy site and then 301 it to a competitor quite easily.

Vineet Waldia



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 11:11 am on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

i agree with petehall argument, on the 301 direction.

If it suppose to pass the penalty then most of the competitors would have tried this way to penalize their competitor websites.

Fiendix



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 12:02 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok me put it this way. A 301 doesnt automatically pass a penalty. I have tried and my "new" website bounced back to similar positions overnight. That said if your website was reported through the spam form then you should count that it will be reported again.
With this in mind, if I had a site that was clobbered and I didnt really have such a "brand name" id prolly start a new site - a bit more developed. IE move the content to a new domain. Change stucture a bit (titles, urls, h1) , content if possible. Move the best links that you can over to the new domain and NOT do a 301. Best if this was done on a new server (different IP, dont plug in analatics etc - though they still can easily find out its you ofc so I wouldnt kill myself over this).

Next step would be to still work on your own old site getting rid of links and maybe somewhere along the process doing a 301 as suggested above (page by page) or totally.

BTW how many reconsideration attempts have you made?

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 1:25 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

The reason why i was thinking 301 was because there is a hell of a lot of unique info on the site and wanted to keep what i have already done.


that is kind of the reason that I thought you SHOULDN'T do a 301.

It sounds like the content will "speak for itself" in terms of quality.

So maybe you don't want to pollute it by doing a 301 from the bad page domain to the new clean domain?

It MIGHT be good to start anew with your old content and follow some of the suggestions put forth already about a different structure, server, etc.

Then I would do my best to only do 301s to any pages that have JUST legit links. That might be tough since probably almost all the legit links are going to be to your home page(s), but that is probably where all the spam links are pointing as well.

If I understand correctly, the 301s are really only for "reclaiming" page rank from links. I know tedster has mentioned that on projects he works on he only does 301s if they have inbound links (sorry if I am misquoting you tedster).

One Important Thing about all this is that it does seem then that, technically, negative SEO is a very real possibility. We could say in this instance that your site was clearly a victim of negative SEO; yes, it was by a company you had hired, but how would google be able to tell if it was you or a competitor who hired that SEO firm?

I am not saying that you can now claim to google that you were a victim at the hands of a competitor. I am saying that I am going to be much more concerned about monitoring my back lins and if anything suspicious happens, I will probably be more proactive in filing a spam report ABOUT MY OWN SITE stating that I have no control over those links and no idea how they got there.

Maybe "negative" SEO doesn't take effect overnight. But the fact that you can self-inflict damage to your site through negative SEO is pretty much proof positive it can work.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 1:29 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well i do include directorys of not much worth in with those too and book mark profiles.


Just a casual observation in my niche; directories with a NON exact match anchor text don't seem to have a negative effect - at least for the site that is number one in my niche. And believe me, their backlink profile would most likely make you look saintly...

Of course, your mileage may vary.

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 2:56 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the replys so far

First off i have have tried on 4 occasions to have the site reconsidered, i have left reports of my actions and what i have done to try and resolve the links, but i am not confident they will listen or want to listen as i dont hold much faith in Google Especially when i started a adwords campaign and they declined it for copywrite reasons, when infact every ad below me had the copywrite word in it, and when i contacted them the person talking to me said that that was a mistake and should not have happened and allowed the ad, but thats a different story .

How can i move the content to a new site without duplication? I would struggle to replace the old text and rewrite new texts as there are just so many pages.

I did tell Google that i employed a third party i also sent invoices of what they charged me along with lists of links which i removed and a list of those with no contact, on the last occasion i asked if they could just wipe the backlink clean and ill start again, I explained i was sorry that although i know what is the problem now i trusted my hard earned cash with another who did this to the site and said that it wont happen again ever, i totally learnt my lesson, but still got the same automated message back,

However the backlink profile is not good and i dont believe there is anything i can do that will make them change their mind

I have no outbound links no ads, i just like many others made a mistake with no real chance of forgivness

Fiendix



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 3:21 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Bummer :( - its been 5 months and I tried 3 times. Still waiting for an answer on the last. Also generic responses so far :(. Unfortunately I cant move so Im screwed.

There is no real way to move without a DC risk. You can just 503 the main site when you are ready and deploy the new one with changed stuff. In the meantime work on the links etc that I said.

I dont have a clue how that will work with in terms of link value pointing to the old site and what will happen when you finally 301 the site after a prolonged time.

Leaveing 2 sites with the same content is IMO a higher risk though.

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 3:40 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Well

Just got off the phone with the company that seo'd my site, they are a SEO company in the UK and they just regained their rankings by doing a 301 ..... Tested it on may of their clients and all have returned, they did theirs Thursday and 48 hours later they are position 2 in Google ona 237,000,000 competing pages..

Will it last, im not sure

Fiendix



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 4:04 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

yea as I said above it will work minus the links you removed and untill somebody comes along and passes a spam report and they deem its still "unnatural".

I guess you can do that and if they basket you again, then can think what you want to do...

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 5:07 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

How can i move the content to a new site without duplication? I would struggle to replace the old text and rewrite new texts as there are just so many pages.


yea as I said above it [301 redirects] will work minus the links you removed and untill somebody comes along and passes a spam report and they deem its still "unnatural".


To me, it seems like the most expedient way would be to 301 the WHOLE site (every page included).

You would avoid the duplicate content possibility (since the old pages are returning 301 instead of 200 status).


I guess you can do that [301 redirect] and if they basket you again, then can think what you want to do...


I am guessing: If it works for a while, then is reported again, remove the 301 redirects and let the old site return 410 instead? (Maybe ONLY have redirects from whatever pages have JUST legit links.)

It is, obviously, easy FOR ME to make these suggestions since I don't have to walk in your shoes. If the majority of your traffic is coming from other sources than google organic, then it might be something to reconsider though.

But I would add that having looked through these forums for people who have dealt with over optimization penalties in the past, there seems to be a track record of 301 redirects to a new site helping overcome those penalties.

really hope this helps.

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 5:17 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

yea as I said above it will work minus the links you removed and untill somebody comes along and passes a spam report and they deem its still "unnatural".

I guess you can do that and if they basket you again, then can think what you want to do...


Cant really see anyone doing that, prior to the drop i was there abouts in the rankings had a few keywords in the top three positions but nothing really major, i had a good mix of traffic Plus to see a site back where it sat for 2 years prior will be no big deal for most, trust me if the SEO company with 500,000 links dont raise any flags my site with 10k should be fine

Anyhow many thanks for the reply s and i have decided to 301 the whole site over tomorrow, and will report back on how its going and if it lasted

Thanks again

Fiendix



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 5:28 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

To me, it seems like the most expedient way would be to 301 the WHOLE site (every page included).


oh yes thats how it should be done - 301 each page to the correct one - not just to the top tld.

Cant really see anyone doing that, prior to the drop i was there abouts in the rankings had a few keywords in the top three positions but nothing really major, i had a good mix of traffic Plus to see a site back where it sat for 2 years prior will be no big deal for most, trust me if the SEO company with 500,000 links dont raise any flags my site with 10k should be fine


Its not a question that it was done specifically to you. My site wasnt really top 1-3 on terms - just a variety and I wasnt really going out spamming as some others are. There could have been a spam report on some phrase you were in the top 10 and just got wacked as you got over some threshold.

Anyways good luck on the move.

topcat555



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 5:46 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have seen a lot of 301s work brilliantly to start with but it wasn't long before the penalty passed through and the rankings returned to where they were with the penalty.

I have personally witnessed this. I owned site.com and site.co.uk. In November my site.com was penalised (kicked from page 1 to page X) and I thought I could get round it by redirecting to the new site.co.uk. However, although the rankings initially returned, the soon dropped.

I also then received a WMT unnatural links message for site.co.uk despit not having built a single link to it (only links where those from .com).

trakkerguy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 9:26 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Like topcat555, I have done many 301s in last 6 months, 5 in the last 45 days.

Nearly all did well initially and regained pre-penalty ranking in 2-5 days.

Unfortunately, most also were re-penalized within a week.

A few have survived without penalty for 1 month or more, but is definately the exception for those I have done myself,advised on, or been privy to.

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 10:02 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

I hope not but I do Have a feeling the same, but Im hoping that i did survive all the pre panda updates, so i know its not keyword stuffing or such, I did have links on those networks that got devalued, so hopefully the unnatural links penalty wont be passed through fingers crossed

most of the people i have spoken too have all done well with the 301, the ones that did not had pretty spammy titles and were keyword stuffing.

Well i think i do have to give it a go,

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 2:29 am on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

Kellyman:

Did your old site have any pages that google loved that you couldn't figure out why?

I mean, pages that WEREN'T optimized, but still ranked real well?

If so, you might think about 301 those pages (if you decide NOT to 301 most pages for fear of the penalty transferring).

kellyman



 
Msg#: 4455612 posted 6:32 am on May 22, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ Planet13

Not really pages, but i had 2 keywords with 54,000,000 competing pages and i sat at position 2 for over 18 months, it was a keyword that was only in my site (a 10k page site) 1 reference of that and no anchor on the backlinks ...could never figure that one out, other than that it was a core of around 60 pages that brought the bulk of the traffic into the site

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