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How to tell a website has been penalised.

simple way to check. At least it works for me.



10:08 am on Jul 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have used the following method to check my 30 websites and some known penalised websites. It works for me.

How to check -->

search "yourdomain.com" from google with the double quote wrappping your domain name.

If your website is not ranking #1 then your website is somehow penalised by google.

Conditions of my tested websites.
i) Having PR4~5
ii) All more than 2 years old.
iii) No traffic from google at all.
iv) Was ranking high on google.

Does this method works for you?


5:42 am on Jul 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

dawlish, it sounds like you are talking about my site, though I doubt it because all of those you describe happened to me Saturday 16th this month. I really can't explained it and Google does not respond to my emails. A search for site:www.mydomain.com shows a number of more than 3 times as much pages I ever had which is very strange. MSN shows even more "ghost" pages but there it rank tops for almost any keyword I target in my field.


5:50 am on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've got a PR4 site that doesn't show up until page 3 for a mydomain.com search. However, unlike the examples on the first page of the thread, this site is less than 6 months old (just finally got PR with the recent update).

Is it possible that the "penalty" for newer sites is simply the sandbox effect? Should this penalty checking method only be considered a reliable indicator for sites that have been around for some time?


6:14 pm on Jul 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

9 PR6 sites all with unique information. All under penalty.

1 new site that is a business site www.mybrandname.com was PR6 for 1 week then PR0 all links from the other sites and new incoming link are not showing in google.

This was a forced move as my old site was hosted by some idiots (I will not metions the name of the host as BT) who copied my information from one url to another leaving my origional URL with a 404. They then took both urls down and say we emailed you about this. This is an utter sham.

Non the less, having changed all the links that were pointing to the old business site to the new one I am suddenly wiped from the face of google. i top out for all my keywords on MSN because it is well laid out easy to navigate around UNIQUE information that is on the sites.

This forced move is costing me a great deal of money, or the penalty is one cant make a living even with top keywords from MSN.

Why isnt there any way to contact someone at google and ask what is happening and why? (if there is a way then please tell me all i get is automated replys saying this is and automated system) I have 11 employees that will soon have to be made redundant.

What is hitting the top rankings? Affiliate / copies of copies of information and not unique.

Why doesnt google actually adhere to its own advice. If it want to stop spam then why are all the most competitive keyword sites made up of page where you can take one sentance from the product descriptions and see 300 + copies of it?


6:57 pm on Jul 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Stinkfoot, it is not true that Google does not reply. Same thing happened to me with all my sites and I got a reply after about 10 days with istructions what to do and then to contact them again when I am done. It depends on your query. If it is one that gets an automated query you get the automated. If it is "other" then you get a reply which may be automated, may be not depending on the nature of the query. In my case, my site was copied by someone under an obscure domain which can't be traced to its owner . I hope you get the problem solved soon.


10:50 am on Jul 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

using the method in the original post my site comes nowhere (as expected as it hasnt had a hit from google since November) but I have noticed a few of the sites that I had exchanged links with have the same problem. Would it be best to remove those links to penalized sites from my site? (and perhaps they should get rid of my link on theirs!).


11:03 am on Jul 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Promiss thanks for the contact advise I hope it I will get something back from them.

Sticky, one link to a site that is underpenalty shouldnt do much damage tbh, but yes removing links to site obviously under penalty is a good idea.


7:52 pm on Jul 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

if i do a search for "domainname.co.uk" I come well down at 20th but if I do a "domainname" I do come first - my domain name is a word which is unique and the only mentions of it are links to my site so whats the difference between those 2 searches.


8:21 pm on Jul 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I recently (in April) did a partner link exchange with someone who is in the same field, offering similar (although not the same) product. His site compliments mine and I think the partnership is useful to both our visitors.
( :-p I meant to say "each" of our visitors, between us, its 5000+ daily)
He has moved up the google searches since Bourban, whereas my 3rd & 4th level directory stuff, which he links to, has completely disappeared.
My main and most popular pages are still getting top rankings, but my "key" backup pages, with unique content (& 2/3 of my visitors) are gone from the google.com search, although the pages still appear withing the googlesearch I use on my site.


8:31 pm on Jul 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Further to my comments earlier in the post, another strange result is when you search on google.co.uk with the UK pages option, the site appears for many terms lower than when searching on www.google.com or www.google.co.uk without the pages from the UK option. This is strange as this site is a .co.uk?


8:29 am on Jul 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Interestingly I removed 5 sites which I had exchanged links with that looked as they had been penalized using this method and my homepage has re-appeared in google (had been missing since November)


8:05 pm on Jul 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi everyone...

I'm a recent college grad and intern-turned-manager of my company's SEO efforts. I needn't mention that nothing in class could have ever prepared me for what's happening at my job, but that's neither here nor there. :)

My company markets financial services online using 6 different web sites. Two of these sites are triangular link exchange programs, the others utilize the 1:1 method. This morning one of my coworkers commented that our PR on the four 1:1 sites had dropped to 0, and after looking at it for a bit it looks like these sites have been effectively blacklisted. The two sites that bring in the cash for us are still working, but what sets them apart from the others is their triangular linking program.

It appears to me that Google has recently applied a filter since I don't appear to be the only one affected, but I'm not sure how to verify that at all. I'm incredibly new and have no problem admitting that I'm SEO stupid, so any input would be greatly appreciated.

It's also worth mentioning that I had one of our link partners email me earlier this week asking me to remove one of her links from our site because she had read somewhere that Google was about to penalize mass link solicitation; in other words, if sites are identified by Google to be a part of a larger conglomerate (how would they do this?) and share links internally, then they would be penalized. She said her SEO guy found the info on here, but I don't know where.

Sorry for the length of the post. I'm sweating bullets because I have zero idea what's happening to us!


10:03 pm on Jul 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Dude ... get a different job! 15 years or so as a webmaster and when ever there is an update the bars are full of people with heads in thier beer and this website is full of people complaining. Nice to have somewhere to have a rant once in a while though!

<looks round the room at the heads nodding in agreement>

Stress is our middle name in this game.

in my opinion it sounds as though you should take a look at the links you have going out and check them for relevance and quality.

where being part of a network is conserned they theorys about cross linking and how many times you can or cant do it that are very different depending on who you talk to. If you are talking about a link farm though .. loose it .. cross linking should be done carefully and not willy nilly with site not under your control. 1 link is fine to a good quality good pr site 10 link to the same and back can be getting a bit dodgy.

Just my 2 cents but really man ... think about a new job ... STRESS KILLS

<wanders away head down kicking the dirt and looking for the nearest bar>


3:58 pm on Jul 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Update to my original post.

I remove all pages on my website except homepage using robots.txt and google removal tool, guess what? search "mydomainname.com" return as #1 again. I hope this way my website will get back SERP after next google update.


7:13 pm on Jul 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Do you rank for any of your keywords or just www.domainname.com?


9:08 pm on Jul 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I remove all pages on my website except homepage using robots.txt and google removal tool

You will have to wait 90 days before you get reindexed, I think


9:16 pm on Jul 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

You will have to wait 90 days before you get reindexed, I think

Google has recently changed this and the period you have to wait is now six months.


2:31 am on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

stinkfoot, my site is not back to SERP. however, at least my site will shows up when I search using my website title. It was not showing up at all a week ago.

I am only blocking google from visiting my subpages, my home is still index and crawl by google.


4:54 am on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

>> You will have to wait 90 days before you get reindexed, I think

it's 180 days now...a full 6 months


5:51 am on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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

Hi Folks

My site lost 75% of its Googlesīs referals on 3rd Feb 2005 (allegra). Most of the rest of referrals was lost on 22nd July 2005 endinmg now with only around 10%-15% of referrals before Allegra. But most of the factors mentioned in this thread and other threads concerning penealized sites donīt apply to my site, I guess:

- my site is from 1997

- search for www.mysite.dk shows my site as #1

- search for homepage title shows my site as #1

- command site:www.mysite.dk shows the exact number of pages. All pages indexed correctly with title and snippets. No duplicates and no supplemntal pages.

- command link:www.mysite.dk shows around the same number of links before 22nd July 2005.

- Pages cache mostly are fresh as 30 Jul 2005. Of course some pages are with older cache as 18 Jun 2005 (havenīt checked all my site pages cache yet) etc..

- No non-www vs www.mysite.dk problem.

- No 302 redirect hijacking as far as I studied.

- PR hasnīt been affected. PR5 for home page, and most of the rest of pages are PR4 and few PR3.

- Googlebot still visit my site once or twice aday.

- There are Adsense ads on all (or most) pages.

- Datacenters and still show my ranking before 22nd July 2005

So one might expect after all that my site has been manually penalised. If not what happened then ;-)

[edited by: reseller at 6:03 am (utc) on July 31, 2005]


5:53 am on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

remove all the shady links and beg Google to let you back in. Seems like it's your only hope.


7:26 am on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Please sticky me your website URL


9:10 am on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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


Please sticky me your website URL<

I have just done that.


3:17 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Everyone,

I just found this group and joined because my website has been just experienced G a filter/penalty.

My site was ranking very well on a number of search terms. It has not been removed but now only comes up on the 4th or 5th page on most searches.

This past month I received a couple of unsolicited offers to buy the site. Maybe I should have sold it....


4:49 pm on Jul 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My site was ranking very well on a number of search terms. It has not been removed but now only comes up on the 4th or 5th page on most searches.

Same thing happened to one of my older sites recently. I wouldn't worry about it...it will probably regain lost ground in 6-8 weeks or so (mine dropped on or about July 16th from many top 5 postions (held for 3+ years) to pages 4-5 for most phrases that it previously ranked well for.

These things have happened a couple of times over the last 4 years or so....I simply "keep doing what I'm doing" and let the engines do waht they do. In time, the site(s) always climb back to where they belong ;-)

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