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Google Filter/Penalty - Need Advice Please!

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by NocList, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. NocList

    NocList Newbie

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    I've been reading these forums for a long while, however just signed up recently so forgive me for asking for help on my first post however I am really frustrated with something that is going on.

    Basically about a month ago my friend and I purchased an exact match domain which has been online since 2005 and began re-designing and revamping the site. About two weeks ago, I noticed the site started to show up on page 2 in Google for the target keyword which is normal for aged exact match domains even for a competitive phrase.

    Everything was going well and then about a week ago we vanished from the SERPS only for that specific keyword. The site is still indexed and ranks for some other long tail keywords which leads me to believe it is some sort of single word filter or penalty which has been triggered. We went from being on page 2 to not even being in the top 1,000 results for this keyword so I don't believe this to be some sort of "normal" fluctuation for the site.

    All that I've done to date is revamp the site, add new content and exchange links with roughly a dozen related sites, making sure to vary anchor text across the exchanges. Nothing shady has been done, however I was using some different ranking tools on SEO sites to check SERP positions, etc so not sure if this had something to do with it.

    Does anyone have any advice as to why this may have happened? I tried asking for help through the webmaster forums on Google, but no one seems to know why something like this may have happened. I guess the only thing I can do is play the waiting game but it's extremely frustrating to have this happen when I don't think we've done anything to deserve it. Anyways I would appreciate any input anyone can give and thank you.
     
  2. iglow

    iglow Elite Member

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  3. NocList

    NocList Newbie

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    Thanks, I read that thread however in my case the site is nowhere to be found for the target phrase, not even within the first 1,000 results. Is this just a more severe penalty as a result of a manual review for the KW?
     
  4. jshift

    jshift Registered Member

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    Google sandbox, I've been flipping aged sites for a bit. Usually if site was in the condition you described they'd get hit by the sandbox still. You'll slowly start climbing back up. Its common for the site to drop off the serps for a few days or a week or two
     
  5. alex1

    alex1 Junior Member

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    Do not worry about it. It will go back in a matter of weeks. I have been in the similar situation when after adding some new content site had disappeared from TOP 300 and few weeks later it was back in TOP 10
     
  6. Micallef

    Micallef Supreme Member

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    The official definition of the sandbox effect:

    It usually happens to new entrants to a keyword between 4 and 12 weeks in. What you say is interesting as the sandbox effect is only meant to hit new domains. If you actually have been sandboxed, there are 3 outcomes:

    1. You will be out in a reasonable timeframe i.e. 2 weeks-2 months

    2. You will be out in a depressingly long timeframe i.e. 3-6 months

    3. It never comes back.


    There is an alternative. If you were in to top 10 for a competitive keyword, then it is entirely possible that you were subject to a manual review. Google regularly performs such reviews, and has a checklist of criteria to assess if a site "adds value" and is worthy of its position. You might have fallen foul of this.

    However, knowing nothing about your site, I can't say anything for sure. It could simply be an oddity/blip. Or it could turn out to be a very short sandboxing. I am afraid that you will just have to wait and see.
     
  7. NocList

    NocList Newbie

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    Thanks very much for the responses everyone, I really appreciate it. I guess it's just a matter of wait and see and I would learn towards it being a manual review since it was ranking well quite quickly and is still being built. I'll update if anything changes and thanks again.