joined:June 29, 2006
I want to share with you another depressingly sad penalty story...
A while back I started planning to build a new, very simple but to the point website about a Widget. This widget had never seen the light of day and although there were industry rumours, nothing concrete was available and no guarantee that the Widget would ever be released, or even have the expected name. Deciding to take a gamble, I registered the .co.uk domain name of the Widgets model name (it's only called this in EU) and began to build a small site.
Based on what the anticipated specs were going to be, I researched the Technology, the manufacturers earlier Widgets and the reception of a similar Widget (but not exactly the same) that was released in Japan a few weeks earlier. The site turned out only to be a single (although quite long) page - the subject didn't warrent more and I didn't want to pad it out unncessarily. The copy for the page was completely clean-roomed. I read all the reasearch and then wrote completely new copy without referring to the original research other than to check the facts at the end, so as far as I am concerned, when the site launched the copy was unique and the most comprehensive under the one subject available at the time.
With the site ready, I launched it and added a single adsense advert right at the bottom of the page - not really to make revenue, but more for Google to notice and get it indexed. The site launched about 3 weeks before the Widget was officially unveiled at a trade show and in this time soon reached page 1 position 2 on Google.co.uk, 1st place on Bing and 2nd place on Yahoo. Traffic was small, but then nobody really knew about the Widget. When the Widget was announced at the trade show (around 2.5 weeks ago), naturally interest for the Widget was obviously picking up because of the announcement and suprise, the very next day my site micraculously received what looks like -950 penalty from Google - nothing on my site changed since its launch. My site has no cloaking, no trickery, no rapid backlinks, no affiliate links (nobody has even started selling the Widget), nothing - it's 1 informative, plain html page with a couple of images and one single adsense ad at the bottom. On Bing UK it's still position 1, on Yahoo, position 2, on Google.co.uk position 750+ (it's moving backward as more sites reference the Widget), way behind sites from other countries in different languages (arabic anyone?) that have absolutely nothing to do with the Widget, and now the scrapers have ripped my content and are ranking on the first couple of pages. Two weeks later, still penalty land for me ...
Ultimately the site is no big deal - it was an experiment for me more than anything, but where did I go wrong?