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Wikipedia put our site to spam list, Google reacted immediately!

     
11:00 pm on Apr 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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We have a site launched about 3 months ago which was quite stable in Google for some time and i tried to put 3 links to Wikipedia on 3 related pages. The articles there had no information on what our resource actually has. One of the contributors removed those links and i opened a discussion on why he did that. After that he let me repost those links and i did it.

Some 2 hours later the big shot A.B. came in and submitted the site to the spam watch which was picked up my multiple pages on Wikipedia. Google crawled those pages and the next day the site disappeared from Google.

I wrote to A.B. contributor to review his decision but he never replied.

Just to tell you one thing, we have started this site as a review resource actually travelling ourselves and reporting with videos and articles...

I am trying to fix this issue as i am not a spammer and hate spammers myself.

I was wondering if anybody has the same story...

[edited by: tedster at 11:03 pm (utc) on Apr 25, 2010]
[edit reason] removed specific details [/edit]

11:10 pm on Apr 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Swimming with sharks is dangerous. Most of the time they won't bite. But when they do...

I avoid submitting anything to Wikipedia. What few links exist were sent by others, not me. I don't discount those links... I just didn't seek them out. And, informational, those links were not commercial as the links were to a hobby site relating to an American author.

Wikipedia is a dangerous place where egos abound---and some of them are not nice.
11:19 pm on Apr 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I've been trying to settle this issue for more than two weeks now, now talking to the contributor who let me repost the links and he says he is just a contributor! The site is ranked lower than 900. All the pages are there in the oblivion. The site URL ranks #1, and is indexed well
11:19 pm on Apr 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google crawled those pages and the next day the site disappeared from Google


That seem pretty harsh if the two events are actually connected - especially when Wikipedia links are nofollowed. When you say the site disappeared, do you mean that site:example.com shows no results at all? Or that your rankings dropped?

And do you have a Webmaster Tools account? This seems worthy of a Reconsideration Request if all is as you say.
11:29 pm on Apr 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The site is there for site:example.com with all the pages indexed which are 212 All the key quieries are lower than 900 in Serps. For the past two weeks when searching for example without .com there was a big Wikipedia Spam report page with our site there. It disappeared now as this report went to Wiki archives.
11:34 pm on Apr 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I also checked rankings of the whole phrases from the pages on our site and without quotes there is nothing except for some other sites but without this precise phrase. With quotes its fine, #1.

This seems worthy of a Reconsideration Request if all is as you say.
I will do that for sure just need to know if its a usual "sandbox" as the site is less than 3 months old and first spotted by Google 1 month ago.
12:21 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Wikipedia is a dangerous place where egos abound

Yeah, DMOZ is a real... er... uh... sorry, meant Wikipedia, is a 'real piece of work'...
Hmmm, wait a minute, they're the same thing!

Human edited and contributed sites where little people feel important because they have to power to say 'yes' or 'no' and people with 'titles' get the 'authority' to go along with their ego. Kissing a** and having friends isn't required to get into or remain listed with either, but it sure helps...

I wouldn't expect a reply, the attitude I've seen at both places, in most of my experience, is you're too far beneath them to warrant the time it takes to reply or explain... Besides, they do it for free, and since they do they're very important, unlike the people who build the sites they both list and/or link to.

Was an editor at one (I quit because it's ridiculous), and have had sites listed in both, one lasted about a year until I rewrote the content to be more specific, robust and inclusive then moved it to a better domain, and rather than changing the link it was deleted... The other I've had a site listed for a couple of days, then someone always comes along and deletes it to insert their own link where mine was.

They're both quality oriented though, so my sites probably aren't 'high caliber' enough to meet the threshold of quality they require. I guess I should just accept the facts and move on rather than thinking their both jokes.

[edited by: TheMadScientist at 12:34 am (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]

12:31 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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MadScientist... we should meet for a beer and share horror stories. :)

All of this is nothing new. Take me back to the 1980s (just after XTs came out) and "connectivity" was first practiced. What made that go wrong is what is still going wrong. It's human nature. Sad thing is these days humans have written computer algos to be their doppelgangers.

The code is not the problem. It is the coders.
2:16 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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just need to know if its a usual "sandbox"

I never saw the new site sandbox throw every search result into the 900s. but you're right to exhaust other possibilities.

For example, have you done other link building that Google might consider borderline? Do your pages have an excessive use of one keyword, especially in various anchor text?
3:33 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There are 5 related very respectable sites that put a link to our site, those are sitewides with more than 5k pages total. This happened in a matter of one week. yahoo picked up 1300 backlinks during this time. Those are huge sites on the same niche. I doubt it could be the case as those authority sites found our resource useful and it was not a paid text link building. But if it is the case that Google disliked sitewide links from those 5 sites, what should i do, just wait for Google switch off the filter or ask those sites to remove my link? You know how stupid it would be for me to ask this nonsence!
4:33 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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How did you get 5k links that quick? Don't answer, just commenting that getting that many all at once is very suspicious.

[edited by: tedster at 8:32 pm (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]

4:40 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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sitewides on 5 sites. Each site has around more than 1k pages. Those sites are the ones our teem wrights report for from different countries of the world, so we have more info on our site and the owners have our links. 5 sites! It is not the case, its not selling/buying. Stop insulting me here... Those sites are top notch ones who would never sell links, they don't care, they have over 15k daily visitors each.

Also, we are building the site for people out of our experience. I am travelling right now around the Caribbean shooting videos, the american reporter who would wright the reviews is with me. I take care of this new site mostly myself and i am Russian btw.

The links are banners on 4 sites with different alt= and one text phrase on one site with an anchor of two words.
I've been into SEO for many years and know this would not hurt. The thing that worries me is WIKI

[edited by: tedster at 8:33 pm (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]

4:49 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Not doubting the quality of those links, merely commenting that accumulation of same in one fell swoop will trigger alarms all over the googlies. Particularly with a site only 3 months old. Even 1k overnight would raise an eyebrow

(edit] Noticed you added to yours while I was sending mine. Wishing all the best for your website. Many are crafting quality sites. But that don't mean jack to Google if you look dodgy. Seriously... 5k back links for a 3 month old site? I have a 12 year old site that just now reached 1K in back links.

There are no short cuts... and when one takes a short cut it often proves to be the longer way around.

[edited by: tedster at 8:36 pm (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]

4:57 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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If those links are truly not paid and they were freely given "editorial' links - no back room agreements, no tit-for-tat compensation in any way - then that also belongs in a Reconsideration Request. It may be even more of a factor than the Wikipedia action.

Google has attempted to automate at least some of their paid link detection and sometimes that heuristic does assume paid links when there are none. You see the reaction here - and that is from thinking human beings. Especially if those are the only links you attracted, it certainly does sound suspicious on the surface of it.

But don't try to deceive Google in a Reconsideration Request. If you tell them something that they can see is NOT true, or if you omit information that they know IS true, then you really can scratch off the domain.
4:58 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Even 1k overnight would raise an eyebrow.


So, correct me if i am wrong. One site places a sitewide link to your site and it has 100k pages. the site is very powerful and it is crawled by "G" every day. The pages were updated in Google in a matter of one-two days. Now.... you will have say 50k backlinks overnight. Let me see your eyebrows now....
5:07 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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It's not my eyebrows that are of interest. It's if Google will display your site in the SERPS that is of interest. Me? I don't care. I'm too busy getting my sites above the fold. :)

[edit] Clarification: Legitimately. Site side from anywhere is crap. Organic links from page to page or section to page makes perfect sense. A bombshell scattergun blunderbuss link from every page from one site to mine would be a death threat for SERP listing. 50k of nothing is still nothing and deserves a -900 penalty.

I repeat: There are no shortcuts!

[edited by: tangor at 5:14 am (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]

5:08 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Google has attempted to automate at least some of their paid link detection


How can you automate links from 5 sites? Moreover, those sites accept advertising for quite a $ 4digit number per month, with java generated coding of the banners so why would Google think they decided to do a secret deal with me. I am submitting the reinclusion but i really didn't want to cause extra hassle to the team of those sites as i know some of them personally and wouldn't feel ok to make them explain the situation to Google.
5:17 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Oh yes, one more thing, we are on twitter with the updates and we post links to our site. Some followers scan those updates and put them on their blogs, i just notices those blogs in the search results for our domain name. Plus there are videos on Youtube with a link to our site from each video. i know those are no follow but still Google shows those video pages in the results with our domain name.

[edited by: tedster at 5:42 am (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]

5:44 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I am sorry, i just so much don't like when someone suspects me in things i have never done. We have a new but very useful site, linked by a few very good sites which decided to put us to every page. Nothing criminal here. You might find it yourself (our site) in a few days/weeks using Google. I will repost when we are back on track. Have a good week until then :)

[edited by: tedster at 8:40 pm (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]

5:49 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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mozio - it is not us you need to convince of anything at all, it is Google. Run-of-site links are extremely suspect at Google in recent times, especially ROS from blogs. Some people even put up those links to try to take out competitors, because they know about Google's war on paid links. If I see something like that in a site review we're doing at PubCon, it immediately raises a red flag.

Please do take this all into consideration. If a few relative strangers hear your story and become suspicious, that is a sign that Google might well be suspicious too - and they are looking at all the data, not just your account.

Let's face it - something is wrong and you need either to fix it or scratch off the domain. I think there's enough good advice in this thread to set you on the right path. And if 5 blogs independently decided your site merited ROS links because of your social media work, then there should be many more sites that gave you a regular, single link - right? So find those and use them as evidence in your Reconsideration Request. That's my advice, anyway.
5:55 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sitewide links are not SPAM. I started this thread as wikipedia unfairly reported our site as a spam. So the advice here was? Reinclusion request? Well, i am still glad you guys respontded even if we didn't come to the resolving conclusion.

There are no other links as Google has had our site indexed for only one month. The site is new, the links will appear overtime if Google releases the filter and visitors find us. By the way, we are top 3 for many competitive kws in Yahoo... Stable there..

[edited by: miozio at 6:03 am (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]

5:57 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Wow...Given great advise and you still wanna beat a dead drum or? 5,000 links over even one week is suspect. Is your site CNN? If not well that's raising a flag instantly. Tell them to remove the site-wides and link only from the closest point to root with relevant on-page content and your gonna help your SEO effort, but now you have raised a flag that even if not removed is going to take some time. And remember, Google says ALMOST nothing can be done to harm your site...ALMOST.

And another point...Wikipedia did nothing to hurt your site. The site-wides had everything to do with it as it really is SPAM!

Last but not least, quality of links are better than quantity of links.

[edited by: MLHmptn at 6:03 am (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]

5:58 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I don't know or care how you got 5000 links almost over night, but I know a 3 month old site with links like that could easily raise a red flag, because it's barely old enough to be scraped and yet those links came from somewhere...

There's one I took over that's about 10 years old and only has 200 links.

Sounds like automation to me...

Yep, me too, and no I didn't invent how to drop 12,000 links on a site with a single line of code, but I sure know how to do it, and I seriously doubt if someone liked your site so much they went and edited 1000 HTML pages just so they could link to you.

Do you really think that's what they did?

Really, do you think it's more likely they automated the links, or put them on by hand, because personally, I've linked to some sites I really like and haven't edited more than 2 or 3 HTML pages to add static links...

Would you edit 1000 HTML pages to add a link to someone from each one unless you were well paid by the person receiving the links?

Let me just go over and place a sitewide to my comperitors site, or better spam Wiki like crazy with my competitors site link.

There's almost nothing a competitor can do to harm your site is how the page on Google's site for webmasters regarding the issue reads now... It's a dirty game we play and if you think a competitor wouldn't pay to have links to your site added if they thought it would get you out of their way in the rankings, then IMO you're sorely mistaken. Would it work or not? Your guess is as good as mine, because that's not how I do things, so I haven't tried it, but there are those who do.

There are some people here who are trying to point out what they know from having done this for a long time and whether you think (or even know) the links are legitimate or not, and whether we think (or even know) there are times when a non-spam pattern looks spammy or not, doesn't really matter... Google's system is automated and to tangor and myself it looks like there were a bunch of automated links added to your site and that could easily be seen as an attempt to artificially influence rankings, which is against the Google TOS and can easily result in a 'penalty' or 'filtering' of your site.

It doesn't really matter if the links are legitimate or not, the only thing that matters is what they probably look like to an algorithm, and IMO they probably look spammy, and that's probably the biggest issue your site has right now, even if I don't like the Wik-MOZ garbage myself.

Anyway, not sure why you're arguing when your getting some fairly good advice from the people who are trying to help you out, rather than just saying thanks for the replies and suggestions which are way more than you got from Wikipedia or will likely ever get from Google, but each to their own I guess...

[edited by: tedster at 8:42 pm (utc) on Apr 26, 2010]

5:59 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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don't mean jack to Google if you look dodgy

Ain't it the truth. In the past year I've been involved with a handful of penalties like this - and some were on sites of many years standing with really high trust before something "looked dodgy" to Google. In many cases we were able to get the penalty lifted through a detailed reconsideration request, so I'm not just whistling in the dark.

See Reconsideration Request Tips - from Google Search Quality Team [webmasterworld.com] for some more pointers on how to succeed.
8:14 am on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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So, is adding thousands of sitewide links pointing to a newly online site from an "established" site considered to be "normal" behaviour?

If the old site is acquired by, or is part of a merger of companies with, the new site - yes.
If the new site is a part of the same group of companies as the old site - yes.
If the new site is unrelated to the old site - no.

That's your problem.
2:11 pm on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the advice. I submited the RR, let's see what the real problem is if they respond.
2:15 pm on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Some wikipedia editors are downright insane, removing backlinks for suspected commercial intent without even checking the page in question. I have given up on contributing to our local Wikipedia; its largely become a closed 'clique' of people trying to maintain their ego.
2:17 pm on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Also, I think there is no causal relationship between wiki's spamlist and Google's. How much easier can it be to flag your competitor as spammy?
2:28 pm on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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if(number_of_sites > 3 && total_backlinks > 1000 && time_span < one_week)
{penalty();}

Just saying it could be a combination of multiple things to trigger an alarm. One big site giving links won't do anything, but multiple sites giving a significant number of backlinks in a short time span might trigger an alarm.
2:55 pm on Apr 26, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Treading carefully here trying not to trip over anyone's ego.

This is OT in a thread about Wikipedia but I see a number of statements put out by people who's opinion I trusted before that make so little sense I have a feeling miozio had started the thread at an unfortunate time before anyone could get their jolt of caffeine yet.

What do you mean manually edit 5,000 (or whatever the number was) pages? When asking a blogger to link to your site, you can be 100% sure he/she thinks about putting you into the Blogroll section, which is sitewide. So, for a blogger sitewide i.e. link on all 5000 pages at the same time is the way they always do things.

If you approach a regular, non SEO-tainted blogger and ask him/her to give you exactly 1 link, they would not know what to do. Other that write a post and insert it there for which they may or may not have time/material/desire. And if you are providing content for the post with your link carefully worked into, aren't you simply buying a link via non-monetary barter?

I guess, what I'm trying to say is that sitewide is the easiest way a blogger can link to other site. People always do easiest things they possibly can unless paid / otherwise strongly persuaded. So, if you are really after paid links, you should be looking for in-content links rather than sitewide, not the other way around. That, of course, may catch good editorial links which makes this whole notion of going on a witch hunt for paid links simply insane.

So, do I hear people here saying that blogroll links - the cornerstone of the blogosphere as we know it - a poison? shame you can't see me - both my eyebrows are raised this very moment

Apologies, miozio for OT post but you never know - it may still be relevant indeed to your ranking troubles
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