Google Spam Website Penalty

by aleong
11 replies
Hi everyone! Wanted to share something with you for two reasons: to get your opinion and to warn you.
A few months ago I signed up for a coaching course with a well-known guru who offers WSOs fairly frequently. This person is very highly regarded and her WSOs are always well received.

In the coaching course, she gave me step-by-step instructions on how to build a niche gift site using Wordpress. The posts were mainly product descriptions and photos of a product that linked to an Amazon item with the goal of making an affiliate commission. She also told students (she was coaching more than one of us at a time) to list posts like 5 Best Gifts for _______ Lovers etc. To her credit, she has her own sites structured in a similar manner.

After submitting the posts to Google using Fetch, I checked today and found this message:

Google has detected that some of your pages may be using techniques that are outside our Webmaster Guidelines.

As a result of your site having pure spam, Google has applied a manual spam action to your site. There may be other actions on your site or parts of your site.

Recommended action:

Update your site so that it meets Google's Webmaster Guidelines.
Once you've made these changes, submit a reconsideration request.

For an updated list of manual actions currently applied to your site, visit the Manual Actions page. If no manual actions are listed, there is no longer a need to file a reconsideration request.
If we determine your site is no longer in violation of our guidelines, we'll revoke the manual action.
If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please visit the Webmaster Help Forum.

I assume Google won't list the site because it's a "thin" site without a lot of written content. Guess I should have known. I feel like I wasted a lot of time building the site as well as the coaching fee of around $600.

Question: Should I completely redo the site and make it information rich or am I fighting a losing battle because Google has blacklisted the domain?

Lesson Learned: Don't blindly follow a guru, even if they have a good reputation.

Thank you so much for any help or insights you can offer. :-)

Have a great weekend!

Kristie
#google #penalty #spam #website
  • That's the issue with lots of business strategies, they aren't universal.

    They might make money now, but will not work as google/facebook/etc change their rules.

    You need a flexible, self-dependant, flexible business strategy where you are in control
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by aleong View Post

    Lesson Learned: Don't blindly follow a guru, even if they have a good reputation.

    Kristie,

    Maybe an even more important lesson to learn is this:

    Understand the terms and conditions of the web sites (like Google) that you use and rely upon for your business. As you mentioned, "Update your site so that it meets Google's Webmaster Guidelines."

    Spend a day . . . redo the website to meet Google's guidelines . . . and add some valuable and relevant content. I'm assuming you're already spent significant time and effort getting your site to where it is today.

    "Thin sites" as you say, are always going to be scrutinized by Google. They are most interested in providing a great user search experience. So if your site doesn't have much to offer in the way of unique and relevant niche content, you will probably be hearing from Google again.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author aleong
      Steve, is it possible to come back after a domain has been marked as thin or spammy or am I fighting an uphill battle? I agree with what you said about lessons learned. I assumed that the "guru" knew more than me, especially after reading nothing but glowing praise for her WSOs. Stupid on my part.
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      • Profile picture of the author time4vps
        Originally Posted by aleong View Post

        Steve, is it possible to come back after a domain has been marked as thin or spammy or am I fighting an uphill battle? I agree with what you said about lessons learned. I assumed that the "guru" knew more than me, especially after reading nothing but glowing praise for her WSOs. Stupid on my part.
        Sure, just do everything google asks. Work in depth using Google webmaster tool.

        Monitor Backlinks could help you to remove bad backlinks.

        Most of us are lazy enough to remove the site spam links from Google manually. So we simple go to Google Disavow Tool and submit a list of unwanted domains and links found in our blog. Let me tell you one thing, the Google Disavow Tool doesn’t work that quickly to take down the spam links pointing to your website. It is estimated that Google Disavow Tool can take up to 4-12 months to clean up the submitted spam links.

        So don’t waste your time with it initially, and start sending mails and requests to other bloggers/webmasters to remove the link asap! Also remove as remove links manually before submitting to Google Disavow Tool (applicable for only Google Unnatural links penalty)
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      • Profile picture of the author Regional Warrior
        Originally Posted by aleong View Post

        Steve, is it possible to come back after a domain has been marked as thin or spammy or am I fighting an uphill battle? I agree with what you said about lessons learned. I assumed that the "guru" knew more than me, especially after reading nothing but glowing praise for her WSOs. Stupid on my part.
        Kristie
        You will not be the first nor the last that has been dupe by a so called Guru , I would take what Steve has mentioned and see if you can drag out the domain

        The way I see it providing you have the time really nothing to loose and more to gain, but I do wish you the best as as a passing thought I am sure you have the right to place a review on the WSO after all you did buy it !

        Jason
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      • Profile picture of the author agmccall
        Originally Posted by aleong View Post

        especially after reading nothing but glowing praise for her WSOs. Stupid on my part.
        Try reading the WSO

        al
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  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    You might be a tad disingenuous with your "review" I am familiar with the WSO you are talking about, I own it. I did not opt for the coaching, but I have the product. If I am not mistaken you are talking about "Pinplosion" and the whole purpose of this product is to not worry about google, here is a quote from the course

    We don't care what Google does with this site so we can put all the unrelated keywords in one place, we don't have to worry about thin content, and we don't have to worry about SEO
    So why run someone down because google does not like your site when the whole wso is about another form of traffic other than google

    al
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    Don't worry about Google. They think everything is "Spam" because they want people to pay for their ads. Just keep on going and you'll get conversions from everywhere else. At least that's been my experience.
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  • Profile picture of the author XML
    Don't forget this ever: Don't make a website for search engines. Make a website for users.
    Even if you get penalty for your website, don't care of it. Cause If the users like your website and revisit it, you website's penalty will be already removed automatically later. So the question is, did you really make a website for the users? Just pretend you're in his/her place, do you really visit your website again?
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  • Profile picture of the author onSubie
    You would need to give more details about your "techniques" that fall outside the guidelines.

    Just using weak/duplicate content won't necessarily get you a "spam" penalty. You won't rank as well or as easily but that isn't the same as a manual penalty.

    Aside from poor content, another thing that draws Google's attention is affiliate links.

    You can use a plugin like Elf Links that hides links from Google. Other cloaking plugins like Pretty Links don't do this.

    Finally, with a well designed and good converting site, you don't need to rely on Google.

    Targeted PPC traffic can be much better than search traffic. Work on the site conversion rate to get better ROI. Bing is better than AdWords because they are more relaxed about paid traffic to an affiliate site.

    It's also hard to judge whether the problem is your coach or you.

    If your coach says: "Create 4 quality thousand word articles" and you grab cheap PLR or hire a dubious writer for $3/article then it is not 100% on the coach.

    So it's not clear whether the problem was from implementing exactly as the coach instructed or if it was caused by how you chose to follow the instructions. I'm not necessarily defending the "guru" but a lot of comments are condemning her as a scammer without knowing anything about what she taught you.

    Most successful "thin" sites like ThisIsWhyImBroke, rely on social media traffic and viral posts.

    You don't need deep unique content and top Google rankings to make money from an affiliate web site.
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  • Profile picture of the author kurtray
    I am a former MLM business builder. I now have a traditional retail business and want to continue building my online business as well, but nothing I do seems to build any organic traffic.

    Recently I've learned that some of the search engines (and all of the big ones) have a 'secret' blacklist for those who have any connection with MLMs.

    I've always wondered why my site and other MLMer's I spoke with always got poor organic search results, and I'm talking pitiful poor here.

    Research on this subject is very difficult and I'm guessing that the search engine folks don't want to admit their practice of blacklisting MLM related sites for fear of any legal actions.

    I'm familiar with the official methods of cleaning up a blacklisted site and getting it removed from the blacklist but I'm guessing - and herein lies my question to those on the WF who may know this - and purely guessing that once you're on this secret blacklist, you're toast.

    If my guess is right, I'm going to have to totally abandon any hosting and domain names tied to any and all past owned websites and start over completely clean at another hosting service with a new domain name.

    The reason I say this is because this is a secret list, there is no way to know if any cleaned site is still on the secret blacklist because I can test MLM related sites and search engines will say it's ok, but when no organic traffic derives from applicable search terms in obvious ways, I'm left with the only thing that matters, i.e. no organic traffic despite all SEO friendly rules having been followed.

    I'm curious if anyone on the WF has any experience with this topic, i.e. of a secret blacklist for MLM related sites.

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this.

    Kurt
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