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    |Penalised by Google


    We had a sudden drop in our SERP on all our keywords this morning. Alarmed, naturally, I went to my webmaster tools to see if there was a message from Google. Lo and behold, there was:-

    Dear site owner or webmaster of http://www.awebsite.co.uk/,

    We've detected that some of your site's pages may be using techniques that are outside Google's Webmaster Guidelines.

    Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

    We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results.

    If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.

    If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.

    Sincerely,

    Google Search Quality Team


    I've never used a a black hat technique, never been part of any link exchanges and never bought a single link for the site.

    Can anyone help me here?

    Thanks in advance.
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  3. SEO Learner
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    so have you tried to develop a list of your backlinks ?? do it and check their quality..

    Is they are relevant to your niche??

    What kind of link juice they passing to your website ??
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    That is infact worrying, how did you build your links? have you used any kind of blackhat technique on the pages? keyword stuffing, duplicate content? have been copying content?
    Last edited by ClickyB; Mar 26th, 2012 at 09:18 AM. Reason: removed quote (it's right up there) and removed the part about the domain name (it's not his real domain name)!
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    Hi Mrkay,

    Well... Google specifically said "Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site" so it's clear that the problem is to do with backlinks.
    Go through your backlinks (as listed on GWT) and see if you can figure out what's causing the flag.


    BTW: I removed comments related to the domain you quoted (www.awebsite.co.uk)...
    I thought it was obvious that you only used it for an example
    ClickyB
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    Originally Posted by IceWolf
    That is infact worrying, how did you build your links? have you used any kind of blackhat technique on the pages? keyword stuffing, duplicate content? have been copying content?
    Blog posts, high ranking directories, social media sites, bookmarking sites, requsts from people I know. For our main search term we ranked no 1 until very recently. This morning we've dropped 10 places.

    I've just checked our backlinks and we've got links from crappy unrelated websites under titles like "Sponsored links". I can only imagine this is sabotage.
    Last edited by Mrkay; Mar 26th, 2012 at 10:47 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Mrkay
    Can anyone help me here?.
    If you want to private message me your site I will have a look at your links and try and help figure out whats up..

    How big was your drop in rankings? If it wasn't huge I would guess it was a devaluation of links.
    I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill
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    Originally Posted by Mrkay
    I've just checked our backlinks and we've got links from crappy unrelated websites under titles like "Sponsored links". I can only imagine this is sabotage.
    There it is then...

    If they're listed under headings like "sponsored links" they should be "nofollow" and if they aren't, it's the linking website's fault, not the linked to website.
    However, it also seems obvious that Google should devalue them rather than penalising you for them

    How about giving us some of those website urls? (I'm interested to see just how obvious it is)!
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    What happened to this theory that links to your site cannot hurt rankings?

    Did you buy any links? I'm curious on this topic as well.

    Comments on this post

    • europa agrees : That is out the window now with Google's new policy! Let the Google bombing begin! I stated this last week
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    Originally Posted by DarrenHaye
    If you want to private message me your site I will have a look at your links and try and help figure out whats up..

    How big was your drop in rankings? If it wasn't huge I would guess it was a devaluation of links.
    Looks like you probably cross-posted with Mrkay...

    I would guess that the website concerned is the one in his profile.
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    Originally Posted by ClickyB
    There it is then...

    If they're listed under headings like "sponsored links" they should be "nofollow" and if they aren't, it's the linking website's fault, not the linked to website.
    However, it also seems obvious that Google should devalue them rather than penalising you for them

    How about giving us some of those website urls? (I'm interested to see just how obvious it is)!
    Wait a minute.

    I find this SUPER hard to believe and an extreme flaw in Google's system.

    Can you PM me the URL please? I want to investigate here, too. I really think there's more going on besides just this.

    I just find it near impossible to believe that I can buy a domain, make "Sponsored Links" put my competition there sit back and grin as they get knocked off SERPs.

    If so, bye, bye SEO - hello new competition killing career.
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    The problem is sitewide links from sites like

    e-maildir.com/
    dginventive.com/
    homesbyburma.com
    etc..

    You have 121 sites linking to you and 9,343 links total..

    Get yourself off those spam blog sidebars.

    Comments on this post

    • europa agrees : Good tip!
    Last edited by DarrenHaye; Mar 26th, 2012 at 09:50 AM.
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    This is going to suck royally if you can get docked for sites linking to you. If so people will spend a couple grand knocking off all competing websites off the 1st page by buying links for all of them. Only with their luck Google will change the algo again and end up helping them in the end. Curse you Google!

    Comments on this post

    • europa agrees : I warned everyone last week and some guy said, penalties were only related to on page optimization (WRONG)!
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    What's scary is that anyone can use this technique to sabotage your site if they want. And try to get a hold of Google to get personal assistance. You'd have better luck breaking into Fort Knox.
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    Originally Posted by DarrenHaye
    If you want to private message me your site I will have a look at your links and try and help figure out whats up..

    How big was your drop in rankings? If it wasn't huge I would guess it was a devaluation of links.
    About 10 places for each keyword.

    I'll pm you. Thanks.
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    Originally Posted by joshz
    What happened to this theory that links to your site cannot hurt rankings?

    Did you buy any links? I'm curious on this topic as well.
    Never bought a single link in my life.
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