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John Mueller: Site needs to regain trust after manual penalty is removed
Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 2:58 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

John Mueller talked about "regaining trust" after a manual action has been removed:
So while resolving the manual action is a good way to start, you need to keep in mind that it can possibly take quite some time for our algorithms to regain trust in your site even after that.

This statement from John really goes a long way to explain what we have seen for a few sites, getting a manual action removed is only the start. Unfortunately it seems like ranking a site once the penalty is removed is 1000 times harder, a futile effort at best. I wonder if anyone else is experiencing this.

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/MgN9csBf1vs/discussion

[edited by: aakk9999 at 4:14 pm (utc) on Dec 2, 2013]
[edit reason] Fixed link [/edit]

 

n0tSEO



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 4:47 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, it can be tough to recover if Google was your main source of traffic. If it wasn't or you had other established sources, though, it doesn't necessarily take longer to recover.

One of my websites (a small entertainment niche, online since 2008) got a manual action for spammy outgoing links on October 6 and it affected both results in SERPs and toolbar PageRank. While I didn't care about the latter, the first got me to look into the site and see what was wrong - and I found out that the guestbook had been spammed heavily and spammers had created backlinks to their spam posts on my guestbook via blog commenting. I cleaned all I could, but Google wasn't satisfied (but didn't get specific), so I chose to ignore Google completely and just focus on my website, its content and my readership.

Well, traffic went up and the site was alive again. Among the sources of traffic, there were social networks and other sites related to my site's niche; also, engaging my readership in polls and surveys worked to increase their interest in the site's contents and to get more readers.

Robert Charlton

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 6:00 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Clickable link that redirects to JohnMu post above...

https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/webmasters/MgN9csBf1vs/alkXZUOY6mUJ [productforums.google.com]

Mods note: Ajax URLs containing the hash tag get broken in WebmasterWorld's redirect script. Links to Google Product Forums need to be derived from the "More message actions" drop-down menu to the upper right of each post in the Product Forums. Select the "Link" choice and copy the link text, which avoids #! characters. To make them then clickable, drop the "s" from "https"... and Google will redirect to the secure protocol on its servers.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 9:54 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

got a manual action for spammy outgoing links


I'm not sure that's a real trust issue, it's not as if you were trying to get your website to rank better with outgoing links.

I think that the context of John's statement was around a website that had built links point in in an effort to rank the targeted site better.

So this statement sheds light on what is in affect another, hidden level of penalty. Another filter to keep a website from ranking because of past transgressions.
Wondering out loud here: is it a "time" penalty? Is there anything that can be done to overcome the penalty, buy the algo flowers maybe?

mrengine



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 10:13 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

JCPenney regained their trust in less than a month.

There are two sets of standards that apply. If you have a small penalized site that had its penalty removed, you will remain buried in a grave under eight feet of dirt. If you are a big site, no problem at all.

Money talks, BS walks and all others can join Adwords.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 10:20 pm on Dec 2, 2013 (gmt 0)

Money talks, BS walks


Ok, in your opinion how does money talk here? What/who can money be thrown at to get the algo to trust you under this new layer of penalty?

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 1:05 am on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

For a site I own, I can say the regaining of trust is slow, but is occurring. I had a manual penalty removed in February with no change in rankings. Even with the subsequent Penguin update in May, I saw no improvement. However, with the next Penguin update in September, the site started ranking again (as high as page 2 for some of my main terms) and saw a 40% increase in traffic. Each week since then, I've gained about 5% to 10%. I'm no where near where I was before the manual penalty and Penguin 1.0, but traffic is trickling upwards.

brotherhood of LAN

WebmasterWorld Administrator brotherhood_of_lan us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 1:11 am on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for sharing crobb, often we hear about people enduring traffic problems but increasing targeted traffic is a nice problem to have.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 1:42 am on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

That's great to hear Crobb, Thanks!

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 2:12 am on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for sharing crobb, often we hear about people enduring traffic problems but increasing targeted traffic is a nice problem to have.


I was definitely getting frustrated when I saw no improvements after the manual penalty was removed and the next Penguin update occurred. It was 7 months before the upward trend began (and even then, I had mixed feelings because I was hoping for a more dramatic recovery). However, the past two months have shown me that once recovery begins, it can continue in a very slow/methodical fashion (5% to 10% increases each week or so). It definitely seems like they sandbox the site to watch for trust signals before allowing traffic to return. I'm much more optimistic now than I was on the day of the last Penguin update in September.

1script

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 4:11 am on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

@crobb305: I'm sitting pretty at 9 months+ since the "manual action revoked" notice and the traffic is *worse* than during the penalty! You may be right and there's a sandbox and additional trust signals are used. However, it looks like these trust signals are all out of whack.

Likely, fine-tuning treatment of sites that used to be rule breakers is very low on Google's priority list. One particular pet peeve of mine is that is looks like the negative impact of nofollow links seems to be greatly amplified. This makes recovery of a site that gets a lot of these via content aggregation (RSS or simple scraping) and pingbacks almost impossible. It seems like an impossible to break vicious circle: every time you add a new post, you are bound to get links, and the better the post, the more links you get. Many if not most of them are no-follow. Couple days later your rankings go down. If I don't post for a month or so, the rankings seem to start going up again. Might as well just abandon the site - with no new post and no new no-follow links, maybe it will recover someday...

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 8:45 pm on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

@crobb305: I'm sitting pretty at 9 months+ since the "manual action revoked" notice and the traffic is *worse* than during the penalty! You may be right and there's a sandbox and additional trust signals are used. However, it looks like these trust signals are all out of whack.


I should have added that I also submitted an enormous disavow list in February prior to my manual penalty removal (8,000+ full domains). Over the past few years, my site has been slammed with spammy links that I had no control over. Seems like regaining trust is indeed VERY slow.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 9:33 pm on Dec 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

crobb, during the time after the penalty was removed did you do any link building?

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 12:25 am on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

crobb, during the time after the penalty was removed did you do any link building?

None whatsoever. I haven't even asked for a link from anyone in the past 18 months (since my manual penalty in March 2012 and Penguin 1.0 the following month). In fact, I've added more domains to my disavow list since February. I've probably uploaded 5 or 6 updated disavow lists, adding more domains each time (as I discover brand new spam links pointed to my site).

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 1:13 am on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

John Mueller: Site needs to regain trust after manual penalty is removed

I wonder if an old site that built up some trust before it was penalized might regain trust quicker, because of its previous track record, than say a young site that never had much trust.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 10:09 am on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

That seems like a logical way to do it Aristotle, however, seems like it would be way too much work on google's end. I would be leaning towards a straight time/percentage penalty that could be applied with one click at the same time the manual action was removed.

alika

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 3:05 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Crobb, aside from not engaging in link building and submitting disavow files, I'm curious to know what else you did to help you regain that trust back?

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 5:15 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Crobb, aside from not engaging in link building and submitting disavow files, I'm curious to know what else you did to help you regain that trust back?


I honestly don't know. The site is 10 years old, and it had a long history of trust (like aristotle proposed above). I think doing nothing (no link building whatsoever) is playing a role. Obviously, I can't help it if someone links to me, but I've been proactive (as best I can) at disavowing spam domains (often foreign urls or hacked sites) by modifying my disavow list. There isn't much else I can do. Again, I haven't regained all of my pre-Penguin traffic, but I am up to about 200% from where I was in September, and about 30% of pre-Penguin (Penguin 1.0 combined with the manual penalty killed 100% of my Google traffic). I am seeing a gradual increase each week (5% to 10% over the previous week). It's a very slow improvement, and it took about 7 months to start, but I see it happening. Hopefully it sticks.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 7:14 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Crobb:
For a site I own, I can say the regaining of trust is slow, but is occurring. I had a manual penalty removed in February with no change in rankings. Even with the subsequent Penguin update in May, I saw no improvement. However, with the next Penguin update in September, the site started ranking again (as high as page 2 for some of my main terms) and saw a 40% increase in traffic.

It looks like you had to wait for both penalties (manual and Penguin) to be lifted before the traffic started improving. Possibly the wait period to start regaining trust after the manual penalty was removed was hidden by Penguin. But apparently there was no additional wait period after Penguin was lifted.

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 8:01 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

It looks like you had to wait for both penalties (manual and Penguin) to be lifted before the traffic started improving. Possibly the wait period to start regaining trust after the manual penalty was removed was hidden by Penguin. But apparently there was no additional wait period after Penguin was lifted.


Yeah, that's what I'm thinking, although the Penguin update that occurred this past May (3 months after my manual penalty was removed) yielded NO improvements for my site. It was the second Penguin update in September when I finally saw some improvements. I've also theorized that Penguin may make you susceptible to Panda (via loss of trust), so it's possible that subsequent Panda iterations are the cause of my gradual increase in rankings/traffic since September.

Maybe the penalty removal in either case (manual/Penguin) isn't instant. Since I started to see ranking improvements in September, that's roughly 6 months after manual penalty removal AND 16 months after Penguin 1.0. Maybe there is a sandbox period to monitor your activity/intentions? I also think it takes a very long time (months) to fully process disavowed links.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 10:29 pm on Dec 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

For our main site we got the manual action removed in mid august using the disavow tool. No significant improvement rankings. Penguin updated in early October, no significant improvement in rankings. We started doing some limited link building in August, not the same old crap but link building for traffic. Not watching the rankings closely but traffic from google has been ticking upwards slightly over the last month which is actually pretty good because this is the time of year that it tends to slow down for this site.

np2003

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 4:10 pm on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

JCPenney regained their trust in less than a month.

There are two sets of standards that apply. If you have a small penalized site that had its penalty removed, you will remain buried in a grave under eight feet of dirt. If you are a big site, no problem at all.

Money talks, BS walks and all others can join Adwords.


Very true.

We manage some Adwords accounts. The sites that were penalized by Google gets a reinclusion request review 3x faster than sites we manage who don't use Adwords. Coincidence? Maybe if it happened to one site.. The fact I am seeing this across many different accounts tends to make me believe otherwise.

What this means? Google looks after Adwords sites.

PCJenny must spend millions of $$$ with Google annually.

Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 4:25 pm on Dec 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

We spend $1000's a DAY with adwords (admittedly probably not an amount that a company making billions every quarter would notice) and have seen no recovery from manual or algo penalties in going on 2 years. It took 7 re-inclusion requests and a nuclear disavow just to get a manual penalty "notice" removed. Notice is in quotes because the site is still ranking as if it is penalized but the notice is gone.

Balle

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 1:49 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

Regarding
regain trust
- I am wondering if we are talking regain trust as in:

-- you need to get new quality links pointing to the website after the manual action has been removed

-- OR: we will check up on you in a couple of months and if we see you getting any new unnatural links we are never going to trust you ever again.

Getting new links naturally is kind of hard when no one is able to find your website due to it not ranking at all. What's a natural way of getting links- I publish new content every day and get no link love.

John Mueller also mentioned:

you might want to bridge the gap by going out and getting more links, but this is tricky otherwise they wouldn't be natural. But by creating fresh content that users would want to link to" is probably the answer.

For approx time around 30:00: [ paste this link ] "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY6B2eEatbc&feature=player_detailpage#t=1835

Dymero



 
Msg#: 4627182 posted 2:27 pm on Dec 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

What's a natural way of getting links


You can still actively promote your content, whether via social or going out and finding some sites related to yours that might be interested in it and then contacting them. Whether they link to it is up to them, but if they do that is natural.

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