Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 18.204.227.250

Forum Moderators: Robert Charlton & goodroi

Message Too Old, No Replies

The "Minus Thirty" Penalty - part 2

#1 yesterday and #31 today

     
1:49 am on Nov 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:July 2, 2006
posts:24
votes: 0


< continued from [webmasterworld.com...] >

Hello All.

After some time after my site was affected by the -30 penalty, and after reading the latest posts left after my last message I did some research on my own site and site of my competitor which was affected by this penalty in the same day with my site.
I'll try to summarize all of our latest thoughts on this topic and real data from our sites and SERPs.

1.

Even a few affiliate pages that go to those CJ, LS links. Remove them!

As I said earlier, my site is a 5-year old resource directory and consists of 5 pages.
Top ranked was always ONLY Index page. No other page was shown in top SERPs ever, and
this Index page was penalized.

The Index page has 84 links to external sites, 4 link to internal pages, and 9 links to affilliate sites.
The second content page has 161 links to external sites, 4 links to internal pages, and 0 affiliate links.
First Information page has links to 30 product pictures, 3 links to internal pages and 11 affiliate links.
Second Info page before penalty had links to same 30 product pictures as on the first page, 2 links to internal pages and 8 affiliate links. (To avoid dup. content issue I had yesterday replaced thease 30 links with links to other, different product pics).

Each and every link from our site, regular or affiliate is highly relevant to our site's subject and SE keywords, with no exceptions.

And after I had looked over all this data I see only two potentially thin affiliate pages on my site:
First and Second info pages. But honestly, I'm not sure can thease pages be classifyed as thin affiliate pages or not.

Okay, perhaps we found one potentially reason for -30 penalty, but IMHO it's not a reason.

2.

Excessive anchor text (using same anchor text) about 1000 times.

Which exactly anchor text? Anchor text on my site for outbound links or text of the links to our directory from oter sites?
If outbound links - there are only 2, maximum 3 combinations for each SK phrase in anchor text on the Index
page and 8 repetition of one of the main keyword for this phrase. (97 links total on the page).
Is this excessive anchor text? I'm absolutely not sure.

About inbound links - I don't think It can be the reason. If it could be, then I can downshift my competitors site in SERPS just if I'll add hundreds of links to his site from different pages on different domains. I don't think G can be so easily tricked.

So, my site is not overloaded with excessive anchor text, but it still penalized, so perhaps it's not the main reason for this type of penalty.

3.

Also, if there is in fact a -30 penalty that is manually applied, it could be something as
simple as - Writing a script to list all the top 15 sites for a previously specified selection of
search terms. (could be generated via another program, or by hand) Then, remove all sites that fall
into #*$!x parameters. (could be shopping cart based, or whatever. Pick your poison) The ones that
are left are used to fix the natural search... just in time for the shopping season I might add.

Not so simple. There are to many parameters. One site is about literature, other is about car tuning,
third is about history of art.
How to define what each surfer want to find? If I'm searching for "antique literature", it's does't mean
that I want to buy such books, maybe I'm looking for online texts or history of some books? If I
searching for "red cars" it doesn't mean that I want to buy them, perhaps I just want to find some
kind of online catalog of thease cars, or want to read about work process and how thease cars where
built. How can G knows what is inside of my head. If they run such algos, they incur to much, and finaly -
they can not make it just due to human nature. Of cource this is IMHO.

4.

>>>>>>>>But the content is not exactly what user may want to see.... like page made xyz-pictures
has no pictures in it instead it has content which say xyz-pictures etc.

And finally as I think very interesting idea.
As I said, our site is a DIRECTORY. It consists of descriptions and links to other sites higly relevant to our narrow subject. In other words, we actually do not have on our site "red cars", but we exactly know where they are, and surfer can easily find them in our directory. But our directory is all about "cars", we have info where to find "cars", we have links to sites only about "cars" e.g. site is highly relevant to this SK, BUT site hasn't "cars" on it, and perhaps this is the possible reason for penalty.
More, my competitors site which was penalized in the same day with my own site, is the Directory site too, with the same subject and the same "problem". It has only links to SK's, but not the SK's by
itself.

BUT. As I can see from current SERPS, there are enough directories with our subject left in top SERPS, and they are not penalized due to it's nature. So, the truth is out there..... :)

[edited by: tedster at 1:54 am (utc) on Nov. 14, 2006]

9:17 am on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 1, 2005
posts:137
votes: 0


Hi guys, I would like to sing up for the minus 35 club!
After been for months in the other club, the minus 30, I felt ready to move a little bit you know life is short.
Im on the 35th position no matter what/where you search from this morning.
10:25 am on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 8, 2006
posts:109
votes: 0


today mydomain.com and domain are both now back up at 31, so still not discounting a temporary DC/algo shift.

There are several threads on other forums about the -31 penalty, so it is obviously a known phenomenon for webmasters. But the other thread on Google Groups ( search on "My Site, Your Site and The Minus 30 Penalty" - include the speechmarks) features a bunch of affected webmasters trying and failing to elicit an acknowledgement and panacea from Adam Lasnik.

Appi2 it is a fair point you make about moving to another domain. Let's imagine darkly that another 18 months have gone by and we are still all languishing, having wasted more time and daily hand-wringing. We'll be going " jeez why didn't I move it off bustedsite.com eighteen months ago?"

It's a bit like holding on to a plummeting stock in the hope that it will rebound and make us some money. Except it's not quite as bad because we can do both. We can hold onto our old site, maybe not spend so much time on it. All the while we can rewrite content to a new site. I'm the first one to admit that is a nigh impossible task as I have about 20k pages. But fortunately I have an old domain that has been sitting around doing zip for 6 years with a couple of pages of content on it. It's not a great name but what can you do? I have already done a couple of things with it.

1] Added pages very similar to bustedsite.com in content, but have been reworded. This is tough and have only managed about 30 pages so far.
2] For a test, I cut out a section of busted site.com and grafted it on to newsite.com - about 100 pages.

Both seem to be producing pages that are getting spidered quickly and already are above #31

But as you say Austrian Oak, apart from the obvious graft, there is the small matter of rebuilding links, and that is harder these days, so getting back to previous positions is going to take a long time.

10:34 am on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 8, 2006
posts:109
votes: 0


I should just say that the terms that are now getting into the top 3 pages on newdomain.com are not major key phrases, but secondary terms. So not a brilliant fix, but at least a start.
3:05 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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


>> Im on the 35th position no matter what/where you search from this morning.

problem solved, right? Webmasters complain of a minus 31 penalty...make it a -35 ;)! I am in the same boat as well, and at this point, I seriously thinking about a noindex tag on that domain. Move the content to a new established one and live happily ever after.

3:07 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 22, 2006
posts:143
votes: 0


We would probably go down the same route if we had done something that violated the guidelines, such as hidden txt etc.
But as it stands I can't see what it is that we've done that deserves a penalty.
There is no answer from google on this.
As far as we know we may all have fallen foul of some part of the algo.
We have no problems in any other search engine.
Through thick and thin we have stuck to within the guidelines.

Until someone can say this is where you have violated them to anyone suffering from this affect then the best thing is continue with your site - in my opinion.
Time to re-read the trial by Kafka I think.

Number_1

3:30 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired

 
 


We where on the top spot with our keyword in the title and in the URL, we decided to boost our traffic a little with a minor change in our front page ( Post Free Ads For a Limited Time!) two days later we are ranked on spot #31.
4:26 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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


>> Post Free Ads For a Limited Time!) two days later we are ranked on spot #31.

That might NOT have been it...unless you explain a bit more the free ads that people posted. Even then, did G have time to index /rank them? As the saying goes: Correlation does not mean causation.

Number_1

5:21 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired

 
 


Walkman,

We changed You Can Post "FREE" Ads Until 2007! to (Post Free Ads For a Limited Time!) to extended the free posting, do to our industry seasonal ups and down's, we needed to change that term in 6 sections of our site.

This was not the first time that this site was moved to the 31st spot it came back in 3 weeks when we changed to (You Can Post "FREE" Ads Until 2007!) time lasted about 5 weeks when we did that minor change.

5:52 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

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


actully I wondered if the ads were spam /not reviewed. Given that they are free I thought tons of peopel just spammed you. Otherwise, I don't think Google looked at the wording of the offer and penalized you :)

I am trying something new this week: I will put a no index on every page that is supplemental and see what happens once that is seen by google.

6:35 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 22, 2006
posts:143
votes: 0


Number_1, you say it came back after 3 weeks.
During this time did you notice if a search for your onw domain name came in at 31 on google?
Did you do anything apart from making that change during those 3 weeks?
i.e did you contact google?
Change anything else?
9:25 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 22, 2006
posts:143
votes: 0


Well if we could get some responce on this it would be great.
So it wasn't mentioned at the pubcon then?
Shame, it's one of the most notable mysteries of recent times in google search.
9:48 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 11, 2006
posts:26
votes: 0


Can any one or more of the following be the reason for the penalty?

1) One more more Amazon affiliate links on the page. Please note that mine is not a purely thin affiliate site. It has some added content, images + product comparision tools etc.

2) Around 100 of 1000 pages are giving 500 Internal server error due to a bug. I still have to fix this bug. Google Webmaster tools have these pages listed in the error section.

3) Outdated XML Sitemap in Google. I thought that Sitemap didnt have any effect on the page rankings/ indxing whatsoever so I stopped updting the sitemap since last 6 months.

4) Adding a DHTML + Ajax "Tooltip" on product images to give more information about the product. Does google consider this as "Hidden Text"?

5) Using a dynamically generated Tree view component where the + and - images of the Treeview also have a non-organic hyperlink. The end nodes of the tree have organic hyperlinks.

6) Duplicate Anchor text in TreeView? Like Brand A would appear in CatA and also CatB in different Nodes. The Anchor text would still say Brand A but URL would be different.

Please let me know if someone has similar site and got penalized.

Thanks
Leo

10:05 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 22, 2006
posts:143
votes: 0


Hi Leo, we don't have any of those.
But you wouldn't be wasting your time cleaning it up, all search engines like a nice, cleant tidy website.

I think a lot of our meta tags sucked, these have been cleaned up over the last couple of weeks, a lot hadn't been changed in 5 years.

Did you suddenly acquire a lot of backlinks?
We did, but that was about a month before the -30 hit and was due to some sites doing sitewides.

10:18 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 11, 2006
posts:26
votes: 0


Hi
I dont know if the backlinks are new or not , but I do have many backlinks from those crappy linkfarm pages which have no content whatsoever but just have lots of scraped links and google ads.
It is a real shame to see my site being listed after those pages when I search for my own domain name. Also when I do a real keyword search , I see lot of crappy pages without no content still being listed on page 3,4,5 but mine is nowhere to be seen.

I have some metatags like "ProductA Reviews, ProductA Images, ProductA Accessories" and so on where productA is being repeated. Do u think that is hurting me?

Thx
Leo.

10:29 pm on Nov 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 22, 2006
posts:143
votes: 0


Hi,
A general rule of thumb is to try to avoid listing the same (key) word more than 3 times per page and try to use real sentences where possible.
Having said that first 3 pages in terms we're after are respected sites with lists in their description and the odd phrase/sentence.
Although they do avoid over doing the same keyword.
MSN doesn't like lists in the tags.
3:31 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 22, 2006
posts:143
votes: 0


Hi Guys,
got this from another source:
"There is also a 34-pages discussion at the german Abakus forum.

Someone told in the comments of a german SEO blog that he got this information from a Google employee: It is a manually operated ranking penalty for little misdoings. It will end through a timecode. This penalty is only for short periods, because it is only for little misdoings. In his case the ranking penalty should be last circa 30 days."

I'm also getting the impression that it might be caused by either a) suddenly getting a ton of backlinks - but they say there is little that another site can do to hurt you!
b)Being a "thin affiliate" - what does this mean?
c) Not on topic links

I'm not seeing much about on site issues that could cause this.

If I find anything more I'll post it here.

3:46 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 1, 2003
posts:303
votes: 1


avalanche.. great find!

If it's a manually applied penalty.. and expires after 30 days.. interesting. That would be great if it expired once the issue that Google didn't like was discovered.. seems I can't find it clost to 8 months.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.. I guess it's time for more tweaks and waiting for 30 days to go by? But it's pretty much a needle in a haystack..

wow.. now I am getting beat down like there is no tomorrow.. sitting at spots #49.. #50

Long live the minus 30 penalty :S

[edited by: AustrianOak at 3:50 pm (utc) on Nov. 18, 2006]

4:05 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 22, 2006
posts:143
votes: 0


AustrianOak
There's a lot going on over a google groups for webmasters about this.
The Problem I'm finding is that I've been looking at sites that are affected by this and it might be me, but I can't find a right lot wrong with them, nothing to incur a penalty.
Don't know If I'm looking at sites after they have been cleaned up or not.
But then again our site is affected too!
Maybe thats the answer?
4:22 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 5, 2006
posts:2095
votes: 2


Here is an example of a "thin affiliate" and a reason why some travel sites have been hit.

Say for example you sell airline flights and hotels.

You should see the major corporations , ie... Hilton, Marriot, American Airlines, Delta, etc... in the serps first. (Or so google thinks)

Basically the definition of "thin affiliate" is a reseller. Especially if the manufacturer or corporation sells directly on their own corporate site.

4:24 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 7, 2005
posts:137
votes: 0


Something does not jibe for me.

Coventional wisdom appears to say that one must submit a reinclusion request.

Now this thread indicates that it is a 30 day manually applied penalty that is automatically removed?

What am I missing?

4:25 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 5, 2006
posts:2095
votes: 2


I do not know where 30 day penatly applies, I do not think thats necessarily true. More like a -30 penalty
4:30 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 1, 2003
posts:303
votes: 1


Avalanche.. I've gone to google groups.. seems there is some talk but just speculations as it is here.. I wonder if we'll even get google to comment on this.. it's becoming a serious issue and becoming widely spread.

.. I also don't think that it is a 30 day expiring penalty.

.. if this is a manually applied penalty I believe google should be obligated to notify us. If some person actually goes to the trouble of manually reviewing our sites, manually forcing a penalty on it yet not banned the site.. then they should notify us of it. By giving us a penalty rather than a ban, that to me shows that google doesn't think we're doing things worth removal from teh index.. that they feel that it is minor things in their eyes and give us a chance to fix them, in teh meanwhile crippling our sites. If they really want to give us that chance, then give it to us.. notify us. Don't send us to the webmaster guidelines that most of us have gone over dozens of times and follow (so it seems to be based on the threads).

Google?

[edited by: AustrianOak at 4:34 pm (utc) on Nov. 18, 2006]

4:32 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 5, 2006
posts:2095
votes: 2


Adam commented a bit on google groups but said he would not comment more because of google secrets.
4:33 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Mar 22, 2006
posts:143
votes: 0


Re "It is a manually operated ranking penalty for little misdoings. It will end through a timecode. This penalty is only for short periods, because it is only for little misdoings. In his case the ranking penalty should be last circa 30 days."

This may or may not be true.
I've read so much rubbish along the way as well, but I thought this was interesting, hence posting it here.

Thanks for the info on thin affiliate.
We don't run an affiliate site, but I can see how affiliate pages may well be useful such as providing more info on the product, customer feedback etc.
So the logic of always having the retailer, manufacturer come first in SERPS is a little flawed I think.

4:36 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 5, 2006
posts:2095
votes: 2


I also read on google groups that the -30 penalty applies to:

thin affiliates

and

People who had minor webmaster guideline infractions. In most cases I think this is due to links.

4:40 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Nov 7, 2005
posts:137
votes: 0


If I am going to buy a book I want to read the reviews and not have the book jamed down my throat.

If I am going to make a hotel reservation I want to read some reviews about that hotel and not hotel propaganda.

I prefer to see the reviews up top and not the primary vendor.

Number_1

4:42 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Inactive Member
Account Expired

 
 


avalanche101

1) Yes we came back after 3 weeks.
2) Yes our domain came in at # 31
3) No other changes where made during the 3 weeks to the ront page.
4) No I did not contact google.
5) No

5:01 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 1, 2003
posts:303
votes: 1


Gimp.. I 110% agree with that notion. Whenever I search for a product, vacation, whatever.. I always looks for consumer reviews because that's where the truth is. Not on the manufacturers website where they're product is ofcourse the best in the world.
5:05 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Jan 1, 2003
posts:303
votes: 1


Number_1, can you clarify.. are you currently IN our OUT of the penalty?
6:35 pm on Nov 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:Oct 27, 2001
posts:10210
votes: 0


Whenever I search for a product, vacation, whatever.. I always looks for consumer reviews because that's where the truth is. Not on the manufacturers website where they're product is ofcourse the best in the world.

Google isn't a shopping guide, so there's no inherent reason why a search on "widgetco wc-1 camera" or "hotel widgetville" should rank a review higher than widgetco.com or hotelwidgetville.com. In fact, it's likely that the person searching for either of those terms would prefer to see the relevant manufacturer or hotel owner's page in the #1 spot. In practice, however, reviews often do rank higher. (Maybe Google has a "-10 Flash penalty" for manufacturers and hoteliers who deliver info as Flash aimations or use Flash splash screens!)

This 151 message thread spans 6 pages: 151