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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]
We had a content management system that had many of the same file names showing in different directories
like: /womens/pants.html and /mens/pants.html
So we have a lot of duplicate page file names. We removed all of those and we also took off some links that an SEO firm had bought for us.
Then we did a reinclusion request explaining everything.
I thought this return to number 6 was good news but maybe it is not
I know for one of our websites we have been Minus Thirty ever since Wiki went nofollow, and within 1 day of that we lost 2 other prominent links. This leads me to conclude that it seems to be that elusive Trust Factor, at least in our case. (Our rankings fell about a week after the links were removed.)
Instead of working on other projects while Google sorts itself out I'm going on the offensive now... trying to get some LocalRank links for added benefit.
Any other plans of attack for this?
Perhaps people see their sites bounce back in and out as Google adjusts its "Trust Dial." :o
Perhaps it was told somewhere, but for the most competitive keywords I found my old days competitors around 30-40 together with my site.
Just been hit last week, so building new site seems like good idea - the only problem is duplicate content. I can put robots.txt to disable google bot, but what about all those copies of pages indexed somewhere in the net - now they will be more original, then pages in my new site!
Site had PR6 and ranked perfect since one year (#1s on many keywords). It is my private site and I'm positioning also 20 other sites - one of them got also penalized same time - the only common thing is, that I put some link-vault links on them lately. Second site was not yet doing well, because it was on #7 but was old and very honest site in every aspect. Had a lot of honest links (magazine publishers usually does) and almost natural PR5 - I just can not believe how google could penalize them. They had some stupid menu, that opened index page with POST (so toolbar could see only series of index.aspx - this could be the reason to ban:). They had some easy keywords where they ranked #1.
Being a very black hat (reading google guidelines not found any rule I did not broken) I do not feel much angry on this, may be will create two or three sites same time to have playsers ready to play the game.
In my opinion it is automatic behaviour, but based on very long analyze of the site, very costful in computations, so runs randomly and hits some of the speeders randomly. May be I had bad luck to have two sites banned same time - but having a dedicated person, that found who am I positioning and banning one - it is what I'll never believe.
It appears to fit perfectly with affiliate content being penalised but reading through this topic it seems unusual that only the one folder has been penalised.
I always thought it was connected with affiliate markets. Maybe heavy affiliate linking in major kw markets.
I was hit with 1 folder - came back....hit with a different folder - came back. Then Jan 20th...whole site
dropped between 28 - 50 and has not jumped back into place for a minute! We it jumped back I had a huge increase in traffic.
Any other -30 members still stuck?
North - "We it jumped back I had a huge increase in traffic."
Sorry.. what were you saying here? Are you back or no?
Also, when you had the affiliate directories. How did you come back into ranking? Did you remove them? Was there a re-inclusion request or was it automatic?
The 2 directories were penalized for 2 weeks in November then jumped back into #2 - 3 spots on all pages. Traffic took a big jump for about 1 week.
Then the whole site was nailed with the penalty on the jan. 20th. Have not returned. Lost our last 3 sites over the past 2 months.
Nah! still out and starting to diversify.
Interesting. During that 2 week period of being penalized, did you do anything? Submit a re-inclusion request? Or was the penalty automated and you were released after those 2 weeks with no work on your end?
This might clarify whether the penalty is just manual or perhaps with your example BOTH manual and automatic.
Initially it is easy - first cached text (usually from higher PR) is first, but then if you site is static, then google might forget whose text is newer. Then domain age might be taken under consideration - and you are lost.
Google is very carefull, so if you have affiliate content in sub folder (like /store/*) or in subdomain, than only this part of site is banned. Usually nobody takes care on his affiliate content, so if it gets 30 penalty, then it is not a problem and even is not notified.
But if affiliate is detected under the root (or even main page), then you are lost.
If your site got a trust, then you are safe - how to get a trust - does anybody know? Are google employees assigning it?
So the process would be:
hitting sites with a lot of old static content
recoverable - if you drop/change all of your old content
recoverable by itself after unique text collectors (they collect sites from top google results) forget about your site, when you loose your positions
difficult to unban manually - without giving trust
So it does not matter if you use black or white hat at all.
How to find those sites:
pickup any "hand" written text from your page and do a search in apostrophes (e.g. "So it should not matter if you use black") if this taxt has unique words it is better, because it can be shorter.
And I hope google does not like such sites - will know soon.
not sure wasn't my site, but that could be that their experimenting has caught some innocent victims - no algo is perfect.
But the quest continues, I see many whom have posted here in this thread that have in time gotten out of the penalty following a re-inclusion request - however there are still some of us out there. I personally won't quit until the cause of the penalty is finally discovered, so whatever is causing it can be removed with great delight! :)
Do you guys in the -30 (or -45 that is seems to be these days) club see Googlebot visiting but indexing no new pages you add to the site after you've found the -30 penalty?
I have discovered several site's random subdirectories dropped from index for seemingly no apparent reasons and also a section of the site I've added after I've discovered the penalty still not showing in the index half a year later. Googlebot is on the site daily, gobbling up 500-1000 pages a day.
Another oddity is that index file of one of the dropped sections was the highest PR page according to WMT for three months straight until just two months ago. Now it's gone. No changes were made to the section since 2002(!). Content is highly relevant to the overall site theme.
Does anyone is the -30 club see something similar?
Getting tired of chasing ghosts...
I got all nostalgic and checked my rankings this morning in the hope that Google (excuse the anthropromorphism) decided to give me a nice present. Imagine my surprise to see mydomain.com still languishing at No. 32.
I note that until around a month ago, it was always preceded in the SERPS by an internal page one page ahead. Seems now not to be the case.
I have embarked on a long-term ( and part-time, I should add) strategy of rewriting the several thousand pages on my site. Am about a third the way through. This is the very last strategy, before the site gets dismembered.
My theory is that since everything else has been analysed, optimised etc etc the only thing left is the quality of the content. Many pages have been duplicated by other sites over the past couple of years (was all original except for a few pages that have long gone) and anyone who advises that the easiest way to deal with this is to send in DMCA complaints is talking rot. Try doing that with several hundred sites.
So have not given up yet, but could be a while before I file the final chapter.
Well it's been a year, yes, and if it really does take a year or longer to attempt to find out what causes the penalty - would you think the guidelines are not as clear as they claim to be? :)
I'll never give up on my fight to be free from this mysterious, continual penalty. I work daily on the site to provide original and compelling content, have made sure that I abide by the google guidelines inside and out with the consensus of over 30 people at this point, many whom are top standing individuals on the popular boards that my site had nothing to warrant this penalty, I am hoping Google comes around or finally makes contact with me for my good faith and effort.
Remember folks, one of us was in the penalty for 14+ months.. so even though I may be creeping up to it.. I have all the faith in the world there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I a now fluctuating between #26 to #62.
Guess what? Still a -30 penalty to us inflicted, no matter where it bounces to on occassion.
Why not bounce it around from #1 to #62 instead?.. ;)
Yes, I've seen it bounce between 29 and 54. Right now sitting at 51.
Is this the most volatile SERP you can get on Google? I have never before bothered to check regular SERPs in 30-60 range. Anyone knows if they are as volatile? Because if they are not, then this randomness must be the most dubious thing Google has ever done. The consensus of this board so far has been that Google inflicts penalty on you so that you notice and fix the problem with your site. If they are making it harder to find if the penalty is applied, it does not really help with what we think they are after with this penalty.
Then I added a datafeed for one merchant with plenty of affiliate product links. The directory where all that resides has come up with products now showing around 30 to 32. The rest of the site ranks all over the place as usual for me.
I did find that the feed had the same products in multiple categories, and it linked to the same content with multiple URL's. I changed the dupe pages to block with meta robots and we will see if that helps.
1+2 position was for more then one year.
Cause for the daily changes in the position might because just by the algorithm google uses or by google intention to not give hint for new sites affected by this penalty how to search for in google (if you do not know the name "penalty 31", then imagine how difficult it is to find proper page with google search).
If the site domain is changed, then site returns for about two weeks and gets back on the penalty. The only solution (I think so) should be to create fresh new site, allow robots to index only few main pages of it and move all content to notindexed area of new site, same time removing content from old site (or also disabling indexing by robots). After six months you can allow robots to index all pages on new site.
-30 turned into something like -59. PR4 dropped to PR0. Backlinks froze on 32 (303,558 on Yahoo).
Actually, the overall degradation of the site ranks is rather explainable: if you cut Google traffic off (and on my VERY technical site it was 95%) you'll see popularity of the site go down (using AdSense and Google Toolbar data that I and other visitors conveniently offer to Google). So, should you mix any of the popularity ranks into your PR circa 2007, you'd have to decrease the PR as you'd think people don't like this site anymore. Looks like a vicious circle.
Also related: on one of my major keywords (8,870,000 results on Y!) Yahoo moved me down one spot - from long time #2 to #3. So, the lack of visitors that I suffer for many months now may actually become a positive feedback system: less visitors - lower ranks - less visitors yet - lower ranks yet and so on.