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What would happen if we used robots.txt to exclude Googlebot from the "penalized" site, and had Google remove all pages...wait awhile...then allow Google back in again? Would Google then have "forgotten" about the domain name penalty?
(BTW, the penalty was from stupidity...apparently triggered when we had two names pointed to the same site duing a domain name switch......as of a few weeks ago, there were no longer any pages under the old name in the searchable index any more. We've now removed all 301 redirects in an effort to completely remove any connections between the old and new names).
and I don't think Google forgets...unless maybe if you block it for let's say a year and the penalty is a six month one.
I do feel it's some type of penalty because not only have I moved from top 10, to (anywhere from) 50-70, but I've found other sites ranked much higher than mine that aren't relative at all. The Googlebot picked up some AdSense ads on these other sites using this particular keyword, and the unrelated sites now outrank me.
I can't figure it out.
I understand they change the algo constantly, but I can't understand why there are many irrelevant sites listed for certain terms, while my site can't be found for them at all.
I can type in lines of text that are very unique, and I'm nowhere. The site is indexed, has PR and is several years old.
I hope the fresh competition from MSN, and the recently revised Yahoo will give Google a run for their money. Google is a great engine, but their relevency is slipping, and more people everyday are realizing it.