Did Google Penalize Me?

13 replies
  • SEO
  • |
On 5/28 I was #13 for a certain keyword. Then on 6/6 I was showing up #9 and on 6/15 I was #8. Mostly I got there just because I posted relevant links to my site on forums and comments to blogs.

Since then, I didn't check until today, the 20th. Yesterday, however, I posted a long blog post, well researched and well written (including a review from a third party) with quality content about this keyword--a totally white hat and valid blog post with honestly good quality content. I posted a link to it today on two forums that are totally relevant to this subject and at least one person tweeted the link.

Today I come up #90 for this keyword when using one Google user and #125 using another one.

Any idea what might have happened????
#google #penalize
  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    Was it your home page ranking or an internal page?
    Signature
    Get the TIPS and STRATEGIES I use to HELP businesses GROW through SEO.
    Delivered to you each week!

    >>> Sign Up Now <<<
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11123684].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author DavidFeldman
    Let me clarify as I have researched this more. The keyword I really want to rank for is, lets say "wordpress hosting" and as noted, I was up to #8. To page that was #8 was my internal "/wordpress-hosting" page.

    To increase my authority and ranking here, I published a blog entitled let's say "WordPress vs Drupal" These are not actually the real terms, but the idea is the same. This term gets over 4K searches a month. I published a very nice post and then posted on the WordPress site forums and also on a Linux forum, not totally related, but I posted there because that page was #1 for a Google search on "WordPress vs Drupal."

    Over there, someone added another comment straight away and said it was a great article and thanks for sharing. What I posted was relevant to the discussion. I did find now on a certain SEO site this:

    > Comments or forum posts that are left only for the purpose of placing a link will get your website penalized.

    but I don't think now that that is it because if I search for the URL of my new blog post on Google.com, it gets zero results. Seems Google has not yet seen my two posts that contain that URL.

    I'm now even more confused.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11123699].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by DavidFeldman View Post

      Let me clarify as I have researched this more. The keyword I really want to rank for is, lets say "wordpress hosting" and as noted, I was up to #8. To page that was #8 was my internal "/wordpress-hosting" page.

      To increase my authority and ranking here, I published a blog entitled let's say "WordPress vs Drupal" These are not actually the real terms, but the idea is the same. This term gets over 4K searches a month. I published a very nice post and then posted on the WordPress site forums and also on a Linux forum, not totally related, but I posted there because that page was #1 for a Google search on "WordPress vs Drupal."

      Over there, someone added another comment straight away and said it was a great article and thanks for sharing. What I posted was relevant to the discussion. I did find now on a certain SEO site this:

      > Comments or forum posts that are left only for the purpose of placing a link will get your website penalized.

      but I don't think now that that is it because if I search for the URL of my new blog post on Google.com, it gets zero results. Seems Google has not yet seen my two posts that contain that URL.

      I'm now even more confused.

      You would not have gotten penalized like that for 1 or 2 links on forums. If anything, forum links are just pretty useless. They are good for direct traffic. Not much else.

      A couple of possibilities that come to mind right off that bat:

      -You were seeing personalized results. People often get confused by personalized ranking results which Google bases largely on your own browsing history. They are not the rankings everyone else sees though.

      -You have a dynamic home page. Even though it was not your home page that was ranking, a dynamic home page can often foul up rankings. Every time a post is made, all the other posts get knocked down a spot, often times weakening internal links. Even without a dynamic home page, posting frequently on a blog can have the same effect (don't listen to people that say you should be posting content regularly. You can, but you better have the site well organized or you can muck up your rankings).

      -QDF. You can look that up yourself, but basically sometimes Google artificially inflates the rankings of new content they discover for a short period of time.

      The personalized search results are usually the most common cause of fluctuations like you are seeing.
      Signature
      Get the TIPS and STRATEGIES I use to HELP businesses GROW through SEO.
      Delivered to you each week!

      >>> Sign Up Now <<<
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11123719].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author DavidFeldman
        Regarding personalized results, even if they were personalized, I'm still logged in to my Gmail so that shouldn't have changed.

        My home page is not dynamic and my last post was in May.

        The Query Deserves Freshness or QDF algorithm, that also doesn't seem to answer it.

        I am ranking behind pages in foreign languages now, even though my Google is set for English results.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11123725].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
          Originally Posted by DavidFeldman View Post

          Regarding personalized results, even if they were personalized, I'm still logged in to my Gmail so that shouldn't have changed.

          My home page is not dynamic and my last post was in May.

          The Query Deserves Freshness or QDF algorithm, that also doesn't seem to answer it.

          I am ranking behind pages in foreign languages now, even though my Google is set for English results.

          Are you checking the results manually or with a rank tracker?
          Signature
          Get the TIPS and STRATEGIES I use to HELP businesses GROW through SEO.
          Delivered to you each week!

          >>> Sign Up Now <<<
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11123812].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author DavidFeldman
            Was checking manually. Two free rank checkers just confirmed that I am not in top 100.

            I checked another keyword manually and via those two rank checkers and all 3 gave the same result. Thus I see no reason to suspect that my manual checks were incorrect before.
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11123842].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
              Originally Posted by DavidFeldman View Post

              Was checking manually. Two free rank checkers just confirmed that I am not in top 100.

              I checked another keyword manually and via those two rank checkers and all 3 gave the same result. Thus I see no reason to suspect that my manual checks were incorrect before.
              Then I would say it still could have been personalized results. You don't even have to be logged into a Google account to get personalized results. It has just as much to do with recent browsing history as anything else.

              It also could have been QDF.

              The other thing it could have been was you had a few decent links and lost them, or they got weaker. This is one I had not thought of before, but would make a lot of sense. First, you were doing links mostly from forums and blog comments is what you said. Sometimes those links get moderated and removed later. Even days or weeks later depending on the management.

              The other problem with those type of links is they get weaker over time (most of the time). There are a few things that contribute to this.

              -The more links that appear on a page, the weaker every link is. So the more comments that appear with links the weaker your blog comment link is. On forums, the same thing. Every time that someone posts, there is usually a link to their profile, sometimes a signature link, and anything they may have linked to in their post content as well.

              -Second, blog posts and forum threads often get pushed down the page as new posts are made or new threads are started. As they get pushed down the page, their link from their home page, category page, or main subforum page gets weaker and weaker. That makes every link on their page weaker too.

              The exception to these is when a forum thread or blog post attracts links on their own. That doesn't happen often, but it can counteract the weakening of the links.

              The link building methods you are using is pretty much like plugging your fingers in a dam. It is going to be a constant battle.
              Signature
              Get the TIPS and STRATEGIES I use to HELP businesses GROW through SEO.
              Delivered to you each week!

              >>> Sign Up Now <<<
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11123850].message }}
              • Profile picture of the author DavidFeldman
                The link building methods you are using is pretty much like plugging your fingers in a dam. It is going to be a constant battle.
                I agree and I just did those to sort of get started and maybe get some feedback on my blog.

                But still none of those explains how I went from #8 to #125....
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11123853].message }}
                • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                  Originally Posted by DavidFeldman View Post

                  I agree and I just did those to sort of get started and maybe get some feedback on my blog.

                  But still none of those explains how I went from #8 to #125....
                  Yes it does. If you lost a few decent links or some of your links got weaker, you would lose rankings. Sometimes significant rankings depending on competition and how strong the links were.

                  Unless there is more to the story (like you were doing massive amounts of these low quality links), it doesn't sound at all like a penalty.
                  Signature
                  Get the TIPS and STRATEGIES I use to HELP businesses GROW through SEO.
                  Delivered to you each week!

                  >>> Sign Up Now <<<
                  {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11123879].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author spartan14
    Seo its a complicated thing its very hard to understand sometimes you get good rankings and you wake up to not find your site .
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11123703].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author TrafficQueen
      Banned
      It can take years to get your site to rank. Posting Backlinks on authority sites was very powerful method on boosting your site rankings but it was not always.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11125588].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author dave_hermansen
    Did I miss something here? How do we even know that the blog comments or the forum posts had followed links?

    Of course, even if they are followed links, they are pretty worthless. Search engines tend to ignore any links that you can place, yourself.

    As far as why your post keeps losing ranking goes, it could be anything. If it was about a timely event (such as you find on news sites), they lose their ranking when they are no longer new news. If you had very poor engagement (people hit the page and pogo-sticked back to search results), it could definitely affect your search results.

    There always seems to be a missing piece of the puzzle when people claim they did nothing but dramatically lost ranking position. If nothing else, you should use the Panguin Tool to see if some sort of algorithm change occurred at around the same time as your rankings demise.

    I also would read the following article about Google's ever-increasing algorithm updates geared toward boosting quality pages and devaluing low quality pages. http://www.gsqi.com/marketing-blog/m...orithm-update/
    Signature
    StoreCoach.com - FREE TRAINING - Learn How to Build Your Own eCommerce Website
    My PROVEN ecommerce process, as seen on: Fox Business News, the NY Times & Flippa
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11125859].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jamie3000
    Did you make these links manually or with something like GSA?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11126009].message }}

Trending Topics