180/200 sites dropped off of Google in one day, What would you do??

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I was built almost 200 sites in the beginning of this year following xfactor's domain names. These site are mostly run on Reviewazon with 5 pages of unique content. I promoted them via ezine, uaw, ama, senuke.. all very gradual. My sites do load slow due to reviewazon's pull from amazon.. Other than that I think the link strategy is pretty legit, but I could be wrong..

6/4 Google dropped most of my site's ranking where they get now organic traffic now from Google. They're all still indexed, but the traffic and revenue dived.

I put a lot of time and money into these sites. I wanted to see what other warriors would do in my situation. I don't know how much these sites would be worth now since they get almost no traffic or revenue. I am sure they'll get almost nothing on Flippa. I don't know about renewing these domains, but spent so much resources in backlink and content.. It's a terrible waste.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
#day #dropped #google #ranking #sites
  • Profile picture of the author Michael Oksa
    Not to sound silly, but the first thing I would do is figure out what made the 20 remaining sites stay.

    Then you can either try to modify the problem sites, recycle them in other ways, or liquidate them.

    I'm sure other Warriors will have some great ideas, too.

    All the best,
    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author RichFun
      I've tried to analyzed that. They all got google analytics, so I can see all the data. There's really no difference as far as I can tell. They all load relatively slow, their links are about the same. Same servers..

      Yes was easy for google to track down my network. I don't know if they're going to hit me again for the rest of them. But I don't know what they had on me. Frankly, I am too tired to try to play with them.

      I wonder what's the best way to liquidate or use another way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
    Unfortunately, if there's no difference between the ones that stayed, all that means is Google didn't get to dumping them yet. If your sites have no content that's worthwhile other than promotional stuff available on amazon itself, you're going to get dumped.

    Especially with only 5 pages of content. I can't say without looking, but it seems like these were low-quality websites that weren't of much value to the user other than linking them to what they REALLY wanted by getting in the way of superior search results.

    I mean, if your site has a search ranking, and it's not actually the BEST result for that search from the USER's standpoint, you only have that ranking until Google figures out how to improve the index.

    They WANT the BEST sites to rank highest - not best SEO, not best links - those are just methods they use to try and teach a computer to tell what's best.

    I hate to say it, but if you'd spent that same effort to build one good site with 1000 pieces of content instead of 200 with 5 pages each, I think you wouldn't have had this problem.

    But hey, live and learn.
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    • Profile picture of the author SledgeHammer
      The answer is pretty simple: You employed shady tactics and Google penalised you !
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      • Profile picture of the author .
        Originally Posted by SledgeHammer View Post

        The answer is pretty simple: You employed shady tactics and Google penalised you !
        your answer is in fact pretty stupid
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      • Profile picture of the author BobRenwick
        Originally Posted by SledgeHammer View Post

        The answer is pretty simple: You employed shady tactics and Google penalised you !
        I hope you're not serious. Sounds like it could be a tongue in cheek remark.

        The truth is that Google has been closing down affiliate adwords accounts for the past several months.

        Google doesn't like affiliates. According to a recent post here at the forum (sorry I can't document) One Google exec has described affiliates as a "cancer on the internet."

        What's happening to legitimate websites is simply the organic side of Google's rampaging purge of affiliate adwords accounts.

        It's becoming more important than ever to build our sites in a Google-friendly manner. That means legitimate content, preferably blog style, that offers real value to the surfer.

        The days of putting up mini-sites for the sole purpose of flaunting our affiliate links are numbered. The key to survival in internet marketing is adaptability. Nothing stays the same. Everything changes.
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  • Profile picture of the author entrepreneurjay
    Build an email list and start pulling in the subscribers. Bring as much traffic to your sites as possible. You cannot rely on Google for anything rely on yourself. Slow down on your postings and make the posts you do make of great quality. That would be my advice. The money is in the list. Good seo takes a while especially if it is a competitive niche. Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author ExRat
      Hi Richfun,

      Any advice would be much appreciated.
      Be sure to learn the lessons from this experience (there are many). You paid with blood, sweat and tears for those lessons.
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      Roger Davis

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      • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
        I have also heard a similar complaint from somone using reviewazon. Does your robots.txt file prevent google from crawling your plugins?
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        • Profile picture of the author ExRat
          Hi niffybranco,

          Does your robots.txt file prevent google from crawling your plugins?
          If every single one of us in this forum collaborated in a brainstroming session, would we be smarter than Google?

          It's not just about knowledge or inventiveness, it's also about access to data.
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          Roger Davis

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          • Profile picture of the author niffybranco
            Originally Posted by ExRat View Post

            Hi niffybranco,

            If every single one of us in this forum collaborated in a brainstroming session, would we be smarter than Google?

            It's not just about knowledge or inventiveness, it's also about access to data.
            Google is run by people like me and you so the answer is yes.
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  • Profile picture of the author apocrypha
    Google's latest big ranking factor is "Page Load time" and Google seems to give lots of emphasis to it lately.

    Important websites generally load quickly. So,make your websites loads quickly. I tested ReviewAZON on some of my blogs as well. The plugin is a very neat one but i didn't like it due to many reasons. One of the reason being the Site load time. I no longer use it and go the slow and old way.

    Only 5 pages of content means not a good site to Google. I guess most of them were hosted on same IP. It must have exaggerated the cause.

    I suggest you to make your websites load faster by optimizing all other elements like images and codes. Don't use any third party content pulling thing as it slows the sites performance. If you can, get rid of reviewazon and take some time to do that task yourself and add lots of content. Also, host your sites on different hosts because similar type of websites on same IP raises the alarm even more.

    Put 5-6 user written content hugely targeted for your main keywords. And,install an autoblog on a directory of your site. By doing so,your site will be frequently updated and crawled. Google likes lots of content.

    Good luck....
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    • Profile picture of the author Gail Grannum
      Originally Posted by apocrypha View Post

      Google's latest big ranking factor is "Page Load time" and Google seems to give lots of emphasis to it lately.

      Important websites generally load quickly. So,make your websites loads quickly. I tested ReviewAZON on some of my blogs as well. The plugin is a very neat one but i didn't like it due to many reasons. One of the reason being the Site load time. I no longer use it and go the slow and old way.

      Only 5 pages of content means not a good site to Google. I guess most of them were hosted on same IP. It must have exaggerated the cause.

      I suggest you to make your websites load faster by optimizing all other elements like images and codes. Don't use any third party content pulling thing as it slows the sites performance. If you can, get rid of reviewazon and take some time to do that task yourself and add lots of content. Also, host your sites on different hosts because similar type of websites on same IP raises the alarm even more.

      Put 5-6 user written content hugely targeted for your main keywords. And,install an autoblog on a directory of your site. By doing so,your site will be frequently updated and crawled. Google likes lots of content.

      Good luck....
      Great idea about the auto-blog on a directory!

      I decided to test an auto blog and couldn't decided where to put it on my site first.

      You are all great at sharing these tips.

      Thanks,
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      • Profile picture of the author dblgdee
        Experience has shown that Google can and will change their algo at the drop of a hat and without notice.
        Trying to keep up with a moving target is almost pointless.
        There is probably not much you can do about this now, but build a more sustainable model.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bence Ur
      Originally Posted by apocrypha View Post

      Google's latest big ranking factor is "Page Load time" and Google seems to give lots of emphasis to it lately.

      Important websites generally load quickly. So,make your websites loads quickly. I tested ReviewAZON on some of my blogs as well. The plugin is a very neat one but i didn't like it due to many reasons. One of the reason being the Site load time. I no longer use it and go the slow and old way.

      Only 5 pages of content means not a good site to Google. I guess most of them were hosted on same IP. It must have exaggerated the cause.

      I suggest you to make your websites load faster by optimizing all other elements like images and codes. Don't use any third party content pulling thing as it slows the sites performance. If you can, get rid of reviewazon and take some time to do that task yourself and add lots of content. Also, host your sites on different hosts because similar type of websites on same IP raises the alarm even more.

      Put 5-6 user written content hugely targeted for your main keywords. And,install an autoblog on a directory of your site. By doing so,your site will be frequently updated and crawled. Google likes lots of content.

      Good luck....
      Output Caching allows you to speed up the rendering of product content to your blog readers by reducing the load time and the number of calls to the Amazon web service.
      Reviewazon supports caching... Use this feature. Once the Amazon content is cached, it will become a static content.

      So Reviewazon does not slow down your site.
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      • Profile picture of the author 4morereferrals
        So is there an update and a decision that was made - flip or more backlinks?

        And what makes you think because you are using those mentioned tools that your back links are legit enough to compete ?

        Out of 200 sites - surely theres a loser niche you dont care about that you could toss out for analysis and discussion?
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  • Profile picture of the author troy23
    Look at it from Google's point of view. The internet is there to inform and educate. Unfortunately it has become saturated with money making web sites, offereing little in the way of useful content. Google has now started to clamp down on this.

    You are better off concentrating on one site, on a subject you know a lot about, write lots of valuable content, create your own products. Essentially provide a lot of content to your readers which will get picked up by the search engines.
    In time Google will reward you and you will find you have a business model that works.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    I read an article about this just recently on another forum. Turns out he was slapped for throwing up what they referred to as "thin sites". The have little or no value to end users, and as a result of this, ended up being completely deindexed.

    If it is related to load times, then Google would have notified you via their webmaster tools.

    Out of curiosity, did these sites run Adsense?
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  • Profile picture of the author derekwong28
    I suspect that the penalty was imposed automatically rather than through a manual review of your sites. In the latter case, your sites would probably be de-indexed altogether rather than just lose their SERPS. I do not know what might have happened, it may be useful to look up terms like -950 penality, -30 penality, over optimization penalty and so on.

    I am not sure whether it may be possible to save the remaining 20 sites. You could try hiding them from Google by moving them to a new hosting account, changing or make private your WHOIS, remove Adsense and do not use webmaster tools and so on. The important thing is to make changes to your business model so that it won't happen again. As to your devalued sites, I would just re-use the content again.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I think you could create 200 quality blogs if you outsourced a lot of the work. You know, like a real company whose function is to create quality content sites.

    I don't think that's what the OP did though. Not knocking them at all, seems like they thought they were making sites with quality content.

    The problem is that here at the WF we often call a site a "quality" site if it simply has unique content on it.

    I think Google might have a different idea of what a "quality" site is and it probably goes a lot deeper than if the content is unique.

    The thing is that Google seems to want sites that are great resources for your topic. Maybe a 5 page site can qualify as such, only they know for sure, I guess.

    The interesting thing is that right about the same time your site got hit (6/4) several of my really old content sites (5 years or more old with around 100 pages of mostly unique content) got hit with something and lost about 70% of their traffic.

    Ironically, some of my micro niche sites stayed the same or better (but I make them with 30 - 100 pages).

    And, I have other old content sites that got a boost.

    Been trying to rack my brain to figure out the common factor in the ones that got hit and the only thing I can figure is they had hyphens in the domain name (I created them back in the day when hyphens were the thing to do - hope I'm not dating myself!)

    Did any of your sites have hyphens in the domain name?

    Lee
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    • Profile picture of the author Elle Holder
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      Been trying to rack my brain to figure out the common factor in the ones that got hit and the only thing I can figure is they had hyphens in the domain name (I created them back in the day when hyphens were the thing to do - hope I'm not dating myself!)

      Did any of your sites have hyphens in the domain name?

      Lee
      Interesting thread. I too had been wondering what the heck went on early June, but mainly because things get better, especially for my big content site. And Lee, I created it "back in the day when hyphens were the thing to do!" I add a ~1200 word post every other week, and have been doing that for years, so there is always fresh, unique content.

      However, after doing some research when things took such a big jump, I discovered that Google announced 6/8 that Caffeine was finally alive and fully functional.

      So, my guess is, that as expected, Caffeine was a great thing for some sites and not so good for others.
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    • Profile picture of the author RichFun
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      I think you could create 200 quality blogs if you outsourced a lot of the work. You know, like a real company whose function is to create quality content sites.

      I don't think that's what the OP did though. Not knocking them at all, seems like they thought they were making sites with quality content.

      The problem is that here at the WF we often call a site a "quality" site if it simply has unique content on it.

      I think Google might have a different idea of what a "quality" site is and it probably goes a lot deeper than if the content is unique.

      The thing is that Google seems to want sites that are great resources for your topic. Maybe a 5 page site can qualify as such, only they know for sure, I guess.

      The interesting thing is that right about the same time your site got hit (6/4) several of my really old content sites (5 years or more old with around 100 pages of mostly unique content) got hit with something and lost about 70% of their traffic.

      Ironically, some of my micro niche sites stayed the same or better (but I make them with 30 - 100 pages).

      And, I have other old content sites that got a boost.

      Been trying to rack my brain to figure out the common factor in the ones that got hit and the only thing I can figure is they had hyphens in the domain name (I created them back in the day when hyphens were the thing to do - hope I'm not dating myself!)

      Did any of your sites have hyphens in the domain name?

      Lee
      Along with my reviewazon sites, I had a site with all original content and very good load time. It went down as well.. That site was an affiliate to amazon and CJ. It's hard for me to believe that google is strictly going after affiliate sites. That site didn't look like an affiliate it, it's very review based.

      What is quality? At the time of creation, I had that at the top of my mind. If a consumer is looking for a product, you talk about it and give them a list of products to go buy. How is that not what they're looking for? Anyway, I don't want to debate "quality" on this thread. I don't think that's the whole story anyway.

      btw, all my site didn't have hypens. Only my all unique 50 page site had hypen, but I really don't think that's the cause.

      I am beginning to suspect UAW may be the culprit. I had one article spun and submitted 20/day. It may have been too aggressive or too spamy? Not sure..

      I just had a idea flash this morning. What if I did a 301 redirect to a new site that loads faster and have some unique content to what was search for in the old one. I'd only do this for a couple. Most are not worth the effort.
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      • Profile picture of the author RichFun
        I have a 5-6 year old site. When looking at it's history, it dropped out of google after the first couple of months. I did not thing to it. Then it returned to top ranking for some competitive keywords after TWO years, and it has been there ever since. Google is a weird animal..

        I don't think that site was any more "quality" as it's ugly, and the content hasn't been updated for years.

        Quality or not, it's done. Lesson learned. I am not investing more resources into this model.

        I am really looking for advice on how to liquidate or salvage these sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author tamilseo
    load time is very important , do you tried WordPress › WP-Cache WordPress Plugins
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  • Profile picture of the author CDawson
    Banned
    It may be that you are targetting keywords with to much competition? I have seen many small adsense sites earning for low comp keywords still.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Umm instead of guessing, why not just ask Google themselves???
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    • Profile picture of the author Colin Theriot
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Umm instead of guessing, why not just ask Google themselves???
      Because then someone at Google would have to actually look at his sites and then they would DEFINITELY be dumped from the index.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    Interesting thread. I too had been wondering what the heck went on early June, but mainly because things get better, especially for my big content site. And Lee, I created it "back in the day when hyphens were the thing to do!" I add a ~1200 word post every other week, and have been doing that for years, so there is always fresh, unique content.

    However, after doing some research when things took such a big jump, I discovered that Google announced 6/8 that Caffeine was finally alive and fully functional.

    So, my guess is, that as expected, Caffeine was a great thing for some sites and not so good for others.
    Thanks for adding that.

    My sites were infrequently updated - one of the ones that got hit was updated within the last couple of months but for the most part I would only add content to them every 6 months or so. Actually it's a miracle they sustained traffic for so long.

    But not all my older neglected sites lost traffic which is why I was wondering about the hyphens. They probably just slid under the filter somehow. Better start updating them now!

    Lee
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  • Profile picture of the author Keith Everett
    Do you think it would have made a difference if video had been employed on his sites, doesn't Google love video just that little bit better ?

    Keith
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    • Profile picture of the author MJ Schaefer
      Colin has it right.

      There really is no mystery to what Google wants: websites that its visitors value.

      If you look inside Google Analytics, the most prominent statistic is your site's bounce rate. Clearly Google values sites where visitors stick around. The bounce rate, just like backlinks and social bookmarking (perceived votes), is Google's way of trying to find out what the average person values.

      A five page website on model railways with PLR/outsourced content just ain't gonna cut it next to a website that has been lovingly crafted by a genuine enthusiast.

      It'd be nice to see a fundamental paradigm shift among IMers whereby instead of trying to understand and manipulate the engineering, they actually just focus on putting out terrific content - and then the ranking will likely take care of itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author dknyrob
    Well your not the only one I also had about 70 of my sites disappear bringing my income from $900 to about 200 bucks leaving me with just 10 sites but now the rest of the traffic is coming from Yahoo.. Oh well i just moved on it was good while it last...
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  • Profile picture of the author HunterSnake
    Microsites. A Bad Idea Most of the Time. - Nine By Blue is an interesting read.

    You're better off making 2 really good quality websites than you are 200. Short-term rankings come to people who do this but they almost always get punished. As search engines become more and more intelligent, people will be caught even faster.
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  • Profile picture of the author JoshBrown
    Originally Posted by RichFun View Post

    I was built almost 200 sites in the beginning of this year following xfactor's domain names. These site are mostly run on Reviewazon with 5 pages of unique content. I promoted them via ezine, uaw, ama, senuke.. all very gradual. My sites do load slow due to reviewazon's pull from amazon..
    If you were my client, I'd say you answered your own question.

    Nix the plugin, add WP Super Cache, and see what happens. Keep us posted.

    Best,
    Josh
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    • Profile picture of the author RichFun
      Originally Posted by JoshBrown View Post

      If you were my client, I'd say you answered your own question.

      Nix the plugin, add WP Super Cache, and see what happens. Keep us posted.

      Best,
      Josh
      WP Super cache is already installed, and it's doesn't do much.

      Unfortunate, Reviewazon is heavily entrenched into my site. If I take it out, then I got to delete most of my posts. I am not even sure if that's the root cause. I guess I can try it on a couple sites and see what happens.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I have a 5-6 year old site. When looking at it's history, it dropped out of google after the first couple of months. I did not thing to it. Then it returned to top ranking for some competitive keywords after TWO years, and it has been there ever since. Google is a weird animal..
    Yes, very. The thing is they are always tweaking their algorithims and even "white hat, high quality sites" can get caught in some strange filter.

    Then again, even crappy junk sites can zoom up to the top.

    None of my sites were wordpress nor did they have any fancy coding so they load pretty fast so I don't think that was my problem. Probably the lack of updating was.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterkailo
    Noticed that this person said they are still in Google, but not ranked well? The sites are most likely sandboxed. I had a lot of XFactor style sites that were sandboxed AT THE SAME TIME and CAME BACK RANKED at the same time.

    Also, your Ezine and Senuke backlink crap are full of PR 0 or N/A PR juice. There are much better ways to get backlinks. Just look at the front page of lots of competitive keywords, you will see that they have spammed lots of high PR blogs.

    It is important to check the PR of each post in a blog. Just because homepage says PR 8 doesn't mean the post that you drop a link in it PR 8. It could be 2,3,4,5,0 , etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author swayman
    I see that you're using a very heavy website promotion arsenals there, maybe some of the methods are raising G's red alert ? I mean 200 websites... it's a lot of websites
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  • Profile picture of the author actionplanbiz
    Originally Posted by RichFun View Post

    My sites do load slow due to reviewazon's pull from amazon..
    it might be cuz your sites loads slow... tried the wp super cache plugin for wordpress?
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  • Profile picture of the author Gavin Abeyratne
    Flip them. As long as they are getting some revenue, they are worth something to someone. Selling them for next to nothing is better than nothing. Recoup as much of your investment as possible to start a your business again, with some internal controls in place to minimize risk.

    The whole business model of 200 sites that make a few dollars a day is very risky for this exact reason, it leaves a foot print. If the big G finds one site it thinks is thin, and that is linked to 180 others, it will slap them all.

    If you're going to continue to build sites like this, change up the hosting every 10-15 sites, use a different domain registrant, and don't use the same plugin or content management system on all of them. Though you could probably get away with using wordpress on all of them, Id certainly be hesitant to use a plugin that pulls feeds on all of them like Reviewazon or similar.

    The best strategy for a "many sites" online income involves periodic flipping. Build, monetize, flip. Rinse and repeat.

    This way you capitalize on a sites income many months in advance, without having to maintain its SEO rankings or worry about getting slapped.

    Ideally, in at least one of the niches you build minisites in you capture leads as part of building a larger authority site.

    That would be my advice to you, good luck friend
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    • Profile picture of the author Bronwyn and Keith
      Hi Richfun

      Lots of great thoughts and opinions here already some of them conflicting with others of course.

      Unfortunately opinions are like 'backsides" - everybodies got ONE...

      Here's ours

      The issues seem to mostly revolve around the following
      1) Reviewazon
      2) Your single server approach
      3) Load speed
      4) Size of site
      5) Speed of linkbuilding

      The challenge seems to be that you have multiple potential issues that have all rolled together at the "Big G" all at once.

      Load speed coupled with automated low value content coupled with one IP appear to be the main causes based on the recent "BIG G" rules.

      In our view the size of the site is less a factor than the other 3 issues mentioned above and based on your comment that the linkbuilding was done gradually that shouldn't be a major issue.

      What to do?

      Well you could hope like heck that this is temporary...OR

      1) Switch the sites that haven't been deindexed to other multiple IP's - yes it will cost more but you will potentially mitigate future issues.
      2) Only put a maximum of 10 -20 sites on one IP
      3) Kill off the the cause of the page loading issue and replace with something that has better load speed.
      4) Add some additional content to some of the sites that you switch to the other IP's.
      5) Flip the ones that the "BIG G" has deindexed and cut your losses - at least it will pay for the mutiple IP's. And the sites will end up on different IP's anyway.
      6) Go and have a good nights sleep and when you awake refreshed - keep your online career moving forward.

      Whatever you do - Don't let the Google Dance kill your dream!

      Regards

      Bronwyn and Keith
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  • Profile picture of the author gulliver2010
    Originally Posted by RichFun View Post


    6/4 Google dropped most of my site's ranking where they get now organic traffic now from Google. They're all still indexed, but the traffic and revenue dived.
    well if they're still indexed then i wouldn't worry so much.. i think it's the may day update and G might still be digesting your websites... so either they'll come back better than before or remain there... besides you're still getting visitors so it's not that bad...
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  • You need to give these websites some time. Everyone here did a great job of providing insight towards what might be causing the issue.

    Take that Amazon plugin out completely for a while. Have your sites lay low.

    The truth is, if Google wanted your sites out, they would have been out. The fact that they are still indexed and still going, regardless of there current rankings, means that

    1. Google doesn't see them as prime properties for page one rankings at this point
    2. Your sites are still too young and are bouncing around in Googles search results.

    Building 200 sites is a lot! Good job on taking massive action.

    If you built these sites in the beginning of the year, I take it domains were registered around that time as well.

    Your domains should have around 5 months left before renewal. If that is the case, I think you are far from deciding to kick them to the side. Put them aside for now and focus your efforts on other ventures.

    If anything, take the top 50 sites in your network and go around adding an extra post to each. Show Google your websites are still alive.

    Make sure you interlink your pages, and I would recommend you stop using uaw.
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  • Profile picture of the author freudianslip27
    RichFun,

    I'd be very interested to know if any came back for you? I am very interested in following a model somewhat like you did, though I want to start with a few sites and then further build out those that are successful (but still have multiple properties, to see which sink and swim).

    Google can be a pretty funny beast, and it doesn't mean your sites are done for, especially if you invest a bit of tune up in them.

    Matt
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  • Profile picture of the author Groovystar
    "I mean, if your site has a search ranking, and it's not actually the BEST result for that search from the USER's standpoint, you only have that ranking until Google figures out how to improve the index.

    They WANT the BEST sites to rank highest - not best SEO, not best links - those are just methods they use to try and teach a computer to tell what's best."

    I love this quote. It's very true. "Best" is often subjective--I think MY site is honestly the best in its genre, and my members pretty much ALL agree!--I'm sure not everyone in our genre would agree. But, I don't think anyone would argue that a 5-page autospun Adsense blog is better than a highly trusted and reviewed news site, for example.
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    • Profile picture of the author NetWorth
      Like may I had the same thing happen. But I only had 60 sites that got busted. I also have a thread that is trying to figure out why some MFA sites are still doing just fine with 5 pages and a couple backlinks??? I don't quite get it.

      Anyone out there who is trying to rebuild pm me and we can compare notes I not sure if it is worth trying to salvage the domains that got slapped.
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      • Profile picture of the author Blogmudgeon
        If my research is correct, two main things conspired to kill your sites. As briefly mentioned, Google is hunting down and penalizing Amazon "Thin Affiliate" sites. Essentially these are mass produced clones that utilize reviewAZON, WPZonBuilder, PhpZon and others to stuff a site with supplied Amazon content. This applies to other affiliate programs as well such as eBay, Overstock, etcetera. Typically they seem to be imposing a -50 penalty. Here is Google's official word:

        Little or no original content - Webmaster Tools Help

        A large number of automated mechanisms are being put into place to flag links for human review. As mentioned, page load time--and specifically load times drawing content from sources external to the site. For a number of new flagging protocols we have to look no further than John Chow and his followers for causing them to be put into place.

        A bounce back to the Google results page with an extremely short time on page plus 1 page view also flags. I learn that it is quite common for thin affiliates to possess all three of these traits--and a survey of other forums and blogs reveals that thin site IMs are getting dumped backward at an increasing rate. Google Caffeine is seeing to that...

        Thanks for this thread--as I was already having issues with the current version of reviewAZON not being quite ready for prime time with WP3 specific templates. One of my strategies in the four prong approach I am formulating involved vomiting out a significant quantity of thin sites. Times are a changing...

        As Jeremy Schoemaker has said (an example of talking out of both sides of ones mouth :p), "don't make Google look stupid" and "build sites for people, not search engines". Caffeine, here I come...
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        Patrick

        "There ain't no secret sauce..."

        |My Internet Marketing Adventures Blog :: Facebook Page|

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    • Profile picture of the author digidoodles
      Originally Posted by Groovystar View Post

      "I mean, if your site has a search ranking, and it's not actually the BEST result for that search from the USER's standpoint, you only have that ranking until Google figures out how to improve the index.

      They WANT the BEST sites to rank highest - not best SEO, not best links - those are just methods they use to try and teach a computer to tell what's best."

      I love this quote. It's very true. "Best" is often subjective--I think MY site is honestly the best in its genre, and my members pretty much ALL agree!--I'm sure not everyone in our genre would agree. But, I don't think anyone would argue that a 5-page autospun Adsense blog is better than a highly trusted and reviewed news site, for example.
      An autospun Adsense blog may produce the perfect ad featuring exactly what I am looking for as opposed to a "highly trusted and reviewed news site".

      People seem to belittle the adsense/amazon sites. You forget: Amazon is an Amazon site. (?!?!?) How much useful content does an e-commerce site give you that's BENEFICIAL and NOT slanted towards their product? Answer: just about nil.

      I don't care where I find what I'm looking for as long as I find it. I suspect other savvy web surfers who don't have a ton of time to waste feel the same.

      So, hop off the "my mega site is better than the 5 page auto-blog site" high-horse. After all, at the end of the day, if the user finds what they are looking for, what difference does it make if they found it at a 5 page site or a 1,000 page site?

      Warmly,

      Brandi
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      My niche is feeding my family... What's yours?
      http://www.DoOrDieMarketing.com
      Watch Us as We Do It Or D.IE... Are you Along For The Ride
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  • Profile picture of the author Marhelper
    Do you have them ALL on the same hosting account?
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  • Profile picture of the author thehobbster
    I think your early June serp slap was just a late May-Day slap. They slapped "thin" MFA (Made for Advertising) sites. What criteria they used, I dunno. But I have read many who have recovered "somewhat" by adding more content. What I would do is do some keyword research for each site, and come up with a list of 25 more keywords for each one, and start hiring outsourcers to write content around those keywords. Slowly drip them into the sites and you'll probably see them climb back a little.

    X-Factor himself says most of his sites have 100 pages now? Some high number like that, not just 5. I'd do the same.

    Targeting a micro-niche does not mean you can have a micro-site, especially when Google's money is involved.
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