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A lot of natural high quality back links but no ranking

     
2:26 pm on May 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hi,

I own a web site, a tech blog. To give a little perspective:

Last year it was receiving around 10,000 uniques a day from google
Then traffic gradually declined to around 4000 uniques within 8 months.
Then I received google manual spam ban email in december, 2013.

It appeared that the ban was due to three back links, I disavow them and google lifted the ban, this was in february of this year. And my site returned its 4000 uniques a day status.

Since february, my site is getting a lot of media attention. Big names are using my stories (wired, engadget etc) published on my site. And providing back links. This is all natural. My site was even on Yahoo news.

However, no ranking improvement. Its like these back links are not there. Nothing changed. No improvements as far as Google SEO. Still getting my 4000 uniques nothing more, same keywords.

What do you think is the problem?
3:14 pm on May 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member aristotle is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Most likely the previous manual spam action destroyed the trustworthiness of the site in Google's eyes, and it might take longer than a few months to rebuild trust. The new high-quality backlinks could pay off in the long run, but not yet. If somebody burns you once, you're likely to remain suspicious of them for a long time even if they appear to be well-behaved in the meantime.
3:38 pm on May 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The thing is I have never built backings manually. The ban was, it seems, due to three particular back links. I did not build these back links. I had nothing to do with them. Those three back links, I learned later, Google banned them first within a month all three of them. These sites were suspicious. They were selling guest posting backlinks on fiverr, that I learned later.

I guess Google saw a pattern that three banned site providing back links to my site, and banned mine too. But it was easy to lift the ban.

I truly hope you are right that these new back links could pay off in the long run. I am OK with waiting.
3:48 pm on May 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Just keep doing what you're doing and trust should be restored although you were already doing what you're supposed to. Use this as a wake up call to build stronger traffic sources other than organic.
3:51 pm on May 9, 2014 (gmt 0)

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And maybe backlinks don't have the clout they previously did. Possibly G just doesn't consider them to be the number one factor any more. Possibly because they have been so spammed, almost out of all usefulness, that they take a back seat now.

They will always count in one way or the other, it's just that other factors may now be higher up the list of importance.
12:56 am on May 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

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

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Big names are using my stories (wired, engadget etc)...


Those kinds of links are overrated. Way overrated. Try finding those news pages three months later. They're not in the business of evergreen content so a site architecture that preserves link equity from the entire site to their article doesn't exist. The link equity from those big news sites are not that good. They're useful for solving other marketing related problems but in my opinion they are not useful for affecting the SERPs in a positive way. I've never personaly benefited from those kinds of links and I know others that haven't either.
4:17 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I want to add that since this post my site was mentioned in really major sites including forbes, businessinsider etc. Again this is all natural.

this has some value, right?

also I realized something, the articles that were written in 2013 does not rank well while the articles written in 2012 and 2011 brings the most traffic. Is this normal?

2013 articles really ranks not good. I even search for the exact titles (which is unique) and see my site at the bottom and some other sites copying my site (they are crappy sites) ranks above me. How is this?
7:09 pm on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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and see my site at the bottom and some other sites copying my site (they are crappy sites) ranks above me. How is this?

Being outranked by scrapers is an indication that your site is under a penalty. You said that the manual penalty was removed, so maybe your site has an algorithmic penalty as well. An algorithmic penalty would also explain why the new natural backlinks don't seem to be helping your rankings.