Site SLAMMED by Google after allowing guest article

by damian5000 66 replies
Went from 500 uniques a day to less than 100 overnight... All of my new posts getting about 20 views every couple weeks as opposed to 100 views a DAY.

I accepted an article from an enthusiastic reader. It contained no links at all. But I did credit him the article. Immediately... Overnight the site got hit hard by Google.

It's a niche tech blog, and I was actually really enjoying writing for it, but now I've lost all my steam when I know that it'll only get 10 reads a week... I often spend a huge amount of time on my articles...

Any suggestions to get it back up to where it was? Should I start all over again with a new site?
#search engine optimization #allowing #article #google #guest #site #slammed
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Depublish the article that (you think) got you dinged. Study your competition and provide what they are not providing.
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    You seem to be attributing causation to that, Damian?

    Are you seriously suggesting that publishing a guest article has somehow incurred some kind of "Google ranking penalty"?

    Originally Posted by damian5000 View Post

    Any suggestions to get it back up to where it was?
    I think you should start by trying to discover the cause, if possible. It seems you haven't done that - you've just come up with an extremely far-fetched theory with no apparent underlying logic at all. You can ask Google, for a start. You can also check your backlinks and think about the possibility that this is something like a Penguin penalty and entirely unconnected with your recent guest post.

    I think the thread belongs here, really? Adsense / PPC / SEO Discussion Forum
  • Profile picture of the author damian5000
    There is no doubt this is what dinged me. I had been up several months and worked up to a stead 500 uniques a day and new posts getting 60-100 reads a day. Literally within hours of the post, the site was dinged down to less than 100 uniques a day and new posts almost unread... about 10 reads a week instead of 60-100 a day the first few days a new post was up...

    Depressing..Any idea how long it takes Panda to reevealuate? or is it completely random and impossible to tell...

    I depublished those articles about 2 weeks ago, but no change in stats...
    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      Originally Posted by damian5000 View Post

      There is no doubt this is what dinged me.
      It's pretty difficult to reply both seriously and politely to this comment. I must have learned logical thought from different places from you. I wish you good luck in future, anyway.

      Originally Posted by damian5000 View Post

      Any idea how long it takes Panda to reevealuate?
      Panda?! Dear me, you really do have absolutely no idea what you're talking about at all, don't you? Look: I'm sorry this has happened to your site, but it's very difficult indeed for anyone to discuss it sensibly with you when you're so full of opinions and beliefs to start with, about which you have no room even for "doubt". Nobody can teach you anything, or even help you much at all, while you so firmly believe things that are so clearly mistaken.

      Truly, your cup of tea runneth over: 101 Zen Stories - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      If it helps you in any way, I offer you the observation that correlation is not causation. Sorry if it's no good: it's the best I have for you.
  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    How many articles was it? In the OP it says one article but then in the last post you say "those" articles.

    I'm only wondering because it seems highly unlikely that your entire site would get a penalty from publishing one article that doesn't even have a link in it.

    How is that (or those) article(s) different from your normal content?

    Does it say anything in your google webmaster tools? Like maybe the person whose article you published send a bunch of spammy links to it and thats the real reason you got dinged?

    P.S. I'll refrain from lecturing on how it is never a good idea to depend on SEO traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author damian5000
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      How many articles was it? In the OP it says one article but then in the last post you say "those" articles.

      I'm only wondering because it seems highly unlikely that your entire site would get a penalty from publishing one article that doesn't even have a link in it.

      How is that (or those) article(s) different from your normal content?

      Does it say anything in your google webmaster tools? Like maybe the person whose article you published send a bunch of spammy links to it and thats the real reason you got dinged?
      As I said, there are no links at all in the article.

      The article is in line with the previous content of the site (previews and reviews of niche tech)...

      He gave me two articles within a couple days. I checked stats after the 2nd article was published. Hence "articles"...

      Here are some screenshots... Where you see 86 reads on example 3... His article was posted the same day... The older articles are staying unread as well... In other words, those numbers are pretty much the same as they were 2 weeks ago ...




  • Profile picture of the author zerofill
    What makes you certain that the article was the cause? That could be something that just happened in the same time frame, but totally unrelated.

    When you gave the author credit, did you link out to their site? If so, did you investigate that site?

    I've had sites slammed for just having non-cloaked clickbank links on them.

    Removed the links, and the sites jumped back within 2 weeks. I've actually proved to myself 10+ times now that those links get you penalized.

    If you're linking out to their site, have a look at the site. Maybe they have some clickbank links or similar affiliate stuff that isn't using a redirect link etc...

    One of the things Google seems to utilize outbound links for, is a better determination of what your content was about. Your content that was actually linking to the external content. If that makes sense...

    So if the external content or site itself is considered trash... you could definitely take a hit on your end.

    But then again, like I said... You could have been headed for a hit, and that was just coincidence that it was in the same time frame the guest post was published.
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    • Profile picture of the author damian5000
      Originally Posted by zerofill View Post

      What makes you certain that the article was the cause? That could be something that just happened in the same time frame, but totally unrelated.

      When you gave the author credit, did you link out to their site? If so, did you investigate that site?

      I've had sites slammed for just having non-cloaked clickbank links on them.

      Removed the links, and the sites jumped back within 2 weeks. I've actually proved to myself 10+ times now that those links get you penalized.

      If you're linking out to their site, have a look at the site. Maybe they have some clickbank links or similar affiliate stuff that isn't using a redirect link etc...

      One of the things Google seems to utilize outbound links for, is a better determination of what your content was about. Your content that was actually linking to the external content. If that makes sense...

      So if the external content or site itself is considered trash... you could definitely take a hit on your end.

      But then again, like I said... You could have been headed for a hit, and that was just coincidence that it was in the same time frame the guest post was published.
      Seems no one wants to believe this is the reason... Yet I was at a steady 500 uniques a day for 4 months... And literally within hours is when the ding happened...

      The guy doesn't even have a site... There were zero links in the article...

      It was attributed to him though "Written By: *username*" at the top of the article...

      I'm not leaving it out of the realm of possibility it was something else, but going from 100 hits on a new post a day to 10-20 a week within hours of his post... I can't imagine it was anything else... My content was steady and nothing changed about the site... No spammy stuff on the site...
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    You sure that was the cause?

    How did you come to that conclusion?

    Seems a bit "reactive" to me.
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  • Profile picture of the author awledd
    I agree with others that one article can not create any strange thing. At least you can check if the article is duplicate. If not the probability is almost zero. I faced similar thing once that I tweaked my page a little and the next day traffic went down. I thought that was the cause but it was not because I use it like that now but traffic is not bad. Anyways as Cashcow said it SE traffic is not reliable.
    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by awledd View Post

      SE traffic is not reliable.
      That's not what you're signature suggests.
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    • Profile picture of the author rosetrees
      Originally Posted by awledd View Post

      Anyways as Cashcow said it SE traffic is not reliable.
      Really?

      Let's face it, Search Engines traffic is better than any other traffic source because it converts
      From your own website

      As to the OP - I suspect that your guest post had nothing to do with your drop in Google rank. Most likely a coincidental update or, possibly, a hosting outage when your site was crawled.
  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    hmm.. I was wondering if you were going to say it was a crapload of articles I might agree it could be the cause, but only two articles?

    I'm with everyone else in the thread - I don't think the articles are the cause.

    Any clues in Google webmaster tools?
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    • Profile picture of the author damian5000
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      hmm.. I was wondering if you were going to say it was a crapload of articles I might agree it could be the cause, but only two articles?

      I'm with everyone else in the thread - I don't think the articles are the cause.

      Any clues in Google webmaster tools?
      Yea... I checked it out on Webmaster.. And didn't see any warnings or notices... I went through every option on Webmaster tools and didn't see any clue that would lead me to what the issue might be...

      Depressing.. .I was enjoying it as well... Not making much money on Adsense... About $5 a week... but I was enjoying writing the content... No fun if no one reads it though ...
  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Let's just say this is a penalty of sorts....(I doubt it, but I'll ask anyway) did you at least CHECK the articles to see if they were original, before you published them?

    Oh, and was this person set up with correct Authorship? (If you say yes to that, I want to know how you set it up)
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    • Profile picture of the author damian5000
      Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

      Let's just say this is a penalty of sorts....(I doubt it, but I'll ask anyway) did you at least CHECK the articles to see if they were original, before you published them?
      Yes, and I actually went through and edited the article before publishing for tone and grammar (his first language isn't English, but I made it 100% legit... He was ecstatic that he could write for the site... And he has no reason to waste his time with giving un-original articles... There's no links or anything in them at all..
    • Profile picture of the author damian5000
      Originally Posted by John Romaine View Post

      Let's just say this is a penalty of sorts....(I doubt it, but I'll ask anyway) did you at least CHECK the articles to see if they were original, before you published them?

      Oh, and was this person set up with correct Authorship? (If you say yes to that, I want to know how you set it up)
      He's not set up with Google Authorship at all, but I am..I was considering this as the issue... That he didn't have google authorship...

      Though my site didn't receive much of a difference in hits going from when I didn't have authorship myself to getting authorship status.
  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    Originally Posted by damian5000 View Post


    Any suggestions to get it back up to where it was? Should I start all over again with a new site?
    This is probably going to sound snarky and I don't mean it that way but why not keep the site but try to build back your traffic from other methods?

    Starting over on a new site that depends on search engine traffic is just going to expose you to the same whims of google that apparently got your site in trouble.

    You seem to enjoy the site and adding content, so seems like you should keep it but focus on getting your traffic from other places (maybe guest blogging, article syndication, social media).

    Google is just a software program, it makes mistakes so even if you think you are doing everything all white hat and above board your site can get dinged.
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    • Profile picture of the author damian5000
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      This is probably going to sound snarky and I don't mean it that way but why not keep the site but try to build back your traffic from other methods?

      Starting over on a new site that depends on search engine traffic is just going to expose you to the same whims of google that apparently got your site in trouble.

      You seem to enjoy the site and adding content, so seems like you should keep it but focus on getting your traffic from other places (maybe guest blogging, article syndication, social media).

      Google is just a software program, it makes mistakes so even if you think you are doing everything all white hat and above board your site can get dinged.
      It doesn't sound snarky... I appreciate the positive advice.
  • Profile picture of the author BIG Mike
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      If so, it was just coincidence that you published the article before the update.
      Noooooooooo ... not the "c-word" again: he doesn't like that one.
    • Profile picture of the author damian5000
      Originally Posted by BIG Mike View Post

      First of all, Google doesn't rank sites - they rank pages. Assuming this particular article was on it's own page, they may not have indexed it, ranked it very low for any number of reasons, but they wouldn't have slammed your entire site (every individual page) unless something else was happening.

      Ask yourself this - did Google recently do a major update? If so, it was just coincidence that you published the article before the update.
      It was on Jan 10 give or take a day that his article was published...
    • Profile picture of the author Backlinko
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  • Profile picture of the author TanyaRebrov
    Well, based on my super quick analysis, it is a pure coincidence that you get hit pretty bad by this recent week. have you ever realize that you have a competitor and they are fastening their seat belt after knowing you page have a better page view and rank.
    Try this:
    1. Search you competitor, if you are a tech blog enthusiast, where will you go?
    2. see their page rank, are these guys even worth your attention.
    3. Learn your strength and weakness by comparing with your competitor.
    4. evaluate your strategy, rinse and repeat when problem occur again.
    Keep doing your best, don't give up, or you will let down Winston Churchill.
    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by TanyaRebrov View Post

      Keep doing your best, don't give up, or you will let down Winston Churchill.
      Yes, of course. Do it for Winston. If not for him, for the sake of the children.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blaine Smitley
    How old is this site?
  • Profile picture of the author Anton543
    Highly unlikely it was that, especially since you say the your wasn't even linking to the guest site?

    If a site is designed t sell only guest posts, then I won't be surprised at all if you get hit, but the coassional guest posts shouldn't be a problem.

    A guest post should complement your site and should look like your normal content.
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Perez O'Connor
    Noone has asked this, but what else have you been doing to the site? Just writing content? Or have you been upto anything else (be honest)? Have you checked what keywords brought in the traffic you were getting?

    You better had, that way you can check where the traffic went. Have you had a look at whether someone else has targetted your site? new links that you haven't created?

    Also if you rank for a keyword, there's always a chance a few others are doing the same, are the rankings still the same for the sites who were below you, or are there new sites?

    You've not really given anyone much to go by, and your claim that a guest post tanked your site is beyond ridiculous. Sites don't even get penalized for using duplicate content (syndicating), let alone unique guests post lol

    Think reasonably and answer the above questions with honesty, and perhaps someone will be better qualified to help you.
  • Profile picture of the author Malcolm Thomas
    I don't think it had anything related to do with the guest post that got published on your site. Your website if anything is probably simply experiencing a Google Dance. I would just be patient and continue to publish high quality content.
  • Profile picture of the author IM Ash
    Around the time that your traffic dropped there were reports by many webmasters regarding a possible algo tweak or update, but Google did not confirm this. I personally witnessed major changes in the SERPs during this time (3rd Jan - 10th Jan). You can read what other webmasters were experiencing here: Google Updates and SERP Changes - January 2013 Google SEO News and Discussion forum at WebmasterWorld

    I highly doubt the articles you published were the reason for the loss in traffic!
  • Profile picture of the author Isabellas2007
    I had a site that was getting a hundred per day and then slammed to 2-10 per day. I think it is just an update on Google. Not your guest post which you had did.
  • Profile picture of the author jxam69
    Damian - did you sneeze when you looked at your website, did you scratch your nose the day you published the guest post?

    The reason I ask is because using your logic these could also have caused the problem.

    Do you now see now how assigning causation just because of coincidence doesn't make sense?

    You have a bunch of knowledgeable people here trying to help - but you keep ignoring them.

    If you won't listen to the answers, or refuse to accept them, then why bother asking the question in the first place?
  • Profile picture of the author jordanwarrior
    Google does not always take several days to respond. I've had articles indexed in minutes, and showing up in hours. This becomes more true when you're running a high powered news site, etc. Google has synchronized their entire data network worldwide and updating it is almost an instantaneous affair.

    You may have been hit by one of the algo updates. They're going around like the flu, and I've seen the SERP's in my niche change almost completely overnight. Also, if you were using any type of linking service, no matter how clean, that may have had an impact as well. It could have been any of a million possibilities, and the list is too long to go over.

    Anyway, all this is speculation. I suppose you'll have to wait and see.

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