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The "Minus Thirty" Penalty - part 4

#1 yesterday and #31 today



11:56 pm on Nov 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

<continued from: [webmasterworld.com...] >
< part one: [webmasterworld.com...] >

Well, fellows, what can I say.

As you remember, my site (www.mysite.com) was in -30 penalty,
and also there was my competitor's site (www.my-site.com) which also were hit by the same penalty. 2 weeks ago BOTH of our sites, in the same day returned to #1 pos for domain name search and restored high positions for other serch terms as they were before -30.

But few days ago (perhaps after recent data refresh), again, BOTH of our sites have lost high positions in SERPs and now they both in -30 penalty again.

What can I say. During period of my -30 depression, I checked and rechecked all my outbound links for its relevance and availability, I have counted all links on the pages and was made "no more then 100 links per page", I removed those few duplicated links to the same URLs but with different anchor text, all other work was done long time ago, (removing duplicate content, cleaning HTML, removing text with font size smaller than "2" and so on).
But when my site lost it rank again, I didn't do anything, my site's cache on Google now is the same as it was before penalty, and I think, -30 has much more off-site reasons than on-site.

Someone here, after analysing sites affected by -30 penalty told, that there was 2 different sites with the same names in meta description. I think it's interesting, because my site and my competitors site has URLs www.mysite.com & www.my-site.com BUT in meta names both sites has first word - "Mysite" and it looks like - "Mysite - bla-bla-bla-bla...description"
Perhaps, both our sites are the reasons for each other's penalty. I'm not sure, but who knows.

[edited by: tedster at 3:49 pm (utc) on April 5, 2007]


3:40 am on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

so you believe there's a penalty for after you fix it? Meaning, you fix it today, get back 60 days later? I keep reading that people are getting back in within a week /10 days after submitting that's why. But I see your point; we don't know so anything can be possible.


6:54 am on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Nippi, congrats!


3:19 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Wow.. been away for a little while from the computer.. was nice to see more posts in this topics.. but very depressing to see the same old.

Yes, exactly. I too have just come back from a break. Same old posts about how the penalty is being manually applied. There is absolutely no evidence of this! There seems to be, however, some evidence to support the theory that the penalty necessitates manual removal.

Also disappointing as usual to see no change in my serps, no response from Google from the latest reinclusion request, in which I recapped the entire history of problems/fixes since penalty date. However it is not surprising. Getting close to the point of giving up now, I must say. Starting to plan the transferral of key information onto other domains. Though the thought of the work involved in rebuilding solid links to the new sites is mind-boggling.

Talking of lava lamps, I just opened my Xmas gift from Google (Adwords of course) - a neat little digital photo frame. Whoopee. I'd trade that in for just one email from a human being in search.


4:37 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

I will see if my penalty goes away or not. I no indexed most of my pages and now I am letting G back in about half of them. They are beefed up and there should be no problems--if it can be done automatically.

Google does not "reply" to re-inclusion requests, but you will find out the reply on the serps. I will wait till the end of January and if I see no changes, I will then ask them.


5:16 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Quick little side note..

previously I posted that my links page had a cache of March or so.. now there is NO cache of it, it has dissapeared. This after posts here and a re-inclusion request asking to update my links page.


8:07 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi everyone,
Thanks again for keeping this thread going. We are still under a penalty for one of our sites (over 6 weeks now), and as of this morning, another one has been penalized. Luckily the 2nd one was not that lucrative, so it gives us more info rather than a loss.

I have some new theories which come with some new questions and would like your feedback:

1) Do you think that simply adding more ad units on each page of our site would put the site into a higher-scrutiny category? This theory seems fitting with the allusion to that in the reinclusion request form instructions ("if you are benefiting directly from search engine traffic..."). Do you think that more ads, by itself, could lower our trust factor?

2) When it comes to "too much interlinking," do you think having a long nav bar that links to all sections is suspect? All our sites have long nav bars which appear on every page, but there is one difference for the two penalized sites. They have less pages per section, which then means that the nav bar is linking to almost every page of the site. While it makes sense for us to do this from a user perspective (because all sections are related), could it trigger bots to perceive us as overdoing it on interlinking?

3) Also in regards to "too much interlinking"...
Do you think having two different links, using different names, going to the same section is suspect? In other words, a certain health condition goes by two different names so we put it on the nav bar twice, each with the different name. The 2 links go to the same section. These are for user-friendly reasons but maybe bots wouldn't think so?

4) Would switching our links from using relative path to full path (still within the same site) have made the links look meaningfully different to bots? (There were reasons we needed to do this that had nothing to do with trying to trick the bots.)

5) For those of you who have had success in getting scrapers to remove your content, please tell me your secret. I've tried emailing webmasters to no avail. Is it worth going with more involved legal routes? I had heard that bots could tell which is the original/older copy, so why all the emphasis on scrapers?

Thanks for your time.



8:59 pm on Dec 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Val, I think we're all jumping through hoops when maybe we should be looking at other search engines to get traffic/eye balls.

However, in answer to the scraper question, just file a spam form, they love to hear more about their obsession and in my experience are so damn quick at sorting it. Normally gone within a few days after submission - had to do it a couple fo times do to complete page copying and nasty re-directs - really can't stand that.
Wherever they look they see spam, spam and more spam.


9:54 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

What is a spam form?



2:25 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I don't know if you're allowed to put the URL here, so do a search for google spam.
First result will be the link to issue a spam form to google.


3:53 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Yes, we can post the link. Please take your spam complaints there, not here.


Even better, go through your Webmaster Tools account - those communications have more credibility on the other end.


7:15 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Before we break for christmas, does anyone affected by the -30 penalty have any good news?

I don't have good news for our site, apart from a certain satisfaction that our site is being de-framed and now pages are being cached by google. Probably doesn't mean much to anyone else, but its been a right pain not knowing/seeing cache dates. We're still being spidered daily and updated every couple of days in G. Hopefully we've corrected whatever problems caused this penalty and will have good news soon.
Unless Appi feels that we've broken products down into too many categories and deserve another lava lamp! Its done for the customers, not for search - it makes it very easy to get to the product you want, rather than wading through page after page of stuffing.


7:32 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

My entire site has now gone Supplemental. It was affected on Nov 15 or so with the penalty. But now this.

Anyone noticed this today?

Thanks Google for the Christmas Gift :)


8:56 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Before we break for christmas, does anyone affected by the -30 penalty have any good news?

No good news here. We had lost 95% of our traffic on a 6 year old industry-leading web site 3 months ago, now we've lost about 20% of what we had left.

I'm sure glad that MC promised no major changes through the 4th quarter, otherwise we'd really be hurting.


10:12 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

No improvement here yet, but I have hope.

By that I mean, I celebrated my 1 year anniversary of this -30 penalty last Wednesday. On Thursday I filed another reinclusion request informing Google what we have done to get back in their good graces.

And we have done a lot, including totally ditching all the work of the programmers I hired last fall (who I believe triggered this penalty), fixing all they screwed up, and most importantly, putting up totally new, unique content for all of our 78,000 worldwide hotels.

Google is aggressively crawling now and once they clean out all the old webpages and include the new unique content, I feel confident we will be back in the saddle.

I will keep you posted.


1:40 am on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Nothing here either.. what a joyous holiday season this will be!

norton j radstock

7:15 am on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I was just wondering.......with a steadily increasing number of sites with the minus 30 penalty......who will that leave in places 1-30?


1:35 pm on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

norton j radstock, for my search words that I use to rank high are at least 50% scraper sites, template affiliate sites and similiar junk..

[edited by: AustrianOak at 1:36 pm (utc) on Dec. 21, 2006]


1:52 pm on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

I was just wondering.......with a steadily increasing number of sites with the minus 30 penalty......who will that leave in places 1-30?

1.) Wikipedia
2.) Age old HTML Pages
3.) Picture only pages on .php?bla
4.) something random to twarth any SEO attempts

norton j radstock

6:44 pm on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I see the same...except that the worst thing is that the scraped content is from my site!

I see a new type of site appearing now -what I would call 'Junk Content Sites' -made up of pages and pages of totally superficial content designed to fool the reviewers. Articles with zero originality, zero value.


8:34 pm on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Back to spot EXACTLY 31.. been a while since that has happened. For the most part have been in the 31-60 range.


10:05 pm on Dec 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hello everyone,

Here's a new update. For what I've done so far find my older posts.

In the past I mentioned a second site under the -31 penalty. The penalty was removed via major changes and a re-inclusion request.

So now I have a un-optimized site with no outbound links, a significant portion of the site under "no index" (For ppc reasons), fixed the non-www issue, deleted super-old doorways and wiped out keyword laced links footer.

My traffic plummeted . I am no longer in yahoo, msn dumped it, ask lists me in the 10th page and google sends me 20-40 visits a day (Up from 1-10 per day). Gee... had I known I would have been happy with the 300 people a day the others were sending.

So I have decided to begin re-installing some of the key features. Just to see what exactly was googles issue was/is.

This week I'm placing the keyword laced links back in the footer. I'm replacing the current bland stuff like home... faq... order... about...

Not sure what else to do. You try to please one engine and the rest beat you up badly for it.


1:51 pm on Dec 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

James45, sorry to hear that.

That is one of the key points in trying to figure out the penalty. Either we strip the entire site of anything and everything to try to "guess" what the penalty is based on.. or we make sure we follow the google guidelines and cross our fingers. Plan B doesn't work and as you just wrote Plan A might.. but kills traffic with google as well as all other engines. The point is, when we strip our sites of everything (even though most sites that are not banned use many of the thing we strip for this penalty) we are literally destroying our sites for no substantial reason.

I am fortunate to still be ranking one page 1 on yahoo and pretty decently on msn. Mind you the hits are probably 10% of my original traffic.. but it's something to keep the boat from sinking slower.

James45, since you say you are re-including some things you stripped.. let us know if you find the trigger that throws you back into the penalty if the case arises.


10:46 pm on Dec 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

if you start adding things and one of them trips the filter again, you might be totally out of luck since you had it reincluded once already. Tough position


3:16 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

WOW! What a festive season it is.

Just checked my site:www.site.com command.. and ALL of my pages have gone supplemental!

Anyone else in this dark place?

* Another note.. a word I used to place #1 #2 for.. is at #174 currently.

Just very depressing.. GOOGLE please tell me what you've slapped me with and why................................

[edited by: AustrianOak at 3:42 am (utc) on Dec. 23, 2006]


7:47 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Maybe if we all hope and pray that this is just a holiday filter so more people use adwords and after the holidays in a week everything will be back to normal!


10:13 am on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

pteam, this is not a thread about one of the December data refreshes, it's about a very specific type of penalty. Some of the people in the thread report the issue showing up as far back as April.


1:44 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Seems to be the case this side as well. One of my best results for years is now, at a whopping 163!

It was for the most part at no.2, recently over the last 13-14 months or so has dropped to number 10 and now 163 on page 17. I must have incurred the wrath of googlebot somewhere along the way.

I remember reading somewhere from someone that the further you dropped, the higher you came back, but honestly, that just isn't true, not even sure it ever was.

What's more puzzling is this is actually a good page with useful information for people. It's not just jibber-jabber. Sure, it's been optimised, but nicely to reflect the content on the page. It's a page about a topic a lived and breathed for 21 years so I must know something about it.

Every holiday season for the last 5 years, it's been something, this time it's this, most have been fine except for last year and now this year, so I'm wondering, 3 years good, 2 years bad, next should be bad and then up up and and away again!

Hope so...in the meantime, back to the sunshine and drinks!


2:10 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Pico_Train.. I hear ya loud and clear.

Another wonderful joyous development.. just checked my webmaster tools and get "No pages from your site are currently included in Google's index. Indexing can take time. You may find it helpful to review our information for webmasters and webmaster guidelines."

I am hoping this is a glitch that I've seen before..

I'll keep you all updated.. I still haven't checked my stocking! :)


11:23 pm on Dec 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hope everyone is having a good holidays.

My sites are still listed all as supplemental.. craziness.

Anyone have any progress?

[edited by: tedster at 11:46 pm (utc) on Dec. 26, 2006]


2:19 pm on Dec 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Everyone seems really quite.. did everyone get out of the penalty? :)
This 169 message thread spans 6 pages: 169

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