Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.145.117.60

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

Problems with Google...

Reaching the point where I might nuke my site from Google...

     
7:13 pm on May 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 1, 2004
posts:3181
votes: 0


I would deeply appreciate any help in solving my problem, because I am at the point where I might just nuke my site from Google and start all over... I started this site in June 2004 and followed the advice in the 26 steps, with one exception (more on that later). Since then, I have written over 300 articles and 300 more defintions that support the articles. Right now the site has about 850 pages.

The site's name had been used before, but was not used for about two years. Best I can tell, it was clean before me. There are no legacy links out there that I can find. So the site pretty much started up fresh. The site was picked up by Dmoz after about two months time. This lead to the normal links appearing. Other than these, I pretty much ignored the linking part of the 26 steps. I was too busy writing content to bother with links.

Google picked up the site quickly and as of this morning it has 840 pages in its index. The site does well in Yahoo and ASK and to a lesser degree in MSN. I think the problem with MSN right now is the site's structure, which is section -> category -> article. Through the first couple of days, this month, I get about 80% of the referals from Yahoo and 10% from ASK. MSN and the rest make up the remainder. Google lags behind engines like Overture.

Articles range from 500 to 1200 words each. The definitions range from 50 to 500 words. In the beginning, Google lead the pack on referals. I ran an advertising campaign through Adwords and GoClick (has some money in the account) in September, then stopped in November.

In December / January alone I added about 300 pages to the site - mostly definitions. In January / February, I did some heavy on site optimization H2... bold, internal linking to other articles and defintions.

The site was #1 for its own name from July until around August, when it dipped to around #5. In December, it fell off the face of Google's earth and has remained there since. This morning it ranked #227 for the site's own name. The other interesting observation is that I used to sign my articles with my name. At one time I was #1 for my own name. Right now, I am at 100+. (I rank #1 in MSN, Yahoo and ASK for my name, it is not that common).

I've reported most of this to Google, but to no avail. At this point, I am wondering what I can do. The site is all white hat, but the site's name has to do with a very competitive area. More recently the site appears in Blogs supporting RSS feeds. I do not signature spam, only submit to feeds and directories. I rarely exchange links.

The site is a PR 4, with most other pages PR3. It is 140 backlinks - increasing with each update. I think that due to the ranking I have on Yahoo for some pretty popular searches, I am starting to get a lot of links from other sites (scrapers...) in addition to reputable sites. It shows close to 1,000 links in Yahoo.

At this point, I have some options:

Nuke the site from Google (remove it all together) and let it start all over. This option will not hurt my traffic one bit.

Continue to wait it out.

I am afraid that the site is under some kind of penalty. It really is white hat, but maybe it was a causualty of some filter - I really have no idea. If I continue to wait it out, the penalty may never be lifted. So why not just nuke it now? By nuke it I mean using the removal tool and remove the entire site from their index.

Any help is deeply appreciated.

2:57 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 23, 2003
posts:46
votes: 0


If I understand you correctly you bought a domain that was inactive/unregistered for about 2 years (and was active before that). Is this correct?
3:23 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 16, 2004
posts:693
votes: 0


Is google still crawling your site?
or is it only giving 2 hits each visit?
5:35 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 1, 2004
posts:3181
votes: 0


If I understand you correctly you bought a domain that was inactive/unregistered for about 2 years (and was active before that). Is this correct?

That is correct. Best I can tell, the site was active from around 1997 until around 2002. I purchased the name in April 2004.

Is google still crawling your site?
or is it only giving 2 hits each visit?

Google is very consistent each month. It seems to get deep crawled twice a month, once before and once after each update. It shows up at least once a day (the home page changes daily, reflecting the addtion of at least one new article). Last month, Googlebot consumed in the range of 2,000 pages (850 on the site).

5:57 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 18, 2005
posts:61
votes: 0


Billy,

You are not alone, I am with you.

I think they might have started reindexing all the websites (+sandbox?).

For many keywords I have noticed worthless sites that link to me on top and mine nowhere.

Better leave it as it is, they will wake soon..

6:59 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 21, 1999
posts:2141
votes: 0


In January / February, I did some heavy on site optimization H2... bold, internal linking to other articles and defintions.
It sounds to me as if you may have tripped a "sandbox effect" or "over-optimization" filter. Consider undoing the "heavy on site optimization" and see what happens. As you said, you've nothing to lose.
7:04 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 1, 2004
posts:3181
votes: 0


Consider undoing the "heavy on site optimization" and see what happens. As you said, you've nothing to lose.

Let me clarify, the optimization I am refering to is nothing more than that suggested in Brett's 26 steps. Whereas before I had an article broken down into sections with bolded headings, I switched them to H2 tags instead. The word "heavy" refers to my workload...

Once in bold, once in italic, H1 (once), H2 (two or three times, depending on the lenght of the article). Outgoing links to authortity sites and the like.

7:36 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:June 4, 2002
posts:1830
votes: 3


Have you checked your code, i.e., validation errors and broken links? this will cause a site to drop out of the serps but pop right back once it's fixed.
7:51 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 1, 2004
posts:3181
votes: 0


Have you checked your code, i.e., validation errors and broken links? this will cause a site to drop out of the serps but pop right back once it's fixed.

According to W3C, the site validates as CSS and shows two errors for XHTML. I really don't think this is causing a problem.

I just happened to check for broken links over the weekend, everything looks good.

8:52 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 27, 2004
posts:1901
votes: 56


BillyS I have exactly the same scenario, almost to the line, but without the previosly owned domain by someone else.

Let me ask this,

Do you have phantom pages "indexed" by Google? AKA, if you search for something specific, do you get suplemetal results a lot?

site:www.yourdomain.com +"some words that only on ceartan pages" and result of that will look:

Pages 1 -30 of 1100.

Blend27

RS_200_gto

9:47 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired

 
 


Billy,
We also have the exact same scenario.

We complaint to Google, same old stuff! Google --This is an automated reply to your message about
your site's ranking in the Google search results!

We are adding more pages every day, that is all what we can do!
Back links are increasing in Google, MSN, Yahoo, ....

These are the SERP's ranking form 3 sites that are based on our site Names keyword 1 keyword 2

Site # 1-- Google--0
Site # 2-- Google--0
Site # 3-- Google--0

Site #1 -- Ask Jeeves/Teoma (1), WiseNut (1), MSN (1), LookSmart (2), AltaVista/AllTheWeb (4)

Site #2 --Ask Jeeves/Teoma (1), AltaVista/AllTheWeb (1), WiseNut (1), MSN (1), Yahoo (1)

Site #3--Ask Jeeves/Teoma (1), AltaVista/AllTheWeb (1), WiseNut (1), MSN (1), Yahoo (1)

10:31 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 21, 1999
posts:2141
votes: 0


internal linking to other articles
When you have nothing left to try, undo or reduce the internal linking. If that doesn't help, undo the H1s and H2s. Go back to what you had when you were ranking (as much as possible), get ranked again, and proceed SLOWLY from there, changing one thing at a time.

From what you describe, the site ranked for a while and you clobbered it somehow. I'm currently undoing the SEO on one of my own sites to try to determine what I did to trigger a filter and get myself sandboxed.

I'm told, "It happens in the best of families!" :)

10:45 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 1, 2004
posts:3181
votes: 0


Do you have phantom pages "indexed" by Google?

I did a search for a unique phrase using the site: command (phrase in quotes). This search only showed the expected page. Google seems to have done a very accurate job of indexing the pages.

10:50 pm on May 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 8, 2005
posts:118
votes: 0


You might want to search for some unique text from your main pages in quotes.

When my site dropped out of google it was because google found an exact duplicate copy of my homepage (where most of my incomming links go to). This was releated to the 302 redirect issue but it can also be from someone copying your site.

In my case adding filter=0 to my search url got my site listed in the original spot.

If google finds a duplicate you will get a spam penalty on that page and if it's on whatever page your pagerank comes from, your entire site will suffer.

May not be your issue but it's worth a look into.

12:44 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 1, 2004
posts:3181
votes: 0


In my case adding filter=0 to my search url got my site listed in the original spot.

The order does not change when I use the filter=0

1:46 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:Dec 29, 2003
posts:5428
votes: 0


looks like Google thnks that your page is not good enough. It could be anything, from too many links with the same name, to too many links period, or something else we don't know.

Are your articles copied /seen on other sites?

2:30 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 1, 2004
posts:3181
votes: 0


Are your articles copied /seen on other sites?

Due to the fact that these articles are ranking well in Yahoo, I am seeing a lot of scraper sites linking to my content.

I've also got a couple of .edu's linking now as well as the IPL. Blogs seem to like it as does a growing number of my MSN and my Yahoo users.

Not sure what your response has to do with a search for my name. That part of the post I think is important. Quite frankly, there is only one other person with my name found on the Internet. My name appears like 15 times scattered around the website. I used to rank #1 for my name in Google (I do rank #1 in all other engines). I just checked, it's now over 300. There are many instances where my last name appears, but it is disconnected from my first name.

I once did a calculation based on the site's pages and number of searches on Google each day. Based on that calculation, I should get more searches just by chance.

2:43 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:Dec 29, 2003
posts:5428
votes: 0


"Not sure what your response has to do with a search for my name."

I'm not sure either but looks like the site has been demoted for some reason. That's why you don't rank for your name, no matter how rare it is...

2:58 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:Dec 29, 2003
posts:5428
votes: 0


could't edit so had to post again:

what anchor do most people use to link to you? Maybe they're too similar according to G's latest patent and may need some new links with different anchor to dilute them.

either way, nuking your site is a bad move IMO. You lose all the links and might end on the same place again. Contact G and let them know about the domain name just in case that's the problem..

Of course unless GoogleGuy says it, we're all guessing ;)

3:19 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:June 24, 2004
posts:147
votes: 1



For many keywords I have noticed worthless sites that link to me on top and mine nowhere.

For a shareware program I sell, a search for it's name now results in a lot of sites that link to my pages being listed before my pages. Searches for titles of songs by a musician who's site I created result in a lot of lyrics sites (all with the same content) being listed before my unique page about the song. Based on this evidence, I don't think there's any point in trying to analyze what Google's doing right now because Google is simply broken. Hopefully, they'll fix it soon.

-- Roger

4:22 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Sept 16, 2004
posts:693
votes: 0


In December / January alone I added about 300 pages to the site

So in decenber/january you added 300 pages to a 500 page site = 800 pages + feb, march and April.
So in 30-60 days your site almost doubled and fell out of google at the same time.

I would think that they saw this as 'unnatural growth' and you got a spam penalty.

5:07 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 16, 2003
posts:525
votes: 0


I had this same issue as well with google where my entire site became "Supplemental". What I proceeded to do was ban googlebot in my robots.txt because I was sick of google wasting my bandwidth when it didn't even update my @#$@#!% pages. I banned Google for a month and slowly seen some of my pages dropped from the SERPs and then I decided that maybe I would try to see if Google would reindex the pages. Well what do you know Google has indexed 75% of my site now without any "Supplemental" tags. I don't know if what I did made this happen but it is worth a try! Honestly I would say jump on the bandwagon and start supporting other search engines! Let Google along with all of its ridiculous filters and such die!
9:31 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:May 6, 2005
posts:3
votes: 0


Hi

Interesting problem as I had a similar problem. Had good rankings and then after Xmas, bang, the site was gone.

I've been building quite a few inbound links and increased the outbound links as well and I've seen the site start to appear again.

How's your link situation? Did you get all your links in one 'hit' or have they been spread out over time? As google seems to decrease the value of links that are acquired in a short space of time.

10:25 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 18, 2005
posts:61
votes: 0


Rightly said MLHmptn.

We should start supporting other search engines.

Its time we campaign for other search engines too.

If there is no monopoly in the field we will get our traffic from different places.
Say 20% from google, 20% from yahoo, 20% from #*$!x, 10% from links,...

So any algo change from any search engine will has less impact on our web traffic.

11:16 am on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 1, 2004
posts:3181
votes: 0


I'm not sure either but looks like the site has been demoted for some reason. That's why you don't rank for your name, no matter how rare it is...

Right, this is my point. If a site is demoted (whatever the reason). What are my options? Especially if it is all white hat.

what anchor do most people use to link to you? Maybe they're too similar according to G's latest patent and may need some new links with different anchor to dilute them.

At the start, many links had the name of the site in it. Especially because that is how DMOZ does it. When I submit to directories, I do try to mix it up a bit. Natural linking from sites like Blogs from RSS feeds is all over the place.

So in decenber/january you added 300 pages to a 500 page site = 800 pages

That's right, I was writing every spare minute I had. I was burnt out at the end. But this might have been a problem since growth was steady until then.

How's your link situation? Did you get all your links in one 'hit' or have they been spread out over time? As google seems to decrease the value of links that are acquired in a short space of time.

I am trying to be careful about links at this point. I can't help it when others link to me, but my approach is to try to limit the new links I get myself to about 5 a week. The growth seems more steady at this point. When the site got in DMOZ (again, very early in its life), I got a lot of links right away.
12:15 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 15, 2004
posts:196
votes: 0


Trying to look closer at the sequence of events:

July until around August the site was #1 for its own name. In August, #5.

December, site's name fell off the face of Google's earth.

December/January added about 300 pages to the site.

January/February, did some heavy on site optimization.

The site got penalized in December, before you did the optimization. So, the optimization did not cause it.

IMO adding 300 pages to a site over a couple of months would not cause a penalty. Anyway, the site was penalized in December and all those pages weren't added until January.

The dip to #5 in August is ordinary.

I don't recall a major change in Google's SERPs in December. This would indicate you were singled out for a penalty rather than there being a different algo.

If there is no reason Google should ditch your site for what is on the site, maybe there is something offsite. I know that GoogleGuy said this doesn't happen, but I know for a fact it has. You wrote, "...lot of links from other sites (scrapers...) in addition to reputable sites. It shows close to 1,000 links in Yahoo." If all those scraper links to your site were added in a day, that could be the reason for your penalty.

I have maybe five sites penalized or banned by Google for different reasons. One was banned about four years ago because of guest book spamming. I made another site for the one that got banned. I left the domain as it was and rearranged the content for another domain. Yesterday the new domain got about 8000 referrals from Google. The old domain got 859 uniques - mostly from Ask.

Maybe the new domain isn't penalized for having the same content as the first because Google disregards it. Google's not going to let a banned site cause a duplicate penalty.

Give your site more time if you like, but be prepared to accept that it will never do well in Google again.

Dayo_UK

12:20 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired

 
 


>>>I don't recall a major change in Google's SERPs in December.

There was a major change on about the 16th.

At the moment I cant work out if the changes on the 16th were a result of site penalties or site problems.

1:27 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 24, 2005
posts:10
votes: 0


Could everyone stop and think about what they're saying right now? The Google mantra is that people should ignore the search engines and create a site with good content. Based on the description, it sounds like the original poster did this to a 'T'. His reward? You can't even find his almost unique name within Google's results.

Remind me how this is better?

7:52 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 23, 2003
posts:46
votes: 0


"Remind me how this is better?"

He gets brownie point from Google. Problem is you cannot cash those in.

8:04 pm on May 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member billys is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:June 1, 2004
posts:3181
votes: 0


Could everyone stop and think about what they're saying right now? The Google mantra is that people should ignore the search engines and create a site with good content.

Funny that you should say that... I used to engage in the gray hat fun, but decided that wasn't such fun after all. I was a game of one upmanship that I decided I didn't want to play anymore.

I distanced myself from all that and decided I'd rather write useful content than worry about how to trick search engines. I sold some stuff and destroyed the rest. I didn't want any of that to taint this anything new. Four months later I started this project and have worked tirelessly since then, following the "do good" mantra.

I want to thank all of you that took the time to read about my problem and respond with suggestions. It really is helpful. I thought I might have been missing something big, but you all have validated my thoughts. Again, thanks to all.

BillyS

This 48 message thread spans 2 pages: 48
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members