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Google can be VERY unfair

     
9:11 am on Mar 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I am upset with Google. AS we've all seen, a certain person at Google makes these little SEO advice videos and tells people to 'write compelling content'.

Well folks, I've done exactly that, and I ended up with a hard penalty.

So here's the situation: I have a web site in which I write interesting health articles. A certain person at Google has always said that if you write compelling content, that people will naturally link to you and boost your rankings.

Well, I've written some pretty good content, good enough that people have linked to me and actually praised my site as being one of their favorite health blogs.

When I first started, I traded about 10 reciprocal links over the course of a year, with some QUALITY, RELEVANT link partners. These are webmasters of fitness blogs that I actually read, so I could vouch for them. They were not spam sites.

I had some forums, but I recently removed them since they got attacked by spammers and it was unmanageable.

Anyway, on November 19th 2010, Google decides to penalize my site with this ridiculous "minus 50 penalty". The -50 penalty is basically a filter so that nobody could find your site within the first few pages of Google. In a nutshell, it kills your traffic.

Now, if you look at my site, you'll see that I'm NOT a spammer. In fact, the real spam sites are now ranking for my trademark name! Meanwhile, I'm stuck on page 6 of Google for my own web site name. So Google would rather put spam sites in front of my site? How could this make any sense?

I look at these Google Webmaster advice videos about how to make a good site and realize that it's all failed me. I'm now very discouraged to say the least.

Can anyone tell me what is going on here? My site is fixed, I've removed the reciprocal links to my fellow fitness sites. They weren't excessive in the first place. I've made a great site, cleaned up the few reciprocal links that I had, and now am I gonna be stuck here forever?

Why is this happening? And why aren't my reconsideration requests working? It's been over 4 months now and I am very upset. I have taken a couple years of my spare time to create a high quality web site, busting my butt to write all these good articles, only to have Google come and unfairly throw my site into the gutter without any rhyme or reason.

I feel like I just got the death penalty without even having a trial. Google being considered a monopoly is one thing, but having them unfairly penalize you is another.

My web site is very friendly and is fully compliant with Google Guidelines! Why, oh why, am I penalized?

-Frustrated Webmaster

[edited by: tedster at 9:29 am (utc) on Mar 23, 2011]
[edit reason] member requested [/edit]

11:25 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Not sure if it is related to your problem or not, but let me tell you what happened (twice) to a site that I have.

This site has been ranking #2 to #5 for a main term for years. About 1.5 years ago we did some changes to the site and forgot to exclude the search pages via robots.txt. This increased the number of indexed pages tremendously (basically a bunch of almost identical search pages), at EXACTLY the same time, the site went to page 5.
We added the exclusion to robots.txt and removed the urls in Webmaster Tools, and the site was back in about a week.

Well, last month we revamped the search script of our site and renamed the search url -- guess what happened? We forgot to add the exclusion to robots.txt, the number of indexed pages went up a lot immediately (again, a bunch of SIMILAR search pages), and the site went to PAGE 5 again.

I found out the problem when we ended up on page 5 again - I knew it right away.
Did the same fix from last time, and the site came back in a week.

Moral of the story:

- make sure you do not have a bunch of similar pages indexed in Google Webmaster Tools. I did a search in Yahoo and noticed your site (at least I think it is your site) has a bunch of those pages indexed there.

- if you do have this problem, fix it right away via robots.txt, Webmaster tools, and maybe a 301 redirect.

Good luck
11:50 pm on Mar 25, 2011 (gmt 0)

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We added the exclusion to robots.txt and removed the urls in Webmaster Tools, and the site was back in about a week.

Do you mean you used Webmaster Tools Removal facility or that by blocking search pages in robots.txt the number of indexed pages dropped in WMT?

I am wondering because it seems it would be a very long process to use WMT Removal facility when you have lots of pages since you have to remove URLs one by one.
12:03 am on Mar 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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The pages I am referring to are in the format /somesearch.php?blah=1234, /somesearch.php?blah=5678, etc.

I just entered /somesearch.php in webmaster tools and it seemed to have worked, or maybe was the robots.txt entry (Disallow: /somesearch.php) that worked. Not sure now, to be honest.

I just know it worked very fast.
1:36 am on Mar 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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defanjos, I am seeing something similar in those kind of pages that you have reported.Details in this thread - [webmasterworld.com...]

i have used "noindex, follow" to these pages.Instead, I can block them via robots.txt

But there are some other pages like category subpages, subpages to home, tag pages etc. which i cannot block via robots.txt as google can discover pages on my site only through these pages.so I have added "noindex, follow" to them as well.What to do in these cases?
6:46 am on Mar 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi Defanjos,

I suspect that the issue might be because of backlinks. Sitewide links to me, from blogs that have thousands of pages.

I'm gonna work on getting those removed. What a hassle this is.

[edited by: tedster at 6:49 am (utc) on Mar 26, 2011]

5:40 pm on Mar 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I suspect that the issue might be because of backlinks. Sitewide links to me, from blogs that have thousands of pages.

I'm gonna work on getting those removed. What a hassle this is.


For the good of the group, please do keep us updated on future updates.

Thanks
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