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The "Minus Thirty" Penalty - part 6

1 yesterday and #31 today

9:02 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

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

I was at a minus 30 for about 5 months and in the last couple of days my site has returned to position #6

Would you say that means that the penalty is removed?

[edited by: tedster at 11:34 pm (utc) on April 30, 2007]

12:12 pm on Jul 24, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

KiepskiJohn, that is excellent news! Wow.. must feel good.

Congrats and keep us posted here on how it goes.


1:24 am on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

After reading this thread, I checked and I noticed some of my pages were hovering around 31/33 for certain keyword searches. So here is what I did a few days ago and it paid off.

GREAT news. I spend several hours and got rid of a whole lot of ALT and Title tags for Hyperlinks.. I drastically reduced the number of times my preferred keywords appeared and within days WHOOSH..... my site was in the top 6 for "blue widgits" when it was about 110 before that. It shot up to 8th position for "red widgits" and position 4 for "green widgits". I guess my pages may have been overoptimized and maybe I was repeating the keywords too often and had tripped a filter.

3:05 am on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

hermosa, congrats on the boost. But are you certain that you were under the minus thirty penalty? How did you rank when you type in "domain.com" in Google search? When did you first seeing the common symptoms?

Also, after these changes did you place a re-inclusion request?


3:27 am on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have had the problem of not showing up for the longet time. I was having trouble ranking for "blue widgits", "red widgits" and "green widgits" but I was showing up in number 1 position for "blue widgits mycity", "green widigts mycity" etc. I didn't place any re-inclusion requests. I just cut down on the keyword density and removed all the title tags from the hyprlinks and some of the alt tags. Within a few days, the pages just shot up.

When I type in domain.com, it takes me strait to my front page.

3:59 am on Jul 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hmm.. well if you were placing #1 for some terms, then you were not under the minus thirty penalty. No results under the penalty show up less then page 4 unless the total results are lower than 4 pages in total.

Congrats anyways.. the items you mentioned are always key to look at.

5:42 pm on Aug 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Let's get some updates..

How are those that have come out ranking?

What steps are those under the penalty taking?

As for me, I am continually adding unique and compelling content on a daily basis focusing on my visitors. Even though many potential visitors are now limited to finding my site, the ones that do click to page 4+ and find me enjoy a great resource. Bookmark rate is over 37%.

Time will tell.

Good luck to everyone,

[edited by: AustrianOak at 5:45 pm (utc) on Aug. 3, 2007]

4:35 am on Aug 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Main site that was penalised on 31 July 2006 that came out 6 months or so ago, initially had zero rankings, just no +30 penalty.

6 weeks later, it got rankings back on the main term.

every week sees rises on all tail terms, though have not got my tail back to where it was.

Am ranking 14 on google for main term, for which I was 9 on before. Used to be 7000 uniques a day, now is 6,000.

6:26 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Update....we submitted a reinclusion over 2 weeks with no change or response from google in webmaster tools.

spent 5 months revamping the site and going over all possible causes of this 7 month penalty. Zippo! I'm not going to spend anther 10 minutes in this vertical. Its been a great run....

time to move to roads less traveled!



8:41 pm on Aug 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Northweb.. don't quit..

I know you mentioned in the past that you had two sites hit with the minus thirty. Giving up on both?

There have been cases of the penalty removal after 13 and 18 months from my research.. so there IS hope.


2:57 am on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Its been 12 months since I first got the penalty, I recovered after about 6 months so that the +30 pealty was removed, however backlinks did not suddenly start getting counted and I recoved no rankings initially.

Rankings slowly returned, and as of today, 12 months and 1 wek alter, they are above what they were before and traffic is highest ever for today.

After reviewing my site, I had been well bad. Junk link exchanges( I think I might even have accidentally email google about 20 times aasking for a link exchange to help with each other's [page rank lol) duplicate content x 4 for every page, dead links, hidden links(accidental) thin affilaites etc etc,

I am well back, after fixing all, so if I can come back, any site can.

6:30 am on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Nippi, That's some experience. Congrats!
6:58 pm on Aug 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

yea nippi.. really encouraging and keeps me motivated to push through.

Glad you're here to keep posting, most people after they are out don't post anymore. Keep it up, much appreciated.


1:15 am on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"Its been 12 months since I first got the penalty, I recovered after about 6 months so that the +30 pealty was removed, however backlinks did not suddenly start getting counted and I recoved no rankings initially. "

That is a very long time. I won't be able to hang in there financially that long.

I am still indexed though, and have my backlinks showing. I just have every single listing dropped by 50 spots minimum, when they try to climb into page four they immediately get knocked down to seven. They start climbing again right away. It's like they are beig held back by a bungee cord.

This hurts like heck, google is over 50% of my traffic, and people depend on me for a living. Thank god I have so many return visitors, at least we can keep going as is for a little while while we fratically fix everything that can be found.

If it'll take 6 months though, it spells death for the site. There is no way I can keep it up by myself, I spend just about every waking moment on it as is.

1:45 am on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


Having seen your site,the penalty is not the +30 penalty, or the plus 950 penalty, both of which can take some time to rectify.

yours is the "my website is not set up very well" penalty.

Fix your problems, and you could be out in under a month.

1:55 am on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

From your mouth to god's ears! :)
9:06 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, penalized, seems not having the minus thirty penalty might be a blessing in disguise.. do you know these issue nippi is referring to that can set you free?


11:50 pm on Aug 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yes, Nippi was kind enough to pm me and point them out.

We are working to iron them all out now, and I am very grateful.

He also posted them in a thread below titled 50+ penalty.

3:00 am on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm not sure if reading this thread gives me hope, or is more depressing LOL Congratulations to all the guys who have had the penlty lifted, what a feeling that must be!

I seem to have been hit with a double dose of -30 about 3 months ago. Everything I used to rank for even the site name, usually top5 got wiped out to page 6. I don't think my site sucks that much that it should be on page 6 for everything..surely!. My content gets index, and within a few hours it's ranking 1st page..24hrs later its on page 6.

I think it started with a htaccess error, all pages were redirecting to the index for a few hours before I realised and fixed it up. Couple of hours later rankings nose dived 300%.

Thinking that was the only problem I did a re inclusion letting them know the problem had been fixed and didn't hear anything for 2mths.

So I posted over at the google webmasters group. Where they told me it was my DP coop and TLA ads. OK I can understand the coop ads, I wasn't part of the scheme, was just paid to have them there and hadn't realised how spammy they had gotten. So I removed them and did a re inclusion again. I've since bit the bullet and also removed the TLA, seems a little unfair when everyone else is running them but I just want G and I to be buddies again.

I can't think of anything else that would cause this? I don't think I could be a patient as you guys waiting 6mths plus for the love to return.

3:28 am on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

It's my understanding that different penalties have a different length of lifespan, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction. Some can be 30 days, some 60, some 90 days, etc., something like a locked safe with a security timer on it that can be opened up and unlocked at a certain time but can't be before the set time.

This came from a reliable source so I assume it's still true and if so, it may be annoying but should give hope to some webmasters who the days are ticking by for.

12:39 pm on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Marcia, yes this may be true. However there has been some strong evidence with the minus thirty penalty that it is manually applied and also manually removed as many examples of seeing re-consideration requests was followed a few days later with a release.

However, I have also heard some example (less) where release from the penalty was witness as far as 2-3 months following a re-consideration request or even longer.

From my research, the extremes of the penalty length range from a month to 18 months.


[edited by: AustrianOak at 12:41 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2007]

7:33 pm on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Is this penalty applied to the domain or on a page by page basis? I don't show up for my own site name, and the overhwleming majority of my rankings completely suck, but I do occasionally get a page 2 or 3 result when there are thousands of results.. I can't figure out what's going on.. The domain is only 4 months old.. Apparently people are saying the sandbox is a myth so I'm really in the dark here..
7:43 pm on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hey Oak, thats sounds hopeful! I guess it's just wait and see time. Not sure If I'm going to tackle my 2nd site, wait until I find out what needs fixing.
8:06 pm on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

bw3ttt, the minus thirty is a domain wide penalty, and you are describing some of the symptoms. At the same time, the "sandbox effect" has changed and is not so severe -- but it still takes a building period to get a new site to rank well. The delayed ranking of many new domains (except for a brief testing period) is not an illusion or a myth.

Not showing up for a search on example.com is a problem, and could indicate the minus thrity penalty. Is your domain name previously owned? You can check the "Wayback Machine" at http:www.archive.org and see if there were previous pages. If so, use a Webmaster Tools account to communicate with Google - you might have inherited a bad history, but people have been successful in getting that kind of thing lifted when they let Google know they are a new owner.

8:13 pm on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Very weird thing I'm seeing here. A page that is -30'd has linked to another site's page - and that link seems to be causing the other page to be penalised. Bizarre.
8:19 pm on Aug 14, 2007 (gmt 0)

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

I've long suspected that the Minus Thirty is "handed" out where Google feels there is egregious manipulation of links, especially association with bad neighborhood link networks.

I helped one penalized business locate hidden links that the owner didn't know were there -- it was a scheme someone on the staff had cooked up for some extra personal income. And the penalty was lifted something like thirty days after those links were gone.

So the fact that the penalty might be contagious in some situations doesn't surprise me.

5:30 pm on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

OK, guys. It appears that a big change is happening with this penalty.

Google has just taken out the last indication that something is wrong with your site's stands with Google. Search for site's domain name no longer appears beyond page 3 which gave this penalty its name. As of last night all -30 sites I've watched for the last 10 months appear as #1 on searches for their domain names.

Mind you, the penalty's still there: traffic is at its lowest it's ever been. But now you cannot tell for sure if you are penalized. You will just have to know that your site should normally come up on the first page for a particular keyword and it's SO-O-O hard to know for sure because there are many factors playing into it.

In my case there is a keyword I've watched for more than 5 years and it was always bouncing between #5 and #8 and it's now at #45, which is how I (think) I know the -30 penalty is still there. They just made it harder for you to detect it.

Talk about transparency in dealings with webmasters...

6:18 pm on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


Speaking for myself, yes I do show up as #1 when I type WITHOUT quotes my domain.com. No biggie in my book, I still am in the typical page 4,5,6,7 when I type my actual domain name on it's own, as well as in quotes as "www.domain.com" and "domain.com" which I've never seen on a site that hasn't been penalized with the characteristics of this penalty/filter.

I still believe this penalty is solvable, the only frustrating part is trying to figure out what it can be month after month, or proving to Google that indeed you have done all you can in good faith and would gladly do what else is required if you or anyone else indeed knew what it was..

How is everyone else affected by this penalty seeing the changes 1script has found?


[edited by: AustrianOak at 6:22 pm (utc) on Aug. 17, 2007]

6:42 pm on Aug 17, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member


I have actually been using no-quotes mydomain.com search all this time (10 months or just about). I may have tried with quotes before but it must have made no difference because I went back to using no quotes.

I just checked and you are correct. If quotes are used, the site is in its usual spot #55 (no longer -30, but we still use the name for clarity here). So this is how I'll be checking it for the next 10 months :-)

7:43 am on Aug 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


this was my experience too.

domain bounces back first from +31
then other rankings filter back in.

if your domain is now at NO.1, I would be closely watching all other results

8:27 am on Aug 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Oak, 1script

My website is #1 for non quoted www.domain.com, domain.com and bouncing around 40-50 for quoted "www.domain.com".

Recently i have sended another reinclusion request. My website is clean as a whistle in terms of google guidelines.

I have asked also a google moderator on my country google webmaster help group for a review and some tips if something is still wrong with my site. I keep you posted on that.

This 201 message thread spans 7 pages: 201

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