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Site has fallen since Penguin, clueless as to why
onlinesource



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 5:15 pm on Sep 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I know that Penguin has effected multiple businesses and their ability to be seen online, and a company that I work closely with is no exception. They have laid off 5 employees, were forced to move, etc. It is a major mess.

First off, this company sells fake widgets which are totally novelty widgets. I want to get that out of the way because I know somebody is going to have to say "no wonder Google dropped them, they sell fake widgets". That isn't true. Plenty of other widget sites rank for the "fake widgets" keyword. I know it can be considered "niche site" but niche sites still rank.

From a moral standpoint, if this still bothers you there are plenty of sites that promote such products for illegal use. This site only suggests their products be used for novelty or replacement purposes.

Now, that I hopefully got that out of the way and won't have to defend the site, let's move on.

Their site has ranked well for 6+ years and just dropped after Penguin 2. One night they are on #1 for the top keyword ("fake widgets") and within seconds they can't be found anywhere for it. Google still lists the site (it isn't banned) but all of their keyword power is gone.

They are clueless, so is the SEO company that they hired. I have people tell me that there are too many backlinks on the same server, some images are missing alt tags (most of that has been fixed since) but please check out:

<snip>

This competitor ranks on the first page of Google (#2 right now) for "fake widgets". On their homepage, they have over 10 backlinks to their domain (which I hear Google finds as abuse), they also have a billion keywords in meta tags (I always been told 5 per page), they have 2 h1 tags for some reason and none of their images have alt tags.

So, what is the difference here? The first site follows as many rules as they can about content but this site gives a big finger to Google and Google loves them. There has to be something more here than simple content fixes with header tag and alt tag adjustments.

I would appreciate any assistance possible. I'm guessing that Google doesn't care that much about abusing your own site for backlinks, alt tags... all of that is not the real problem.

<snip> I had hired a SEO company for 6 years and ranked well. They mostly did link building and the links were added with white hat methods. I don't know, maybe a competitor has created a site to give us bad links? I have a list of all my backlinks via Webmaster Tools but have no idea what links are hurting or helping the site.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 9:48 pm (utc) on Sep 17, 2013]
[edit reason] Exemplified, removed specifics [/edit]

 

Planet13

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



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 6:37 pm on Sep 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

"When I run my report, some of the links seem to be potentially bad but some are like flickr or justanswer..."


You really need to first understand the differences between a good link, a "neutral" link, and a bad link.

Then you should really, REALLY check out each link individually and decide for yourself whether it is good, neutral, or bad.

I've used some of those link checking tools and they are roughly accurate about 50% of the time. In grade school, 50% correct would get you an "F"

intravino

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 7:44 pm on Sep 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

Any spammy links built by your SEO companies should be easy to spot. You can eyeball them or use a tool such as the Boykin boy's handy-dandy backlink checker tool for Penguin and disavow analysis [backlinks.webmasterworld.com]. It's not the be all and end all, but it's a pretty good place to start.


Thanks for linking this tool to this discussion, I'm stating to see if I have patterns in my links.

One question:

60 % of my links are from automotive forums, I just noticed that some of those different forums are hosted by the company or IP address, should I disallow the ones with the same IP address?

Thanks,

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 7:40 pm on Sep 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

You really need to first understand the differences between a good link, a "neutral" link, and a bad link.


Like the bunch of hidden links to my site in a Google+ page.

They don't like people doing it, but they don't seem to mind hosting it.

onlinesource



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 2:37 am on Sep 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

hmmm.. My thinking is very old school. You must be able to see your link on the page of the domain that is linking to your site. If you can't find the page, it's gone. (not sure why google still counts it though in WMT).


I was also thinking the same thing. At the same time, you do have sites that will go down from time to time but are still good sites. If you had a back link on a site like that, you wouldn't want to pull the plug on that back link just because it was temporarily down.

onlinesource



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 1:28 pm on Sep 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

You really need to first understand the differences between a good link, a "neutral" link, and a bad link.

Then you should really, REALLY check out each link individually and decide for yourself whether it is good, neutral, or bad.

I've used some of those link checking tools and they are roughly accurate about 50% of the time. In grade school, 50% correct would get you an "F"


So I was able to get a report back that shows me each domain that links to me, the link percentage, linked pages, and overall page rank. With 10 pages of links, this report is rather intense.

The site with the most links to my domain, for example, is a Wordpress blog which provides me with 1,585 links and a link percentage total of 25.722% of all my links. The number of linked pages is just 7 and the page rank is N/A.

I just checked the blog and it has good age and has had a 2/10 page rank before and appeared in Google but the majority of my links are in it's sidebar and footer which I know is a red flag for spam with Google. The site owner told me he would remove my links from the sidebar but that my domain would still control the majority of back links on his blog. Should I disavow this site from my list? Do you think Google already sees this blog as spam abuse? The owner claims that Google has not flagged it in "Manual Actions" in his Google Webmaster Tools account.

onlinesource



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 2:57 pm on Oct 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

You really need to first understand the differences between a good link, a "neutral" link, and a bad link.


Is there a report from Matt and/or Google on how to spot a "good", "neutral" and "bad" link to your site? I've read articles online that suggest looking for links in the sidebar and footer of these sites, hidden text, keyword stuffing, etc, but is there anything official from Google on what to look for? I hate to put my entire website in the hands of some random blogger and his article.

I also contacted the company who developed the tool which scans links. They want $5K to go through and give me a report on what links to disavow. Seems like a lot but we're talking over a thousands links here and I have nobody to help me load each one and check them one-by-one. Could be worth it.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 4:56 pm on Oct 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

Is there a report from Matt and/or Google on how to spot a "good", "neutral" and "bad" link to your site?


In checking on the many thousands of links to my site I found this (expired) Google thread, (which I have already posted in anothere WebmasterWorld discussion) which might give you some ideas:

http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/webmasters/ZR3_W6mWVmE/7ux0qNihKV0J

Note the comment, towards the bottom of the page:

"BTW, if in doubt, better to disavow a good link than to leave a bad one.
Google will take your disavow list as a suggestion. If they think something is good, it will stay good."

Any links that postdate your site's success probably haven't contributed much.

I am trawling though my own link profile, and although I am irritated by Google's regime of penalising (rather than simply ignoring) off-site content, it has made me more aware of just how much junk is being generated. I don't think turning the junk into a weapon will stop it proliferating, but there are no signs yet of a U-turn from Google on this one.

[edited by: aakk9999 at 9:48 pm (utc) on Oct 8, 2013]
[edit reason] Made URL readable [/edit]

onlinesource



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 7:38 pm on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

"BTW, if in doubt, better to disavow a good link than to leave a bad one.
Google will take your disavow list as a suggestion. If they think something is good, it will stay good."


Thanks man.

onlinesource



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 7:53 pm on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

My goal right now is to disavow all my bad links with Google.

As far as improving my site, I get a lot of feedback like htags, alt image tags, titles for links, etc but I really feel a lot of that is nonsense. My site does have a few content issues. For instance, there was a time when I realized people who were searching for "fake widgets" where also searching for "fake stuff" and I made an article about "fake stuff" on my site even though we did not necessarily sell "fake stuff". The article was pretty much all about "fake stuff" and it threw a keyword in there with a sentence along the lines of "If you want something cool like fake stuff, check out fake widgets". I don't know if Google now considers that keyword stuffing or not? Maybe. Still, Bing and Yahoo have that article rank #1 for "fake stuff" still. Google just seems to hate it.

I guess instead of just deleting it or "cleaning it up", I would to tell Google to ignore it somehow but still keep it active since other search engines give me credit for it?

Would this just be a robots.txt comment for the GOogle bot?

Thanks.

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 9:12 pm on Oct 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

"If you want something cool like fake stuff, check out fake widgets". I don't know if Google now considers that keyword stuffing or not?

That's a pretty benign example of keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is keyword repetition, as in:

We got stuff, cool stuff, fake stuff, all sorts of stuff. We even have widget stuff and stuff to clean your stuff with while your watching stuff.

And even that, in isolation, is probably not enough for a ding. A full page or pages worth might attract some attention, though.

Prefessional



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 3:10 pm on Oct 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

One of my site was ranking well when Penguin 1.0 happened last year. the site was ranking on first page of Google for Four important products that we sell, including the 'Domain name /keyword' too, which was a generic one. I recovered the lost rank for 'Domain-name-keyword' after Penguin 2.1 a couple of days back, and all I did since Penguin 1.0 was that I listed some of the Spam-looking links that my guys have built in last few years and Disavowed them all. No other off-site or on-site changes were done, at all.

And after Penguin 2.1, I think I should remove all of my links apart from a few Trusted sites. Any ideas or suggestions on how should I go about the On-page changes and Off-page marketing guys?

Kendo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 4:38 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you get links from bad sites, then you are just setting yourself up for a penalty.


I no longer take any notice of "smoke" and here's why... on our busiest site our backlinks were reduced by 40% from August to September, but unique visitors increased by 70%.

What did we change? We stopped worrying about it.

Sgt_Kickaxe

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sgt_kickaxe us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 5:18 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Could it be affiliate links? If your site has any it's become radioactive to Google. Affiliate links are also a double whammy because they tend to be on product related pages for which Google now shows the manufacturers first and the big brand shops second... which means you can't cut into the top 10 for pages about products anymore. Not only that but Google is now reserving 50% of their results page area for affiliate links on more and more products.

The best days of being a well ranked 'about products' site are behind us and affiliate links are the nail to your rankings coffin UNLESS your site has such clout as to have them overlooked to a small degree.

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 6:17 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Could it be affiliate links? If your site has any it's become radioactive to Google. Affiliate links are also a double whammy because they tend to be on product related pages for which Google now shows the manufacturers first and the big brand shops second...

Not everybody had experienced the same thing concerning affiliate links and marketing. Many, many folks are still humming along and quite successful.

hasek747



 
Msg#: 4610347 posted 8:44 pm on Oct 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

@jimbeetle

+1. Affiliate links all the way here, never any issues.

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