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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]
I have spent the better part of the last two weeks investigating the possibility of cache hijacking.
I have come to the conclusion that is NOT the problem with my site.
I have also been adding code to my sites that will "punt" the scrapers off of my site. They now just find themselves re-directed to Google's spam report page. AMAZING - how abruptly they stop coming around now!
I do fear that the scraper remedy is too little - too late though. The carcus (my site) most likely has been too scraped over already to be salvageable. It may be already doomed to 'duplicate hell' for eternity - maybe longer.
I haven't given up the fight just yet though...
One of my websites which dropped from #3 on google to page 3 to as low as page 8 yesterday, has completely been restored to #3 today.
Also another website I had mysteriously drop which is THE source in a certain industry and is keyword.com has recovered to #2 and #3 behind wikipedia (before it was #1, sometimes also #2).
I had another website which dropped from #3 to no where found, which has intermittantly been popping in and out of the first page, I have seen alot of google referals today so maybe that one is coming back too!
Hopefully this was just a Holiday Filter / Shake-up!
It's really quite puzzling and frustrating to see the fruit of your labour and an excellent page if I do say so myself, which has provided users with great information for a number of years, get a smack like that for no particular reason...
So what's the waiting game here? 2 more weeks then change or what?
[edited by: Pico_Train at 4:29 pm (utc) on Dec. 29, 2006]
Long term patients, I wold like to suggest that this is a good time to start looking at new strategies. You were wacked by the penalty, realised that there were several webmaster misdemeanours, corrected them over maybe a dozen iterations? Now your site is probably squeaky clean but still you have the penalty.
What are the options?
Do you continue to spend time and money on the site, adding new content, updating outdated pages etc even though you have no been receiving any return on this investment for 6 months plus?
Or do you say 'ENOUGH ALREADY!" and start moving ahead with new domains and/or projects?
I have had some luck on a sample of pages that I have moved to a different domain and applied (specific) 301 redirects from oldsite to newsite. I then rewrote the oldsite pages and created new urls for them so as to avoid duplicate content issues. The 301's pages on the new domain are doing quite well on Google, certainly above #31 but not up quite as high as before. Downside to this approach is that the rewriting of pages is time-consuming, if you want to retain the content on oldsite. But this is not necessary if you are prepared to abandon oldsite. Also you need to feel reasonably confident that the major problems with your pages, that created the penalty in the first place, are removed otherwise the obvious risk is that newsite will also get wacked.
Anyone have any other ideas / fresh approaches?
My take is that once you've been through the domain, cleaned up stuff, filed the reinclusion request for maybe the 2nd or 3rd time even, and then after a period of time still find yourself languishing in page 9878 or position 31 (both the same in my book!) then you might as well wrap up and go home and start again with something else! Unless of course, you are doing ok with the other 3 engines Y!, Live and ask.
Sucks I know, but what else are you meant to do? You can't *make* them put you back, you cant *make* them listen or do anything really. All you can do is either choose to continue to improve your site and make it the best in its field, or just shrug those shoulders, sigh and say oh well, onto the next project.
That's what I've done - 8yrs hard work, haven't ranked for anything with the domain now for a year. Filed reinclusions, cleaned up, added noindex tags, changed robots.txt files to exclude dupe content and still, nothing zilch nada. No responses to my requests, not a dicky bird. There comes a point when you just got to accept that the party is over, a new one has started, you are not on the guest list and you aren't getting in.
Sucks, it hurts, but really what else can one do?
How long did it take you to get out of the doghouse once you finished cleaning up the things you mentioned?
Also, did you file a reinclusion request? If so, how long after you filed it and cleaned things up did you get out of the -30 penalty.
Congratulations on getting out of this black hole. I hope I am as lucky soon. We cleaned up our duplicate content 2 weeks ago and filed a reinclusion request.
We did file a re-inclusion request. It was about 2 and a half weeks after we had filed it that things went back to normal.
I didn't see a gradual change such as domain going back to no1 for a search and then search terms. But then again I was on holiday when this happened, so I wasn't checking.
Well out of supplementals.. but still under the penalty.
Looks like I've gone full circle here. I was out of the -30 penalty and now I'm in some type of new penalty where I don't appear anywhere except a site search... My traffic is now 1 a day from google. I suspect I'm actually the 1. My other traffic has suffered greatly as a result of following Google guidelines as well.
Since re-inclusion the only change I did was add the sitewide keyword links back into 1 website in an attempt to get back into the other engines. The other site had no changes except some minor rearranging of the homepage (Adding a date to the latest newsletter and the removal of holiday sales graphics).
I think the lesson here is follow Mr. Cutts and Mr. Lasniks suggestions for a limited fix and really spend your efforts building a multiple new spam sites on new domains. No content, just spam... After 9 years of building quality websites, I'm fairly certain I know how to crank them out.
Personally, I am totally fed up with this garbage. My competitors have been spamming google for years and winning with plenty of obvious techniques. As of today they are #1 on dozens of keywords and my content rich sites don't exist.
Nice job Google, keeping the spam websites alive and tossing the information based sites in the trash... I'm tempted to ban googlebot over this.
- it remains to be seen if it was a fluke or fortuity!
I have been slowly trying to 'modify' (slightly) my meta titles and descriptions. There are more than 1500 pages. So progress is painfully slow.
HOWEVER - the pages coming up in the serps are NOT neccessarily the modified pages!
we'll see... (saying a prayer here!)
James45, I must agree the most frustrating part can be seeing complete spam, etc sites ranking #1 yet quality, unique-content-rich sites getting hit with penalties with no sign of hope.
caryl, funny thing. Yesterday was my highest traffic day in months as well. Might be a seasonal thing as everyone is back at work, back online following the holidays, etc.
I submitted my last re-inclusion request aprox. 1 week ago.. still nothing.
Now in month #9..
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[edited by: tedster at 6:28 pm (utc) on Jan. 11, 2007]