Google Punishing Guest Posts?

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Hi Warriors

For the past few months I've been trying to work out why my Google search traffic has tanked.

I went from 1k Google visitors per day to 200. I then went back up to about 400 and now I've tanked again to 250ish.

I figured Google was punishing me for something so I submitted a reconsideration request.

I recently received an email from G stating that:

"We've reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes."


The thing is, I've never paid for a single backlink.

90% of my link building is by submitting guest posts to high quality blogs in my market.

With each guest post I include an author resource box. Does Google recognize that this resource box is included with lots of my backlinks and see it as unnatural link building?

How can I lift this penalty without individually contacting over 50 bloggers who host my content with a backlink?

And if guest posting is no longer a viable link building strategy, then WHAT IS?

Thanks,
James
#google #guest #posts #punishing
  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    That would be really disturbing if it were the case because that leaves basically nothing. You just have to wait for people to find your stuff and link to it because they like it so much. Probably gonna be a long wait for lots of people.
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    • Profile picture of the author JSProjects
      Originally Posted by cashcow View Post

      That would be really disturbing if it were the case because that leaves basically nothing. You just have to wait for people to find your stuff and link to it because they like it so much. Probably gonna be a long wait for lots of people.
      I'm guessing that Google would love this. It would drive a ton of people to PPC. Which I'd bet is their ultimate goal.
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      • Profile picture of the author st0necol
        Originally Posted by JSProjects View Post

        I'm guessing that Google would love this. It would drive a ton of people to PPC. Which I'd bet is their ultimate goal.
        If they are onto this then I am sure they're gonna see a huge drop in their revenues because other search engines would happily modify their search algorithms to keep SEOs happy.
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        • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
          Originally Posted by st0necol View Post

          If they are onto this then I am sure they're gonna see a huge drop in their revenues because other search engines would happily modify their search algorithms to keep SEOs happy.
          Why would Google care one bit about keeping SEOs happy? The only thing they care about is their users and their stockholders. Which is exactly what their priority should be.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Curry
    Have you analyzed your backlink profile lately? Maybe a competitor has nuked your site with spammy backlinks. I can't see why Google would penalize you for guest posts.
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  • Particularly right now, guest posting on blogs that accept a lot of guest posts may be seen as a blog network. I've read on other sites that some are concerned this would start happening more now with blog networks being deindexed.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
    What's the best way to check my backlink profile?

    I'm looking in my Google Webmaster and it's showing nearly 6,000 links - with 3000 from updowner.com

    I'm not sure what that site is but looking in the Webmaster forums a lot of people are seeing a lot of links from this site.

    There are a lot of links from junk sites. I'm not sure whether that's because a competitor has blasted my link around or because of websites that scrape content with a link back.

    James
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

      90% of my link building is by submitting guest posts to high quality blogs in my market.
      Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

      I'm looking in my Google Webmaster and it's showing nearly 6,000 links - with 3000 from updowner.com
      Ignoring updowner.com, that is 3000 links. 3000 links from guest posts is a hell of a lot. So I doubt these are all guest posts. What other link building activities were you doing or paying someone to do?
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      • Profile picture of the author Brendan Mace
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        Ignoring updowner.com, that is 3000 links. 3000 links from guest posts is a hell of a lot. So I doubt these are all guest posts. What other link building activities were you doing or paying someone to do?
        It's possible that those guest posts were syndicated by other blogs. I don't know if that would account for all 3000 backlinks. But If Google is seriously going to try and devalue all websites with a large backlink portfolio, the world of negative SEO is upon us.
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      • Profile picture of the author theverysmartguy
        Yea, 3000 guest posts is quite a bit. If that was done over a year that is like 8 - 9 posts per day.

        Which I guess is doable, if there are actually 3000 HIGH QUALITY sites that are willing to accept guest posts in your niche. I am not saying that there isn't, but that is a lot.

        If you can get some truly high quality guests posts, you don't need 3000 of them to rank a site very high.

        -- Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author topijerami
    i not think google punish it..
    maybe has several mistake there
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  • Profile picture of the author zharfan
    what! if guest post is unnatural link so, how to find natural and quality link? it can be big prolem for me
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  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    There's no way you did 3000 guest posts. What's the other 10%? Go to majestic, sign up and get the the free report for the sites you own. You'll know where the links are coming from.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
    Hi everyone

    Thanks for your responses. You're right, I haven't submitted 3,000 guest posts, but sometimes one post results in a number of backlinks. For example I can be linked from the post itself, from the category page and from the authors page.

    Still, there are a LOT of links that I don't recognize and that look like junk.

    Here are some examples. Could you please tell me if this is the result of people mass submitting junk backlinks to my site, or is this just junk sites that link out to anyone and everyone.

    Example 1:

    - 13thman.com - 13thman ยป Free Reverse IP Lookup | Reverse DNS | Sites on the same IP Address

    OnTheSameHost.com provides 54 links to my site. If you check that link you can't actually see my website, but they must have linked previously. Is this the result of mass submission or a website just linking to other sites on the same host?

    - Com For Acne Face Mask

    This site also links to me from 21 pages, such as the one above. All it is is a long list of related posts from around the web. Is that natural? Or is it the result of mass backlink submission?

    Looking though the rest of my links, the majority are:

    - guest posts
    - junk blogs who have taken my ezinearticles.com posts and published them to their own blog
    - poor quality blogs that include links to external relevant blogs at the end of the post

    Could someone please let me know what paid links would look like, how I can find them (if they exist) and how I can get rid of them.

    Thanks,
    James
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    • Profile picture of the author st0necol
      Your case seems like a pretty interesting one....a lot to learn about what our future options going to be.....guest posts used to be a great source for high quality content + backlinks...

      I think because that you've got so many links going on from crappy blogs (due to them using your content and linking you), you're giving Google an impression that you've paid for those links. And the last point :

      poor quality blogs that include links to external relevant blogs at the end of the post
      Looks to me that you're getting links from a blog network which has become a major NO-NO these days.
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  • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
    whenever I submit an article to ezinearticles in ends up getting published on a bunch of awful low quality WP blogs and other trashy websites, with links back to my site. It's put me off doing it.
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    • Profile picture of the author rinor81
      I believe guest posts is the most powerful way to build links to sites...you get contextual links from various domains, blogs, I guess maybe some bad sites used your articles and links...guest blogs are great and I don't see Google punishing you for them...
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    • Profile picture of the author Sharon Trainor
      Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

      whenever I submit an article to ezinearticles in ends up getting published on a bunch of awful low quality WP blogs and other trashy websites, with links back to my site. It's put me off doing it.
      Thanks for this info, actually the whole thread has
      been interesting...
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    • Profile picture of the author carlamax
      Originally Posted by FreeMeal View Post

      whenever I submit an article to ezinearticles in ends up getting published on a bunch of awful low quality WP blogs and other trashy websites, with links back to my site. It's put me off doing it.
      yes i too agree with it. i also tried alot
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  • Profile picture of the author linkbuildr
    I imagine if you're guest posting a lot and targeting and anchor text then that's considered against their TOS....you're intending to manipulate the results technically speaking. If you didn't target specific anchor text then I'm a fool, but that's what I'm seeing lately.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
    Sign up for a free account at majesticseo.com if you want to have a look at your backlinks.
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    • Profile picture of the author affhelper
      James, If Google penalizes for Guest Posting then I would imagine there is going to be a lot of backlash from Bloggers.

      By guest posting you get an editorial link not a paid link which should be within Google's TOS.

      I rejected over 10 guest posts last month on my blog simply because I felt like the content was not very good and the sites didn't provide value at all.

      When someone submits a guest post I always look at the site I am linking to.

      Also, for example, when someone submits a post with incontent link through key phrase "seo company" to me it looks like an SEO campaign and not a contribution.

      Usually guys that submit these posts are outsourcers and not the owners of the site. I hate those kinds of posts because what happens is that they don't come back to comment to answer questions. Once it's published they disappear because they got what they wanted (hint: backlink)

      Anyway, if Google wants to get rid off guest posting then I don't see how any blogger could grow their audience and get exposure. What will happen is that the established blogs will just grow stronger and all you are going to see is the same people ranking all over and dominating their niche.
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      • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
        Originally Posted by affhelper View Post

        James, If Google penalizes for Guest Posting then I would imagine there is going to be a lot of backlash from Bloggers.

        By guest posting you get an editorial link not a paid link which should be within Google's TOS.

        I rejected over 10 guest posts last month on my blog simply because I felt like the content was not very good and the sites didn't provide value at all.

        When someone submits a guest post I always look at the site I am linking to.

        Also, for example, when someone submits a post with incontent link through key phrase "seo company" to me it looks like an SEO campaign and not a contribution.

        Usually guys that submit these posts are outsourcers and not the owners of the site. I hate those kinds of posts because what happens is that they don't come back to comment to answer questions. Once it's published they disappear because they got what they wanted (hint: backlink)

        Anyway, if Google wants to get rid off guest posting then I don't see how any blogger could grow their audience and get exposure. What will happen is that the established blogs will just grow stronger and all you are going to see is the same people ranking all over and dominating their niche.
        Thanks Pawel

        Interestingly, it was reading a post on your blog which prompted me to research more into Google punishing websites that could have been harmed by external sources submitting backlinks.

        I wondered if that was the case for me.

        I'll dig deeper into my backlink profile tomorrow and see if I can find the problem.

        James
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  • Profile picture of the author xxxJamesxxx
    It could be autoblogs scraping content from the Blogs you've quest posted leading to a ton of low quality backlinks pointing back to your site.

    Dunno if it's true... Just sayin'.

    James Scholes
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  • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
    Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

    ...
    90% of my link building is by submitting guest posts to high quality blogs in my market.

    With each guest post I include an author resource box. Does Google recognize that this resource box is included with lots of my backlinks and see it as unnatural link building?

    How can I lift this penalty without individually contacting over 50 bloggers who host my content with a backlink?

    And if guest posting is no longer a viable link building strategy, then WHAT IS?

    Thanks,
    James
    Hey James =)

    Sorry to hear of your troubles lately...it gets messy at times, doesn't it?

    OK, I took a poke around (I guessed which site of yours this is involving - well, it was an educated guess and I feel like I'm right, but not 100% sure).

    The site of yours I checked into has something interesting going on.

    First, I need an honest clarification from you on something you said.

    You said that 90% of your link building has been via guest posts.

    I need you to define "guest posts" for me.

    To me, that means you write a unique article for EACH guest post you offer to another site. It is not the SAME article on many sites.

    Submitting the SAME article to many sites is article syndication - not guest posts. I just want to make sure we're on the same page with that.

    That said, I'm gonna try and explain what I see so you can see it too without giving your sensitive details out, ok?

    Go look at one your ezine articles you have for this site. Go down to your bio box and highlight/copy a string of words in your bio box starting with the word "no" and the next 14 words.

    Put that string of words inside quotes and search Google for that exact phrase.

    Right now, Google is giving 1,620 results for that exact phrase - and they all seem to be copies of your ezine articles... which all have the same bio box.

    This one bio box with the same anchor links in them just might be the source of your issue.

    Can I guarantee it? No, of course not - but based on info you have given in this thread so far, it sure seems possible.

    These links make up the majority of your link profile. How those articles all got out there... well, I could speculate, but that's not the issue now and won't help anything change. That's done...let's move forward.

    What To Do?

    Well, to me, it doesn't seem possible to contact all of these sites and ask them to remove your article or change up your bio box. That would take a TON of time and most likely, would end up being time wasted.

    *If it was me* (that's my disclaimer...lol) - I would work towards improving my back link profile... get some good guest posts out there (all unique with varying bio boxes) etc, in attempt to a) get a better and diverse back link profile, and b) slowly dilute the links that are holding you back.

    I have to say this.... in my last blog post about the whole link networks being de-indexed things, I said that I hold on to my "warm and fuzzy" feeling that there is *some* fairness left when it comes to ranking well in Google.

    After taking a good look at the OP situation and realizing just how dead simple that would be to do TO someone... well, my warm and fuzzy ain't feeling so warm and fuzzy anymore.

    I wish you the best!

    Jennifer
    ~PotPieGirl
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    • Profile picture of the author jord2n
      Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

      Hey James =)

      Sorry to hear of your troubles lately...it gets messy at times, doesn't it?

      OK, I took a poke around (I guessed which site of yours this is involving - well, it was an educated guess and I feel like I'm right, but not 100% sure).

      The site of yours I checked into has something interesting going on.

      First, I need an honest clarification from you on something you said.

      You said that 90% of your link building has been via guest posts.

      I need you to define "guest posts" for me.

      To me, that means you write a unique article for EACH guest post you offer to another site. It is not the SAME article on many sites.

      Submitting the SAME article to many sites is article syndication - not guest posts. I just want to make sure we're on the same page with that.

      That said, I'm gonna try and explain what I see so you can see it too without giving your sensitive details out, ok?

      Go look at one your ezine articles you have for this site. Go down to your bio box and highlight/copy a string of words in your bio box starting with the word "no" and the next 14 words.

      Put that string of words inside quotes and search Google for that exact phrase.

      Right now, Google is giving 1,620 results for that exact phrase - and they all seem to be copies of your ezine articles... which all have the same bio box.

      This one bio box with the same anchor links in them just might be the source of your issue.

      Can I guarantee it? No, of course not - but based on info you have given in this thread so far, it sure seems possible.

      These links make up the majority of your link profile. How those articles all got out there... well, I could speculate, but that's not the issue now and won't help anything change. That's done...let's move forward.

      What To Do?

      Well, to me, it doesn't seem possible to contact all of these sites and ask them to remove your article or change up your bio box. That would take a TON of time and most likely, would end up being time wasted.

      *If it was me* (that's my disclaimer...lol) - I would work towards improving my back link profile... get some good guest posts out there (all unique with varying bio boxes) etc, in attempt to a) get a better and diverse back link profile, and b) slowly dilute the links that are holding you back.

      I have to say this.... in my last blog post about the whole link networks being de-indexed things, I said that I hold on to my "warm and fuzzy" feeling that there is *some* fairness left when it comes to ranking well in Google.

      After taking a good look at the OP situation and realizing just how dead simple that would be to do TO someone... well, my warm and fuzzy ain't feeling so warm and fuzzy anymore.

      I wish you the best!

      Jennifer
      ~PotPieGirl
      Best post I have read in months. This person is clearly intelligent and thinks for herself. Thank you.
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      • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
        Thanks, Jord2n!

        If I am right about the site in question, this is NOT good and Google is showing something that I, for one, really didn't want to see (yep, I can be Queen of Denial from time to time...lol)

        @JamesPenn - I sent you a PM. I probably shouldn't be going off on Twitter and the like anymore until I am sure the site I think it is, is actually the site you are talking about (and no, I don't want to make your site public or anything like that....just to know that what I see is really what I see).

        Thanks for sharing with us, James!

        Jennifer
        ~PotPieGirl
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  • Profile picture of the author Viramara
    is updowner.com = automated guest post link blast? 3000 links from 1 sites seem unnatural.....

    My 90% traffic is from guest posting too and I'm 100% manual, never use "automated" stuff or spinner, no problem so far.
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    • Profile picture of the author attorneydavid
      Originally Posted by Viramara View Post

      is updowner.com = automated guest post link blast? 3000 links from 1 sites seem unnatural.....

      My 90% traffic is from guest posting too and I'm 100% manual, never use "automated" stuff or spinner, no problem so far.

      It's perfectly natural. Lots of sites have sitewide links.
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  • Profile picture of the author StewieG
    Say it ain't true...

    G be rainin down fire and brim stone...

    2012 B*tches...
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  • Profile picture of the author TourPlanet
    this may be because you are doing to fast, always get links slowly don't be too fast..getting backlinks in a natural way is beneficial
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  • Profile picture of the author dotgirish
    Yes, its really disturbing for those who do very genuine link building using guest posts. But why don't you try some diversified link building from different sources. It may balance your link profiles and gives a bit of natural look algorithmically.
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
    Jennifer - Thanks so much for popping in here with your incredibly valuable contribution. I really appreciate it.

    In response to some of your queries...

    1. Firstly, you correctly identified the site I was referring to. That's the one that's taken the punishment.

    2. I define guest posting as publishing new and original content to just one blog, and then posting another new and original piece to another blog.

    I have guest posted to new blogs, old blogs, low traffic blogs and high traffic blogs. I have content published on some of the most popular blogs and websites in my market.

    With my guest posts I usually include one contextual anchor text link which is usually a keyword I'm targeting. I thought perhaps this would be one of the reasons for Google seeing my links as unnatural?

    3. Do you suggest I reply to my Google Reconsideration Request? If so, how do you think I should approach it?

    4. Also, what tool/website/service did you use to find all the links pointing back to my site?

    I used GWT but I'd imagine there are better tools out there.

    Thanks so much for your help. I've also sent you a PM.

    Thanks,
    James
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    • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
      Hey James =)

      I already replied to you via PM (well TWO actually - my original was too long so I had to break it into 2 messages) so you know a lot of what I'm thinking and what I found, etc.

      To anyone else reading this, I want to say this...

      James, the OP here in this thread, did not do anything wrong. In fact, I think he did things in a way that even Google would say, "Nothing wrong with that!".

      The site in question is about 5 years old. James worked on it slowly and focused on good content...then did a few things to get the word out about his site. Just like we're told to.

      His site is good - full of good info. Has social accounts - well-written...really nice pictures, etc. In other words - not some crap site. At least not in my opinion.

      His guest posts he mentioned are all good - unique - not spammy or automated or anything like that. Real live guest posts.

      His ezine articles are also well-written and good content over-all.

      Yes, his site, as well as the majority of sites, get picked up by the scraper sites and meta sites and all that - it happens. Nothing we can do about that. Those sites get just about all of us.

      I'm saying all this to point out that it's easy to *assume* someone who gets a 'love note' from Google is doing something wrong. In this case, it's not true.

      I'm very hesitant to say *exactly* what happened in this situation because a) it might give some num-nuts a "bright idea" and b)others might freak out.

      So I'm gonna stop here.

      I want to thank you, James, for sharing this with the forum and with me. It was quite an eye-opening learning experience.

      Jennifer
      ~PotPieGirl
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

        Hey James =)

        I already replied to you via PM (well TWO actually - my original was too long so I had to break it into 2 messages) so you know a lot of what I'm thinking and what I found, etc.

        To anyone else reading this, I want to say this...

        James, the OP here in this thread, did not do anything wrong. In fact, I think he did things in a way that even Google would say, "Nothing wrong with that!".

        The site in question is about 5 years old. James worked on it slowly and focused on good content...then did a few things to get the word out about his site. Just like we're told to.

        His site is good - full of good info. Has social accounts - well-written...really nice pictures, etc. In other words - not some crap site. At least not in my opinion.

        His guest posts he mentioned are all good - unique - not spammy or automated or anything like that. Real live guest posts.

        His ezine articles are also well-written and good content over-all.

        Yes, his site, as well as the majority of sites, get picked up by the scraper sites and meta sites and all that - it happens. Nothing we can do about that. Those sites get just about all of us.

        I'm saying all this to point out that it's easy to *assume* someone who gets a 'love note' from Google is doing something wrong. In this case, it's not true.

        I'm very hesitant to say *exactly* what happened in this situation because a) it might give some num-nuts a "bright idea" and b)others might freak out.

        So I'm gonna stop here.

        I want to thank you, James, for sharing this with the forum and with me. It was quite an eye-opening learning experience.

        Jennifer
        ~PotPieGirl

        Jennifer,

        I saw his site. I agree that there was nothing wrong with it.

        I bolded the key point though. An article got picked up and distributed widely. That probably boosted his rankings. Now if Google made the decision that those sites were garbage and decided to discount any links found on those sites, that is not a penalty to the site owned by James or anyone else who had a link from them. To me that is more of Google just saying that the site shouldn't have ranked that high in the first place and they fixed it.

        This is not an indictment on his site. It is a good site and over time will probably continue to grow and get better rankings. I see it as Google fixing a glitch.
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        • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
          Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

          Jennifer,

          I saw his site. I agree that there was nothing wrong with it.

          I bolded the key point though. An article got picked up and distributed widely. That probably boosted his rankings. Now if Google made the decision that those sites were garbage and decided to discount any links found on those sites, that is not a penalty to the site owned by James or anyone else who had a link from them. To me that is more of Google just saying that the site shouldn't have ranked that high in the first place and they fixed it.

          This is not an indictment on his site. It is a good site and over time will probably continue to grow and get better rankings. I see it as Google fixing a glitch.

          Hey Mike =)

          I totally agree, and understand, that if links are deemed useless/garbage and stop passing value and/or are de-indexed - rankings go down due to lost links. That's a normal course of events.

          Thing is, when you read the original post from James, Google DID tell him that they detected unnatural links.

          Originally Posted by JamesPenn

          For the past few months I've been trying to work out why my Google search traffic has tanked.

          I went from 1k Google visitors per day to 200. I then went back up to about 400 and now I've tanked again to 250ish.

          I figured Google was punishing me for something so I submitted a reconsideration request.

          I recently received an email from G stating that:

          "We've reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines.

          Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes."
          So, based on that, Google IS holding his site accountable. The sites with his content on it ARE still in the G index. The links might have been devalued, but the sites have not been de-indexed or anything.

          So it's not a matter of losing links - it's a matter of so many of them out there vs his back link profile that's causing the issue TO James' site.

          Again, for anyone else reading - this is NOT a case of losing links therefor losing rankings as is happening with a lot of folks due to back link networks being de-indexed. I get that concept and that is not what is going on here.

          However, Mike, I do agree with you - his site IS good and with time and some love from his target market, he will most likely come back better than ever.

          Just, right now - well, it kinda bites...lol!

          Jennifer
          ~PotPieGirl
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    • Profile picture of the author annsmarty
      Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

      Do you suggest I reply to my Google Reconsideration Request? If so, how do you think I should approach it?
      Have you tried replying (or submitting another one) yet? How long did it take for them to get back to you first time?

      I've never seen in my life that an innocent blog is flagged (maybe because we are all guilty to some extent, but you can't ban the whole Internet, so it's kind of a lottery) but in this case it clearly feels that the flag/ban should be lifted.

      As for BackLinkiT's comment above, not sure what he/she considers a "natural" link then
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      • Profile picture of the author DudleyDog
        I would like to refocus on the links coming from updowner.com. Have you looked into these.

        I have just received a message in WM Tools about unnatural links to my site and I have a huge amount from updowner.

        I have not put these links on there. It looks like they are scraping sites and putting content on there from my site in a frame (especially all the internal links) from my pages.

        Other people are have a problem too, and blocking updownerbot in your robots file does not seem to work.

        Any one else getting links from updowner?
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        • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
          Originally Posted by DudleyDog View Post

          I would like to refocus on the links coming from updowner.com. Have you looked into these.

          I have just received a message in WM Tools about unnatural links to my site and I have a huge amount from updowner.

          I have not put these links on there. It looks like they are scraping sites and putting content on there from my site in a frame (especially all the internal links) from my pages.

          Other people are have a problem too, and blocking updownerbot in your robots file does not seem to work.

          Any one else getting links from updowner?
          If you didn't put the links on that site then how can Google penalize a site for that? You cannot help it if someone scrapes your content, can you?

          I find that quite worrying.

          Wouldnt it be easier for Google to just devalue the links, and be done with it? Then the links mean nothing, instead of sending a message...What would Google say if you replied saying you didn't do it and have no control over them and don't know how to get rid of them since you didn't put them on there? (How do you get rid of links from sites that you have no control over?)

          And couldn't you do that to bring a competitors site down?

          Also, might be an idea for Google to just de-index that site if its just a content scraper website.
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          • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
            Originally Posted by hicksdelight View Post

            If you didn't put the links on that site then how can Google penalize a site for that? You cannot help it if someone scrapes your content, can you?

            I find that quite worrying.
            You wouldn't think so, would you? However, if you read through this thread, you'll see it reflects a different story.

            Jennifer
            ~PotPieGirl
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            • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
              Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

              You wouldn't think so, would you? However, if you read through this thread, you'll see it reflects a different story.

              Jennifer
              ~PotPieGirl
              Hi,

              Yeah, I suppose mine was just a general question, but I do find it worrying.

              You could work hard on getting white hat backlinks, do what Google says, build good content and the rest takes care of itself (though never understood that as to get links you need people to visit your site, and for people to visit your site you need backlinks, lol) and then Google penalizes you for unatural backlinking for something out of your control.

              As I say, what about the competition? Could you do it to them? (Not that I would).
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            • Profile picture of the author affhelper
              Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

              You wouldn't think so, would you? However, if you read through this thread, you'll see it reflects a different story.

              Jennifer
              ~PotPieGirl
              Jennifer, I sent you a PM. Please check
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      • Profile picture of the author Steve25
        Originally Posted by BackLinkiT View Post

        Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I would regard guest posts as unnatural links.

        Surely, what we are trying to do when link building is to mirror the natural link building patterns of visitors to a site who might regard it as of high value?

        They will share it, bookmark it, tweet it, like it, google+ it. But no real visitor is going to go a blog and write a guest post, leaving a link in the resource box. They might leave a comment on a related post saying 'have you seen this site...etc etc' but that is it.
        Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

        It might be ME in the minority here, but I disagree.

        When one submits a unique/useful/compelling/awesome guest post to a site owner, that site owner reads it and deems it quality content for their site AND for their readers. The site owner allows a link to the authors site or twitter account or whatever so his/her readers can find more about the guest poster who was nice enough to share that unique/useful/compelling article.

        That is a truly editorial link. To me, that IS natural.

        Jennifer
        ~PotPieGirl
        Let's be realistic about this, ANY link you fetch yourself, whether it be a link exchange, guest blog, bookmarking etc is not natural. By it's very definition a natural link (at least in G's eyes) can only come about if a site owner has come across your site and felt inclined to add a link to it on their site. As soon as you mention your site to someone and hint that they may like to link to it, the link becomes unnatural.

        Better go now, I've got some articles to publish :rolleyes:.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by Steve25 View Post

          Let's be realistic about this, ANY link you fetch yourself, whether it be a link exchange, guest blog, bookmarking etc is not natural. By it's very definition a natural link (at least in G's eyes) can only come about if a site owner has come across your site and felt inclined to add a link to it on their site. As soon as you mention your site to someone and hint that they may like to link to it, the link becomes unnatural.
          oh vey :rolleyes:

          You made that requirement up out of thin air. Google has no such rule or guideline. Google has never indcated there was anything wrong with press releases and press releases "mention your site to someone and hint that they may link to it, write about it and.or promote it.

          This new requirement for natural is totally ridiculous and fabricated by people ranking on page 87 of search results for anything people really care about searching for
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      • Profile picture of the author PattC
        This started me thinking about my own site, so I registered at majesticseo.com. Thank you for this info, I always get my best tips from this forum.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gust
        I'm interested in how this has gone as well.

        To anyone who thinks that guest posting isn't a way to get natural links, I don't know what to tell you.

        I've had quite a few people ask to do guest posts on my blogs, and I often reject them, same as affhelper.

        It's an editorial link. I either think that the post and the web property getting the link adds value for my readers on my blogs, or it doesn't. If it does, I publish and link out to the author's site.

        If not, then I obviously don't.

        It's not as much about the links as it is about building a relationship with other blog owners in the niche. I can't think of a better way to generate a social media presence and gain referral traffic than guest blogging.
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      • Profile picture of the author todawg_not
        Hi James,

        I discovered the secret on how Google assesses your site and ascertains
        answers to your questions.

        When they get your request they put in a big barrel, the spin it
        and pick out an answer. Even if it's the wrong answer who cares, because
        there is no fair appeal process anywayz.

        My point is, they can say and do what every they want and us IMer's
        can try to rationalise the answers, come up with our own assumptions
        to take counter measures. But there really is no definite answer because
        some decisions are made from outsourced inexperienced staff and they
        change their algo every 3 months and by the time they figure it out
        there is a new algorithm change.

        New Google updates for 2012 are

        Koala Bear

        Tasmanian Devil (its a endangered animal in Australia)

        Skippy the Kangaroo

        Platypus

        Polar Bear

        But in all seriousness, Google is judge, jury and Executioner and hope
        doesn't pay the bills.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    All is not lost. Since the Op didn't know how to check his backlinks the reconsideration request wasn't going to get him anywhere. Never do a reconsideration request until you know your link profile but there is never any foul in not knowing. Now that he has a better idea of what the issue is he will have a better chance. Apparently based on what Mike and Potpie girl have seen his profile may look similar to an AMR blast.
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    • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
      Hi Mike =)

      I've been reading a lot of your posts lately. You share some great info (especially about truly private networks) - thank you!

      You said - "...his profile may look similar to an AMR blast."

      Yeah, kinda... the whole bio box thing going on as opposed to the 3 in-content links/no bio box/content reads like sh*t kinda thing...lol And the sites they are on are not really the kind of sites that "receive" content, if that makes sense. Sure, there's a couple on sites that are "directories" but they scrape content/republish content too - they're not always 'automated' sites.

      I don't consider the sites I've seen network sites - even when I dug deep.

      Regarding the know your back links/reconsideration request.... here's the thing that bothers me.

      Matt Cutts says (see here: How Google )

      "We try to make the GoogleBot smarter, try to make our relevance more adaptive, so that if people don't do SEO we handle that. And we are also looking at the people who abuse it, who put too many keywords on a page, exchange way too many links, or whatever else they are doing to go beyond what you normally expect. We have several engineers on my team working on this right now."
      Basically, that means they want to level the playing field so that those with good/useful/compelling (insert word of the day) content don't need to worry about SEO - Google will take care of it.

      So here comes James. As he has said, he really doesn't even know how to check his back links or watch his back link profile. He's just going about his business posting good content and sharing his site the best he knows how (ie, NOT using any "tricks" or spammy techniques). He's been plugging away for years coloring inside the lines.

      And THIS happens to him. How is this sending the message that "if people don't do SEO we handle that for them?"

      Yeah, they handled it for him alright.

      But as you said, all is NOT lost. Easy enough to correct and dilute...but that requires some SEO skills, doesn't it?

      Sigh.

      Thanks!

      Jennifer
      ~PotPieGirl
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      • Profile picture of the author BackLinkiT
        Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I would regard guest posts as unnatural links.

        Surely, what we are trying to do when link building is to mirror the natural link building patterns of visitors to a site who might regard it as of high value?

        They will share it, bookmark it, tweet it, like it, google+ it. But no real visitor is going to go a blog and write a guest post, leaving a link in the resource box. They might leave a comment on a related post saying 'have you seen this site...etc etc' but that is it.
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        • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
          Originally Posted by BackLinkiT View Post

          Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I would regard guest posts as unnatural links.

          Surely, what we are trying to do when link building is to mirror the natural link building patterns of visitors to a site who might regard it as of high value?

          They will share it, bookmark it, tweet it, like it, google+ it. But no real visitor is going to go a blog and write a guest post, leaving a link in the resource box. They might leave a comment on a related post saying 'have you seen this site...etc etc' but that is it.
          It might be ME in the minority here, but I disagree.

          When one submits a unique/useful/compelling/awesome guest post to a site owner, that site owner reads it and deems it quality content for their site AND for their readers. The site owner allows a link to the authors site or twitter account or whatever so his/her readers can find more about the guest poster who was nice enough to share that unique/useful/compelling article.

          That is a truly editorial link. To me, that IS natural.

          Jennifer
          ~PotPieGirl
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          • Profile picture of the author BackLinkiT
            Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

            It might be ME in the minority here, but I disagree.

            When one submits a unique/useful/compelling/awesome guest post to a site owner, that site owner reads it and deems it quality content for their site AND for their readers. The site owner allows a link to the authors site or twitter account or whatever so his/her readers can find more about the guest poster who was nice enough to share that unique/useful/compelling article.

            That is a truly editorial link. To me, that IS natural.

            Jennifer
            ~PotPieGirl
            Yes, Jennifer, but that will only ever be done by a webmaster trying to improve the rankings of their own site. Therefore, it is unnatural.
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            • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
              Originally Posted by BackLinkiT View Post

              Yes, Jennifer, but that will only ever be done by a webmaster trying to improve the rankings of their own site. Therefore, it is unnatural.
              Good point. However, if one of the big time sites in my industry offered a guest post spot to me, I'd most-likely do it for a NO follow link. That would have very little to do with improving my rankings, but virtually everything to do with the added exposure to a target market.

              In other words, it would have NOTHING to do with Google.

              But, like I said, it very well might be *me* in the minority on this.

              Thanks!

              Jennifer
              ~PotPieGirl
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              • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                BackLinkiT Guest blogging need be no more unnatural than a columnist getting a byline. With online syndication it often can include a backlink. Its perfectly natural that if you share information or resources the webmaster gives a link back to your site.

                What are we going to argue next? That wordpress can't leave links when you install their script or that theme designers should not be allowed to put in copyright notices?
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                • Profile picture of the author BackLinkiT
                  Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                  BackLinkiT Guest blogging need be no more unnatural than a columnist getting a byline. With online syndication it often can include a backlink. Its perfectly natural that if you share information or resources the webmaster gives a link back to your site.

                  What are we going to argue next? That wordpress can't leave links when you install their script or that theme designers should not be allowed to put in copyright notices?
                  It is clearly a webmaster generated link, Mike, rather than a user generated link and so a link profile consisting largely of this type of links will clearly signal a webmaster manipulating (or attempting to manipulate) the SERPS.

                  Not saying wordpress can't leave a link or theme designers, of course not. I thought we were discussing the SEO value of a link?
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                  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                    Originally Posted by BackLinkiT View Post

                    It is clearly a webmaster generated link, Mike, rather than a user generated link and so a link profile consisting largely of this type of links will clearly signal a webmaster manipulating (or attempting to manipulate) the SERPS.
                    Perhaps you have no idea what guest blogging is. It is not generated by the webmaster getting the link it is generated by the webmaster that is giving the link the same person or people that give all editorial links and therefore in that case they are the "user"

                    and yes we are talking about Seo value so what rule is it that someone giving content cannot get a link with SEO value? there is no such rule from Google or anyone else. Despite the title of this thread I see no positive evidence that Google is cracking down on all guest blogging. The evidence in this thread indicates that it was people scraping the content that lead to the problems.
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                    • Profile picture of the author BackLinkiT
                      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                      It is not generated by the webmaster getting the link it is generated by the webmaster that is giving the link the same person or people that give all editorial links and therefore in that case they are the "user"
                      A valid point well missed, Mike!

                      Of course it is generated by the webmaster getting the link. Why else would he or she write the guest post?

                      And it sure isn't a link left by a visitor to a site who regarded it as of high value is it?

                      Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                      and yes we are talking about Seo value so what rule is it that someone giving content cannot get a link with SEO value? there is no such rule from Google or anyone else. Despite the title of this thread I see no positive evidence that Google is cracking down on all guest blogging. The evidence in this thread indicates that it was people scraping the content that lead to the problems.
                      It's about the extent of the value, Mike, not whether there is any at all. Sure, there is value but we seem to disagree about how much!
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                      • Profile picture of the author theverysmartguy
                        Originally Posted by BackLinkiT View Post

                        A valid point well missed, Mike!

                        Of course it is generated by the webmaster getting the link. Why else would he or she write the guest post?

                        And it sure isn't a link left by a visitor to a site who regarded it as of high value is it?
                        Guest posting is not all about SEO. There are times that people in certain niches would love to leave an article on a high traffic authority site just to get some traffic to trickle down into their site as well.

                        ( this is almost like the same concept of people wanting to leave an ad on a site that is high traffic in hopes that people will click on it and go to their site ).

                        Sometimes the site effect is an increase in rankings.

                        "Natural links" are not always links left by other people. There is no such thing as if you build it they will come. This isn't the 90s. You MUST share your site to as many places as possible without being spammy. This is the natural way of doing things. If you don't, you are going to be hard pressed in people finding you.

                        ( yes yes yes, with proper keyword selection and blah blah blah you can be found, that is not the point I am trying to make )

                        -- Jeff
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                      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                        Originally Posted by BackLinkiT View Post

                        A valid point well missed, Mike!

                        Of course it is generated by the webmaster getting the link. Why else would he or she write the guest post?
                        Why would a company write to a tech blog announcing their new social network? To get it covered and linked to by the tech blog. Its the tech blog that decides to go with it as a story or not so no matter what you claim the link is generated by the tech blog not the company. In the case of guest blogging the editorial power is with the webmaster and he or she decides naturally based on what he or she see value in.

                        If your basis is that the tech blog must be the one that stumbles upon the social network with no help or suggestion from the company then you are off. there is no such requirement for white hat link building. In fact one of the oldest and most white hat way of creating links for businesses is to do a press release and much of the top press release companies make sure to push the press releases to major outlets and blogs that may pick up the release and write on it. They will also do interviews in which the company will provide content in the form of a press kit to the writer and even ask the CEO to write opinion pieces - thats all on the same level as a guest post and thats my point.

                        Sorry but you are dead wrong - a link is not natural simple because the webmaster has done nothing to promote the site but because its the webmaster giving the link that determines its of value and as such naturally links to it. IF Arianna Huffington writes a piece for CNN there is nothing unusual or unnatural for her piece to be accompanied with a byline and a link to Huffington post (whether CNN does it or not is immaterial its acceptable andnatural). Straight white hat SEO and completely natural.
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          • Profile picture of the author jimbo61
            Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

            It might be ME in the minority here, but I disagree.

            When one submits a unique/useful/compelling/awesome guest post to a site owner, that site owner reads it and deems it quality content for their site AND for their readers. The site owner allows a link to the authors site or twitter account or whatever so his/her readers can find more about the guest poster who was nice enough to share that unique/useful/compelling article.

            That is a truly editorial link. To me, that IS natural.

            Jennifer
            ~PotPieGirl
            To take this a step further, I apperared on the BBC, I spoke about Google etc, and they gave me a backlink. Now how do they treat THAT backlink?
            Is it any different to guest blogging? OR are Google saying 'it is only guest blogging if the blog in question is worthy? In which case the whole house of cards comes crashing down because what google are saying (and always have said) is only position yourself in good neighbourhoods BUT we ABSOLUTELY will not tell you what are good and bad neghbourhoods.

            It is simple, if google finds a bad neighbourhood, then de-index it or flag it as such, as they currently do with malware infected sites.

            I believe it is fair to say now that Google are without question abusing their monopoly within the search market. What we are seeing here is a company that is omnipotent wielding that power for its own good, regardless of the outcome.

            The worse part in all of this is that google tells you to go away and find the bad links but THEY KNOW what those bad links are, so why don't they simply remove them and be done with it?

            It appears to me to be a Google fishing exercise, where google are getting close on a million webmasters to give up any sites they believe are questionable. We will then see google feeding those into their 'flagged sites' file, and the next round of WMT notifications will begin.

            As ever, Google have been deliberately obtuse in their communication, and do nothing while innocent businesses burn, and BOY will innocent now burn as negative SEO kicks in as an industry. If google thought positive off page SEO was an issue then they ain't seen nothing yet, because there are people who will now have dedicated servers doing nothing BUT creating spam and spam of the worse kind.

            I believe this might well turn into the biggest shooting yourself in the foot move ever by Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author keshavhl
    Did you check the anchor text of majority of your links. Because if majority of your links have same anchor text, Google will see it as spamming activity.
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    • Profile picture of the author attorneydavid
      Originally Posted by keshavhl View Post

      Did you check the anchor text of majority of your links. Because if majority of your links have same anchor text, Google will see it as spamming activity.

      This is a good point. I've looked at lots of people posting google's reply with examples and it was always an anchor text link.

      Lots of these sites had affilliate links as well, though they tend to be the most active webmasters.
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  • Profile picture of the author hearme
    I dont think its as a problem as alot of people are doing is your distributed content is original or just copying and pasting ?
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    It could be the guest post. Let's get real here. First, read what Google said.

    "Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes"

    I'm no lawyer, but to me that sounds a lot like 'guest posting' which involves writing an optimized blog post and then submitting it to blogs for the express intent of gaining a 'dofollow in-content link.'

    I really think you probably used the exact same anchor text in your BIO box.

    And yes, all my sites have those ridiculous links from updowner.com as well. You can rewrite those links using .HTACCESS. If you have access to that file and mod_rewrite, I can post the commands to 'break' those backlinks.

    In any event, I really think people need to be more careful about exact anchor linking. Google is on a rampage!
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    • Profile picture of the author DudleyDog
      [QUOTE=mosthost;5904992]
      And yes, all my sites have those ridiculous links from updowner.com as well. You can rewrite those links using .HTACCESS. If you have access to that file and mod_rewrite, I can post the commands to 'break' those backlinks.
      QUOTE]

      That would be most helpful thanks.
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      • Profile picture of the author mosthost
        [quote=DudleyDog;5905082]
        Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

        And yes, all my sites have those ridiculous links from updowner.com as well. You can rewrite those links using .HTACCESS. If you have access to that file and mod_rewrite, I can post the commands to 'break' those backlinks.
        QUOTE]

        That would be most helpful thanks.
        This is for Apache Web Server!

        Code:
        RewriteEngine on
        RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} updowner.com [NC]
        RewriteRule .* - [F]
        Make sure you back up your current .htaccess in case you get a 'blank white page.' If you do, restore it.

        This rule should work. It gives off a 403 forbidden code for any referrer coming in from that domain. If a spider follows a link from there, it should stop them too.

        I've been implementing this more and more since negative SEO has been getting more popular lately. Let me know how it goes.
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        • Profile picture of the author DudleyDog
          [quote=mosthost;5905124]
          Originally Posted by DudleyDog View Post


          This is for Apache Web Server!

          Code:
          RewriteEngine on
          RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} updowner.com [NC]
          RewriteRule .* - [F]
          Make sure you back up your current .htaccess in case you get a 'blank white page.' If you do, restore it.

          This rule should work. It gives off a 403 forbidden code for any referrer coming in from that domain. If a spider follows a link from there, it should stop them too.

          I've been implementing this more and more since negative SEO has been getting more popular lately. Let me know how it goes.
          Thanks for that. I'll give it a try. I sent updowner a message via the contact form on their site yesterday asking them to remove links to my site. They have replied stating that they have now done that. I have checked a sample from WMT and yes the links have gone.

          I have also taken on board the other comments that it may not be the links from updowner. If its not an automated message and Google has manually detected unusual links, it would be nice if they gave you a clue or sample as to which ones they think are suspect, caus I now haven't got a clue?

          Could it be this: WMT is showing 298 links from wordpress.com. Upon investigation it is due to one single blog post posted back in 2009 that is now showing on 298 pages of the same site as a recent comment.
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          • Profile picture of the author mosthost
            [quote=DudleyDog;5912404]
            Originally Posted by mosthost View Post


            Thanks for that. I'll give it a try. I sent updowner a message via the contact form on their site yesterday asking them to remove links to my site. They have replied stating that they have now done that. I have checked a sample from WMT and yes the links have gone.

            I have also taken on board the other comments that it may not be the links from updowner. If its not an automated message and Google has manually detected unusual links, it would be nice if they gave you a clue or sample as to which ones they think are suspect, caus I now haven't got a clue?

            Could it be this: WMT is showing 298 links from wordpress.com. Upon investigation it is due to one single blog post posted back in 2009 that is now showing on 298 pages of the same site as a recent comment.
            That sounds pretty standard to me.

            This whole 'process' from Google leaves a lot to be desired!

            I really think they're 'fishing' with these messages. More and more people are saying they got the message, but no drop in rankings. In fact, if people go and remove all their backlinks because of this message, it's the same or worse than getting penalized almost.

            Google waters are getting very hard to navigate
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    • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
      Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

      It could be the guest post. Let's get real here. First, read what Google said.

      "Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes"

      I'm no lawyer, but to me that sounds a lot like 'guest posting' which involves writing an optimized blog post and then submitting it to blogs for the express intent of gaining a 'dofollow in-content link.'
      So, if someone guest posts, maybe not put an url in the article? Or don't use anchor text and instead just post the url as a whole? Use different anchors? The OP did say no article he writes is ever the same, so they are original.

      And what if lots of blogs like your content and post link to your site with same anchor text, would Google see that as trying to manipulte the search engine, even though it was all natural?

      There's a fine line here Google is treading, they are punishing sites for things that could be entirely natural, how do they know it isn't?
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      • Profile picture of the author mosthost
        Originally Posted by hicksdelight View Post

        So, if someone guest posts, maybe not put an url in the article? Or don't use anchor text and instead just post the url as a whole? Use different anchors? The OP did say no article he writes is ever the same, so they are original.

        And what if lots of blogs like your content and post link to your site with same anchor text, would Google see that as trying to manipulte the search engine, even though it was all natural?

        There's a fine line here Google is treading, they are punishing sites for things that could be entirely natural, how do they know it isn't?
        My take on it this whole situation is that it has a lot to do with exact anchor text.

        This is always something that Google has penalized for, because it's the most obvious signal to boost rankings. Everyone knows it. Hell, I bet there are first graders who know that exact anchor text (especially if it's in-content and from a related post) will boost the target site's rankings.

        Plus it seems obvious that most people who used a paid blog network would put their 'money terms' right in the post. (Even if they were thinking they should mix it up the tendency is to go for the gusto).

        Even people who have been doing more moderate guest posting (by contacting blog owners individually) still probably have a high percentage of exact anchor text matches.

        Of course some people might come out and contradict this with new evidence. However, it seems like these unnatural warnings letters are being sent when the anchors don't have a lot of branded matches etc.

        Anyways, someone who is already 'penalized' by the warning letter should try saving the domain with new anchors.

        Stuff like "MySite.com - The Place To Be For Blue Widgets" or even "Click Here" to visit MySite.com for all the best blue widgets.

        I honestly believe this all comes down to a ratio and many penalize sites had a very high ratio of exact anchors to branded one.

        Anyone else have thoughts on this?
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        • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
          Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

          My take on it this whole situation is that it has a lot to do with exact anchor text.

          This is always something that Google has penalized for, because it's the most obvious signal to boost rankings. Everyone knows it. Hell, I bet there are first graders who know that exact anchor text (especially if it's in-content and from a related post) will boost the target site's rankings.

          Plus it seems obvious that most people who used a paid blog network would put their 'money terms' right in the post. (Even if they were thinking they should mix it up the tendency is to go for the gusto).

          Even people who have been doing more moderate guest posting (by contacting blog owners individually) still probably have a high percentage of exact anchor text matches.

          Of course some people might come out and contradict this with new evidence. However, it seems like these unnatural warnings letters are being sent when the anchors don't have a lot of branded matches etc.

          Anyways, someone who is already 'penalized' by the warning letter should try saving the domain with new anchors.

          Stuff like "MySite.com - The Place To Be For Blue Widgets" or even "Click Here" to visit MySite.com for all the best blue widgets.

          I honestly believe this all comes down to a ratio and many penalize sites had a very high ratio of exact anchors to branded one.

          Anyone else have thoughts on this?
          I have to agree with you, I have always used several keywords in anchors, even if I know that keyword is useless and won't bring in many hits, as long as it is a relevant one for the website it is linking to...Looks better that way IMO.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
          Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

          My take on it this whole situation is that it has a lot to do with exact anchor text.

          This is always something that Google has penalized for, because it's the most obvious signal to boost rankings. Everyone knows it. Hell, I bet there are first graders who know that exact anchor text (especially if it's in-content and from a related post) will boost the target site's rankings.

          Plus it seems obvious that most people who used a paid blog network would put their 'money terms' right in the post. (Even if they were thinking they should mix it up the tendency is to go for the gusto).

          Even people who have been doing more moderate guest posting (by contacting blog owners individually) still probably have a high percentage of exact anchor text matches.

          Of course some people might come out and contradict this with new evidence. However, it seems like these unnatural warnings letters are being sent when the anchors don't have a lot of branded matches etc.

          Anyways, someone who is already 'penalized' by the warning letter should try saving the domain with new anchors.

          Stuff like "MySite.com - The Place To Be For Blue Widgets" or even "Click Here" to visit MySite.com for all the best blue widgets.

          I honestly believe this all comes down to a ratio and many penalize sites had a very high ratio of exact anchors to branded one.

          Anyone else have thoughts on this?
          That's a really good post actually. Now shhh.
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          • Profile picture of the author mosthost
            Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

            That's a really good post actually. Now shhh.
            Exactly I'm going to take a nap now.
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            • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
              Google's been doing a lot of work lately. Dumping blog networks from their index, things like that. I am sure several blog networks and similar things like "Wikilinks" are being sold on the WF right now. All getting slapped straight out of the index.

              This has an effect on other low-end linking methods, because a lot of THOSE sites rely on craplinks too.

              A fun exercise anyone can do:

              1. Go to MajesticSEO.com and run a backlinks report - the free account will get you started, I have a paid account so I can see more.
              2. Look at the total # of linking domains, and go through the list. Do some site:domain queries on Google, and see how many of those domains are now de-indexed.
              3. You don't have to check every domain, sampling will give you a good idea.

              Do that for your favorite updowners of the world too. Now consider that many of those de-indexed domains were contributing something to your rankings previously.

              Don't be surprised if this causes Google to send you an "unnatural links" warning. Receiving a warning does NOT mean that you have been penalized.

              I have looked at dozens of such warnings in the past month and change, for sites that have seen NO loss in rankings or traffic.

              I have received warnings for sites of my own, where I *know* that there's never been any "link building." None of them has lost anything from Google, simply because a warning showed up in Webmaster Tools.

              If you have lost rankings or traffic, there are plenty of reasons why that can happen. Including (potentially) "lots of links pointing to your site are no longer in the index." Also including Google's new page layout algorithm doing a "better" job of slapping down sites with excessive advertising and deceptive ad layouts.

              The least likely cause of your problems is an automated warning message.
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              • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
                Thank you, Dan!

                Everyone - PLEASE READ THIS (emphasis in quote is mine)


                Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

                Google's been doing a lot of work lately. Dumping blog networks from their index, things like that. I am sure several blog networks and similar things like "Wikilinks" are being sold on the WF right now. All getting slapped straight out of the index.

                This has an effect on other low-end linking methods, because a lot of THOSE sites rely on craplinks too.

                A fun exercise anyone can do:

                1. Go to MajesticSEO.com and run a backlinks report - the free account will get you started, I have a paid account so I can see more.
                2. Look at the total # of linking domains, and go through the list. Do some site:domain queries on Google, and see how many of those domains are now de-indexed.
                3. You don't have to check every domain, sampling will give you a good idea.

                Do that for your favorite updowners of the world too. Now consider that many of those de-indexed domains were contributing something to your rankings previously.

                Don't be surprised if this causes Google to send you an "unnatural links" warning. Receiving a warning does NOT mean that you have been penalized.

                I have looked at dozens of such warnings in the past month and change, for sites that have seen NO loss in rankings or traffic.

                I have received warnings for sites of my own, where I *know* that there's never been any "link building." None of them has lost anything from Google, simply because a warning showed up in Webmaster Tools.

                If you have lost rankings or traffic, there are plenty of reasons why that can happen. Including (potentially) "lots of links pointing to your site are no longer in the index." Also including Google's new page layout algorithm doing a "better" job of slapping down sites with excessive advertising and deceptive ad layouts.

                The least likely cause of your problems is an automated warning message.
                As for the Twitter conversation quoted above... I'm a little surprised at the response I received, but I guess when you're the head of web spam you get a little burnt out at times (especially at times like these).

                Now... go read what Dan wrote again =)

                Jennifer
                ~PotPieGirl
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                • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
                  Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

                  As for the Twitter conversation quoted above... I'm a little surprised at the response I received, but I guess when you're the head of web spam you get a little burnt out at times (especially at times like these).
                  I think perhaps what Matt was trying to get at with his response to you is that there is more to what is going on than we can see.
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

                  As for the Twitter conversation quoted above... I'm a little surprised at the response I received, but I guess when you're the head of web spam you get a little burnt out at times (especially at times like these).

                  Now... go read what Dan wrote again =)
                  Matt Cutts response was not unusual to me at all. I think its pretty mainstream - certain keywords do in fact yell low quality. I know its not something marketers like to embrace but thats how it is perceived and thats no one s fault but marketers with the use of pop ups with don't leave" holding captive of visitors, MFA sites for a buck in any niche (including cancer) , snake oil like headlines etc.

                  What Matt is telling you is what marketers like to insulate themselves from - certain niches are just seen as scuzzy by the wider population. As for what Dan said - sure sites don't always get penalized maybe even most but some do.
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                • Profile picture of the author danr62
                  Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

                  Thank you, Dan!


                  As for the Twitter conversation quoted above... I'm a little surprised at the response I received, but I guess when you're the head of web spam you get a little burnt out at times (especially at times like these).


                  Jennifer
                  ~PotPieGirl
                  It sounds like Matt is hinting that "AuthorRank" may have something to do with it.
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              • Profile picture of the author Robbie B
                Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

                Don't be surprised if this causes Google to send you an "unnatural links" warning.
                Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

                Receiving a warning does NOT mean that you have been penalized.
                I'd have to disagree there. I got the unnatural linking warning for 2 sites and all the other sites associated with those accounts have been de-indexed with the reason of "Quality Issues".

                Now I've none left cos 2 sites raised linking questions.
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  • Profile picture of the author PotPieGirl
    I've already covered the other comments in my posts, but I do want to say this about UpDowner -

    I find it hard to believe that a scraper site like UpDowner can hurt your backlink profile. If it DOES, you might need to work on getting a stronger profile.

    But - what do I know, right

    Jennifer
    ~PotPieGirl
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by PotPie Queen View Post

      I've already covered the other comments in my posts, but I do want to say this about UpDowner -

      I find it hard to believe that a scraper site like UpDowner can hurt your backlink profile. If it DOES, you might need to work on getting a stronger profile.

      But - what do I know, right

      Jennifer
      ~PotPieGirl
      Yeah, I don't think that many links coming from one site will have a major downside effect on anything. It also would not give a significant boost either.
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  • Profile picture of the author quickcontent
    Are you using the same author bio for every post of yours, or you might be using the same anchor text for all your backlinks. When there's no variation in the anchor text, Google might think of those as manually built (purchased) links...
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  • Profile picture of the author retsek
    @MattCutts:

    @potpiegirl he has a lot of sites: referring to "accelerated niche profits" site? Or firm up abs site? Or the miracle aloe vera site? Or...?

    @potpiegirl Or the "Lose Belly Fat Naturally" site? Or the "exponential list building" site? Or the "secret natural remedies" site? Or.....?

    @potpiegirl or the "melt your flab" domain? Or the "best wine coolers" affiliate site?

    @potpiegirl or "Shocking Free Report" revealing "Never Before Heard Food Sources" site? There's quite a lot of potential sites to discuss.
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    • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
      Originally Posted by retsek View Post

      @MattCutts:

      @potpiegirl he has a lot of sites: referring to "accelerated niche profits" site? Or firm up abs site? Or the miracle aloe vera site? Or...?

      @potpiegirl Or the "Lose Belly Fat Naturally" site? Or the "exponential list building" site? Or the "secret natural remedies" site? Or.....?

      @potpiegirl or the "melt your flab" domain? Or the "best wine coolers" affiliate site?

      @potpiegirl or "Shocking Free Report" revealing "Never Before Heard Food Sources" site? There's quite a lot of potential sites to discuss.
      Sorry, I don't follow? *runs away for feeling silly*
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      • Profile picture of the author retsek
        Originally Posted by hicksdelight View Post

        Sorry, I don't follow? *runs away for feeling silly*
        That's matt cutt's twitter replies to potpiegirl regarding this particular issue.
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        • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
          Originally Posted by retsek View Post

          That's matt cutt's twitter replies to potpiegirl regarding this particular issue.
          I see, nice reply then, without seeing the sites though Matt mention to see if they are spammy etc, what is wrong in making most of those sites?

          Are we only allowed to make sites Google say we can? And we aren't allowed to try and make money?

          As long as a site delivers what it promises from the keywords, then whats the problem?
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          • Profile picture of the author retsek
            Originally Posted by hicksdelight View Post

            I see, nice reply then, without seeing the sites though Matt mention to see if they are spammy etc, what is wrong in making most of those sites?

            Are we only allowed to make sites Google say we can? And we aren't allowed to try and make money?

            As long as a site delivers what it promises from the keywords, then whats the problem?
            No, you're free to make any type of site you want. If you want it listed in Google's index, you have to comply with their guidelines. If they say they don't want thin or doorway pages in their index, then you're free to continuing running your site -- you just have to find another source of traffic other than google.
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            • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
              Originally Posted by retsek View Post

              No, you're free to make any type of site you want. If you want it listed in Google's index, you have to comply with their guidelines. If they say they don't want thin or doorway pages in their index, then you're free to continuing running your site -- you just have to find another source of traffic other than google.
              Fair point.

              I would argue though that not every site needs tons of pages, as long as the site gives the info it is advertising I don't see why Google would have such a problem, not every site is going to be a wannabe authority site, smaller 'thin' sites can have relevance and give the user what they were looking for.

              Also, can your site not become an authority on a subject with a 'thin' site if the niche is small enough? If no-one else is doing sites for the term, then what else are they going to rank for the query?

              But as you say, they make the rules, play by them or move on, regardless of whether I or anyone think it's right or wrong.
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
      Originally Posted by retsek View Post

      @MattCutts:

      @potpiegirl he has a lot of sites: referring to "accelerated niche profits" site? Or firm up abs site? Or the miracle aloe vera site? Or...?

      @potpiegirl Or the "Lose Belly Fat Naturally" site? Or the "exponential list building" site? Or the "secret natural remedies" site? Or.....?

      @potpiegirl or the "melt your flab" domain? Or the "best wine coolers" affiliate site?

      @potpiegirl or "Shocking Free Report" revealing "Never Before Heard Food Sources" site? There's quite a lot of potential sites to discuss.
      To end any speculation over the site in question, it is this one...

      Natural Health Blog | Get Glowing Skin | Beautiful Hair | Perfect Body

      James
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      • Profile picture of the author retsek
        Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

        To end any speculation over the site in question, it is this one...

        Natural Health Blog | Get Glowing Skin | Beautiful Hair | Perfect Body

        James
        I think the site has a fairly clean backlink profile. Surprised it is penalised.
        I'd remove the inter-links you have between other sites you own and this one, and then file a reconsideration request telling them you have.
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        • Profile picture of the author cashtree
          Originally Posted by retsek View Post

          I'd remove the inter-links you have between other sites you own and this one, and then file a reconsideration request telling them you have.
          Ugh we're not even allowed to do that? Google SUCKS.
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  • Profile picture of the author attorneydavid
    hmm I looked at the niche profit sites lots of ad based links and the guest posts look like well disguised blog networks. Bunch of posts all supporting affilliate offers.

    Maybe one site was penalized and they all got put together.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
    I have to say that I'm really impressed by what Google is doing.

    I mean sure, lots of people lost money bla bla - whatever. I just went over some link reports from 3 small blog networks (less than 2 sites per network, unique content, themes, posting frequency, etc) - all blogs de-indexed over the last 2-3 days. Very, very well played.
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  • Profile picture of the author Flores
    You may want to analyze the websites you are guest blogging for. From what I have experienced personally, Ranking factors go two websites deep (the links pointing to you, and the links pointing to the websites linking to you). They may be doing something shady. If you are guest writing for websites that are publishing 50 articles a day (or something that is black-hatty), then they may be passing some nasty link junk onto you. Just a theory. Hope it helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author patch1308
    Sorry to read about your demise, I've been subjected like many others to the same penalty. It's a real dilemma to know what to do to improve the ranking of your websites without it being perceived as a way of manipulating your sites rankings.
    If you build a website and leave it to its own devices then you will just languish way down the rankings without any traffic.
    Can't help thinking that affiliates and MFA webmasters are under seige from the Big G. I built ten new sites after the penalty and 8 out of 10 aren't even ranking without any backlinking. What do I do? If I manually build or buy links these sites will also get slapped and possibly my adsense account will get suspended as has happened to a friend of mine. The game as we know it is over!
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  • Profile picture of the author aliramenon
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
      UPDATE MARCH 27TH:

      After PotPieGirl Tweeted Matt Cutts (thanks so much for that!) about this thread and my issue I then followed up letting Matt know what the site was.

      He Tweeted this back to me...

      @JamesPenn I think for the site you mentioned, Panda is going to be the bigger issue to tackle.

      So, while I may have received an email notifying me of unnatural linking, like others have said in this thread, that doesn't automatically result in a ranking drop - and instead the drop may be as a result of the Panda Update.

      That leads me on to my next question...

      What aspects of my site do you think have caused Panda to punish it?

      Also, how do you think Matt Cutts knew that it was due to Panda? Is it because he took a look at the site and saw obvious characteristics that would be penalized? Or do you think he can check behind the scenes at Google and see how and why my site has been penalized?

      Thanks in advance for any insights you have to offer.

      James
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  • Profile picture of the author natashajane
    There is possibility that your competitor done reserve SEO for your website! therefore your traffic get down, i don't think guest posting is bad thing according to google.
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  • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
    Just took another look at the site.

    a few ideas.

    Maybe potential problem would be all thel keywords in the title, you don't need all of them. Just 'natural health blog' would suffice.

    I have never liked using Meta Keywords in the source, I dont know if they count that as any factor but too easy to come across as keyword stuffing in it.

    Also, like the first artcle, the very first link is the keyword and its an ad to a product, maybe that doesnt help

    You link to other pages on your site a bit, and probably build backlinks to them too I would assume, all with the same anchor or not enough variation?

    http://www.revitaliseyourhealth.com/...-glowing-skin/ - You have an ad pretty much before the content starts, that cant be good...And the ad isn't even a relevant ad.

    At the bottom of the pages you have

    Our Mission
    RevitaliseYourHealth.com is dedicated to helping you become happy, healthy and beautiful using the magic of nature's wonders. Since 2008 we have been providing cutting edge natural health tips and secrets for beautiful skin, luscious hair, a perfect body and much, much more.
    Is their any need to put that there? Its obviously a ploy to add your keywords to the page.

    I am just guessing though, trying to give some ideas.
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
      Originally Posted by hicksdelight View Post

      Just took another look at the site.

      a few ideas.

      Maybe potential problem would be all thel keywords in the title, you don't need all of them. Just 'natural health blog' would suffice.

      I have never liked using Meta Keywords in the source, I dont know if they count that as any factor but too easy to come across as keyword stuffing in it.

      Also, like the first artcle, the very first link is the keyword and its an ad to a product, maybe that doesnt help

      You link to other pages on your site a bit, and probably build backlinks to them too I would assume, all with the same anchor or not enough variation?

      The Top 5 Home Remedies For Glowing Skin - You have an ad pretty much before the content starts, that cant be good...And the ad isn't even a relevant ad.

      At the bottom of the pages you have



      Is their any need to put that there? Its obviously a ploy to add your keywords to the page.

      I am just guessing though, trying to give some ideas.
      Thanks for the tips!

      Homepage title tag changed and Amazon affiliate link from first post removed.

      Thanks a lot,
      James
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      • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
        Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

        Thanks for the tips!

        Homepage title tag changed and Amazon affiliate link from first post removed.

        Thanks a lot,
        James
        Hope it helps, I would also highly recommend taking off

        Our Mission
        RevitaliseYourHealth.com is dedicated to helping you become happy, healthy and beautiful using the magic of nature's wonders. Since 2008 we have been providing cutting edge natural health tips and secrets for beautiful skin, luscious hair, a perfect body and much, much more.

        From the bottom, the keywords are purposly in there for the search engines and its easy to see that when their isn't any need for it to be there.

        And also get rid of the ad in the blog post I posted (and other ones in other blog posts if their are any that are similiarly placed), not only is it not a relevent ad for the site, its too high up.
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      • Profile picture of the author mosthost
        Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

        Thanks for the tips!

        Homepage title tag changed and Amazon affiliate link from first post removed.

        Thanks a lot,
        James
        The site really doesn't seem all that evil to me. But then I have a very high threshold for commercial content seeing as how people have to pay their bills.

        There's plenty of information on the pages supporting the 'ads' so I guess my own interpretation of Panda is skewed. There's even social sharing tools etc!
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        • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
          Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

          The site really doesn't seem all that evil to me. But then I have a very high threshold for commercial content seeing as how people have to pay their bills.

          There's plenty of information on the pages supporting the 'ads' so I guess my own interpretation of Panda is skewed. There's even social sharing tools etc!
          Ads arent a problem, but if you place them right near the top and right next to the content before a reader even gets a chance to read anything, it comes across as spammy.

          Even worse when the ad has nothing to do with your site.

          Change the ad to something relevent and move it down the page if you must have one on there.

          The ad in question was a SEO ad put on a page about Lavender.
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          • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
            Originally Posted by hicksdelight View Post

            Ads arent a problem, but if you place them right near the top and right next to the content before a reader even gets a chance to read anything, it comes across as spammy.

            Even worse when the ad has nothing to do with your site.

            Change the ad to something relevent and move it down the page if you must have one on there.

            The ad in question was a SEO ad put on a page about Lavender.
            The ads are Google Adsense generated.

            I presume they target it based on the user rather than the content. For example, if you do a lot of Google searches about SEO, then Google will know this and will target ads specifically to you.

            Everywhere I go I get Adsense ads for Aweber, presumably because I've searched about Aweber a few times before.

            James
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            • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
              Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

              The ads are Google Adsense generated.

              I presume they target it based on the user rather than the content. For example, if you do a lot of Google searches about SEO, then Google will know this and will target ads specifically to you.

              Everywhere I go I get Adsense ads for Aweber, presumably because I've searched about Aweber a few times before.

              James
              I apoligise, I didn't see it was a Google ad, or I might not have looked hard enough.

              I would still move it down the page a bit, personally.

              You do have quite a few ads on the site and links pointing to ads, maybe that could be a problem too.

              More I look at the site the more spammy I think it looks, at first glance I didn't, but when I looked closer then maybe.

              Just make few changes and see what happens.

              The way I do things is, when launching a site or a site is not very old and its just getting some hits, I don't put any ads on the site, I try and gain trust, then if the site gets more and more hits I throw 1, maybe 2 ads on there, no more.

              Theres nothing wrong with making money from a site, but do it naturally, if a site has just started or isnt that popular and their are lots of ads, Google are going to see it as just spam.

              But if you bide your time, wait for hits to come in regulary then throw 1 or 2 ads on there, it looks a bit better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Osho Garg
    Before Publishing Guest Post On Your Blog. Must Check Quality Of Links Otherwise Google Will Punish You..
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    • Profile picture of the author bulkanswer
      Many a times i've applied for adsense and it was rejected saying, "No satisfying adsense terms". Where as my website is a simple question answer website.

      bulkanswer.com
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOChemist
    If an initial reconsideration request is denied then the site will be put on a 'low priority pile' next time it is submitted. I would check your backlink spread before resubmitting.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEOChemist
    How would you classify the backlinks as high quality? most of the people I see running 'guest blog' strategies are actually submitting articles to thinly veiled article directories.

    Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

    The thing is, I've never paid for a single backlink.

    90% of my link building is by submitting guest posts to high quality blogs in my market.
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
      Originally Posted by SEOChemist View Post

      How would you classify the backlinks as high quality? most of the people I see running 'guest blog' strategies are actually submitting articles to thinly veiled article directories.
      Hi SEOChemist

      These are VERY high quality backlinks at sites like NaturallyCurly.com, FelGoodStyle.com, MindBodyGreen.com, Active.com, CaringWhispers.com, UntrainedHairMom.com and many, many more.

      Thanks,
      James
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
        James,

        If you think of sites that accept guest posts linking to anywhere, regardless of the links being even remotely related to the topic of the site or post, as "VERY high quality," you're pulling the wool over your own eyes.

        Google isn't likely to de-index them if the content is unique, but they can simply slap the sites with an "untrusted" label and stop counting the outbound links.
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        • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
          Originally Posted by thepresence View Post

          Guest posting is actually a terrific solution. However, article marketing is not true "guest posting". It's article marketing and generates thousands of spammy links from auto-bloggers.
          Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

          James,

          If you think of sites that accept guest posts linking to anywhere, regardless of the links being even remotely related to the topic of the site or post, as "VERY high quality," you're pulling the wool over your own eyes.

          Google isn't likely to de-index them if the content is unique, but they can simply slap the sites with an "untrusted" label and stop counting the outbound links.
          I'll just reiterate that this isn't spammy article marketing, it's high quality guest posting.

          The links are "VERY high quality" because the domains are very trusted sources of information. I have a number of guest posts on the most popular website in the "hair" niche in the world, I have a number of guest posts on one of the most popular fitness websites in the world with an Alexa rank of under 5,000, and I have lots more guest posts on more trusted blogs and websites.

          Anyway, it seems that the links I have are not the main cause of my problem- it's more the fact that I've done something wrong in the eyes of Panda.

          Fixing that is number one priority.

          James
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          • Profile picture of the author retsek
            Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

            I'll just reiterate that this isn't spammy article marketing, it's high quality guest posting.

            The links are "VERY high quality" because the domains are very trusted sources of information. I have a number of guest posts on the most popular website in the "hair" niche in the world, I have a number of guest posts on one of the most popular fitness websites in the world with an Alexa rank of under 5,000, and I have lots more guest posts on more trusted blogs and websites.

            Anyway, it seems that the links I have are not the main cause of my problem- it's more the fact that I've done something wrong in the eyes of Panda.

            Fixing that is number one priority.

            James
            It's not Panda.

            If it was, you would not have gotten that reply from Google when you sent the RR.
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            • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
              Originally Posted by retsek View Post

              It's not Panda.

              If it was, you would not have gotten that reply from Google when you sent the RR.
              Matt Cutts (head of Google web spam) Tweeted me to let me know that Panda is the bigger issue with my site.

              James
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              • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
                Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

                Matt Cutts (head of Google web spam) Tweeted me to let me know that Panda is the bigger issue with my site.

                James
                It's the links. He's not going to admit it, plus he's too busy to analyse things properly.

                There's a good chance that 50 or 100 out of those 3000 or whatever links that you have got flagged by Google filters after they changed things up in February/March. Loads of people got the "unnatural links" warning.

                Last week I received a warning for a site that I built last October and haven't touched since. I built 0 (none) links to it, but now looking at things it seems to have a fair amount of links from scraper sites. Rankings plummeted from around #40 to out of top 100 yesterday (not that it was rankings anyway - but still). It's kind of ridiculous.
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              • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
                Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

                Matt Cutts (head of Google web spam) Tweeted me to let me know that Panda is the bigger issue with my site.

                James
                That was my conclusion when Jennifer and I looked at it. You may have lost some links but you weren't spamming.

                Take a closer look at some of those sites - an article about how to wash your hair (my summary: wash, rinse, repeat...) with [distance learning] as outbound anchor text... that's the kind of stuff they don't want to trust.

                As has already been pointed out here - guest blogging can be great for marketing and great for building links, but that doesn't mean every "opportunity" to guest post is equally good for either.
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                • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
                  Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

                  That was my conclusion when Jennifer and I looked at it. You may have lost some links but you weren't spamming.

                  Take a closer look at some of those sites - an article about how to wash your hair (my summary: wash, rinse, repeat...) with [distance learning] as outbound anchor text... that's the kind of stuff they don't want to trust.

                  As has already been pointed out here - guest blogging can be great for marketing and great for building links, but that doesn't mean every "opportunity" to guest post is equally good for either.
                  Hey Dan

                  Thanks for taking a look. Which site are you referring to when you mention the "how to wash your hair" article?

                  James
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                  • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
                    Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

                    Hey Dan

                    Thanks for taking a look. Which site are you referring to when you mention the "how to wash your hair" article?

                    James
                    Key to Better Hair: Washing Your Hair Like a Pro - Untrained Hair Mom
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                    • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
                      Thanks Dan

                      Just to clarify, that isn't my guest post, but I see where you're coming from.

                      Generally though, I'd still say that is a quality site.

                      James
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                      • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
                        Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

                        Thanks Dan

                        Just to clarify, that isn't my guest post, but I see where you're coming from.

                        Generally though, I'd still say that is a quality site.

                        James
                        IMO that's definitely a decent site. You've been penalised because of other links. The only thing you can do now is wait it out - give it 2-3 months.

                        Panda might have an effect on your website because of Amazon links and the fact that your site is general (not focused on any specific health topic). Which some people would argue is a bit ridiculous, but we don't make the rules. I don't think it was G Panda that hit you though.
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  • Profile picture of the author thepresence
    Guest posting is actually a terrific solution. However, article marketing is not true "guest posting". It's article marketing and generates thousands of spammy links from auto-bloggers.
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  • Profile picture of the author iceman006
    Originally Posted by JamesPenn View Post

    Hi Warriors

    For the past few months I've been trying to work out why my Google search traffic has tanked.

    I went from 1k Google visitors per day to 200. I then went back up to about 400 and now I've tanked again to 250ish.

    I figured Google was punishing me for something so I submitted a reconsideration request.

    I recently received an email from G stating that:

    "We've reviewed your site and we still see links to your site that violate our quality guidelines.

    Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes."


    The thing is, I've never paid for a single backlink.

    90% of my link building is by submitting guest posts to high quality blogs in my market.

    With each guest post I include an author resource box. Does Google recognize that this resource box is included with lots of my backlinks and see it as unnatural link building?

    How can I lift this penalty without individually contacting over 50 bloggers who host my content with a backlink?

    And if guest posting is no longer a viable link building strategy, then WHAT IS?

    Thanks,
    James
    Hi James,

    I will Highly Recommend you to check your Link Profile as May be someone might be building poor links for you. May Be if you've outsourced the work. Not Sure If you have do so. Guest are exactly a WHITE HAT SEO TACTIC and Google knows that very well.

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Julia Baby
    Just want to say one thing, if you are anything like me then get only 1 link from every possible site. That means every link from unique site and IP. Right now, one of my site is ranking #1 on the base of my this secret strategy. Cheers!
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  • Profile picture of the author savyeman
    JamesPenn, actually, there many other different ways you can get links, but if the blogs you are linking to have bad links it may get pass on to your site... That's why it's important to carefully review what sites your links are placed...

    Also, if you have other sites on your hosting account that have spam links, Google knows and can hold it against one of your sites...

    You can always interlink right on your website... Link to revelant pages with keyword relevant anchor text

    Be sure to write long post for your sites preferably 2000-3000 words..... No one is doing this... Guarantee you will get traffic... Google looks at sites with long articles with authority....

    You can use this strategy, just build real followers on tweeter and facebook write quality content and post your link on tweeter and content on facebook

    You can get your followers to build links for you......

    Tried to get links from sites that most people would even attempt to links from - those kind of links stand out...




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  • Profile picture of the author hicksdelight
    its good to see someone not moaning about how unfair Google is and actually realising their is nothing they can do except try and fix the problems.

    whether or not one agrees with how google does things doesnt matter, no point in moaning about it, try and do something about it, which is what the OP is doing.

    good luck, hope you get it sorted.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    Check your referral traffic. If you're not getting real traffic from natural links, then you have to question if your site should rank highly.

    Be wary of guest posting on low quality blogs. I used TKA's Postrunner for a while, and the average quality of site was pretty low.
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
      Originally Posted by brettb View Post

      Check your referral traffic. If you're not getting real traffic from natural links, then you have to question if your site should rank highly.

      Be wary of guest posting on low quality blogs. I used TKA's Postrunner for a while, and the average quality of site was pretty low.
      I'm getting lots of traffic from natural links.

      Total traffic is 1,000 visitors per day with less than 250 from the search engines.

      James
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      • Profile picture of the author Dan.Thies
        James, keep focusing on what's driving that traffic, and let the search engines catch up. FWIW, I don't see a penalty here - and neither does Matt Cutts apparently.

        I hope these sites also have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube if applicable, etc. - building an audience through social channels allows you to execute link bait, event marketing, and other link building tactics that don't involve you sweating for each and every individual link.
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        • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
          Originally Posted by Dan.Thies View Post

          James, keep focusing on what's driving that traffic, and let the search engines catch up. FWIW, I don't see a penalty here - and neither does Matt Cutts apparently.

          I hope these sites also have a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube if applicable, etc. - building an audience through social channels allows you to execute link bait, event marketing, and other link building tactics that don't involve you sweating for each and every individual link.
          Hi Dan

          How do you mean "and neither does Matt Cutts apparently"?

          I've just started building a Twitter and Facebook presence. My Pinterest presence is fairly large, but as of yet no YouTube following.

          My plan is to build my distribution funnels up so much (Twitter, FB, G+, Pinterest, email list) that I know every time I post a new blog post I can get 1,000 visitors within 24 hours.

          That's the goal - and if I reach that goal, my drop in Google traffic won't be so noticeable.

          James
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  • Profile picture of the author kalens99
    I think it matters to some degree what your guest blog posts are. I know a lot of people submit really empty articles that are keyword stuffed with the same generic anchor text in the backlink. To Google, they may not see that as a guest post, but some kind of content submitted through a spinner. Especially if you do a lot of them to low quality sites with low trust rankings. Not saying that's the case with you. Just saying Google may question the way you are doing them.

    I've done guest blogging for some very smart affiliate marketers. However, their policies seemed a little kooky to me. These included:

    1. Putting the keyword inside the post (even if it wasn't relevant to the niche).
    2. Writing guest posts from any site with appropriate Alexa links, irrespective of whether or not it was a relevant niche.
    3. Using the same keywords in the anchor text, but changing the anchor text slightly each time.

    I was always kind of suspicious about how effective this was and if it looked spammy. However, I wasn't going to question it because I wouldn't get paid if I did.
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  • Profile picture of the author jdooley13
    Good thing google doesn't rule the offline world. If they did, all advertising would have to be word of mouth (which is, in my opinion, the equivalent of someone linking to my site on their own) and no business could buy TV or radio ads, do press releases or put up a bill board (in my opinion, equivalent to guest posting or article posting or even blog commenting). All of that advertising to get customers to their store would be seen as unnatural by google and result in a penalty.
    I think the bottom line is that google doesn't want anyone to advertise their websites unless it is through google adwords. Any attempt to get any other form of advertising is being penalized.
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  • Profile picture of the author jimbo61
    The REAL irony in all of this is that james previously was not interested in SEO etc, wheras thanks to the poor actions of Google he now HAS become interested in it and is considering making a fglase link profile to combat the attack on his natural link profile.
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    • Profile picture of the author JamesPenn
      Originally Posted by jimbo61 View Post

      The REAL irony in all of this is that james previously was not interested in SEO etc, wheras thanks to the poor actions of Google he now HAS become interested in it and is considering making a fglase link profile to combat the attack on his natural link profile.
      Hi Jimbo

      I have always been interested in SEO, but I've always been in it for the long game.

      I've always thought that Google would evolve and improve and so when considering using a link building method, I'd think to myself...

      "Would Google really value these links in 1/2/5 years?"

      That's why I stuck pretty much to just guest posting. I think one of my main problems is that I haven't diversified my anchor text.

      Big mistake and now I have to build more backlinks to dilute this.

      James
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  • Profile picture of the author bitdoze
    Maybe a concurrent was doing negative SEO over your blog and that's why you have got flagged by Google. I have also receive the message from Google and some of my rankings dropped.

    I recommend writhing a great reconsideration request if you know that you haven't used blackhat link building tactics and if you are not selling affiliate products.
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  • Profile picture of the author MeMing
    Thanks James for starting this thread and more so for all the helpful comments thus far.

    IMHO, I don't think anybody should be punished for the crap links that come "naturally" (natural in the sense that you didn't pay for these links although they are made from automatic scripts). I don't think Google (with all the smarta$$es working for them) would do this.

    The reason? As what have been stated by some on this thread - reverse SEO. I'm sure big G have deliberated this and its possible effects and that they wouldn't dare turn the search world around. If they did, oh well, the more money for SEO professionals like myself and many others.

    How so?

    Did it ever cross your mind that if this is the world big G is pushing, then the work of SEOs would at least be 10x more. 10x more because instead of optimizing (or overoptimizing as big G is saying as of late) 1 website (our client's website), we will now be optimizing the websiteS of our clients sites. Why optimize competing sites of our clients? To get them "penalized" of course.

    That's what I can say on the subject of being penalyzed for the backlinks/mentions that are junk.

    #

    On the subject of "anchor text", although it might look unnatural if all your backlinks have the same anchor text however, I'm pretty sure big G has been explicit in keeping your SEO efforts "relevant" aren't they?

    And how on earth would they rank you for the keywords you are after if you aren't consistent with your keyword targets?

    Here's a recent video on how Google search works and how important keywords are: youtube.com/watch?v=KyCYyoGusqs&feature=player_embedded

    This one goes out to both anchor text from inlinks and backlinks (offsite).

    #

    On the subject of guest posting, I for one believe this is the most natural way to get the word out for any blog/site. I'm pretty sure as well that Matt Cutts have been explicit about going out of your way to participate in the industry that you are in to show your "authority" and expertise.

    This is just plain logic. This has even been around even before the internet was born. Industry authorities would go out of their way to discuss in conferences and talks, etc. Naturally, they would give out calling cards to network. It's the very same principle in guess blogging (even forum participation and guest posting - the correct way that is).

    Ergo, this isn't illegal or unnatural at all. If you know a little about real life businesses, you should know this is only plain logic.

    #

    On the subject of the ad placements on JamesPenn's blog (your blog is looking great and authoritative to me too), big G has also been in contradiction with itself regarding this. Ever heard of big G's recent "warning" for sites that have too many adds above the fold (the part where the monitor - it doesn't specific on what device's monitor when it really should since my 22" desktop monitor's fold is way too large compared to my Samsung Galaxy S2's fold (no intention of product placements here)) are going to get a slap.

    Why is Google contradicting itself (again) here? Because Google adsense encourages publishers to put the ads on the very same spots and worst? Even Google search results are plague with these ads (on top of the organic search results and on the right sidebar of results).

    Again this has made publishers think Google just wants all the fun on the world that they own (internet).

    I for one have removed some adsense ads above the "fold" to somehow comply with this. However, my 4,000 UV ($20/day adsense earning) blog is still stuck at 800UV/day and $5-10/day earnings up until now.

    I hope JamesPenn will be able to solve his problems. I doubt your plan of building more links from a more diverse source and using more diverse keywords would help though. I hope I'm wrong.

    #

    To end my lengthy (an probably uncalled for while at that) reply, I would like to share that we shouldn't get unto Google+. Why? Because Google owns too much of the internet as it is why give them what Facebook already has? If you hate Google's monopoly on search and how it's trying to stretch its limitless power, then why give them more?

    PS: Google didn't even bother sending me one of those dreaded "unnatural links warning message through Google Webmaster tools. So consider yourself lucky you have been seen as someone worth sending that out.
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  • Profile picture of the author carrotdogs
    I can understand google not passing on value from poor quality backlinks. But how can they punish a site for the backlinks pointing to it. If this is the case then I am sure there are many people out there who would happily buy 100,000 backlinks off ebay and point them to a competitors site to get them penalized. ??????
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  • Profile picture of the author SamDermot
    Banned
    Well, you may not be buying links it is true but it is algorithm of Google to catch those who are like you, as you are submitting guest posts on high pr and high quality sites then it is a little suspicious to Google so you should also consider natural, submit guest posts to low pr sites, nofollow sites, do activity in forums for link building purpose, do article submission also so that it would look natural to Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hud
    I don't think there was a real penalty, the site did not get deindexed. And all the ranking drops simply indicate that the link juice is getting less, because google flagged some links as "not worthy" therefore passing no link juice anymore, and naturally the rankings drop.

    And its quite clear what the problem was: link anchor text keyword stuffing. its simply not natural, no matter how high quality the content of the sites linking to him were... So, even if you do great link building, you gotta have to disversify the anchor text. I would in no way even think about asking websites to delete links... hell no!! google is lying if they are saying you should. how should someone hit by some neg seo do that, if there are now 20000 sites pointing to him? besides of the weeks of manual contacting work, if it was a neg seo attack, you will not be able to affect most of those links. Just let the links be, and try to disversify your anchor texts to look natural. and keep building your high quality links since they give you direct traffic as well, making you more independent from google.
    you should add a lot of links with no anchor text (or the url as anchor text), with your websites name as anchor text, and keyword variations in places that google would see as "natural" such as forums and comments, in the right ratio to guest blogging of course.

    Just ask yourself: where would links come from, if they were from USERS? what would the anchor texts look like? you could even do some link analysis of some websites that only got natural links and try to recreate this pattern, because THIS is what google does most likely want to see. But don't overdo it, time wise.

    And of course, be careful with on page keyword stuffing... or phrase combination stuffing etc... thats another red flag and google gets increasingly sensible to that as well. And there, too, you can simply run some onpage analysis on your top ranking competitors to see what level of onpage optimization is OK and what is not.

    EDIT:
    when publishing content on eza for being syndicated, you should chose your anchor text carefully, because you will get multiple links with the same anchor text because of the nature of syndication. So you could approach it that way: check how many sites are pointing to your page with your desired keyword, if the ratio vs other anchor texts is very low, then use the keyword, otherwise use another (similar) keyword, but always keep in mind that a natural link profile has a LOT of backlinks with the url as anchor text or no anchor text or the name of your site as anchor text or the title of the post as anchor text, in relation to the keyword you want to rank for...!
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  • Profile picture of the author thepresence
    This is a great thread discussion and many of you, especially PotPieGirl, have made some tremendous observations.

    James, I believe your got penalized for the two main things that Google Panda was looking for:

    1.) Anchor Text: Your eZine articles, which are not guest blogs, were scraped ad nauseam and they all had same anchor text from the resource box. This is unnatural.

    2.) Diversified/Poor Inbound Link Portfolio: Since this "guest posting" was your main strategy, all links are from similar sites, most of which are scraper sites.

    The very unfortunate thing here is that you did not do anything wrong and got penalized. Article marketing was a viable way to get great inbound links. Everybody knew this and did it. In fact, often people DID article marketing BECAUSE the sites get syndicated and generated massive inbound links. Unfortunately, this strategy that use to work now brings a penalty.

    On that note, it is still unfathomable to me that Google is clearly penalizing sites for their inbound link portfolio. Google has the brightest engineering minds in the country and it would be easy to simply de-value a link rather than penalize you for it. This makes it too easy to destroy the competition.

    And, really, contacting every blog and asking them to remove their links to you? You can't be serious. This is an impossible task and, frankly, most of these auto-blogs are not even monitored by a human.

    So, what to do?

    Since it is unreasonable to contact every site with a link, I think you need to move forward with a more diversified SEO strategy like we use at The SEO System, where none of our sites were penalized because we task you with creating a diversified inbound link portfolio. You need to make sure all inbound links use a variety of anchor text--including site name and URL--and come from a variety of sources, especially social media!

    I wish you good fortune with this and hope your site makes it back to the top...
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    In the real world where I live lots of people have propositioned my with offers to 'pay for' guest post inclusion. In other words, many practitioners of guest posting are merely SEO companies acting on behalf of clients. They generally are looking for contextual backlinks that will stay placed permanently.

    Of course these links are not being disclosed. Clearly I'm not the only one getting these offers. In other words, guest posting has devolved into another source of 'black hat backlinks.' Google will end up discounting this practice soon enough. They probably have installed their moles into this eco-system and will soon take enforcement action.
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  • Profile picture of the author Watch Store
    If you have 3000 backlinks how many of them are guest posts ?

    Once you work that out may be the remainding links have caused your website to be penalised ?
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  • Profile picture of the author Igal Zeifman
    Sorry to revive an old post but about a week or so Google released a tool for Disavowing links:
    Google’s Link Disavow Tool And Negative SEO | WebProNews

    By using this, you can protect yourself from negative SEO attempts (I know I did).

    Specifically for Updowner, Google already announced that it will disregards all links from this site.

    Still, if you want, you can also prevent automatic visits from Updowner by using this info about Updownerbot
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  • Profile picture of the author MaryPabelate
    Banned
    But you should know properly that which links are helpful and which are not helpful, as you have to build natural links too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Yohance j
    I hope not because I have done a ton of blog posts
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    • Profile picture of the author Liam Hamer
      I'm glad this has been bumped, I missed it first time around Lots of useful information in it. I would be interested to hear how things stand now with your rankings, James.
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  • Profile picture of the author alvinchua91
    There is a possibility that one of the website's you have guest posted on got penalized, passing on the trouble to you!
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    Check out how Shark Web, Singapore's leading SEO and SEM services company, can help you get on Google page #1 with our effective and safe white-hat SEO techniques.
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