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Google Has A Huge Cloaking Problem
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2011-01-21 20:33:20
A Sorry Tale of a Google Penalty in Action
Dr. Marc Pinter-Krainer
2010-12-13 11:46:50
A New Google Penalty
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2010-11-28 21:49:40
The Archive Link Magnet
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Automating Compliance Via CMS
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Caffeine May Have A Hidden Cost
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2010-07-08 11:35:34
Google Penalties And Nuked Domains
Bob Sakayama
2009-11-28 21:09:30
When Google Doesn't Like Your Business Model
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2009-11-09 12:41:20
Search Compliance For Subdomains
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2009-11-09 11:51:10
Google Penalty Solutions - An Example Unwind
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2009-11-04 21:21:01
Maintaining Search Compliance via CMS
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2009-11-03 22:35:15
Still Reeling From The Affiliate Slap
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2009-11-02 22:47:01
Most Popular Penalties
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2009-11-01 22:06:52
Link Obfuscation Necessary On New Sites
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2009-11-01 21:46:56
Latest
By: Dr. Marc Pinter-Krainer
2010-12-13 11:46:50
(And what we are doing to help us and others do something about it)

Last May, my new online news aggregation business www.onenewspage.com, suffered a steep loss of traffic. In the space of just a few days traffic collapsed, falling from about 18,000 daily visits to around just 700, a fall of over 95%.

Our Google page rank took a similar tumble, going from PR 4 to PR Zero. And a search on Google for 'onenewspage' saw the results move from the first page of its SERPs, to pages five or six.

In short, our site had been penalized by Google. Traffic from Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines remained unaffected; in fact it continued to grow nicely.

But our problem was that we didn't know what had triggered Google's penalty. Thus began many months of sheer frustration as we tried fruitlessly to find out.

To cut a long and sorry story short, we were given an entree into the gloomy, Kafkaesque world of Google, where sites with severe traffic loss make endless tweaks and changes to their content and site architecture in the vague hope that one of these tweaks or changes might release the site from its penalty.

Let me be clear, we saw no reason why our site had suffered a penalty. We had read and understood the Google Webmaster Guidelines and made sure our site complied. But to be absolutely certain we hired an SEO expert to give the site a thorough review. He gave us the all clear, having found no technical causes for a penalty.

Every change we made to the site to help reverse our situation we'd document in detail, and then file with Google via its reconsideration request mechanism, pointing out why we thought our changes might release us from penalty prison.

Each email received a standard short reply with words to the effect that Google had noted our request and the site had been reviewed. If only we could have spoken to a Google representative and had the true low down from the horse's mouth. But shadowy Google doesn't give out numbers or enter into a dialogue like this with its users, more's the pity.

After each request to Google we waited in hope - but precisely nothing changed. Our Google traffic remained in the doldrums, our PR rank stuck at zero, and our own name search still marooned to pages 5 or 6 of the SERPs.

After five reconsideration requests and a lot of heartache, we finally asked our SEO expert to put the request to Google on our behalf.

You can probably guess the outcome. A long and detailed (and expensive!) email was drafted on our behalf and received exactly the same automated reply from Google.

Ultimately, after seven long months we decided to go public with our problem and did an interview with the enterprise editor of the Daily Telegraph, one of the UK's most respected national newspapers.

Whether coincidence or not, a month and a bit down the road we could see our Google traffic returning.

Because Google refuses to define or even acknowledge its penalties, we felt that there should be much better transparency from Google when the changes it instigates lead to dramatic collapse in a site's traffic.

Taking a deep breath and plunging bravely in, a month ago we decided to launch an international campaign. We are appealing to others in the same boat to swap stories. If enough fellow sufferers were to come forward, we could collectively exert pressure on Google to be much more open about its penalty system. Our campaign has a new website - www.haveibeenpenalized.com - which is collecting case studies of web based businesses that have suffered penalties but have been unable to enter a dialogue with Google to find out the nature of the penalty.

We are calling for Google (and in fact all search engines) to introduce three simple measures:

* First, to bring in a simple mechanism that tells the site owner that they have suffered a search penalty

* Second, to establish a communication mechanism which allows site owners to find out more about the nature of the penalty

* Third, to instigate a fast and efficient appeals process if site owners wish to challenge the penalty

We are already getting some momentum and we are starting to build case studies. But we need many more to help convince Google to change the way it operates its penalty system.

If your site has suffered a similar fate as www.onenewspage.com, please visit www.haveibeenpenalized.com and share your experience. Remember, the longest of marches starts with the first step.

Blog_id: 25 | Posted: 2010-12-13 11:46:50 | Views (5,544) | Comments (0)  
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