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What kind of penalty is this? Is there a minus 13 penalty?

     
11:44 am on Apr 25, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I realize most folks here are right now focused on the latest G "update", but I hope we could bang our heads together on this one.

So, I have a UK website on which I have been working for a few years. Good quality content, all on target and quite informative. Strong backlink profile, a bit of link exchanges (nothing excessive), plenty of one-way links from similar themed websites, overall with better link profile than the competitors.

BUT, and here comes the big but, it has been stuck at #13 for it's main keyword! For months! Panda came and went - still at 13; added links and content - still at 13; this latest update had all my UK websites move (either up or down), yet this website is still stuck at #13 ! To make things even worse - it hs been showing on the first page on the US Google, yet maybe 10% of the backlinks are not from co.uk websites...

This is some eerie stuff right there. Is there such thing as -13 penalty or something? Any suggestions?
2:11 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Link devaluation is what I'd put my finger on. Take a long hard look at what else you can improve as well (internal linking structure, bounce rate, tos etc).
2:20 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I could understand link devaluation if it was moving down or at all. This thing has been sitting at #13 through all the major updates...
4:48 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like a -10 from position 3. Which in turn sounds like you got a manual review once you broke the top 3, and they found something problematic.

I would guess its something minor, like a marginal case of keyword stuffing. So, not completely unnatural, but found in H1, alt tags and everywhere else. Or hammering the same anchor on internal links. Something on-page and easily fixed.

Evaluate the page/site, decide what can be improved or fixed, and do it all in one go. Then sit back and wait at least a month, and probably more like three. Possibly even more if it is your homepage.

If it IS your homepage, you might want to take a close look at how you link back to it.
10:30 pm on Apr 26, 2012 (gmt 0)

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When I saw the "13" in the thread title my instant thought was: typical SERP containing 10 pages plus three images,* bumping you down to the second page from the first page. But, ahem, if you're now at #13, where were you before the penalty? x + 13 = ?


* There was a recent thread about this. If you have a page that would come up in both the top 10 for text and the top 3 for images, they leave out the images.
2:54 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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All you guys say makes sense, but it doesn't appear to be my case.

@ lucy24 - there are no images in the serps for that keyword, never has (nor videos or anything other than website results)

@ Shaddows - I have never moved higher than #13 thus I don't think the -10 from #3 applies - I've never been at #3, that's the problem. It's like a freaking wall that #13 spot, never moved higher.

It's really weird, especially considering that I went through a few really big updates and the website has been sitting at #13 throughout all of them - never moved up or down...
3:33 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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nice to see your observation lucy24 i thought exactly that!

if you're in position 13 and you had a -13 penalty your 'rightful' position would be, erm '0'

if you are fixed at 13, are the pages above fixed in position too? or do they move around?
5:13 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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You may very well have 12 websites ahead of yours that have been manually tagged as most important over the years. Google employs a much ballyhoo'd algorithm but their results are highly human modified.
8:11 pm on Apr 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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All the websites above and below me are moving, especially with big updates (such as the last one)...