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Penalized for cross linking, what now?

How to resolve cross link penalty

     
2:27 pm on Jun 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We have had a major reduction in Google referrals over the past 3 months. The first sign that something was wrong was that we started noticing some pages showing up as URL only. Over time about 50% of the pages that were indexed have dropped out completely and about 90% of those remaining are showing only the URL. The site has retained its PR during this period and Googlebot is visiting more frequently than ever.

We have tracked the beginning of this trend back to when we added some links between two of the sites that we manage. The sites are relevant and there is no duplicate content other than the fact that the products are similar and we use the same shopping cart software. While we feel the linking was fine as it has helped our business, it seems that Google has penalized us for it. My question is, assuming that we have been penalized, what should we do to rectify the situation and how long should I expect the penalty to last? We just added nofollow tags to all of the cross links. Should this help? Any other ideas?

Thanks,

John

5:20 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Penalized for cross linking, what now?

stop cross linking

If you have done your research and you honestly believe that the cross linking is the cause than stop cross linking. However I think there might be more reasons to this situation. Do the two sites share the same ip address? What percentage of inbound links come from outside sites? Has the number of inbound links increased or decreased? Have you checked to see if any scraper sites stole your content? Is your robots.txt file in proper order? Is Google crawling pages when it visits or leaving right away?

5:24 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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some links between two of the sites

some links between2 sites is will not get you a penalty..Unless it is a massive back and forth.

Look eleswhere as to thr cause

6:19 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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gooddroi,

The two site are located on the same server with different IP addresses. They are however, in the class C block. The number of inbound links has steadily increased over the past 6 months. I have looked around for scraper sites and have not found anything. Google is crawling pages at a higher rate than ever. Last month googlebot requested over 300,000 pages.

John

6:38 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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dauction,

Some links might be a bit of an understatement. When we brought the second site up (site B) we added a link from the first site (site A) in our main template such that there was a link from every page on site A to the homepage of site B. There was a legitimate business reason for doing this as the site are related and we wanted our current coustomers to know that we had a expanded into a new area. We've had this setup for about 4 months.

The problem started about a month later when when we started linking from site B to site A. In this case we only linked from similar product pages which would account for well under 5% of all of the product pages on site B.

Assuming that you think this is too many cross links, is adding a nofollow tag to these links adequate or should we remove them? Also, how long should it take before we start to see things turn around?

Thanks,

John

6:44 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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which site lost traffic A or B or Both
6:56 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So lets you had 1000 links from A to B

you then started adding roughly 5% of return links (B to A)to relevent prouducts/services so 50 links back.

That is not going to cause you any penalty

mostly likely you just got sent back during bourban update like many others that werent doing anything "wrong"

7:05 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Nothing wrong with cross linking because all the large organisations do it across their websites including Google!
7:09 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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dauction,

We were not getting a whole lot of traffic on site B yet, but the number of URLs indexed has dropped by over 50% and like site A, they are 90% URL only now.

I don't know if the actual number of links matters as much of the relative numbers, but both sites have about 75,000 pages. So that would make 75,000 links from A to B and something like 3,000 links from B to A (this number is probably really more like 1000).

The problems started in mid to late March. Does this coincide with the bourban update?

Thanks,

John

John

7:17 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The problems started in mid to late March. Does this coincide with the bourban update?

No Bourban started in mid May

[webmasterworld.com...]

Anyone remember if there was any updates in March other than the roling updates?

7:49 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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dauction

>Anyone remember if there was any updates in March other than the roling updates? <

Some fellow members have reported affected sites around 22nd-23rd March 2005.

[webmasterworld.com...]

7:57 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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johncorn, sticky me your domain if it isn't an issue for you and I'll take a quick look.

There was a process run in March (GoogleGuy mentioned it had been awhile since it had been run). During the running of it some sites that were in the process of being split got caught and took a hit, while other site that had been recovering from the split condition got better.

It is possible that you have a split site or other "canonical page issues".

9:37 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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johncorn,

You have two sticky mails one with questions and one that describes what I think your problem may be.