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Huge ranking drop - advice please

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Spitman, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    Okay so I have clearly been hit with a Google penalty.

    From Sunday I started recieving lots more visitors to my site on a daily basis, then today it has died completely.

    I have checked using site:mydomain.com and my site is still indexed. However when searching for it using mydomain (i.e without the domain extension) it doesn't apear until page 5, and even then it is the privacy policy page which is ranking and not the homepage.

    I have also tried search using a 10-12 word phrase within " ", again it doesn't appear, although if I click to see omitted results then it is there.

    Clearly a penalty, so why? Well I think it because I have been buying links at an increased rate recently and this must have tripped off google (although initially giving a traffic boost). So it kinda looks like a Sandboxing of sorts, which leaves me with the dilema, should I:


    1. Carry on buying links at same rate to apear more natural, and hope it only temporary.
    2. Stop buying new links, but leave the existing paid links in place and again hope only temp effect
    3. Delete all previously bought paid links and request reinclusion
    Any thoughts/advice would be a great help.
     
  2. ashok

    ashok Regular Member

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    same here....... there is a sudden drop in ranking from 8 to 36,,,,,,, so i waited 1 way, my rank increased from 36 to 32, then to 26, now my site is at 15,,,,,,,,,,

    not only my site, even the site in no.1 position got 8 th position, i think it is problem with google, so wait and see........
     
  3. jonny110

    jonny110 Regular Member Premium Member

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    yes same here too. i have seen traffic drop off severly this week. haven't done anything to the site, assume it's to do with google. hard to say when they hold the ball.
     
  4. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    Hmm interesting, seems other are suffering too.

    Apart from buying links this particular site isn't BH at all, yes is in a dodgy niche but nothing other than links are against Google guides.

    Guess I'll wait it out for a week or 2, then if no movement I'll dump the paid links and request re-inclusion.
     
  5. Comenius

    Comenius Junior Member

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    I've seen the same on many of my sites. It's the Google Dance. Just have to wait it out, and keep building backlinks.
     
  6. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    You recon it's just the Dance even though I don't rank for my domain name without the extension?

    I would have thought if it was just the Dance I would only see normal ranking drops and not such specific indicators of a penalty?
     
  7. revit

    revit BANNED BANNED

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    I don't think its the dance you guys. There are a number of sites that this is happening to, I think Googles trying to change up their algorithms without updating anyone they are doing so.

    My guess is that they are concerned about Bing.com, so they are trying new way to keep people on Google....but instead it seems as though it's just hurting webmasters.
     
  8. Micallef

    Micallef Supreme Member

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    Yeah, but if google was changing its algo and sites are dropping in rank, other sites must benefit equally well. When 1 site goes down, the site below moves up. I don't think this can be explained by algorithm change.

    Most likely, your increased backlinks gave you more traffic, but then you crossed a traffic threshold and google took a closer look at your site. In short, it sounds like a sandboxing.

    My new site has just taken off like yours did, getting lots of nice sales & commission from google organic traffic. I'm hoping it won't get sandboxed but I'm pretty much expecting it to happen.

    As for your backlinks, I would say keep building them. If they're questionable in origin, the damage is already done. Just keep going at a steady rate - might even want to increase the rate of linkbuilding, which is more in keeping with a natural site as it gets more popular.

    Good luck
     
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  9. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    I agree sounds very like a sandboxing - all the classic signs. Ranks for some long tail phrases still in high / 1st place positions but doesn't even rank for own name.

    Problem / concern I have is that the site is not new, it has been indexed for over 2 years. As far as I knew Sandboxing was only for new sites that Google had no knowledge of.

    Has anyone ever heard of a older site being re-sandboxed for a sudden flurry of (questionable) link building activity? Or would this suggest it could only be a manual penalty from Google?

    If it is sandboxed I would be happier as at least I can just plough through and hope it comes out the other side, but if it is a manual penalty I think I will need to take some proactive measures in order for Google to remove the penalty.
     
  10. Micallef

    Micallef Supreme Member

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    Check you visitor log for the last few weeks if you have one.

    Google have been known to manually apply penalties. I had a site go down which was 3 years old, but it wasn't because of link building, but duplicate content (yes there is a duplicate content penalty).

    From what you've been saying - i.e. not ranking for the site's own name - it looks like a penalty. But you never know.
     
  11. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    Good advice - happen to know of a batch whois / traceroute tool so I don't have to check every single visitor IP seperately?

    Cheers
     
  12. xsubodh

    xsubodh Junior Member

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    Mine also dropped from 2nd position all way way down to 3rd page.
    Ps: Does not contain any sort of duplicate content.. but is it shopping cart so nothing much to keep updating for search engine to like it. However my blog started showing in google. I wonder if it is sandboxed; the site is about a year old now.
     
  13. mazgalici

    mazgalici Supreme Member

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    I have the same issue.

    Question: do you see any link pointing to your site, using Google's site:. CHeck your page rank I believe that has also dropped.
     
  14. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    Hmm well I didn't need to search for too long, found this in my logs. Anyone know if it is a bot IP used by Google or not?

    Think that makes me think not is because it showed up in a tracking program (not Google Analytics) that uses Javascript tagging to track, so would suspect it wouldn't see a bot??

    Visitor IP: 66.249.85.130

    Whois Record for 66.249.85.130

    OrgName: Google Inc.
    OrgID: GOGL
    Address: 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
    City: Mountain View
    StateProv: CA
    PostalCode: 94043
    Country: US

    NetRange: 66.249.64.0 - 66.249.95.255
    CIDR: 66.249.64.0/19
    NetName: GOOGLE
    NetHandle: NET-66-249-64-0-1
    Parent: NET-66-0-0-0-0
    NetType: Direct Allocation
    NameServer: NS1.GOOGLE.COM
    NameServer: NS2.GOOGLE.COM
    NameServer: NS3.GOOGLE.COM
    NameServer: NS4.GOOGLE.COM
    Comment:
    RegDate: 2004-03-05
    Updated: 2007-04-10

    OrgTechHandle: ZG39-ARIN
    OrgTechName: Google Inc.
    OrgTechPhone: +1-650-318-0200


     
  15. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    Okay, well done some more investigation (traceroute, ip database searches etc) and this IP doesn't appear to be recognized as a GoogleBot of any description.

    Therefore guessing it is a manual reviewer, and most likely a manual penalty.
     
  16. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    site:mydomain.com search shows 135 results, same as before issue arose.

    link:mydomain.com search shows two results, both being internal pages of my site. No idea what this would have said before the issue arose as never bothered doing this as link: on Google usually useless.

    Have checked PR against multiple Datacenters and there has been no drop in PR.
     
  17. Micallef

    Micallef Supreme Member

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    Google are right on time! My new site's just been sandboxed. Sub-pages gone from page 1 to page 9. However, I am still number one for the site name so I do not suspect a full penalty.

    I will keep on with the link building - I suspect google's algorithm is automatically testing the water to see if the links continue to come in at the same rate. Hope to be back at the top spot in another couple of months.

    If you want to check your incoming links, use backlinkwatch.com. However, if you are still indexed, but a penalty has been applied, google will still see your links.

    It can take a while for a PR penalty to show up. With a penalty, in my experience, there is no way back. Start a new site.
     
  18. Spitman

    Spitman Registered Member

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    In once sence I agree, but in another I disagree...lets let this be an interesting test case none the less!

    Where I agree is if a manual ban has been applied to a autoblog, total BH site etc then probably there is no hope. But for a site that has all unique content, decent enough IBL profile before problem arose, and simply tripped some alerts I think there is hope.

    Thing is I have had carbon copy of this situation on this same site in Feb 08, did some heavy (this time non paid) link building, traffic spiked for 3/4 days to 3 to 4 times previous level - then BAM gone.

    Within 3 months, and having taken no action the traffic was back and starting to build. Within 6/9 months it was better than ever before.

    In this case here is my decision on action:


    • Will stop adding Paid links but will not remove old ones
    • Will carry on adding new non-paid links to site
    • Will carry on adding some (not much) new content
    • Will report back on if/when rankings start to recover.
    I think this could be a good example of ignoring the given wisdom on removing all paid links and begging Google for forgiveness. Lets see if I am lucky (even though there is no LUCK - Labour Under Correct Knowledge!) or not.

    Of course in mean time I will also diversify with new sites, new Niches and perhaps even new methods for earning (currently all affiliate, non CPA, etc)

    Also inspired me to build a nice little tool to check for bans etc (based on feedback, checks etc recommended here and elsewhere) Will post for all to use once built.

    Cheers
     
  19. mr4army

    mr4army Regular Member

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    im suffering also
     
  20. cunningstunts

    cunningstunts Registered Member

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    I tried backlinkwatch.com and as useful as it is it's only showing my anchor text link for 5 of my sites out of just over 350 - mostly from ezine.

    Is this because G hasn't been over these articles yet?

    Thanks.