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Notifying Webmasters of Penalties

Googles -30 Serp Penalty

     
5:18 pm on Nov 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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According to Adam Lasnik in a post on October 20 at [groups.google.com...]

"...We really do our best to be as detailed as possible in our guidelines and our overall help docs. We also notify a huge number of Webmasters with regards to existing or upcoming penalties..."

I wonder:

1) how many out there active in these newsgroups have been notified by Google of: a) existing penalties and b) upcoming penalties

2) Since the hottest topic today appears to be the -30 serp penalty (which I have been a victim of for almost 11 months), how many out there have been notified of the reason for this specific penalty?

3) What reason did Google give you for this -30 serp penalty?

4) How many of you have actually recovered from this -30 serp penalty?

11:21 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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cause it cost money reseller. ;)
11:24 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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And because it's being done by some very large, reputable sites? ;-)
2:51 am on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Honestly, most ecommerce sites do not really care about PR, we care about converting sales. If a site wants to buy links as an alternative to adwords, why should google penalize? They should not! Discount only! Should not matter on size of the business or not.
8:23 am on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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While we are talking penalties and notifying webmasters of possible penalties, I wish to recall few relevant lines which Matt Cutts has posted [mattcutts.com] on his blog (before he went off caffeine a couple weeks ago :-))


But for everyone else, let me talk about why we consider it outside our guidelines to get PageRank via buying links. Google (and pretty much every other major search engine) uses hyperlinks to help determine reputation. Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and link-based analysis has greatly improved the quality of web search. Selling links muddies the quality of link-based reputation and makes it harder for many search engines (not just Google) to return relevant results. When the Berkeley college newspaper has six online gambling links (three casinos, two for poker, and one bingo) on its front page, it’s harder for search engines to know which links can be trusted.

At this point, someone usually asks me: “But can’t you just not count the bad links? On the dailycal.org, I see the words ‘Sponsored Resources’. Can’t search engines detect paid links?” Yes, Google has a variety of algorithmic methods of detecting such links, and they work pretty well. But these links make it harder for Google (and other search engines) to determine how much to trust each link.

...........

A natural question is: what is Google’s current approach to link buying? Of course our link-weighting algorithms are the first line of defense, but it’s difficult to catch every problem case in adversarial information retrieval, so we also look for problems and leaks in different semi-automatic ways. Reputable sites that sell links won’t have their search engine rankings or PageRank penalized–a search for [daily cal] would still return dailycal.org. However, link-selling sites can lose their ability to give reputation (e.g. PageRank and anchortext).

What if a site wants to buy links purely for visitor click traffic, to build buzz, or to support another site? In that situation, I would use the rel=”nofollow” attribute. The nofollow tag allows a site to add a link that abstains from being an editorial vote. Using nofollow is a safe way to buy links, because it’s a machine-readable way to specify that a link doesn’t have to be counted as a vote by a search engine.

5:18 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I dunno, I think the bottom line to this issue is - should Google notify webmasters and be specific problems in their sites? Yea, probably.

Will they ever actually do that and be specific about it? Most likely not.

Google not only does not want to tip off people who would no doubt take advantage of the information to dream up new ways to game the rankings, but they also (and possibly even more importantly to Google) are not going to willingly give up one iota of information about their algos or policies that might aid or abet the competition. And if that means we all have to stumble around blindfolded in the dark trying to hit a moving target, then so be it. We can P&M all we want, but I don't believe that full disclosure (or anything other than vague disclosure) is ever gonna happen.

6:25 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I hate to say it, but the nofollow tag makes no sense.

If you want to advertise a new product and you use the nofollow tag, how in the world will other search engines find the link and index a page quickly.

Google gives sites the bulk of traffic and has great technology for finding content, but there are other engines that have to follow links to find content.....

8:25 pm on Nov 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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...but I don't believe that full disclosure (or anything other than vague disclosure) is ever gonna happen.

Vague disclosure is better than being blindsided, which is how they do it now. At this point, they find something wrong, they throw you out of the boat, and try though you may, it takes a VERY long time to get back onboard. A world class company can do better than that.

................................

2:10 pm on Nov 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I agree, google should do better than that. If the link is hitting a boderline penalty or is being penalized or is even questionable, discount it and notify the webmaster.
11:50 am on Nov 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I agree, google should do better than that. If the link is hitting a boderline penalty or is being penalized or is even questionable, discount it and notify the webmaster

I just over worked the ALT text of the pictures linking all my themed subdomains.

The improved ALT text should show the genaral similarity of all the different themed subdomains.

10:14 pm on Nov 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Wow, took a look at the serps today to see what replaced many of the -30 people, I see a ton of hidden text and keyword stuffing going on....
11:27 pm on Nov 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Tell me about it, is google having a laugh.
Just seen a real beauty come number one for a very competitive term, backlinks show that they've gone on a non related keyword spending spree and if you repeat the same word a zillion times on a page google rewards you with a number one!

Meanwhile if you've run a clean site for 5-6 years and you've made some error that only google can tell you about and has only just found, then you get the -30 treatment.

Peachy.

1:00 am on Nov 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Meanwhile if you've run a clean site for 5-6 years and you've made some error that only google can tell you about and has only just found, then you get the -30 treatment.

Yea, looks like this. But the answer WHAT is the reason for this treatment is a Google's biggest secret. :-/

1:16 am on Nov 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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...is google having a laugh.

And for the rest of us, this state of affairs is wearing thin. They have the capability to provide fair warning and they know that they are hurting people with their inexplicable penalties, so one is left with the inevitable conclusion that it is simply not a priority for them. Would like to think that's not true, but as the threads at this forum make clear, "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck" .... well, you know how it ends.....

......................................

1:03 pm on Nov 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Good news! On the 11 month anniversary of my -30 serp penalty, there has been movement. The bad news: the movement has been downward. I am now ranking from #34 to #50 for the targeted search terms I have checked thus far.

But that, IMHO, that is a big improvement. At least now there is flux---I am not hitting up against the #31 wall that Google imposed. Now the competitive game is back on, not the unfair penalty obstacle.

FYI, no notification or acknowledgement from Google. However, sadly, none was expected.

6:46 pm on Nov 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We've got two threads that have now converged into one topic: the -30 penalty. So let's close this one and take the rest of the discussion here:

[webmasterworld.com...]

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