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Panda soar and dump: 10 year old site re-penalised

     
10:14 am on Jun 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I have a ten year old site, which was my main bread earner, and during these years I have kept working on it, only ever receiving organic traffic. About a year ago it belly flopped in the results, but last month, the May panda update finally gave me back credit for my original text and images. About two days ago, everything changed and my site has not only been obliterated in the search results, allowing the scrapers to rank way above me for material they've stolen, but I actually do not appear in google images at all. I can't find a single image, even when making a specific search by domain.
I've no spam, no overdone SEO, never paid for links. The articles are well written, and between 500-1000 words each, and as far as I know, grammatical correct. I've checked my robots and tried to see if anything untoward has caused this, but I can find no rhyme nor reason. Any suggestions, or should I just give up? :(
4:00 pm on June 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like the scraped content is the problem and your site got penalized. Use these to report the scraped content and hope for the best:

Google Scraper Report
[docs.google.com...]

Report alleged copyright infringement
Google Webmaster Tools - DMCA Notice
[google.com...]

...and of course check Google WMT to check for a manual penalty.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 7:56 pm (utc) on Jun 29, 2014]
[edit reason] made links clickable, added titles, removed link shortener [/edit]

4:21 pm on June 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thanks Itanium. I've never received a manual penalty. My biggest hit came in September 2012 with an EMD, which I've never understood, as my domain is only one word (it was a made up word), and not related to my keywords.
I'm also checking image alt tags, and its the only thing I can think of, that might be just slightly over optimised.

Some sites have scraped my content completely, and I've reported these to the hosting company before now. Those that don't comply go on my disavow list. Other sites, just scrap a few images, or paragraphs of text here and there, and there's far too many for me to ever chase up. It is depressing to see that feature way above me for the content I've created though.

Even when I've been hit in the past, I've never been removed from google images altogether! When I check my domain name in quotes, at first I thought I was there, but then realised they were all my images used by other sites like pinterest, flickr etc.
4:40 pm on June 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Don't you get visitors from the images on pinterest?

I was looking this afternnon and found an image that was being used on a blog and they put the link to my site in text rather than a hyperlink. They must be scared of linking out because of all the rumours you can get penalised for linking to the wrong sites or maybe they just don't want to let a visitor go. Thinking about it tho it says in the bible about giving to receive. If you think about it this is exactly how google gets so much traffic. By giving traffic away. Perhaps it might be inorder to give more traffic out and see if you can get more trafficked links from other sources (other than google). Perhaps if your site has more links than the scrapers you will get recognised as the primary source.
5:03 pm on June 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the input iammeiamfree.
I do get traffic from the likes of pinterest, and that's no bad thing, but I used to feature really high up on google image search, and the links were more direct.
Some of my pages that are well established have thousands of incoming links from unique sources - they were high in authority and would always feature first. Now lowly scrapers who may have only one or two incoming links at most, feature above me. When the last Panda update was released end of May, then all credit was given back to me, so I do not understand why it has been taken away again over the past few days.
5:57 pm on June 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hmm maybe it will come back again soon. Have you considered using it as an opportunity to get some media attention.

Webmaster sleeping under bridge after g****e datacenter blows.

Zara woke Friday to find a g****e data center had blown and her site vanished from the results. A source close to g***e said that they had been overwhelmed by the amount of content being published after webmasters put their printing presses on overdrive in wake of the infamose P***a update. A change g****e made to reward mega sites with ties to the mafia. Zara has been left in a state of anxiety and fear and could have to sleep under a bridge as a result. We spoke to John Jones an expert in search algorithms who said that such things are not so unusual and that the public should make efforts to bookmark sites they value and that it was good web citizenship to post links to valuable resources."


Sorry can't be of any help really but I hope it gets sorted soon.

[edited by: iammeiamfree at 6:15 pm (utc) on Jun 29, 2014]

6:09 pm on June 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Don't you get visitors from the images on pinterest?


Last year I noticed that some of my photos on Pinterest were ranking higher than the original photos on my own website. Since then I block Pinterest. Users can no longer pin my photos. Pinterest is one of the biggest scrapers out there and people no longer need to visit your site when they can find your photo repinned 10, 20 or more times on Pinterest.
9:25 pm on June 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Lol. :D I might just have to scrape that story from you iammeiamfree.

Pinterest is definitely one of the king of scrapers. Funny how if you make it big enough, then scraping is acceptable. Also funny that the founder of the site once worked for g****e.
2:56 am on June 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Its hard to say without seeing your site first hand, but from what you've described it sounds like that scraped content issue can definitely be the issue. I'd look into those resources from Itanium posted. Putting the sites in your disavow file would work for unnatural links if any of them were linking back to you (i.e. scraped links within your own content), but won't do anything to clear up your site being the originator of the scraped content.
7:11 am on June 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I feel your pain. Scrapers, copiers and Pinterest posts are ranking higher than the original content on my site too. At some point, Google seems to have given up on determining original vs scraped content. It's a horrible development for small publishers.
11:00 am on June 30, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It might be worth having a close look at any sites that are outranking you with your content.

I gave permission for people to use some of my images years ago in return for a link and a lot of times they put the url in plain text to avoid passing traffic or what not but one of these in particular really bugged me. They were ranking in the top 5 for the main keyword and my page got dumped to around 200. They had used the image but adapted their own text and I suspected that there were certain words missing from my text that were topical. I also suspect that they had features such as indexable comments that were adding uniqueness to their page.

I have since implemented comments and broadened the text to cover those words but can't really say whether it made a difference since my update in may coincided with googles update. The page did come into the top 20 in may and has since creeped up. The competitor has remained on page one and they even moved up a while ago when they switched to a triple keyword domain.

I have new versions of the images which are ranking high and the old versions are still ranking on various domains so image search is littered with my images. Could be an idea to rename the image files perhaps? Anyway the point is to learn something from the competitiors and use that to your advantage.

The content I work with is shall we say widely available so there is a lot of other sites doing similar things and I think I have been hit somewhat since 2011 for this reason and that some of the other sites are somewhat larger than mine. Right now I have a massive amount of unique content in production and none of it is thin so once I have managed to get online I will be able to see if it makes the difference. Meanwhile I have an old copy of a link manager software busy collecting sites to contact for links pending my campaign to find and share the most evolutionary sites on the web.

To sum up I have learned so much from the site that used my image without passing the link that I am actually pleased they did it at this stage since I am using what I learned for many other pages.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 4:56 pm (utc) on Jun 30, 2014]
[edit reason] split text into paragraphs to help legibility [/edit]

 

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