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I'm seeing quite a few sites with good PR on all pages except their links page. These pages had PR before, now they are either PR0, or grey ( not indexed ).
It seems it's more consistent at sites that have just one links page with multiple topics on it, sites with multiple links pages (directory style links pages) on topic seem OK.
the consitencies I see are:
Most have link text pointing to them called links
Most are called links.htm or have links in the URL.
Most are 1 page, multi-topic links pages, e.g., there is no targeted theme to the page, anything from greeting cards to health sites all on same page.
Could these be mistaken for FFA's?
I haven't checked fully, but many are listed on "link trading" sites. Maybe peple have created link farms and don't realize it?
I've seen this on many sites. It doesn't seem like a coincidence.
You have to remember that Google has that gourmet chef, You can't just use the regular old supermarket Jimmy Dean links, and expect stellar results.
You should try for some of the high quality links from the ethnic delis. I'm partial to some of the good german links myself. I'll have to ask if they come from an organic link farm the next time I stop in.
Not only is it important to get good quality organic links, you also need to worry about your presentation when you serve it up. After all, you are trying to make those links appealing for human consumption. You need to fill your plate some color and add something to bulk it out.
A plate that is just piled high with plain old links and nothing else can leave you feeling awfully bloated.
Liane, you are right that I have nothing to worry about, but only because I am diversifying. Google PR-zeroing my pages does not mean a problem doesn't exist tho. And it doesn't mean that because it hasn't happened to others, it won't happen to them eventually.
I changed the filenames, it took 3 hours, BFD. Maybe it will help, maybe it won't. Whatever.
And yes, as others describe the all organic links, I have those too. Been doing them for awhile. Didn't know that was the name for them. We all have our own semantics. Guess I will rewrite the link policy on my "exchange links" page.
If Google wants to discount or declare reciprocal link exchanges as spam, then fine. Back in the Fall, Google/Yahoo was 75 percent of my traffic. Now it is down to 30-35 percent. The link exchanges I've done since Sept. are gradually becoming more important to me than Google, or any other search engine. Slowly and surely.
When I read posts by those who think they play by the rules and believe they are bulletproof, as I did, I shake my head and smile to myself. Google will get you. It will always get you. Wait long enough, and you will see.
The #1 rule of the internet is longevity. I have been working to minimize Google's role in that rule, and have now found new inspiration. And for those wearing a bulletproof vests, examine your logs and see how vulnerable you are. Check em now. If Google is higher than my 30-35 percent, be afraid. Be very afraid.
Whenever I think I can't diversify anymore, I dig around, think about it, and come back with a few more ideas. Finding new ways to diversify, and insure my income, has become just as much fun and a challenge to me as this business was when I started. And no, I don't have to dance along the edge of the ethical spam cliff to diversify. If one thinks about it long enough, brainstorming, without limitations, you too can come up with about 25plus non spam ideas to diversify. Creative thinking is all it takes.
I have read the entire thread (long, but good). Thanks to pageoneresults for what I believe is the most accurate input.
I would point out that GoogleGuy said;
"Sorry, that's what I was trying to say earlier. :) Links pages don't get PR0, and we index them."
(pardon for the upcoming double negative) But that does not say Google does not penalise for aspects of certain links pages. Nor does it say that Google does not down rank the PR of links pages. I believe it is doing both.
If anyone is interested, stickymail me, and I will send you the URL of a site that really does the link farming thing to the extreme. They have a "links_partners.html" page accessed via an add link advertisment .gif for link exchange on (and only on) their index page. They also have a "new_links.html" page linked to from their other main directory pages via a "++" link (with css nounderline, so you can not see it easily). Also, MANY of their links are from totally unrelated sites. These guys dominate the industry I am in. Yet their linking practices are clearly Spammy / evident to bots. And, as you see, the "links" in their URL's does not affect them.
Given they still sail high throughout the sj, www2, blah, humbug process / dance. It is clear they are not being penalised. And there could only be two reasons for this.
1) They do NOT have submission areas on their links pages.
2) They have been given (for whatever reason) an immunity card (like on the Survivor TV series). I say this (the later option), as I have reported these guys for dominating certain search returns with numerous sites (blue widgets for a site on red thingys even) for a long time, and they are still there (and sorry GG, no disrespect, through you also). So, I suspect sites may earn / be given immunity by the algo / Google editors as deemed appropriate.
Of the two, I hope it is the former. And I know we all have to wait until everything falls down (shivers) where it will.
For a long time Google has been PR0ing Zeus link pages that tend to have themeindex as their file name (although I've seen PR0ed Zeus pages with other names). I wonder if there's been a slip-up with the screening of Zeus link pages, so that other pages have become collateral damage. Just a guess -- there's no point commenting on this bit really.
At the moment, my "PR0" news page ranks #3 in Google for its main keyphrase--or #2, if you don't count the indented secondary listing below the #1 result. So I'm guessing that, if you haven't been doing anything shady and you see PR0 on one or two pages, it's just a toolbar-related glitch.
But just because certain sites are not being penalized now for this apparent new change, doesn't mean it won't happen in the future. Heck, I've been tracking the same spammers for 6 months, reported them to GG, and gotten a confirmation on it only to find they are still there, what makes you (you, in general) think that your site is not suspectible just because it has slipped through the cracks this time? Maybe they will get you, maybe they won't. Are you going to take that chance? I have another site that climbed to #3 in the same ranks, do I think that's permanent? No!
Does Warren Buffett invest in one company? Does a mutual fund? Why should we, as webmasters, invest everything into one Search Engine? Nobody can argue that point. No one. Whether or not Google remains the most popular search engine, whether or not the new algo change is better or worse for its SERPs, - I am caring less and less. It's not that I hate or love Google, I am middle of the road. But if you are receiving more than 50 percent of your traffic from Google, you got a BIG problem and you don't even realize it yet. Google will get you. It will always get you. (That's the part about Google I don't like and others need to learn). And I have the diversified traffic to consider myself an impartial observor. Heck, even the most well known name on this website has smelled something bad in the wind over there.
Algo changes and updates that last near forever (like this one) should teach you to diverisify, diversify, diversify. The infamous September change taught me that. And I knew, just knew for a fact, Google would do it again; that company has a micromanager philosophy. They will fix it whether it was broken or not, instead of paying attention to their spam reports.
"No reason to comment" because this might only be temporary is too risky for me. Sitting back and dreaming of better days leaves it all too much for chance. I'd rather diversify, and gain my new found inspiration from looking at the idiocy of www-sj. Is it temporary? Will they fix it? That would be the icing on the cake, but I'm not looking for it.
Microsoft had it's day. Has Google? Who knows, I don't care because only 1/3 percent of my traffic comes from Google; and it's getting less by the day.
Go to sleep and wake up tomorrow dreaming of ways to diversify. From now on, that is your one and only goal in this business. Google? Who cares? The only search engine you should care about is diversifydotcom
That's the soundest advice you will get in this thread. If you don't believe me, put all your eggs in Google's basket. Check your stats and pray to the Google God every night. I remember the top 5 sites from 1 and 2 years ago, (in my KW category) can't find them now. I realized it would happen to my top 5 site sooner or later back in September. And let me repeat, I am not "anti-Google or pro-Google." Instead, I am completely "Pro-Diversification." And that is what I am preaching, Google's algo quirks besides the point.
Good Luck, Take Care,
Would you like to buy some Diazepam if I can cut you a deal?
Yeh, I have seen enough to make me believe this is a Google problem update (for them and others) from some points. But, I still see link pages (by whatever name) a likely area for Google to better control. So I believe they have tried.
link pages being removed?
site has good PR, links page has PR0 or not indexed.
Ok, I was being a little humurous, and I made a literary allusion there about the wounds, but the idea is serious, and I seriously object to the concept of someone walking into an eight page thread and not believing the other very well known and highly respected members who attest to a specific event, and having the gall (no offense) to ask for a sticky in order to confirm for him or herself the veracity of said event.
This is a discussion forum, and if several people say that they are having an event, for the sake of the discussion, an event is going on. The point of this discussion is to pinpoint what is happening, and whether or not this is a glitch, a mistake, etc. That something has happened is beyond dispute.
What is in question is the nature of the event, and the likely duration.
To recap, there are several theories going about, but right now I (and others) are going to wait a week to see how this thing shakes out.
If anybody has enough time (I don't, I'm working on a project), it would be great if someone would be kind enough to collect all the working theories into one recap.
(Just a thought)
foo.com/links.shtml - no external links, links to the 3 themed links pages on the site. PR6.
foo.com/links/theme1.shtml - 12 external links to mostly PR7,8,9's. Grey TB.
foo.com/links/theme2.shtml - 5 external links to mostly PR7,8,9's. Grey TB. Hmm, flashed a PR5 as I rechecked. Refresh keeps showing grey TB.
foo.com/links/theme3.shtml - 10 external links to mostly PR4,5,6's. Grey TB. Recheck shows PR5.
OK, now rapid fire refresh shows PR5 on all theme link pages. I'd been consistently getting grey TB on just those 3 pages for the last 30 min since I first checked.
After a few more minutes, I'm now seeing sporatic PR5/grey TB.
While I've only got this 1 site with "links" urls, it's odd that these 3 pages are the only ones exhibiting this behavior. We can chalk it up to connecting to different data centers but I'm considering IITian's theory in #46.
If Google makes links pages to have the externally visible PR of 0, while keeping its real PR hidden from us, many of the webmasters will be less inclined to do links exchange for shady reasons.
There have been enough posts by respected members of WebmasterWorld dispelling the theory of a penalty for legitimate links pages, that it should have been self evident. If GoogleGuy has to chime in on every thread to have their comments and views validated ...
And there have been enough posts from respected members of WebmasterWorld taking the other side, so apparently it's not self-evident.
GG doesn't have to chime in at all, and my suggestion that he give an official response was mostly rhetorical and in jest -- thus, the smiley face at the end.
The bottom line, as martinibuster so eloquently points out, is that enough well-known and highly respected members attest to the fact that something is going on, and that's enough to justify the discussion of what it is and what it means.
I do agree with you, as I said relatively early in this thread, that even if links pages are being penalized, it won't make me change the directory name nor remove the database submission form. Those are conveniences for my users, and if Google doesn't like 'em, too bad.
Google is a search engine and a directory. All other directories and look alikes, like portals, are competitors!
So by decreasing PR of the competition, Google gets more visitors and more add words to sell. Google is just wiping out the competitors. If your favourite portal isn't available anymore, you'll probably go to Google.
Google just wants it all!
GG: the links = PR0 sounds like a red herring, but I'll be happy to root around and read it.
(posted 6 hours after the above) GG: Links pages don't get PR0, and we index them.
As has been said many times b4 with this Google Update- Wait and See! ;)
I think there is a different reason why link pages are set to PR0. Algo isn't the reason. Links aren't the reason. It is tactics. Google is a search engine and a directory. All other directories and look alikes, like portals, are competitors! So by decreasing PR of the competition, Google gets more visitors and more add words to sell. Google is just wiping out the competitors...
If Google were to devalue pages that contain links, it wouldn't be wiping out "competitors"--it would be wiping out the value of PageRank, the concept that differentiates Google from the other search engines that are its real competitors. It would also have trouble finding new content on the Web. In short, Google needs linking between pages and sites to maintain both the integrity and the very existence of its index.
That doesn't mean that Google might not adjust its algorithm to favor pages that use contextual links over pages that are nothing but link lists. Such an approach might make a lot of sense, because links that are embedded in text or which are accompanied by annotations are more likely to have value than standalone links. But giving more weight to contextual links (and giving less weight to standalone links) is a far cry from penalizing links pages.
Iíll tell you from my point of view itís a very interesting situation. I hope people are using the time to clean up their own linking. If you are reciprocal linking we held a very good discussion on it recently and if you that havenít read it yet I suggest now might be a good time.
Link Strategies - To Build Presence and Gain Exposure - Starting with Reciprocal Linking [webmasterworld.com]
Having said that I agree itís a wait see. I know that itís basically stopped people from linking right now and thatís too bad. It again shows how dependent weíve become on our PR to determine partnerships for linking and while I agree that PR is a vital tool itís still only that, a tool. Iím still amazed at how dependent everyone is.
I think Iíll also recommend the discussion, One-Way Linking - Step two of Link Strategies - To Build Presence and Gain Exposure [webmasterworld.com] simply to remind folks there are continuing linking projects that you can be working on regardless of what is happening with Google. This situation is obviously not settled nor does it look like we should expect it to be soon. What do we do in the meantime but clean house and then plan for ongoing content development to attract viable, legitimate partnerships.
The only thing I've gathered from this is,...
1. Many people said they saw the same thing, so this particular PR drop is happening.
2. Many well informed people have also said that it doesn't mean anything.
3. It could be these pages are being caught by existing filters, or maybe one of the new spam filters is a little too aggressive. Not enough data to tell.
My conclusion so far, I don't think there is a focus in Google to penalize links pages, it probably doesn't mean anything, or if it does, it's nothing drastic, just a glitch during the build, or some pages were mistaken for other types of pages that are targeted by spam filters.
I'm still curious why these particular pages are effected, even if it is just a glitch or some other filter hitting them. But I have no more evidence to offer, so I'm going to take a cautious wait and see approach and leave this alone for now.
Thanks for the feedback everyone.
Off I go to figure out some better ways to diversify.