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Website featured in Wikipedia - now a curse not a blessing
n00b1




msg:4483426
 8:25 am on Aug 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

My recently relaunched website has been featured in Wikipedia as a 'resource' on a very relevant page. I have no idea who did this but I was obviously thrilled at first that somebody felt my website was relevant enough to appear there.

This seems to have caused no end of problems on Google, however. Because my website's brand name is also a popular keyword in its niche (it is an EMD, but a short one) that is the keyword that this indivudual used on Wikipedia. My problem is that there are dozens if not hundreds of websites that scrape Wikipedia and now my keyword appears as anchor text on those websites.

It seems that Google has penalised me for this because from their point of view they see dozens of links with the same anchor text. Because my website is relatively young this makes up a large proportion of the link profile and I don't think this looks natural.

I explained this to Google in a reconsideration request and they revoked a manual penalty as a result. A few hours prior to that I received one of those 'unnatural link' warnings without the yellow caution signs. Now two weeks later my rankings have not improved at all for this keyword (which is also my website name) whereas previously it was ranking quite well for this.

 

n00b1




msg:4486529
 4:21 pm on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

I dunno. I have a few and know of more sites with the same scenario - plenty of Wikipedia cites, entries in DMOZ, and thus heavily scraped, and none of them seem to be getting link notifications or being slapped (and I've asked) There must be a ginormous number of sites with the same circumstances. I just can't shake loose the thought that there's something else going on here.


I would love to know what that something else is, though. I did mention on another thread on this issue that I also had a large number of links from a forum I participate in. There was a link (dofollow) to my homepage if you click on my name on the forums. The forum was completely on topic and this link was useful as it allowed people to access my site for further reading. I was/am considered a 'resident expert' on the topic on that forum.

The thing is I do post a lot and then realised that Google was picking up around 4000 backlinks from that one source - that might well have looked manipulative. I removed the link when you click my name but Google hasn't recrawled all of the posts yet so according to WMT it still 'sees' around 1000 links from this to my homepage.

I mentioned this and the Wikipedia scrapers in my successful reconsideration request which led me to believe it was one of these issues that was causing a problem. How old are the sites that you see in the same circumstance regarding listing on Wikipedia and DMOZ?

netmeg




msg:4486535
 4:57 pm on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Old.

Was that forum link actually sending you significant traffic on its own? I tend not to think a single forum link (even repeated that many times) would do that much harm specially if the anchor text is your name or handle. I have a similar situation to that on one of my client sites; one of his employees participates (heavily, it would appear judging from the number of links) in a sporting forum completely unrelated to the business, but links back to the site with every post he makes. Doesn't *seem* to have hurt the site; I figured Google was just ignoring the links though they do appear in GWT, that's how I found out about it.

n00b1




msg:4486548
 5:49 pm on Aug 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

The forum link text was quite generic, yes. It was sending some traffic but not as much as Google on a good day that's for sure. Another issue with the Wikipedia links goes beyond the links themselves. My domain name is an EMD (a short snappy one that makes sense and is brandable in itself). The Wikipedia link used this as the anchor and that may have been the real cause for concern. I changed this to include the website address (minus http) recently but no doubt this hasn't been picked up by Google yet across all of those links. Same story with DMOZ - but as per their rules this is exactly what the title/anchor should be and I don't think this can or should be changed.

keyplyr




msg:4486624
 1:01 am on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)


I dunno. I have a few and know of more sites with the same scenario - plenty of Wikipedia cites, entries in DMOZ, and thus heavily scraped, and none of them seem to be getting link notifications or being slapped (and I've asked) There must be a ginormous number of sites with the same circumstances. I just can't shake loose the thought that there's something else going on here.

I agree

I also had a large number of links from a forum I participate in.

I also have a couple thousand incoming links from forums/blogs (not from me) and I've never had a "uncommon links" notice/penalty.

I tend to think that there's an incoming link from a site who's been caught for selling/buying links. You could have been caught up in the mix. This also could have been dome by a competitor.

kevina




msg:4486680
 5:46 am on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Maybe the site is not penalyzed for the bad links but it has lost the benefit of these links which improved its traffic in the past? And this is related to penguin.

n00b1




msg:4486689
 7:13 am on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

@kevina

It's a manual action as confirmed by Google - what used to be called manual penalties.

@ keyplyr

I have gone through every single link on WMT and there is nothing like that. I am edging more towards the 'main keyword' overuse from Wiki and DMOZ scrapers as a result of my EMD as explained above. That at least makes some sense to me and can be rectified.

diberry




msg:4486852
 3:14 pm on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

Isn't is also possible that these no-follow links are indeed something the algo always frowns at, but you can overcome it with other good signals - which is what unaffected sites are doing. Maybe with a more mixed link profile or something. So rather than looking for what's sending a "bad" quality signal, you should be looking for what "good" quality signals other unaffected sites have that your site lacks?

Just a possibility - you may have all the bases covered, I'm just throwing that out there.

Ralph_Slate




msg:4486862
 3:31 pm on Aug 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

@diberry, the problem is that when you are featured in Wikipedia, there are so many scraper sites that it becomes difficult to overcome.

Here's an example from my site for data from July 1. I analyzed the 1,842 links reported for my site on that day. I had links added from:

Wikipedia: 5
Wiki-scraper: 1,395
Scrapers (123people, etc.): 42
Organic backlinks: 400

For a normal site, having 400 organic links added in a single day is pretty good, isn't it? But 400 organic links doesn't compensate for 1,395 spammy wiki-scraper plus 42 other spammy links.

The ratio may be the key. If you have just a couple of Wikipedia links, it may not hurt you. I have 80,000 Wikipedia links according to WMT, and that results in a huge amount of these things being created every day.

msantore




msg:4488540
 2:08 am on Aug 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

Like what?

This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: < < 39 ( 1 [2]
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