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  1. Contributing User
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    What do you call this penalty?


    Here are some screenshots from a site that I had penalised:

    The site was created on 21st April 2012.
    I then used high PR links with targeted anchor text (though EVERY anchor was different but all were keywords).
    With these links I targeted mainly two pages, but did point a few at a third page. The fourth page was completely unlinked.

    Graph 1 shows all pages.
    Graph 2 shows page 1 that I targeted heavily (traffic dropped to 0)
    Graph 3 shows page 2 that I targeted heavily (traffic dropped to 0)
    Graph 4 shows page 3 that I didn't target as heavily, but still targeted. (traffic almost to 0)
    Graph 5 shows page 4 that I didn't target at all. (traffic at about 25%)
    Graph 6 shows the recovery.

    Penalty - Imgur

    I did not change the content on the site, nor remove any of the links as I wanted to see what would happen to the site.

    Page 1 and 2 that I targeted heavily have not returned with good rankings, whereas page 3 and 4 have completely recovered.

    I say recovered, I didn't deserve to rank before and I don't deserve to now (for page 3 at least as I did target that with bought links).

    I would love to hear people's thoughts on why this was penalised in this way.

    I need to emphasise that the only links that have ever been pointing at this site were these bought links and a link from the Twitter profile.

    Basically, the links (or site?) got penalised, but they were certainly not PERMANENTLY discounted as the site has returned.
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  3. Traffic drop sleuth. :)
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    I can't say too much without seeing the site but a big drop like that could be Panda. There was a Panda update on July 24, so you could see if that date fits. There was also a Panda date on Dec 21 which may be the date that your traffic started to recover. If that's the case then your links probably had little to do with anything.
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    very interesting. You say the site has recovered but only by about 50% correct? Would you mind PMing me the site so I can look? I have had 2 similar experiences and I want to compare.
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    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    very interesting. You say the site has recovered but only by about 50% correct? Would you mind PMing me the site so I can look? I have had 2 similar experiences and I want to compare.
    Yes 50% but not because all queries recovered.

    Simply 2 of the 4 pages recovered their ranks.
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  9. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by giggity
    I would love to hear people's thoughts on why this was penalised in this way.
    I've seen enough devalued sites to know that you can't tied anything to a specific date... PANDA update might occur on a given date but that doesn't mean all other previous updates just stopped on that date.

    Without serious research attempting to understand what occurred you cannot easily do. Doing a cursory looking at any domain is a complete waste of time

    If this is a PANDA thing... you generally need "LOTS" of pages not 4 ... but just because you only showed 4 in your sample does not mean there are only 4 pages of similar content to the domain.

    Whether PANDA or PENGUIN best bet delete the existing pages and add someplace that is completely clean.

    If PANDA you really should replace the content... you're just going to repeat the issue.

    If PENGUIN best to avoid redirecting anything from the 404 page (with the exception of redirecting to a custom 404 page that is noindex).

    I suspect that the devaluation resolves only to the devalued page and redirecting to a new page will not have the devaluation follow so you could, in theory, retain any organic links. I have limitedly tested this (by accident mind you) picking up 2 expired PR4 domains that had a PENGUIN issue... and redirected them to unranked domains and they did gain PR3 and PR2 respectfully... and provided ranked searchable queries but a redirected domain can easily have links to non-PENGUINized pages which is a completely different issue than redirecting a PENGUINized page only.

    So use caution.

    As to what you are seeing... Google DOES NOT HARM any organic links and because PENGUIN isn't 100% granular some inorganic links can sneak by which means that's link juice that can propagate internally to other pages that can be the new representative page for the domain for that search term (based on the residuals passed from page to page).
    Last edited by fathom; Feb 13th, 2013 at 07:44 AM.
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  11. Traffic drop sleuth. :)
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    Do the dates match Panda? It wouldn't really make sense for only 2 pages to recover though so this is probably not it.

    I think there are variables here that we are missing. You said you used high PR links....what kind of pages were these? Were they all purchased links? It may be that you don't have a linking penalty, but perhaps the sites where you bought the links got slapped with a manual warning. (Google can give warnings for linking OUT as well as unnatural links pointing to your site.)
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    Can you post URL or link profile?
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    I've seen enough devalued sites to know that you can't tied anything to a specific date... PANDA update might occur on a given date but that doesn't mean all other previous updates just stopped on that date.

    Without serious research attempting to understand what occurred you cannot easily do. Doing a cursory looking at any domain is a complete waste of time

    If this is a PANDA thing... you generally need "LOTS" of pages not 4 ... but just because you only showed 4 in your sample does not mean there are only 4 pages of similar content to the domain.
    You are right. I don't think this is Panda at all. The keywords are targeted were unrelated and the pages I targeted were completely clean. Unique content. I did not target the keywords in any way with the onpage content, it was written completely for humans rather than bots.

    I had actually killed another domain in exactly the same way as this previously, but it was before Penguin was even released.

    It was actually mentioned on here before about there being some kind of anchor text over optimisation discount penalty - so was that Penguin's grandfather?

    Originally Posted by fathom
    I suspect that the devaluation resolves only to the devalued page and redirecting to a new page will not have the devaluation follow so you could, in theory, retain any organic links. I have limitedly tested this (by accident mind you) picking up 2 expired PR4 domains that had a PENGUIN issue... and redirected them to unranked domains and they did gain PR3 and PR2 respectfully... and provided ranked searchable queries but a redirected domain can easily have links to non-PENGUINized pages which is a completely different issue than redirecting a PENGUINized page only.

    So use caution.

    As to what you are seeing... Google DOES NOT HARM any organic links and because PENGUIN isn't 100% granular some inorganic links can sneak by which means that's link juice that can propagate internally to other pages that can be the new representative page for the domain for that search term (based on the residuals passed from page to page).
    I am sure you are right, it is just strange that the rankings have come back. They SHOULDN'T have come back if the links were discounted right? I have done no other link building.

    From my observations it appears that there has been some time-related penalty on either the site or the links.

    Originally Posted by Dr.Marie
    Do the dates match Panda? It wouldn't really make sense for only 2 pages to recover though so this is probably not it.

    I think there are variables here that we are missing. You said you used high PR links....what kind of pages were these? Were they all purchased links? It may be that you don't have a linking penalty, but perhaps the sites where you bought the links got slapped with a manual warning. (Google can give warnings for linking OUT as well as unnatural links pointing to your site.)
    The PR links were purchased links on expired domains. There were ~15 outbound links on each expired domain. They were within relevant and unique content. Each expired domain was themed, were hosted on different IPs, had different Whois data.

    The pages on which the links were bought were actually ranking for the keyword I was targeting and they still are so I don't think the quality of these sites that I got the links on were the problem.

    The first complete day of penalised traffic was 27th July - so it was either penalised then or evening of 26th.
    The first complete day of recovery was 11th December - so either recovered then or evening of 10th.

    Originally Posted by joshz
    Can you post URL or link profile?
    I would love to but I would prefer not to at this point in time as the site is actually ranking OK at the moment. If it tanks again then sure.
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  17. rod@missionop.com
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    There is absolutely no way for anyone to do a hypothetical discussion on this and be even remotely accurate.

    So just guessing "luck"... some links were not detected immediately and were not included in the original devaluation... thus when they were detected they were below the threshold that PENGUIN could make a decision on and thus classed as organic links therefore... the current page could not use the relatedness of the link juice on the resident page but did pass that relatedness on to other pages and they started ranking.

    True? False? No ****ing idea!
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    There is absolutely no way for anyone to do a hypothetical discussion on this and be even remotely accurate.

    So just guessing "luck"... some links were not detected immediately and were not included in the original devaluation... thus when they were detected they were below the threshold that PENGUIN could make a decision on and thus classed as organic links therefore... the current page could not use the relatedness of the link juice on the resident page but did pass that relatedness on to other pages and they started ranking.

    True? False? No ****ing idea!
    Looking at this: http://i.imgur.com/4NabPgRh.jpg

    If some of the links were devalued then I would understand if the site's rankings dropped and stayed at that lower level. The problem I am having is that the site has the same content, the same structure and the same links since before it got penalised and yet it somewhat recovers its rankings.

    It must be some kind of time-defined devaluation of either on-site or off-site factors?
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    Did you gain any powerful links since the 'recovery'?
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    I have not touched the site since it got penalised!
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    I agree with Rod. It's really a crap shoot right now. Those dates don't fit with any algo changes so you can probably rule that out.

    The pages on which the links were bought were actually ranking for the keyword I was targeting and they still are so I don't think the quality of these sites that I got the links on were the problem.
    It still is possible that those domains are punished. Do you own those domains? Are there any messages in WMT (if you have that set up)? Some domains can get manual warnings for linking out.

    Look at SERountable. That site openly sells links. The site itself ranks well as I see it all the time on searches for SEO stuff. But, the PR of the site has been cut to 3 by Google because the site sells links. (reference: Yes, I Sell Links, Google Penalizing Me, Don't Judge Me) and as such the site doesn't pass much PR to the sites it links to.

    But then again, it would be a little strange for all of the sites to lose PR passing ability on the same day.

    It could be some other issue like conditional malware on the site or a hosting issue or the dns not resolving properly or a crawl issue, etc. etc.
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    No malware, no hosting issues or DNS resolving problems.

    I don't believe that it was due to an algorithm change.

    I believe it was due to Penguin's grandfather, the BackLink Over Optimisation Penalty (BLOOP) - something that I have seen you guys on SEOChat speculate about for many years.

    These were some serious links, PR3/4/5 with ~10 OBL and built within a few weeks with limited variation in anchor text and URL.

    I was just interested in whether other people had similar observations. I guess there's not enough data from one case study to infer anything.

    Thanks for some insight though.
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  29. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by giggity
    No malware, no hosting issues or DNS resolving problems.

    I don't believe that it was due to an algorithm change.

    I believe it was due to Penguin's grandfather, the BackLink Over Optimisation Penalty (BLOOP) - something that I have seen you guys on SEOChat speculate about for many years.

    These were some serious links, PR3/4/5 with ~10 OBL and built within a few weeks with limited variation in anchor text and URL.

    I was just interested in whether other people had similar observations. I guess there's not enough data from one case study to infer anything.

    Thanks for some insight though.
    giggity I learned a long time ago not to trust what the inexperience say about an issue they can't resolve themselves because they don't have the background nor experience to consider the situation from a scientific standpoint.

    I mention that because you said:

    Originally Posted by giggity
    I was just interested in whether other people had similar observations. I guess there's not enough data from one case study to infer anything.
    The only observations are yours. The only data presented is what you chose to present thus the only opinions being offered are yours because no one else has any observations.

    Even your images... the data is skewed to the way you want to see it... that is it.

    You cannot problem-solve in this manner and have any degree of accuracy thus when I say:

    Originally Posted by fathom
    Without serious research attempting to understand what occurred you cannot easily do. Doing a cursory looking at any domain is a complete waste of time
    I mean this thread is a complete waste of everyone's time because the only valid opinion we all start with... is yours whether that is true or false is immaterial.
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