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Almost five months since June 4 penalty, still no luck



10:52 am on Sep 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have US/English site with news and photos. The site is 2,5 years old, and we've never had problems with Google. No, black hat or any link buying or spam activity, only posting the news.

On 4th June, rankings for most keywords in top 10 and top 20 disappeared, having a total loss of 2/3 traffic from Google. :(

Ranking for "domainname" is still there, as well as for some main keywords. Most of the keywords went to 11-30 positions.

If I searched Google with the latest news exact title before the penalty I would always rank first. But now, I'm nowhere near the first page, and the spam sites that use my RSS come on top positions. It's weird.

It looks to me like the folder where the news are placed is banned. All the urls within "/news" went to lower positions, but the "/comments" or "/photos" folders' urls of the same news are there. We have cca 4000 news.

What I've done so far:
- removed mega menu from the homepage
- removed any suspicious external links
- checked the site with Xenu's Link Sleuth
- cleaned up all WMT Content analysis Errors
- removed Duplicate title tags
- removed Duplicate meta descriptions
- removed the only 2 paid links I had (I removed them on the next day after the penalty)

I've done a reinclusion request a few days after the penalty and still no luck.

Does anyone have any idea how to get back previous rankings?


6:11 pm on Nov 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

"Off-topic sites don't pass relevancy any more. They pass PR which will be devalued during later calculations, but not relevancy which will result a -30 -60 or whatever devaluation for the incoming off-topic links."

Could definitely be. I think its important to strive for a very diverse inbound link profile that consists of a high percentage of related links.

However, in the case of the business that I helped, that was not necessary to pull them out of the penalty.


5:00 am on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Okay, got my first site back which has been crashed on the June 4 fiasco. I'm still waiting for the other sites to climb, maybe this week with the next few data refreshes.

Google didn't help us with the June 4 disaster (they ignored all our request) which is quite ignorant and definitely not helpful at all.

[edited by: tedster at 5:11 am (utc) on Nov. 19, 2008]


6:16 am on Nov 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

How much Google traffic did you lose? Did you get it all back?


12:17 am on Nov 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Got my second site back (isolated testing).

If you had relevance and trust before and got kicked on June 4 your site was not unique in Googles eyes.

Add unique content and your site will start ranking.


11:41 am on Nov 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One of my sites got hit in June in a similar fashion. It's a 5 letter 4 year old PR4 site (used to be a PR7).

One thing that sounds different from the other posts is that the SERPs for the site's name without the ".com" is on page two (bouncing around from position 11 to 16). It's not a very competitive term - there are only 159k total pages returned.

The aggravating thing is that I own the USPTO trademark for the name/term.

I haven't submitted a reinclusion request yet but have considered it.


1:17 pm on Nov 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

A few hours ago with the last data refresh my June 4 sites tanked again.

And yes, all of them are again not to be found for their domain name (without www. and .com).

Good luck with the Google Lottery!


1:24 pm on Nov 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Congratulations SEOPTI, i will highly appreciate if you could explain the course of actions you took to get those two sites out of penalty.

Would rewriting old content help? How about if i rewrite about 400 of current pages. I have been adding unique content on regular basis since the disaster. Would more inlinks help?

Please help us with your input.


4:04 pm on Nov 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Adding unique content will definitely help but as you can see in my case, I have added too much content with sites which have not been changed for a long time.

This helped to escape the June 4 penalty (for a short period) but the historical data patent pushed these sites back again.

So if your URLs content has not been changed for a long time try adding content slowly.


8:37 pm on Dec 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

It's been more than six months now since the penalty and still we haven't recovered. :( we gave up trying...


7:09 pm on Dec 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I'm being lazy, i have lost a lot of hope but i'm still going to try few things to see if it works. Has any one tried changing the design of site?


8:52 pm on Dec 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hi all, for what it is worth.. I have bombed now three times... Nov 2007, June 2008 and October 08 - with resurfacing on each occasion.. I have today raised again.. over the past week I have dumped php generated pages and replaced with html page names.. similar content and a little more..... stupid thing is... the pages that have now come back into serps are the dynamic ones that I have removed from my public_html folder and are now no longer valid (grrr).. so busy with manual redirects... one of the new html pages has been indexed and in Yahoo serps... I now also have duplicate meta info in Google WMT but hopefully that will dilute out...

how long will this raising of the Titanic last ? and who knows why... I don't actually know IF anything I have done over the past week has made any difference at all.. but make hay while the Google shines!

This is really Google related as my site like most others continue to rank well in Yahoo and MSN... and how often do wesee listed in Google SERPS items that WERE listed in EBAY... and click n the link.. "this item has now ended"

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