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  • Fixing Over-Optimization Penalty


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    #21 technog33k

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:30 AM

    I have to agree to it is not an anchor text penalty. I had inner pages on one of my sites drop 20-30 spots and guess what, they had absolutely no back links built to them at all.


    Are you basing your hypothesis on evidence from one site on inner pages that have 0 links built to them?

    #22 SmallBizOwner

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 11:40 AM

    I have a test case candidate.
    Its an EMD that I used bmr aln and very concentrated keywords to rank it number one. I'm now down to about 9 and the sites which rank higher either have have good diversity and mainly article back links or almost no back links.

    I'm considering creating article posts with diverse backlinks and a test to see if that changes ranking.
    Any other suggestions?

    #23 technog33k

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 02:17 PM

    I have a test case candidate.
    Its an EMD that I used bmr aln and very concentrated keywords to rank it number one. I'm now down to about 9 and the sites which rank higher either have have good diversity and mainly article back links or almost no back links.

    I'm considering creating article posts with diverse backlinks and a test to see if that changes ranking.
    Any other suggestions?


    Whether you are trying to fix rankings or just looking to do link building properly there is no harm in doing what you say. The key is making sure you have as diverse range of quality links as possible with as many anchor texts as possible. Try doing some linking in your brand name. If you can, look for a long term plan of getting those links to around 40%+ in their different variations eg. xyz.com , www.xyz.com or xyz (assuming xyz is the name of your website with no spaces in between the keywords etc). If you are observing high ranking sites doing this then there would be no harm in trying to repeat this process.

    Edited by technog33k, 27 April 2012 - 02:19 PM.


    #24 velociphiles

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 03:25 PM

    Like many have already posted most of my sites suffered and they were original content, best in class sites. BUT I did have some spammy links in my backlink portfolio. Having checked through I am now surprised at how many spammy links!

    How have the links been devalued?

    Is the ranking drop we are seeing just due to the loss/devaluation of links possibly combined with a negative link velocity factor - losing lots of links quickly.

    The above seems most likely to me and means this is just an algorithmic "penalty". In which case it should be possible to rebuild the rankings again but using decent links. This will take time and because of the way the algorithm seems to work it feels like the starting point is a lower ranking that my site should have based on its good quality links alone.

    An alternative might be to copy the site to another domain and 301 all of the pages. As I control some of my better quality links I could send them to the new domain, but the algorithmic penalty should not read across - question is would this be a better/faster way to get my rankings back? At least I would have a clean and high quality site at the end of the process - which I guess is what Google is after?

    Anyone with any experience here - will a 301 work as described? does the current drop require more than just replacing the lost links to fix? and in what timescale?

    #25 seoguru

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:13 PM

    Haha nobody is going to just show you their site that didn't get penalized but should by your definition. I can assure you there are websites ranking for competitive terms that used blog networks (ALN specifically) despite losing those links after ALN was de-indexed. If you had a blog that was on ALN, go look at your wordpress posts and go through some of the links.


    show me a site... doesnt have to be yours


    I agree. I am still seeing sites that have used blog networks ranking in the top 10. Many of our clients sites are still ranking extremely well and some have them have increased quite substantially. Many of our competitions sites of which we know very well use blog networks are still ranking well. The main thing with the sites of ours and the ones we have researched is diversity in both link types and anchor text usage. This is a common factor across nearly all of the sites we have seen and researched. Take a look at the distribution of branded and non major keyword anchor texts in the top 5 ranking sites in any niche and see what you can see. I am sure the majority of people with a non biased view point on this are going to see the same thing. We are still seeing a lot of seemingly non relevant links coming into these sites as well. The major factor is distribution of anchor text diversity including a large percentage of branded links.


    show me a site... doesnt have to be yours


    I have to agree to it is not an anchor text penalty. I had inner pages on one of my sites drop 20-30 spots and guess what, they had absolutely no back links built to them at all.


    show me a site... doesnt have to be yours

    #26 StarkReality

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:20 PM

    This is not a penalty, it will not expire, it's simply an algorithm change. So you can't simply wait and go the reinclusion way, you have to correct the underlying problem and rankings will come back automatically as long as you aren't affected by Panda as well.

    VIABUY Discreet and secure prepaid Mastercard in gold and black | UK based | Many funding options | Easy worldwide money transfers | Online banking | Up to 3 supplementary cards | High embossing for maximum acceptance | Any name | Low fees


    #27 workinforalivin

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:31 PM

    hey guys...new member here and this is my first post. I had some sites hit and others alive still. Based on my observations it is neither an anchor text issue or a blog network issue. By deindexing the blog networks and devaluing links from them, Google already addressed that issue. I have two sites that were hit. Both of them had very high variations in anchor text. And neither had a single blog network post. I had a site survive, and actually improve that had spammy looking anchor text and also blog network links (although few).

    The difference I noticed is that the two sites hit had a bunch of forum profile links and spun article submissions that were only indexed using rapid indexing services. I didn't really link on a 2nd or 3rd tier. This was intentional months ago because I was testing various link tactics. The site that survived used some of these tactics on a second layer. Spun content for web2.0's and such was only used on the second layer.

    Obviously I can't say that this is definitive. It's just based on my observation of a small subset of sites.

    #28 workinforalivin

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 05:32 PM

    This is not a penalty, it will not expire, it's simply an algorithm change. So you can't simply wait and go the reinclusion way, you have to correct the underlying problem and rankings will come back automatically as long as you aren't affected by Panda as well.


    This is correct. google said this. The good news is that since it's algorithmical there may not be a certain time period to wait. If you fix what you think might be the problem, you could see improvements pretty quickly without having to say anything to Google.

    #29 GodMode

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:20 PM

    Keep building quality links and put on some insane anchor text diversity , this could get ur a55 back! :D
    Offering guaranteed ranking service , because I'm cool. [Penalized sites: X - Low quality sites: X] Check out my last rankings '-')v

    #30 seoguru

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:48 PM

    hey guys...new member here and this is my first post. I had some sites hit and others alive still. Based on my observations it is neither an anchor text issue or a blog network issue. By deindexing the blog networks and devaluing links from them, Google already addressed that issue. I have two sites that were hit. Both of them had very high variations in anchor text. And neither had a single blog network post. I had a site survive, and actually improve that had spammy looking anchor text and also blog network links (although few).

    The difference I noticed is that the two sites hit had a bunch of forum profile links and spun article submissions that were only indexed using rapid indexing services. I didn't really link on a 2nd or 3rd tier. This was intentional months ago because I was testing various link tactics. The site that survived used some of these tactics on a second layer. Spun content for web2.0's and such was only used on the second layer.

    Obviously I can't say that this is definitive. It's just based on my observation of a small subset of sites.


    PM me the domains... lets verify this

    #31 Emcee

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    Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:56 PM

    Are you basing your hypothesis on evidence from one site on inner pages that have 0 links built to them?


    Thanks for the question and for forcing me to think about that a little more. Just because I had a few pages with no back links lose rankings does not mean that anchor text is irrelevant in what has taken place lately. There is no way this latest update is that easy to figure out and I have to imagine there are sites out there that have been hit because of over optimized anchor texts.

    The more I think about it, the more complex I feel it is. There could be so many factors with this damn penguin update, on-page and off-page. Guess only time will tell. Just gonna sit back and monitor my rankings for another few days before making any crazy changes.

    #32 technog33k

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    Posted 28 April 2012 - 03:59 AM

    show me a site... doesnt have to be yours




    show me a site... doesnt have to be yours




    show me a site... doesnt have to be yours


    I don't mean to be rude here SEOGURU but exactly who are you that any single member in this forum needs to prove anything to you? While I am sure your opinion has some merit, I think there are a lot of other qualified people within this forum that also have the right to an opinion. Now while blog networks may be part of the factor, I personally do not believe the actual use of the blog network or the link sitting on a blog network page is the issue. The fact that blog networks have made it extremely easy to push links out extremely quickly, of which 99% of them are probably direct targeted keyword anchor text links instead of branded or "natural links" is the major issue. It is a very easy way to abuse anchor text distribution, and considering Google have admitted this is an OVER OPTIMISATION ALGORITHM UPDATE I would advise most people who have been hit by this to start there. Again it's my opinion and from what I am reading this is also the opinion of quite a few others in the forum and other major IM forums and also many of my colleagues within my own company and others within the local SEO community. It is also based on the backing of my SEO firm of which my team of staff have spent the last few days doing nothing but analysing the top placed positions in a number of niches and have clearly noticed a pattern of even anchor text distribution with a large amount of branded links. So while your OPINION has merit so does the opinions of other users within the forum. There is far more to this than people just simply using blog networks. Misuse of the blog networks is a far more likely cause IN MY OPINION.

    If you have lost rankings begin by assessing the sites that have replaced you. Have the sites replaced you simply because they are now better suited to Google's algorithms? The likely answer is yes. Now does this mean there is an issue with your site? There are a lot of different reasons your site may have dropped. Are you utilising link schemes? Are you targeting your site with only a few anchor texts? Do you simply have no links at all and the sites that are higher than you do have some? Is your on page optimisation now considered to be over optimised? There are too many factors that can cause this sort of thing to happen and the only way to actually look at this is to forget the fact that you believe your sites SHOULD be ranking higher and start thinking why it's not. While the algorithm is obviously not perfect, accepting the fact that there is a reason for it is going to get you closer to solving the problem. This is MY OPINION and I am entitled to it.

    Edited by technog33k, 28 April 2012 - 04:09 AM.


    #33 ckc1227

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    Posted 28 April 2012 - 04:22 AM

    There is far more to this than people just simply using blog networks.


    Especially if you consider for a moment that the vast majority of webmasters have no clue what a blog network is. I mean, does anyone seriously believe viagra.com was buying HPBLs and posting to blog networks like BMR?

    Edited by ckc1227, 28 April 2012 - 04:28 AM.


    #34 technog33k

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    Posted 28 April 2012 - 04:32 AM

    Especially if you consider for a moment that the vast majority of webmasters have no clue what a blog network is. I mean, does anyone seriously believe viagra.com was buying HPBLs and posting to blog networks like BMR?


    I am with you here. We have looked at the anchor text distribution of viagra.com and they are very much heavily weighted towards high volume keyword anchors. Now whether this is a result of blog networks or not, the fact that for whatever reason they have a major percentage of anchor text links and a very low % of branded and natural links yet again points to what several very experienced members of this forum have noticed themselves as well.

    Edited by technog33k, 28 April 2012 - 04:35 AM.


    #35 Brian Greenberg

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    Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:04 AM

    Thank you technog33k :) I'm very glad that a consensus is building that one of the major issues with Penguin is that quality sites have been penalized due to poor anchor text distribution. While many people are looking for answers on how to get out of this situation... below are a few options.
    Keep building links (not on link networks!), and make sure to use anchor text that is:
    • Your Company Name (Brand)
    • Your url http://www.yourdomain.com or www.yourdomain.com
    • Couple your keywords with your Company Name
    • Use partial match anchor text, rather than exact match
    • Use exact match keyword anchor text sparingly
    Hang in there and see how this plays out
    Google is getting serious backlash for mucking up the search results and for penalizing legitimate sites. It is very likely we will see further updates to Penguin until Google gets it right. Panda has had 14 updates I believe.

    The last option is to complain to Google
    If you were hit by Penguin and you think it is unjust... you can file an Innocent from Penguin request
    I don't think this will do much good, but it may be worth a try.

    #36 Scipio

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    Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:13 AM

    Do you guys often see Anchortext consisting out of keyword and company name? I think that´s BS, i never read that kind of linking on a site with big reputation.

    #37 Brian Greenberg

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    Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:19 AM

    I see it all the time Scipio. Ex. "Traffic Planet SEO Forum" "Traffic Planet SEO Marketplace", "Traffic Planet SEO Tools", "Traffic Planet SEO Software Tools"

    #38 seoguru

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    Posted 28 April 2012 - 06:03 AM

    I don't mean to be rude here SEOGURU but exactly who are you that any single member in this forum needs to prove anything to you? While I am sure your opinion has some merit, I think there are a lot of other qualified people within this forum that also have the right to an opinion. Now while blog networks may be part of the factor, I personally do not believe the actual use of the blog network or the link sitting on a blog network page is the issue. The fact that blog networks have made it extremely easy to push links out extremely quickly, of which 99% of them are probably direct targeted keyword anchor text links instead of branded or "natural links" is the major issue. It is a very easy way to abuse anchor text distribution, and considering Google have admitted this is an OVER OPTIMISATION ALGORITHM UPDATE I would advise most people who have been hit by this to start there. Again it's my opinion and from what I am reading this is also the opinion of quite a few others in the forum and other major IM forums and also many of my colleagues within my own company and others within the local SEO community. It is also based on the backing of my SEO firm of which my team of staff have spent the last few days doing nothing but analysing the top placed positions in a number of niches and have clearly noticed a pattern of even anchor text distribution with a large amount of branded links. So while your OPINION has merit so does the opinions of other users within the forum. There is far more to this than people just simply using blog networks. Misuse of the blog networks is a far more likely cause IN MY OPINION.

    If you have lost rankings begin by assessing the sites that have replaced you. Have the sites replaced you simply because they are now better suited to Google's algorithms? The likely answer is yes. Now does this mean there is an issue with your site? There are a lot of different reasons your site may have dropped. Are you utilising link schemes? Are you targeting your site with only a few anchor texts? Do you simply have no links at all and the sites that are higher than you do have some? Is your on page optimisation now considered to be over optimised? There are too many factors that can cause this sort of thing to happen and the only way to actually look at this is to forget the fact that you believe your sites SHOULD be ranking higher and start thinking why it's not. While the algorithm is obviously not perfect, accepting the fact that there is a reason for it is going to get you closer to solving the problem. This is MY OPINION and I am entitled to it.


    thank you for challenging my opinion... to be honest, all i want is people to back up their claims and as i see it, this forum contains some of the most brilliant and talented backlink professionals on the planet. Why else would google create and design an entire algo to fight against us. So far, most people are saying things without backing up the facts. A guess or theory... all im saying is prove it before we all start going out of our way to diversify our anchor text for no reason other than speculation. I am a very logical person... and if you can prove it, i will back you up on anchor text diversity. I can show you dozens if not hundreds of sites that have dropped in rankings and have been wiped out of the search engines and each and every one of them contain links on deindexed websites that were apart of blog networks or hpbl networks. I personally have not seen a single site, after researching a large amount of domains, that have dissapeared in ranking that were not apart of a deindexed network. Therefore, I am simply asking someone to prove it so I can add that to my analysis and theory as well... but so far, nobody has taken up the challenge. Yes google has said its an over optimization penalty, but then again, google never gives you a straight answer and i take what google says with a grain of salt. Meaning they may be leading you down a dirt road, just to keep you busy and keep you away from the real facts. Dont take google so literal!

    You dont need to prove it to me, but please prove it to the community so that we dont start doing something that doesnt help the cause... otherwise we can make any outlandish claims

    if we are going to start doing that then...

    - domains that dont have a backlink from wikipedia have lost their ranks
    - domains not listed in dmoz or yahoo have lost their rankings
    - domains who dont have img backlinks have lost their rankings
    - domains with the keyword in the url have lost their rankings
    - domains without facebook pages have lost their rankings
    - domains without google plus ones have lost their rankings

    we can say anything we want, but can you prove any of the following types of domains are ranking without any of those factors. If you can then those are not the issues, Maybe its a combination of these, but again, lets start proving claims rather than optimize without facts

    I am also an SEO company, with over 100 clients and projects, many lost rankings and many have not... I am also researching into why and analyzing those who are currently ranking to eliminate as many factors as possible. We dont have to collaborate, but im sure if we all work together, we can work alot faster.

    #39 technog33k

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    Posted 28 April 2012 - 06:11 AM

    Do you guys often see Anchortext consisting out of keyword and company name? I think that´s BS, i never read that kind of linking on a site with big reputation.


    Yes we see it all the time in just about every major niche market we have ever researched.

    #40 seoguru

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    Posted 28 April 2012 - 06:32 AM

    here... i will try to back up my claim

    search for healthy eating guide

    this site ranks top 10

    http://healthy-eating-guide.com/

    overly optimized
    url = EMD
    title = healthy eating guide
    anchor text = 100% healthy eating guide
    h1 = doesnt use h1 tags
    deindexed backlinks = none
    layout of website = clean
    content of site = all duplicate content found on dozens of other sites
    # of keyword website ranks = 1
    total estimated google traffic = low to non existent

    so maybe using h1 tags is over optimization or overoptimization penalty doesnt apply to low search volume keywords or this one just slipped through the google algo cracks

    anyone else have input

    let me see if i can find another




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