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F#ck Google! Lessons Learned

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by madoctopus, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. madoctopus

    madoctopus Supreme Member

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    So a while ago I got a few of my sites penalized. -50 penalty across all keywords and pages. These are 100% whitehat sites with awesome content (unique, informative, in-depth). I was ranking #1 for my main keywords and on 1st page for any other keyword you can imagine that is related to my niche. I was ranking #5 for the category root domain (e.g. like "cell phones" if I would be in cell phones niche).

    Obviously I thought there's a bug in Google's automated system so filed for a reconsideration request. I was sure once a human reviews my sites they will get back. To my amazement, after 1 week (it takes 1-2 weeks to get a response for a reconsideration request) i get the standard response that my sites are not in compliance with Google's guidelines. I was shocked. Checked and rechecked everything. Everything was just fine. I don't even have spammy links. No XRumer, no ScrapeBox, no nothing. All are natural links created by people who found my sites a good resource. I haven't done any SEO on these sites for the past 3 years or more. There are tens of splogs, autoblogs, thin afiliate sites, microniche sites that linked to me as an authority to avoid footprints (they linked to the other big sites as well).

    Anyway, since the reconsideration request failed, the only idea I had was to remove my sitewide footer links (though my competitors have footer links too). I was crosslinking from footer several of my sites and linking to some of my link partners. Weird thing was that some of my sites I had interlinked from the footer weren't penalized (these were low traffic sites that weren't ranking well or bringing money). From the 3 sites penalized, 2 were ranking great and one wasn't because I didn't worked much on it to get it rank.

    So, I file a reconsideration request again, after I remove all those footer links, all my "links/resources" pages. After one week, I get the same reply that my sites are against Google's guidelines.

    So there is no way you would think the sites are somehow doing anything dark. They are good, useful sites. As a matter of fact huge sites like cNet were ranking below me and copied ideas from my sites. They even left comments on my sites saying stuff like "the guide on cNet is much better" :) They rewrote their buying guides like 4 times because at first they sucked and mine were very good and in-depth. The idea is, they were ranking below me for a bunch of keywords.

    So I got this crazy idea. What if my sites got hit exactly because I was ranking above some big player? I mean there is no way to prove this but it is a plausible explanation. I mean cNet is making millions of dollars monthly and my site was making just a few thousand dollars. But this is exactly my point. They buy adwords worth of millions each month. Maybe I was a nuisance so they just called their guy at Google/adwords and said "hey this little site pisses us off, can you do something about it?". Yeah it is kinda like a conspiracy theory, but it is actually the one that makes sense most. While now I rank somewhere around #50-70 for every single keyword, and there are lots of crappy thin affiliate sites, microniche sites, splogs, autoblogs, etc. ranking above me, no such site ranks #1-5. Now, #1-5 is ruled by 2 big sites (1 is cNet), generally with double listing.

    I would just get over it and start new domains and develop new sites but I am pissed by the thought that after 1 year of work, they will end up penalized as well. So to those who say to play by the rules, be white hat as Snow White and all that Matt Cutts bullshit, I tell you GET REAL! I had great sites with great content and I played by the rules, but I still got hit. I really think if a site big enough wants you down, Google will get you down. I hope I will come back and edit the post and say I was naive to think Google isn't honest. I hope I file a reconsideration request and it gets accepted. Realistically, I don't believe that will happen though.

    Lessons learned:

    • Do not use a Gmail account. If your PayPal email is @gmail.com or you use a Gmail email for your host, registrar, etc. they know every domain and host you have and what you buy and everything.
    • Do not use Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools or any Google product or service.
    • Do not keep sites on same host/IP. As a matter of fact make your sites so they don't seem related in any way besides all being on 1st page in Google.
    • Don't just use a SEO Host company, they leave footprints too. If you want to build networks of sites just buy shared hosting from a bunch of places. It is a lot more expensive than the cheap $1/mo seo hosts but it is untrackable. Plus, if your seo host company goes belly up you end up with 300 sites down at the same time. What bigger footprint than that can you leave?! Btw, I hevn't really used blog/site networks to grow these sites of mine that got penalized. As I said, those were 100% white hat and had natural growth.
    • Do not use AdSense. Yeah it is great to cover expenses on low traffic sites but it is like putting all your eggs in one basket and tying the basket on a scared donkey's leg.
    • Don't expect to last forever. If most of your traffic comes from Google, either find a way to get more than 80% traffic from other sources, or sell your sites as soon as you can prove they are profitable. If I would have sold my sites I would have got $20-40k for them (1-2 years proffit). That's potential money. It is not real unfortunately because I haven't sold them. I would have never even dreamed I would get hit with such great whitehat sites.
    • Always diversify your traffic sources. Forums about your niche, youtube, facebook, twitter, StumbleUpon and social sites, anything that you can.
    • Get into a niche where it pays to pay for traffic. If you pay for traffic (e.g. AdWords) and you don't make a profit still, that niche, the affiliate program you use or both the niche and affiliate program are not good enough. Don't hang on to a niche or an affiliate program because you're used to it. I was using AdSense (20%) + Amazon (80%) and both suck. If I would use PPC to buy traffic, I wouldn't make a profit because Amazon commissions are crap. Compare Amazon where you get 4% of what the user pays to porn sites where user pays $20 and you make $100.
    • Realize that no matter how shitty the situation looks, it is an opportunity. You may refuse to see the opportunity but it is there. Take that opportunity and act on the fact you have nothing left. When you have nothing left (or to loose) in an area, you have no ties. You are free! Free to do something better.
    • Don't play by the rules. Playing by the rules => you're the first to die.
     
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  2. Virus1

    Virus1 Supreme Member

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    Paranoid...aren't we??
     
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  3. gushortz

    gushortz Newbie

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    I doubt it. Simple fact is Google makes billions of its mass user base, not a few multi-million dollar clients. No way would it risk its rep, or prosecution just to make a few clients, with billings of under a few million annually, happy. All it would take is one disgruntled employee losing his job and turning whistle blower to severely damage Google's reputation.

    Don't forget, it took them a while to cave into China's demands and that was a multi-billion dollar opportunity. Sure they eventually went for the Cash, but even they regretted that decision afterwards.
     
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  4. jorji

    jorji Newbie

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    Probably it's a good idea to spend dollars on Adsense, as much as you can spare so you will be somehow valuable to pappa G. Kinda "you are scratching my back, so I will scratch yours" thing....
     
  5. klawre1221

    klawre1221 Regular Member

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    Google has a webmaster board that you can post your site and they will tell you specifically what is wrong with it.
     
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  6. kryseo

    kryseo Regular Member

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    Countless others have taken a hit as well, not just you. I have a whitehat site that has taken a hit to -50 positions as well. Like yours, it has totally unique content which have been copied by others.

    And while my whitehat site has taken a hit, my other mini-niche thin affiliate EMD sites have been boosted to #1 positions from nowhere.

    This panda update frag has resulted with even more spammy sites in top rankings. Google will not let it rest and more mini pandas will be coming soon. Take heart that the next panda update is around the corner, your site might just bounce back. The fact that there are so many mini panda updates shows that the original panda update has flaws and is not perfect.
     
  7. SuperLinks

    SuperLinks Elite Member

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    And thats your problem....
     
  8. madoctopus

    madoctopus Supreme Member

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    Those people are retarded noobs. By the advice they gave me, 99.999% of the sites on the internet should be penalized. They said I should remove my affiliate links, my ads and that my sites are thin affiliate sites (they are not).

    I was not hit by Panda. It happened about a month before Panda launch. Also, it is manual since after the reconsideration request I was denied and still penalized.

    I thought the same, but after I removed them and refiled for reconsideration still got denied.

    --
    Yeah I am a bit paranoid, why wouldn't I.
    Google has no disgruntled employees. They get payed too well. Plus, I never said this was an official position of Google as company. Maybe just some adwords reps make life easier for their clients. I don't know.
     
  9. jacky8

    jacky8 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Processing information from gmail for ranking purposes is too much evil. I'd be very angry if it was true.
     
  10. IamNRE

    IamNRE Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Live and learn.... Agreed, try not to leave any tracks for mister Google.... no google tools especially!!!!

    Upward and onward !

    Good share of info!
     
  11. NapsteR

    NapsteR Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    i removed all g00gle tools after this recent algorithm change.. they suck. when i see matt cunt talks sh1t about pure white hat seo i really like to kick his a$$.
     
  12. boobooboy

    boobooboy Regular Member

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    Google is giving higher ranking to authority sites. You can provide a really well written, useful article but Google won't care if they see high authority sites in the same niche. They are no longer just listing sites based on uniqueness of their content. So, the focus for everyone should be to focus on branding and authority.
     
  13. Laser

    Laser Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Hardcore Blackhat or criminal ?

    That action by google is absolutely criminal.
    How bold they are to perpetrate such a scam despite being in the spotlight of the internet world.
    For the next few years they'll deny, deny and deny again until people are distracted by another earthquake or hurricane and the public forget about it.

    I am sickened to see the brainwashed newbies in several forum's who praise google's "greatness" as they crusade to keep adsense clean, pure, and free of the "thieves" who profit by using aggressive marketing techniques.

    I believe if you're shrewd enough to skim a chunk of cash from that internet monster then you should do so while you can.

    Google is on top not by being kind and generous.
    G00gle has cheated thousands upon thousands of people and companies for their own profit through Adwords and Adsense.

    If they lose a million here and there they can write that off as an "occupational hazard".

    This is the internet not Sesame Street.
     
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  14. mikemeth

    mikemeth Power Member

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    I have no such problems for now, I still work good with Google :)
     
  15. Monrox

    Monrox Power Member

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    Almost every official standing is pure BS, from Monsanto's to your local police department's. Anyone who has ever had a job has seen that over and over again for their respective company. SE's ranking decisions fail under freedom of speech. That freedom is granted even for money making activities. So whoever believes in utter goodness will inevitably crash & burn. I mean every search engine has a right to profit as much as it likes. Why give it up?

    I keep my wh sites operational just for the slim possibility that some anti-monopolistic decision will put a stop to the rampant misuse of search domination and also as a reminder that following official guidlines doesn't get me anywhere currently.
     
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  16. Savant

    Savant Registered Member

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    Don't sweat it. You could have just overlooked something ^^ Best of luck mate.
     
  17. FuryKyle

    FuryKyle Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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  18. senior

    senior Regular Member

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    There's a saying about not trusting businesses that put Trustworthy or Quality, whatever. I think is applies to giigles "do no evil" bit too.
     
  19. djbesho

    djbesho Newbie

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    its better to have visitors from different sources, and not just from Google.
     
  20. skmetaly

    skmetaly Newbie

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    Just reading "Feeding the Panda"
    "
    Other sites that were hit hard were older sites that had maintained their rankings and traffic for many years despite becoming very dated and static. This release apparently somewhat reduced the impact of domain age on the algorithm and many very entrenched older sites were shocked as their rankings eroded"

    Maybe this affected you as well ... just a long shot