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What are the characteristics of an over optimisation penalty?

     
10:46 pm on Jun 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

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With Panda still ongoing, it's difficult to work out if a site is being hit by Panda or has tripped another type of penalty.

One site in particular I work with has recently seen a large drop in organic traffic from Google. Strangely, however, it still ranks highly for some very competitive phrases while other pages are nowhere to be seen in the top 100.

Recently AJAX pagination was added along with lots more original copy on categories. I'm wondering could it have been penalised for being too optimised? I'm assuming it may not be Panda as it isn't a site wide drop in rankings. Or perhaps I'm wrong?

Any insight would be appreciated.
4:15 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator goodroi is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I would start by looking at anchor text %, internal link structure and repetition in the content. You want to make sure that those items do not look artificially inflated.
6:27 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This site has some pages that rank highly for competitive keywords and other pages (that have been thickened up with copy) which, after Friday/Saturday, no longer rank. Do you think it has been hit with a page level over optimisation penalty?
11:02 pm on June 27, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I would just suggest that you double check - and then triple check - all possible technical issues.

My main site had some similar behavior when I accidentally meta noindexed the home page - Doh!
1:41 pm on July 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@Planet13 - I've gone through it and can't find anything obviously wrong. I've also had other people look at it and they can't find anything wrong. Duplicate copy, removed. Canonical tag, added. Noindex, checked. Robots.txt, checked. 301s, checked.

Is it consistent with panda that blog posts do not rank for their own title?

I have one site with just over 100 posts, many with decent links. However, many of them (even those with good backlinks) are not ranking for their own name and are being beaten by Twitter & Facebook statuses, social media submission pages and scrapers.

Is this commonplace with panda, or does it sound more like a penalty of sorts?
3:21 pm on July 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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This kind of problem has been seen before Panda, so I don't think there's a tie-in. I don't know that anyone ever nailed the cause.
3:44 pm on July 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Would it be true to say that even if a domain was torched by panda, pages would still rank for their titles? I've checked a couple of sites I know to be hit and it's true at least for them.

If this is the case, then I suspect my website has been penalised in some way rather than pandalised.
4:06 pm on July 6, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Would it be true to say that even if a domain was torched by panda, pages would still rank for their titles?


Nope, I can't even get my example.com to rank for example these days on its index page in the first 500!

If I add example+keyword, it's there...imagine if facebook didn't rank #1 for facebook.com?

My example.co.uk displays only my example.co.in in the titlebar, there is a Twitter account using my example as their user name, even they are on page 3!

Barmy, utterly barmy.
 

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