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Fourth-page penalty?

Discussion in 'Websites' started by 1-script.com, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. #1
    I was researching what's going on with this site I was describing in another thread here and decided to look deeper into SERPs on large selection of keywords searches that I received dozens of clicks for just yesterday. Interesting thing turned up: many of my former #1 through #10 SERP 1 results got bumped to Page 4, almost always precisely to position #31. It's impossible to check all of them but the first ten were like that without fail: #1,2 or 3 yesterday - #31 today.

    What gives?

    I remember Shoemoney posted something similar here before but I cannot find the link. It looked like he was also bumped from the first page and I cannot recall what the resolution was. So, if anyone have that bookmarked (Shoe?) please post the link.

    Do I have to assume that this was a hand job (in a SEO kind of way) and I actually need to talk to a live body at Google to possibly get that resolved? That seems like an impossible proposition. They've never ever answered before.

    Also, Sitemaps has no indication of penalty of any kind for this site. I think they said they'd post a note there if you're penalized but I doubt they actually do that.

    Any other idea or suggestion is be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers,
    D~
     
    1-script.com, Oct 11, 2006 IP
  2. hooperman

    hooperman Peon

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    #2
    I didn't realise Google provided this kind of service :)

    Could it not be as simple as other pages are better optimised than yours, or even that Google is always in the process of stabilising its results? Just because your rankings change, it doesn't mean that something sinister has happened.
     
    hooperman, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  3. Komodo Tale

    Komodo Tale Peon

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    #3
    SiteMaps, or Webmaster Central, will post a penalty notice if you are not a blatent abuser. Their policy is to ignore hardcore spammers (my words) and try to help when it appears that a grevience is not intentional (my words too).

    As one who has inquired with the Google team and received an answer I can tell you that they will read and respond to emails when they deem it appropriate. I do not know your particular situation but I have advised to others that when they inquire to Google that they be professional, polite, brief and not act like the sky is falling.

    Good luck!
     
    Komodo Tale, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  4. ystoredesign

    ystoredesign Guest

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    #4
    #31 it's not a penalty precisely.

    May be your site has lose some important back links
     
    ystoredesign, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  5. carina

    carina Peon

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    #5
    The same has happened to a few sites in my industry - down from top 5 to page 3. No, backlinks, were not lost.
    In my view it's incorrect implementation of "data refreshes", same but on a smaller scale happened with the first Big daddy update.
    Sites are coming back slowly, btw, which means their backlinks etc are gradually rewarded again.
     
    carina, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  6. mastermemei

    mastermemei Banned

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    #6
    Maybe its just a case of other sites working double time on seo
     
    mastermemei, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  7. pgu1020

    pgu1020 Peon

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    #7
    I am sure its not..
    I have also got hit by this #31 filter/penalty.
    Ranked nr1 on alot of phrases on different pages under one domain.

    Now all of them rank #31 which means that a penalty of exactly 30 positions have kicked in. The domainname in question also ranks #31 for its own uniqe brandname.

    The site is old, in dmoz, optimized and heavily linkbuild.

    There is no question of that this 30 position penalty exists.. The question is why, and how to solve the problem.

    Other mentions of this problem:
    http://forum.statcounter.com/vb/showthread.php?t=20367&page=4
    http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum30/35037.htm
    http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/3089605.htm

    Please.. If you know about this issue and how to get out of this problem, please post here or PM me..
     
    pgu1020, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  8. 1-script.com

    1-script.com Active Member

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    #8
    Well, you may be right but the significant loss of traffic surely feels like one
    All the important ones I can think of are still showing up in Y! site explorer. I don't see how I can check if Google lost some of them because it only shows 65 out of 221K+ that Y! shows
    Another thing is: if it was not precisely #31 all the time, I would understand a change in algo and all, but this looks like a straightforward filter applied to all my pages with a click of a button.
     
    1-script.com, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  9. 1-script.com

    1-script.com Active Member

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    #9
    1-script.com, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  10. hubel

    hubel Grunt

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    #10
    Same thing has happened to me. I just checked digitalpoint keyword rankings and out of 20 search terms I monitored 19 of them have been put down to exactly 31. The other one wasn't as high as 31 anyway.

    It seems like a complete hand job to me. It wasn't as if I dropped 31 places on every search term. Some were previously at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 but all of them are now at exactly 31.

    It's like Google are saying "we recognize your site is worthy of being in the index and scoring well for your search terms but we don't want you to be as high as you are".

    Shoemoney did have the same problem but was lucky enough to get a sympathetic ear from Matt Cutts direct.

    Unless you've got a direct line of communication with Google there is unlikely to be anything you can do about it.
     
    hubel, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  11. Sharpseo

    Sharpseo Peon

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    #11
    I have 3 sites also in the #31 spot, for almost all the keywords they previously ranked well for. Not sure what's going on.

    I'm almost positive it's not my outbound links, or anything on-site. That leads me to believe it's caused by too many inbound links. The sites do inter-link somewhat, but nothing blatant.

    For a while I thought it could be someone 302 redirect hijacking me. Because the sites that replaced me in the SERPs were absolute rubbish scraper and weird redirecting/cloaking sites I've never seen before.
     
    Sharpseo, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  12. hooperman

    hooperman Peon

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    #12
    This is amazing. Every search I've done today has had a site that ranked #31. More people are affected by this penalty than I originally thought.
     
    hooperman, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  13. Sharpseo

    Sharpseo Peon

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    #13
    This is almost undoubtedly a penalty or filter of some kind. I have 3 separate sites, all on separate IP addresses with thousands of quality backlinks. All 3 had great Google rankings for dozens of keywords before September 22nd.

    On September 22nd, every single one of those top 5 rankings was lost. 95% went to #31 in the SERPs, the rest disappeared completely.

    I've talked to a bunch of other webmasters who had the same experience. This is not an issue with a few lost links or a coincidence.
     
    Sharpseo, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  14. 1-script.com

    1-script.com Active Member

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    #14
    Well, it is sort of comforting to know that I'm not alone here, but I don't really see how this can be resolved yet. There is no point in filling out a reinclusion request: it has not been banned.

    Actually, I hope Shoemoney would chime in here to shed more light on what exactly was done for him back then. Also, I don't recall him mentioning that he needed to alter his site to go back. What was that - they played favorites or they hit him by mistake and admitted that upon more careful review? I'd love to know that, Shoe.
     
    1-script.com, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  15. 1-script.com

    1-script.com Active Member

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    #15
    I just wanted to confirm that, when searching for the site's domain name, mine also shows up on exactly position #31

    On a side note: you guys would not believe what kind of crap shows up before me in that query! I have been signing my Usenet, blogs and forums posts with the URL of the site and it's all over the map now, in many instances in places I never intended it to end up in. Not necessarily as links to my site though, mostly just text.
     
    1-script.com, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  16. hubel

    hubel Grunt

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    #16
    I've just noticed something really strange. Searching for one search time I came across a site in the expected position 31 on the fourth page.

    This listing also showed an additional 4 results directly underneath the listing in position 31 which I always thought was reserved for the top spot number 1 only.

    I was going to take a screen print of it and noticed in the top right hand corner that I was logged into Google. When I signed out the site had gone from the results at position 31 and magically reappeared at Number 1.

    Anyone else see the same thing?
     
    hubel, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  17. 1-script.com

    1-script.com Active Member

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    #17
    Good catch, hubel. Not exactly four additional results but ALL my keywords that were #1 have one additional result underneath the main one which is now #31.

    This is not happening to me. I always search signed out and it's still at #31. I even tried to sign in just for test and it's still #31, also signed out and signed back in as a different user - still #31 :mad:

    Keep your suggestions coming!
     
    1-script.com, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  18. hubel

    hubel Grunt

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    #18
    I think they have changed it now. Signing in or out makes no difference now. Still at number 31. Maybe I just hit a different data canter that has just caught up with the rest of them when I was signed out before.

    Its kind of spooky that more or less every search referal I am seeing comming through I am at exactly number 31 in the results.
     
    hubel, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  19. 1-script.com

    1-script.com Active Member

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    #19
    Well, I'm (un)happy to report that on one of the keywords I've been watching for few years my site moved from #4(yesterday) to #31(noon EST) to #55(9PM EST). However, this used to be 16 million results search just a few hours ago (and just about that for the last few years) and now it's "only" 1.3Mil. What's going on? Did I hit a DC that's updating right now?

    Anyways,

    I am pretty unhappy with DP moderator bumping this thread from Google to Web site review. What review? I did not ask for a review! I did not even provide the URL for review. What gives? It seems like a problem that does not affect my site specifically, and so I would greatly appreciate if this thread can be moved back.
     
    1-script.com, Oct 12, 2006 IP
  20. Sharpseo

    Sharpseo Peon

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    #20
    Mods: Love you guys, but why was this moved to Website reviews? This is a Google-specific penalty we're discussing... The drop in rankings that everyone has seen is only in Google. And no one's given URLs, not really a review.

    I just really want to hear opinions on what this penalty/filter is all about. Something strange definitely going on. It's no coincidence that all these pages with previously good rankings move to exactly #31 in the Google SERPs.
     
    Sharpseo, Oct 12, 2006 IP