Death of Article Marketing? A Case Study

by PhilG
61 replies
I have always been a proponent of article marketing. For many years the links back from articles on major article sites with PR help raise my sites in the SERPS and the links back from additional sites that posted the articles were like gravy to the goose. However, something serious has changed in the SERPS this last year (or perhaps earlier).

Almost all of my artcle sites have lost PR and visits have dropped like a rock.

Here is a case study and I would love to hear your analysis as to why this has happened....

Website: Real Estate Information (king-of-real-estate.com). The site is almost 4 years old and did well for a number of years.

This site was built around a large number of articles spread throughout the internet. Many articles were on the major sites and these were picked up by a lot of sites being built around articles.

The site had a PR4 as recently as 2007 and early 2008. This was obviously due to the large number of backlinks on the web. At one point in 2007 it had close to 3,000 backlinks. Life was good. Visitors came back to my site and I made some decent money off of Adsense and a few other Aff programs on the site.

Now, things have drastically changed. The site is PR0 or worse, the dreaded "unknown". Even worse, visitors are virtually non-existent. WHY?

Back links are still strong. There are currently close to 1000 backlinks in Yahoo and 500 in other SERPS according to Check Page Rank!

The site is made up of articles with a fairly common layout. Nothing fancy, but I was not trying to win any design awards, just get people to click on some ads. The site has everything that one would think the SE's would love - articles, RSS, Video links etc. Yet the site is dead.

So, doctors of the internet, what's your analysis of this case? Is the patient terminal? If so, what was the cause? Is Article Marketing dead?

Thanks for your input. I hope that by dissecting this corpse we may all learn something.
Phil G
#article #article marketing #backlinks #case #death #marketing #pr rank #real estate #study
  • Profile picture of the author sunnyman
    Did most of the visitors come from Google? I have heard G. is taking a dim view of sites which are just article collections. Are the same articles on the site as those you used for marketing?

    I see the site now has PR: none & Alexa: none
    Basically dead, in other words.
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    • This is a weird one all right. It's really hard to see why you are copping no PR at all? It's not even a zero ie pr tool shows grey not white. You do have some links and there's plenty of content.

      If I had to hazard a guess I would say that somehow you have an outgoing link to a bad neighborhood. I don't see any on your page though? It's hard to explain any other way. Google has been hard on some article directories but not that hard.

      I'll let you know if I come up with anything but right now I'm drawing a blank.
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  • Profile picture of the author goindeep
    You already know the answer. Of course its not dead. Maybe there are a mixture of reasons why your site is not getting traffic. To be honest i cant find much on the net. You need to stop relying on things like "Check Page Rank". Do it old school and just do a simple google search and you will find that you need to do some seo.

    You should never rely solely on one system of traffic. Mix it up a little. Seems to me that all thats happened is that the pages where your links appear have slowly withered away into cyber dust. This happens a lot actually. The reason: Google God Allows it. There is no actual reason seems typical of google to do these random things.
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilG
    The articles on the site are not unique, and perhaps that is the issue. BUT, the general consensus around the web is that there is no such thing as the "duplicate content penalty".

    Either the duplicate content penalty is VERY real or the SERPs are turning away from article content sites. Neither bods well for article marketing as a whole.

    Just guessing at this point.
    Phil G
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  • Hey goindeep, the reason he's not getting traffic is that he isn't ranked for any keywords. No mystery there and 1000 links, plus an aged domain, should have it at least PR 1-2. There is something else going on here that's not readily apparent
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      Originally Posted by australianrealestate View Post

      Hey goindeep, the reason he's not getting traffic is that he isn't ranked for any keywords. No mystery there and 1000 links, plus an aged domain, should have it at least PR 1-2. There is something else going on here that's not readily apparent
      What's going on is the site isn't indexed in Google anymore, for whatever reason.
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  • Profile picture of the author sunnyman
    OK the articles on the site are not unique, and Google has decided that some other site(s) featuring those articles should rank based on those rather than your site.
    I would always put some truly unique content on my money sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilG
    Yes, I probably should have kept some unique articles just for this site, but I guess I either got lazy or bought into the "no such thing as dup content" rhetoric.

    As far as Google deciding to rank other sites higher for those articles, I was under the impression that if my site had the higher PR or the links back from articles, then Google would recognize that and rank my site for those articles.

    As it is obvious that I should rebuild this site in some way, I will probably replace the articles with some unique ones and see if that helps. I used a fairly common script to create the site and the aff links, RSS and video and perhaps it is the common nature of each page that has caused the issue. That is to say that each page has an identical layout, with the components in the same location etc.

    Perhaps Google is clamping down on the idea of a "generated" site, however it is clearly a pain to have to create pages individually over a large number of sites. Oh well, back to the drawing board.

    Thanks for your input.
    Phil G
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  • Hey Phil, your site has me intrigued. I just ran a link check in seoelite and it shows plenty of links ( in line with checkpagerank ) for all the search engines except , guess who....Google

    It showed zero Google backlinks. I am not certain what that actually means in seoelite but I presume it means no links pointing to you are from pages indexed in Google. It seems unlikely but I don't see what else it could mean in that tool.

    Start getting Google indexed backlinks through forums like dp and warriors, ebay blogs etc and you'll turn this around
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    If the site was built around articles sourced from article directories, those articles would have been published many times maybe even 100 times on other sites. Unless there is some unique input into the site Google will not give much value to it, although they won't penalize it.

    You also need to have some links pointing to the keywords in the articles.

    I believe the Google algorithm is getting better a identifying scraped content. Scraped content is easy to use and more sites are using it it, this not to say that scraped content should not be used but rather that it should be integrated into the mix rather than being the sole source of content.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Hey Phil,

    I don't have an answer...I'll just give a few misc. comments that may help you fill in the picture.

    There isn't a "doop" penalty, however this is a doop content filter. Do some research on this. However, this shouldn't affect your PR.

    About a 1 1/2 to 2 years ago, Matt Cutts was talking about doing something concerning article directories. Let's be honest, those article spinners are really just doorway page makers and in reality are just creating spam.

    I'm assuming your pages have been dropped completely from Google? My guess is that Google has found your site to be a "thin affiliate site" using only doop content, and it's a combo of these two that got your site dropped.

    Having said this, while this is my "best" guess, the truth is, it could be a million things and I'm probably at least partially wrong, if not totally wrong.
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  • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
    Hey Kurt, great post. Is there a way we can overcome the google "doop filter', by doing things slightly differently on the page. Is it all about having unique content or can we just reduce the percentage of doop content on the page to diminish the effect of the doop filter?
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilG
    Madison_avenue wrote:

    >>>If the site was built around articles sourced from article directories, those articles would have been published many times maybe even 100 times on other sites. Unless there is some unique input into the site Google will not give much value to it, although they won't penalize it.


    That's my point! If we use article marketing to place articles on all of these directories for others to use these articles (scraping our articles from these directories) on their sites, we are supposed to get a BOOST in PR, NOT a DROP!

    And if that is the reason why my site has dropped in page rank and visitors, then article marketing is truly dead.

    I want to make clear that I am not talking about article marketing as in BUM marketing - using articles to direct readers to affiliate links. I am talking about marketing our own websites by placing articles on numerous article directories so that others can pick up those articles and we get more and more back links to our websites.

    It would seem that this particular strategy has backfired in my case or the SERPs no longer consider this tactic of any value. Now, again, I want to say that perhaps I was a bit lazy in using a script to create the site and using articles that were not unique on my own site, but still the result of having over 1500 backlinks should not be the cause a drop in pagerank.

    Phil G
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    • Profile picture of the author madison_avenue
      Originally Posted by PhilG View Post

      Madison_avenue wrote:

      >>>If the site was built around articles sourced from article directories, those articles would have been published many times maybe even 100 times on other sites. Unless there is some unique input into the site Google will not give much value to it, although they won't penalize it.


      That's my point! If we use article marketing to place articles on all of these directories for others to use these articles (scraping our articles from these directories) on their sites, we are supposed to get a BOOST in PR, NOT a DROP!

      And if that is the reason why my site has dropped in page rank and visitors, then article marketing is truly dead.


      I want to make clear that I am not talking about article marketing as in BUM marketing - using articles to direct readers to affiliate links. I am talking about marketing our own websites by placing articles on numerous article directories so that others can pick up those articles and we get more and more back links to our websites.

      It would seem that this particular strategy has backfired in my case or the SERPs no longer consider this tactic of any value. Now, again, I want to say that perhaps I was a bit lazy in using a script to create the site and using articles that were not unique on my own site, but still the result of having over 1500 backlinks should not be the cause a drop in pagerank.

      Phil G
      Hey PhilG I must have misunderstood what you were saying. I was under the impression that you had scraped existing articles from the directories to use as content. If it was the case that you had spread your own original articles around the directories then I am as bemused as you are at your decline in page rank.

      all the best
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilG
    Thanks Kurt. As always, I trust your input.

    I have a really strong feeling that this may be the result of something that you have stated on your forum for a long time. Its not so much the content but the way that the content is presented.

    In this case I have used a script to create the site. Each page is virtually identical in size, type and placement of the content. Even the size (word count) of the articles are virtually identical.

    You have been saying for some time that we should be changing up the pages. Longer content on one page, shorter on another. Some links here, different links there. Snippets on one page, tips or lists on another, etc.

    I definitely plan to use your Tuelz when rebuilding this site (SuperLitz?)

    I was just looking for some input as to what could have caused this decline so quickly. I also want to say, this site is NOT unique in what has happened in the past year. I have a number of other similar sites that have seen dramatic drops in both PR and visitors. This one was the most dramatic and that is why I have used it for this case study.

    Phil G
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  • Profile picture of the author reapr
    Dupe filter way overrated ... it is about back links.
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    • Profile picture of the author PhilG
      Originally Posted by reapr View Post

      Dupe filter way overrated ... it is about back links.
      Again, I have tons of back links, most of which have been generated by article marketing as described above. I definitely did see a nice jump in PR and visitors for a long period, but something has drastically changed in the past few months.

      Phil
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Alexander
    Originally Posted by PhilG View Post

    I have always been a proponent of article marketing. For many years the links back from articles on major article sites with PR help raise my sites in the SERPS and the links back from additional sites that posted the articles were like gravy to the goose. However, something serious has changed in the SERPS this last year (or perhaps earlier).

    Almost all of my artcle sites have lost PR and visits have dropped like a rock.

    Here is a case study and I would love to hear your analysis as to why this has happened....

    Website: Real Estate Information (king-of-real-estate.com). The site is almost 4 years old and did well for a number of years.

    This site was built around a large number of articles spread throughout the internet. Many articles were on the major sites and these were picked up by a lot of sites being built around articles.

    The site had a PR4 as recently as 2007 and early 2008. This was obviously due to the large number of backlinks on the web. At one point in 2007 it had close to 3,000 backlinks. Life was good. Visitors came back to my site and I made some decent money off of Adsense and a few other Aff programs on the site.

    Now, things have drastically changed. The site is PR0 or worse, the dreaded "unknown". Even worse, visitors are virtually non-existent. WHY?

    Back links are still strong. There are currently close to 1000 backlinks in Yahoo and 500 in other SERPS according to Check Page Rank!

    The site is made up of articles with a fairly common layout. Nothing fancy, but I was not trying to win any design awards, just get people to click on some ads. The site has everything that one would think the SE's would love - articles, RSS, Video links etc. Yet the site is dead.

    So, doctors of the internet, what's your analysis of this case? Is the patient terminal? If so, what was the cause? Is Article Marketing dead?

    Thanks for your input. I hope that by dissecting this corpse we may all learn something.
    Phil G

    you need unique content nowadays, unfortunately.
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by Jon Alexander View Post

      you need unique content nowadays, unfortunately.
      For the loser now
      Will be later to win
      For the SERPS they are a-changin'.
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by PhilG View Post

        I used a fairly common script to create the site and the aff links, RSS and video and perhaps it is the common nature of each page that has caused the issue. That is to say that each page has an identical layout, with the components in the same location etc.

        Perhaps Google is clamping down on the idea of a "generated" site, however it is clearly a pain to have to create pages individually over a large number of sites. Oh well, back to the drawing board.
        Originally Posted by PhilG View Post

        Now, again, I want to say that perhaps I was a bit lazy in using a script to create the site and using articles that were not unique on my own site, but still the result of having over 1500 backlinks should not be the cause a drop in pagerank.

        Phil G
        Phil, I'm just guessing here. My guess is that the script you used leaves a footprint that Google has associated with spammy junk sites. While yours may or may not fall into that (only they know for sure), you may have lost out through 'guilt by association'.

        From my reading, that grayed-out bar for pagerank on an older site is a sign of being banned. If so, a million backlinks won't help you.

        If the script you used to generate the site uses templates, try changing those to make them unique. In other words, brush out the footprint. Might work, might not...
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  • Profile picture of the author TheRichJerksNet
    Article Marketing is not dead but it is changing and doing so at a very fast rate. There are many things that will continue to change in article marketing throughout this year..

    There are new sources of traffic, new methods, new ways of using articles, and etc. that will all be involved in the changing of Article Marketing forever...

    James
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Brian
    Phil G. I think your site has been banned by Google because none of your pages are indexed. Type site:king-of-real-estate.com in Google, it returns nothing.

    Have you done anything black hat? It's either that or Google may have marked your site as MFA.
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilG
    Nothing Black Hat going on with this site.

    It could well have been slapped as MFA, but even that seems to be a stretch, simply because there is plenty of content with many backlinks.

    Google does seem to be doing that with a vengeance lately, however. I have had a couple of video sites that had the Adsense disabled recently due to Google classifying them as MFAs.

    I have been a publisher for a long time, so I was fortunate that my account was not disabled, although they have not disabled the ads on this site, it would seem as though the site has been banned.

    Phil
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  • Profile picture of the author Gunter Eibl
    Article Marketing is stronger than ever before. Go to compete.com and compare a few good article directories, they all have really good growth:

    SnapShot of ezinearticles.com (rank #134) - Compete

    One of the biggest gainers is articlesbase.com

    One directory that has problems probably is articlesfactory.com. It only shows about 9,000 indexed pages anymore, a huge drop. Maybe it's just a temporary Google issue.

    I've updated the numbers yesterday on my Top 10 Article Directory list at GetArticlesDone - Top 10 Article Directories Most have better Alexa and Compete rankings than before, more indexed pages and more Yahoo backlinks.

    Gunter
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilG
    Madison_Avenue, no problem, I am just as confused by this situation and it doesn't seem to make sense. Not only does it appear that my site has lost its page rank, as others have suggested, it may, in fact, be banned!?!

    I can understand a doop penalty or doop filter, but why would a site with that many valid one way links pointing to it be banned?

    Even more curious.

    Phil
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Brian
    Phil, I suggest going to Google Webmaster Tools, login and click "Request for reconsideration" and try to explain your case.
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Deegan
      Honestly, your site looks like a REALLY BAD made for adsense site. If Google ended up doing a live review of the site there is a good chance the site would be banned for this very reason.
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilG
    Thanks Mark, I will do that after I make some changes to the site as outlined above.

    You know the scary thing is that not only does it appear that the site may have been banned from Google, even if you go to Yahoo it does not show many of the valid links to the site, such as Selecting The Best Real Estate Agent For You -- Isnare.com Ezine Articles and Santa Maria Real Estate Agents Santa Maria Homes For Sale, REALTORS and Santa Maria - both valid backlinks that should show up.

    Neither of the sites above seem to have a nofollow on the links and they should show up in some of the searches.

    And therefore this is my point of starting this thread. If all of these valid one way links have been created over time, why did the site lose page rank and/or get banned? To me if article marketing isn't dead, its worth is clearly in jeopardy.

    Phil G
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilG
    Thanks Rob, for your honest assessment.

    All good points for me to consider when rebuilding this site.

    Phil G

    PS. Gorilla-writer, yeah its pretty ugly, but for years ugly worked great for Adsense.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Deegan
    Actually Phil, ugly isn't the problem..atleast to me..The site looks to much like a site built just for adsense in that their seems to be very little emphasis on providing a quality user experience and valuable content. You can still get away with a adsense site you just have to be more discreet and professional looking.
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  • Profile picture of the author jhiggins
    Article marketing is far from dead. If it was dead I wouldn't be making money.

    Jonathan Higgins
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    • Profile picture of the author PhilG
      Originally Posted by jhiggins View Post

      Article marketing is far from dead. If it was dead I wouldn't be making money.

      Jonathan Higgins
      Hi Jonathan;

      While I appreciate your reply, it does not help. If one uses money as the only gauge then, I would have to say that article marketing is, in fact, dead, because this site is no longer making any money.

      Let me stress again, that I am not talking about BUM marketing and using articles for attracting visitors to affiliate programs, but article marketing as a means of spreading our articles throughout the internet on article directories so that others would pick up those articles and use them on their sites. The whole purpose of that type of article marketing was to gain backlinks.

      This type of article marketing, I still feel is dead, at least by looking at this particular site.

      Gorilla, you say that the design is not the problem, but the content of the site. I tend to feel that this is not the problem. This site is not a spammy landing page style of MFA with nothing but scraped links from other sites. While the site is ugly, all the pages have an article down the middle, a reasonable amount of links to other articles on the left; Ebay ads for topical items on the right and videos and news feeds at the bottom. This is reasonable and interesting content targeted to the topic of the site. You seem to agree with this in your last sentence when you suggest a "more discreet and profession" design would be better, and I agree with that assessment 100%. I got lazy and now I am paying for it ;-(

      Rob, as I mentioned above, I appreciate your comments and will definitely do what I can to correct these issues. Having said that, I sort of to feel that all of your points actually back up my premise that article marketing, in the manner that we are discussing, is, in fact, dead.

      You suggest that many of the links are spammy and from poor quality sites. Actually, that is exactly the type of site that most often pulls our articles from article directories. If the sites were high quality, surely they would have unique articles written for them. The only sites pulling this type of content are the MFA's that don't want to be bothered with unique content.

      You also mention the quality of the link itself on many of my backlinks is poor because it is just the url. Again, this is basically what you get when others use your articles as is from these sites.

      In the end, if you have no control over where the link comes from, and that is of such critical importance, then article marketing in this way is dead. We should then only post articles where we know that the link is a high quality link; eg Squidoo, Hubpages etc.

      Gunter, you mention that article marketing is stronger than ever, because the big article sites rank well. This seems to reinforce Robs points. But again, the fact that they are doing well, does not help us much if our sites lose rank and visitors while they gain them.

      So, all in all, I really appreciate everyone's input. I will definitely be rebuilding this site and asking Google for reinclusion. I will take everyone's suggestions to heart when I do that.

      Thanks again
      Phil G
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      • Profile picture of the author adamv
        The article marketing is dead argument is getting lost in semantics here.

        PhilG, You seem to be saying that using articles for backlinks to your site for the purpose of obtaining higher search engine rankings is dead.

        I think many other people would define article marketing as using articles to market a product or service, ie. drive traffic to a sales page, opt in form, review page, etc.

        You've stated that you believe that bum marketing is NOT dead and of course I agree with that. I think that many of the disagreements in this thread are because of the use of the term article marketing and the way different people interpret its definition.
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      • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
        Dump that site as is, either build a Wordpress blog on it, or park the domain on a free Blogger blog.

        Either way the writing is on the wall, time to update the content and build it up again.

        The problems with this site have nothing to do with "Article Marketing's Death".

        This site however, is ...

        Best!
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        • Profile picture of the author jhiggins
          Phil,

          You can't judge a method based on results from ONE SITE. I have several niche websites that together are starting to make me a nice income. Some of the sites pull in $10 a day while others pull in only $1 a day or even $0.00. I use article marketing for all the sites. If I judged the efficacy of AM based on just the site that does $1 a day, then I could conclude that AM is dead. However collectively, the sites are on their way to providing me a full time income. I have to conclude that AM is my bread and butter.

          There are more variables than just AM that could be responsible for your sites demise. If you want to succeed in IM, don't depend on just one site.

          Jonathan
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      • Profile picture of the author Gunter Eibl
        Originally Posted by PhilG View Post

        Gunter, you mention that article marketing is stronger than ever, because the big article sites rank well. This seems to reinforce Robs points. But again, the fact that they are doing well, does not help us much if our sites lose rank and visitors while they gain them.
        You're right. Competition gets stronger and the big established directories win and the weaker ones get bashed. I think it's simply because Google forces them to improve the quality and reduce spam of any kind more and more. The result is that only the strong directories survive because the smaller ones simply don't have the resources to keep pace.

        Gunter
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  • Profile picture of the author Jesus Perez
    Are you using ANY kind of automation on this site? How do the YouTube videos and Real Estate news posted? Is there anything that can be leaving footprints?

    I noticed your source code has a link to adsensehero.com which appears to be abandoned and has a PR0.
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  • Profile picture of the author Angela V. Edwards
    Here is my best guess. The sites that you got backlinks from, except for MAYBE one or two, were all real estate sites OR directories. I am hard pressed to find more than just a few that are not in one of these two categories. Not only that, but all the directories seem to have the same template. They all look like "mirrors" of one another. THAT's what "duplicate content" really is.

    First of all, Google is not recommending directories anymore; possibly because many of those have simply become "link farms". The "directories" you've been included in appear to be link farms.

    Second, natural linkbuilding (which means that other sites link to you because you have something of interest on your site, OR you are participating in a social network of some sort and shared your link with others) includes sites of all types. NOT just "relevant" sites. I suspect you've taken that 'relevant' thing WAY too far and gotten penalized for it.

    Article marketing is FAR from dead. I have an article on the FIRST PAGE of Google out of more than 13 MILLION competing sites.

    Build natural links. Relevant links are okay but that is not the ONLY kind you want. You want High Quality links of various types.
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      Let me stress again, that I am not talking about BUM marketing and using articles for attracting visitors to affiliate programs, but article marketing as a means of spreading our articles throughout the internet on article directories so that others would pick up those articles and use them on their sites. The whole purpose of that type of article marketing was to gain backlinks.

      This type of article marketing, I still feel is dead, at least by looking at this particular site.
      You can feel like it all you want, but it isn't dead. They didn't boot you out of the index because you have backlinks from articles. You were most likely booted because your site resembles an auto-generated site, in Google's opinion. I probably have at least 100 different sites on my hard drive using the exact same template, following the exact same format that I got as a bonus, or something. Someone probably complained, most likely a competitor, and Google finally got around to checking it out. Whatever the reason, its not because you're getting backlinks from articles. If that were it, everyone who has submitted articles to article directories would be screaming bloody murder because Google would be booting sites left and right, most likely starting with the article directories themselves.

      Your site is on a competitive subject, you outranked a jealous competitor, they complained, and Google listened. That's it. It has nothing to do with article marketing.
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    • Profile picture of the author Emmanuel Betinis
      Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

      The "directories" you've been included in appear to be link farms.

      You can NEVER be banned/penalized for who is linking to you. EVER. If the crappiest, smelliest, spammo-city-style site linked to you it wouldn't have ANY negative impact on you whatsoever.

      Anything a competitor could do to harm your website will NEVER be penalized by Google.


      Originally Posted by PhilG View Post

      I can understand a doop penalty or doop filter, but why would a site with that many valid one way links pointing to it be banned?
      Because it has NOTHING to do with who is linking to you (in regards to getting banned).

      Anything a competitor could do to harm your website will NEVER be penalized by Google.

      Think about that for a minute. If who is linking to you (ie. link farms) could actually get your website banned, how many people do you think would simply add their competitor's websites to link farm websites, unrelated websites, and low PR websites? Unfortunately, it would be quite a few.

      The only way you can get banned by OFFpage optimization is if YOU link out to "bad neighborhoods", which would be:

      -Link farms
      -Banned/greybarred websites

      I highly recommend running through ALL your outgoing links with a fine-toothed comb making sure you are NOT linking OUT to any banned websites. If you find a "grey-barred" site that once had PR of at least 0 at one point that you're still currently linking to, there is an EXTREMELY high chance this is PRECISELY why your entire site has been removed from Google's index and that by removing that outbound link from your site you may just redeem yourself. I've heard plenty of times friends of mine that were linking out to sites that had now been banned (despite the fact at the initial time of linking they were in good standing with Google) had dramatically increased their rankings by simply terminating them as an outbound link and/or linking partner. Your case is a bit more extreme in that not only have your rankings dropped significantly, but you're entirely removed from Google's index. However, it could be due to the simple TIME factor that had elapsed without you taking action by removing the "bad" outbound link from your site.

      Originally Posted by BlueSquares View Post

      I noticed your source code has a link to adsensehero.com which appears to be abandoned and has a PR0.
      Ooo, a possible culprit. However, I noticed the site wasn't actually hyperlinked from your site (at least your homepage anyway) through the use of an <A HREF> tag...but it certainly wouldn't hurt to remove the site from your source code anyway because that site IS indeed banned.

      Moreover, certainly make sure you aren't putting any ONpage methods into play that Google could ban you for either (<META> stuffing, hidden text and <ALT> stuffing).

      Good luck, Phil...
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      • Profile picture of the author Kurt
        Originally Posted by anapest View Post

        You can NEVER be banned/penalized for who is linking to you. EVER. If the crappiest, smelliest, spammo-city-style site linked to you it wouldn't have ANY negative impact on you whatsoever.

        Anything a competitor could do to harm your website will NEVER be penalized by Google.




        Because it has NOTHING to do with who is linking to you (in regards to getting banned).

        Anything a competitor could do to harm your website will NEVER be penalized by Google.

        Think about that for a minute. If who is linking to you (ie. link farms) could actually get your website banned, how many people do you think would simply add their competitor's websites to link farm websites, unrelated websites, and low PR websites? Unfortunately, it would be quite a few.

        The only way you can get banned by OFFpage optimization is if YOU link out to "bad neighborhoods", which would be:

        -Link farms
        -Banned/greybarred websites

        I highly recommend running through ALL your outgoing links with a fine-toothed comb making sure you are NOT linking OUT to any banned websites. If you find a "grey-barred" site that once had PR of at least 0 at one point that you're still currently linking to, there is an EXTREMELY high chance this is PRECISELY why your entire site has been removed from Google's index and that by removing that outbound link from your site you may just redeem yourself. I've heard plenty of times friends of mine that were linking out to sites that had now been banned (despite the fact at the initial time of linking they were in good standing with Google) had dramatically increased their rankings by simply terminating them as an outbound link and/or linking partner. Your case is a bit more extreme in that not only have your rankings dropped significantly, but you're entirely removed from Google's index. However, it could be due to the simple TIME factor that had elapsed without you taking action by removing the "bad" outbound link from your site.



        Ooo, a possible culprit. However, I noticed the site wasn't actually hyperlinked from your site (at least your homepage anyway) through the use of an <A HREF> tag...but it certainly wouldn't hurt to remove the site from your source code anyway because that site IS indeed banned.

        Moreover, certainly make sure you aren't putting any ONpage methods into play that Google could ban you for either (<META> stuffing, hidden text and <ALT> stuffing).

        Good luck, Phil...

        Looks like someone needs to research "google bowling".

        google bowling - Google Search


        While not as easy as before, it is still very possible to employ "negative seo" or "google bowling" to another site.
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        • Profile picture of the author Emmanuel Betinis
          Kurt, I appreciate your reply.

          The material I quoted was out of a respected Internet Marketer & SEO expert's mouth.

          I constantly do my best to stay as open-minded as possible at all times within our ever-changing world on the web, so I contacted the person whom I learned it from (The fact that "Anything a competitor could do to harm your website will NEVER be penalized by Google.") to see what he would say about this thread.

          His reply was,

          "I wrote that quite a long time ago. I suppose "technically speaking" you could harm a competitor by spending ALOT of time,money, and effort. But with that said, nobody is likely to ever care that much."

          This was a bit strange simply because it contradicts what you said here:

          Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

          While not as easy as before, it is still very possible to employ "negative seo" or "google bowling" to another site.
          ...in that it was not possible a long time ago VS. it was much MORE possible to do a long time ago.

          Odd, yeah?

          Also, don't you agree that if it really was quite possible to get a site banned by the links pointing to it, then the number of people that would simply add their competitor's websites to link farm websites and unrelated websites would be astronomically high (unfortunately!)?
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        • Profile picture of the author GuruGazette
          Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

          Looks like someone needs to research "google bowling".

          google bowling - Google Search


          While not as easy as before, it is still very possible to employ "negative seo" or "google bowling" to another site.
          Thanks Kurt, right along the lines of what I was going to say

          anapest: Google's public statements are just that: PR. (Public Relations)

          Google Bowling is still very real and then there's the whole buying/selling links issue. Anyone with a Google webmaster account has probably seen the "report paid links" link at the top right hand corner of every page...

          P.S. haven't looked into it in awhile but did Google ever fix their 301 redirect bug?
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      • Profile picture of the author Eric Lorence
        Originally Posted by anapest View Post

        You can NEVER be banned/penalized for who is linking to you. EVER. If the crappiest, smelliest, spammo-city-style site linked to you it wouldn't have ANY negative impact on you whatsoever.

        Anything a competitor could do to harm your website will NEVER be penalized by Google.
        An arbitrary comment on something which is understood by few, and mastered by even less.

        Yes, a competitor CAN hurt your ranking, by simply building a better and more relevant site.

        Never say never. :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author carlos_a
    Article marketing is effective if you have the right keywords and content.I've made the no 1 spot on google several times with my articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilG
    Thanks again to everyone for your input.

    Your responses have been informative and encouraging. Once again this forum has proven to be a wealth of knowledge and the willingness of everyone to share that knowledge is impressive.

    Yes, I think the I may have been a bit hasty in my judgment of article marketing. There are so many other factors that have come into play with this site.

    I will take all of your suggestions to heart.

    Phil G
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  • Profile picture of the author JJOrana
    Not far from the truth Phil.

    Article marketing has been around for couple of years now and many really has abused it.

    Google is after quality content. In a long run, it's better to publish your content to your own website.
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  • Yes it's not dead but it's certainly evolving.

    Quality will become a real factor and quality will lead to syndication.

    For example if you can get an article on a PR 7 webpage ( because of the article being quality and unique ) then the backlink will still be a PR7 backlink won't it?..whatever the vehicle was that got you there...in that case it was an article.

    So we must clearly differentiate between article marketing for an article dashboard site,versus a cleverer use of article/content syndication
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  • It looks to me like you use a lot of duplicate content, and that will often hurt your PR. It was easier to get away with duplicate content 2 years ago, but I think that things have changed since then.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kamran
      Well, I am not a SEO expert, just someone who experienced the same thing. It happened to one of my blogs (2 years old hosted in blogspot), The blog was totally deindexed from Google and it at around 1500 backlinks (PR2) and it was highly ranked for a few higly searched keyword. So it was getting more than 1000 unique visitors per day. What did I do To bring it back to life? Just added one post (not unique) and it got reindexed, started ranking for keywords that it used to rank for before, I started getting more visitors than previously.
      So I concluded that, since the same thing happened to your site, The reason is the static nature of site. I have heard some SEO experts say after the Google bot spiders your site, it sets a time interval to come back, when it comes back if it doesnt find any changes, it sets another time interval to revisit that is longer than the previous interval. If your site is completely unchanged for a long time, the interval keeps on increasing until the bot just ignores your site. So make your site a little dynamic, add pages, change the current content a little bit, and you will see it coming back to life. Dupe content is a myth, Google is not looking for unique content, it is just looking for more content, so give it more and you will see results.
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  • Profile picture of the author grumpyb
    I think that its quality not quantity that will win the day
    Maybe the death of the poorly written spammy article is nigh but I think that its about quality on topic articles in the correct niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author Samuel Lee
    Good point grumpy b, I would assume that the articles on the site aren't unique, and that might possibly be the issue. However as far as I know, on the web it is generally assumed that is no such thing as a punishment for "duplicate content". Either the duplicate content penalty is an actuality or SERP individuals are not paying too much attention to article content sites. I don't think either way this will a good thing for article marketing as a whole!
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  • Profile picture of the author vanko007a
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Gunter Eibl
      Originally Posted by vanko007a View Post

      just play fair and you'll get your reward. google doesn't like hacks or playing outside the rules.
      Unfortunately Google defines what is fair and what not. It's their show and I more and more get the impression that their market dominance is not good for us marketers nor for the customers.

      Gunter
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  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    I just saw your page - it is blackballed by Google.

    I'd suggest starting over with a better site on a new domain. Those turnkey sites are a bad idea these days.

    AL
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicola Lane
    From Google:

    Webmaster Guidelines - Webmasters/Site owners Help

    Don't participate in link schemes designed to increase your site's ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
    Hope that helps
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    • Profile picture of the author MRomeo09
      I think what a lot of people are missing is that you had a web promotion strategy a few years ago, but it sounds like you haven't done anything with it lately??? Why not?

      I would start getting some new links to my website.

      I would also start freshening up my content. Make some changes to your content. Write some fresh content for it. Spice it up, add to it, change it around. Google likes to see things stay fresh.

      I checked the web archive and it looked like it was all about the same in 2007.

      I would at least sprinkle the auto content with my own custom content. I mean you can find a real estate article, rewrite it in your own words in about 10 minutes. That would at least help.

      And then I would also keep providing fresh content, at least once a month, preferably once a week.

      HTH,

      M
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