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My website has plenty of outbound links, but they are on relevant pages. The problem my site has always had, was a lack of "inbound links." I got tired of searching for people to link to me (with all the spammy sites around) and gave up. So my pages have acquired some links naturally I guess(and I'll bet I still don't have more than 30 inbound links for the whole site) Still have a PR4, which I've had since it disappeared in Nov.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 8:54 pm (utc) on May 27, 2005]
>In order to banish the affiliate and scraper sites G has started penalizing linking OUT of ALL kinds! Think about it in regards to your own rank degradations this time around. Like I think I heard EFV mention too, the pages with the most external links have been degraded the most.<
You and EFV are 1/2 right ;-)
From my observations I have noticed that within several categories pages wich are "rich" with outbound links have lost their ranking on the serps. But it seems that it is a number game after all.
It seems that Google penalize only pages which contain outbound links exceeding a certain maximum number. Something around 100 though Iīm not so sure of the exact limit yet, but Iīm testing ;-).
Therefore you shouldnīt be surprise if you see a #1 page on the serp containing for example 84 oubound links.
As to affiliate programs, I donīt see them the way some fellow members do. Affiliate program is a serious business model and to earn anything out of affiliate marketing you should do a serious and hard work. But as in all branches of business, there is good and bad.
As I mentioned in a previous message, I see Google attempting to limit the presence of pages related to affiliate marketing from the top of the serps. But the example I gave today from google UK illustrated very clear that they are still there.
From what I'm thinking... I'd say No. Within site linking is obviously necessary, and not against what it appears they are trying to block.
" If we removed extra external links, do you think this would help during the next crawl? "
If my theory is correct, it sure wouldn't hurt.
But of course this is only a theory which will need much more testing and observation, so only do what you feel you can live with. In our case some pages which have a lot of external links are so low in the SERPs that it couldn't really hurt, so WE will be playing with it.
The more I think about it, the more it follows what I have been predicting for 5 years and which people have laughed at in the past. That G hates competition, including sites which try to be like it. These include directories, other search engines, middle-men type advertisers. So the more your site looks or acts like G (whether intentionally or by accident), the lower they're going to rank you. Don't believe me? Go Google the term 'search engine' right now and ponder the order of the results. The more non-competitive, neutral, free content you offer (like published library book text ;), the more they'll like you.
I think you are 1/2 right too :-)
I'm thinking more a density thing.
I'm thinking it's more a matter of proportion of text to outgoing links. If you have a page with NOTHING but say 20 outgoing links, it is still going to be dumped. But a page which say has 20 paragraphs of text with one link per paragraph is fine.
So, sneeringly and ironically, scrapers with one line of description and an external link will be out, but those who copy entire paragraphs or who don't link at all, will still be in.
>Reseller, Mike, etc.: How do you figure they're doing that without destroying directories, which are mostly links and not much text? I still see Yahoo and ODP directory pages high up in the SERPs. Is it just that those are such high-ranking and high-regarded directories, and smaller directories really are getting creamed?<
I havenīt studied the "smaller" directories through this Bourbon update. But as to the majors I guess its a matter of high PR etc.. as you mentioned.
This being said, small directory entries continue to outrank me - by miles - for my business name.
My old index page was loaded with 450 internal links, and quite a bit of KW-rich text, only the text came below the internal links. I might have been penalized, as you speculate, for a suspicious link/text ratio.
I have fixed this in my new index. I've dropped the internal links, and still increased the amount of text. I made these changes early in Bourbon, that is, last Saturday.
I'll of course never know what might have happened had I not made these changes (no control group unless Chopin volunteers), but I'll be sure to inform everyone if there are changes in the situation.
Say, I'm specifying "no archives" because my Ratfink competitor was directly stealing my contents despite banning him in htaccess. Is there a way to know if Google has my new index page or the old one in its database?
>I have a smaller, niche directory, and we've lost about 30% of our traffic with this update.<
Sorry to hear that but sound very interesting. It seems that this Bourbon is a real killer.
Would you be kind to tell us the maximum number of oubound links on any given page of your directory.
Like I think I heard EFV mention too, the pages with the most external links have been degraded the most.
Um, I didn't actually say that. The drops in rankings haven't followed any obvious pattern. Just in the past several hours, for example, I've fallen like a rock for "keyword1 keyword2" (as has the Keyword2ean Keyword1 Commission), but I'm still #4 for "keyword2 keyword1" and it doesn't appear that any of the other keyphrases that I track have changed.
I'm convinced that an Alphabet Soup Factor is now part of the Google algorithm: As the soup in the pot bubbles, nobody knows what will rise to the top.
Let's say my home page URL is www.widgetorama.com. The title tag is "Great widgets at great prices".
If I search for widgets, my site comes up with the correct title tag. Now if I click "more from widgetorama" the top listing is my main page (www.widgetorama.com), but the title tag is "Widgetorama" instead of what it should be.
Thisis the first time that's happened. Any idea as to where it's getting that title from? In both results, it's showing my meta description.
I think there is one more minor(?) piece to this puzzle. The presense of Adsense on the page in question is the clincher/killer! And before you jump on me, follow this through. It fits nicely when you figure, the scraper sites are only there to serve Adsense ads. So if you are a "directory" site which looks like a Scraper, but you don't have Adsense ads (or perhaps one of another list of similar ads or affiliate programs) then maybe you're NOT a scraper after all and you get passed through. But if you aren't a directory site (just kinda look like one by having alot of offsite links), and you happen to serve Adsense ads, then you lose anyway.
It bothered me for a while why some of our similar pages were still doing well, while others dropped, and it seems to be because we DON'T have Adsense on those paricular pages still ranking.
If this sounds farfetched, keep in mind, it's all about trapping out scraper sites and then it makes total sense. From the profit side, keep in mind, half the posts on the Adsense and Adwords Forums are complaining about how bad these sites are for business and how badly G needs to get rid of them from the Adwords side. In the long term they see it as good for the adwords customers who will then hopefully bid more. So instead they decided to do it from the supply side and now they're finally doing something about them by getting rid of their traffic.
>It bothered me for a while why some of our similar pages were still doing well, while others dropped, and it seems to be because we DON'T have Adsense on those paricular pages still ranking.<
You might be right, but we can only assume and guess ;-)
One of my resource pages with several outbound links and which retained its #6 position through allegra and Bourbon till now for a keyphrase search of about 19,400,000 has 3 spots of Adsense.
So what that tells us?
I made some changes to the site in hopes of taking advantage of the new crawls to restate my titles & descriptions. So many scrapper sites had snaked these I figured it could be part of the reason our site is losing rankings...still lower today!
Just FYI, this is a total content driven site, few advertisers with adsense and ranked very highly for almost all search terms related to the niche. Totally white hat (couldn't be black hat...wouldn't know the first place to start...not that I would want to?)
Just several? What's the density like. What about internal links?
I'm studying two that I have like this as well to see the differences.
The first has over 20 external links, but it also has about 10 pages of plain text.
The other I'm way more stumped about. It's a directory page for a section of our site of just maps. It has 1 Adsense leadboard, almost NO non-anchor text, 7 Amazon links for related books, 8 other external links to our own other related domains as well as related advertisers, and only 6 links to pages on the same domain (some of them just jpgs). Yet it is still maintaining it's long-term ranking of #2 for it's 6,250,000 result keywords. It IS a much older domain (around 8 years old) than the affected ones. Perhaps they are taking that into account as well since scraper sites are a relatively new phenomena, and thus they are excusing any sites over, say, 3-4 years old.
I also have a relatively new one with an Adsense skyscraper ad, which has about 50 links on the page but they ALL go to internal pages. It ranks #2 under it's 800,000 result keyword. But it fits the rule ok because ALL the links are internal.
And BTW my suggestion of a few days ago that making minor changes to a dropped page may improve ranking due to freshness, seems to hold no water at this point. I see newly changed and cached pages still ranking where they were.
[edited by: steveb at 10:53 pm (utc) on May 27, 2005]
>"several outbound links"
Just several? What's the density like. What about internal links? <
There are around 40 outbound links with one line description text each, 80+ internal links, file size 39 K, since 1997 or 1998.
Something not related to your post :-)
While our good friend GG is enjoying the company of his sweetie somewhere around Redondo Beach Marina (maybe), we are all sitting here evaluating the effects of Bourbon in the company of a very fat lady who keep dancing and refuse to sing.
Typically should be BAD, however:
"80+ internal links, file size 39 K, since 1997 or 1998. "
All these appear to be pluses from what I've been seeing. I'm wondering if it is a factor of the ratio of internal vs outgoing links? in your case you have twice as many internal as ext. Also the fact that it is over 7 years old may just exclude it altogether.
Also on an unrelated observation.
They seem to have done something about EXACT matches on titles! say I have a page entitled: a b c d e f g
If I search on "a b c d" (no quotes) I come up first. If I type "a b c d f g" or "f g c d a b" (no quotes) I come up on the first page somewhere, but if I search for the whole title exactly "a b c d e f g" (quotes OR no quotes) I'm nowhere in the first 10 pages! More scraper site pegging? Possibly.
Hi EFV, I was referring to your comments about how one "well developed" page, meaning lots of outgoing links was doing poorly, but that a new, less developed page (with fewer links) was doing better than it.
No, I was talking about hotel pages with affiliate links--one batch of pages for a major and long-established section of my site, and another batch of pages for a less important section of the site. The pages from the long-established section (City1) were buried in the SERPs, while the pages from less-established section (City2, a more competitive city at that) were doing very well. That seemed odd, because I can legitimately claim to be an "authority site" for City1 (indeed, PC MAGAZINE has said so) but not yet for City2. So why would the rankings be the opposite of what one might legitimately expect?
The same thing seems to be happening consistently. If you disproportionately link a lot of different, off-site pages, more than your own internal pages, you look a little like a scraper site and get a little penalized (with some exceptions apparently, like if you're over 4 yrs old). Throw in Adsense ads on the pages to boot and it appears to be a sure kill.
Right now, over here, we are trying to decide whether to get rid of Adsense or find an alternate way of linking or getting rid of all of our hundreds of paying clients.... Adsense is quickly losing out in the discussion, especially since our earnings from them are now down 60% and less than we're making from the other sources.
[edited by: MikeNoLastName at 11:55 pm (utc) on May 27, 2005]