website just got nuked by Google

by voidd
26 replies
  • SEO
  • |
My website is almost a year old, and for the last 4-5 months I have been ranked on the first page for about 20 keywords. and ranked for 92 keywords total. But on the 20th of December my site was hit with what I assume is a penalty, I now only rank for 2 terms. they are not even terms I was competing for, and they are somewhere around rank 400.

I was wondering if anyone else was effected lately, or if anyone would be able to tell me why this happened, or how I can get my site ranked again.

My site may be considered thin, but all the Content is written by me, so its not duplicate content. I also stopped all link building about 6 months ago, so any links that came in since are natural.

The website in question is Crocheting for beginners « Everything you need to know about crocheting of beginners! I was following the Challenge training for creating a Niche site.. this is not a topic I am very familiar with, but it was low competition. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. as this is the only site i had ranked, and seeing the traffic drop from 100 a day to 0 is a terrible feeling.
#google #nuked #website
  • Profile picture of the author Icematikx
    Hmm, I'd suggest putting posts in excerpts. Maybe Google doesn't like so many amazon links on the homepage.
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      There's really nothing to your website. Very thin.
      Empty posts of not much of anything. You
      even admit this.

      If the site really is worthwhile, then why not
      advertise in crocheting magazines?

      Duplicate content has nothing to do with anything.

      Whoever "trained" you should be flogged.

      Paul
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      If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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  • Profile picture of the author Icematikx
    Try making Amazon links nofollow. Split posts into excerpts. Add content that doesn't promote Amazon. Go through your backlinks and make sure nothing's odd.
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    • Profile picture of the author voidd
      Thanks for insight, I will try the idea of no follow links and changing it to clips, not full articles. I have looked into the links, and nothing too weird has happened. On the 18th i got around 20 links. not sure from where though.

      And yes i am aware that the site is very thin. If i knew more about the topic or was even interested in the topic I would have written much more. But as is I am just interested in finding out what I did to cause the penalty, and seeing if there is a way to fix it. That way if it happens again I wont be in such a panic mode.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by voidd View Post

        And yes i am aware that the site is very thin. If i knew more about the topic or was even interested in the topic I would have written much more. But as is I am just interested in finding out what I did to cause the penalty, and seeing if there is a way to fix it. That way if it happens again I wont be in such a panic mode.
        Voidd First Kudos on the honesty but the bolded part is really the heart of the problem not for just you but about 70% of the people on this forum.

        You will always be in the cross hairs of Google because if you reread what you just wrote lets be honest - you don't deserve to rank. You will never deserve to rank in that or any serp that you take that approach to. The next algo will always potentially tank your site.

        So in short you cannot "fix it". Its not broken and if you find a way to game it and get back the rankings still not having any interest in the subject to write much on it you will find yourself tanked in some upcoming algo change as well.

        Those days of doing micro/thin sites is coming to an end. The world is just too big and human interests are just too wide to write on subjects you have no interest in. Pick something you like and have an interest in and there will be money there as well.
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        • Profile picture of the author voidd
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          Voidd First Kudos on the honesty but the bolded part is really the heart of the problem not for just you but about 70% of the people on this forum.

          You will always be in the cross hairs of Google because if you reread what you just wrote lets be honest - you don't deserve to rank. You will never deserve to rank in that or any serp that you take that approach to. The next algo will always potentially tank your site.

          So in short you cannot "fix it". Its not broken and if you find a way to game it and get back the rankings still not having any interest in the subject to write much on it you will find yourself tanked in some upcoming algo change as well.

          Those days of doing micro/thin sites is coming to an end. The world is just too big and human interests are just too wide to write on subjects you have no interest in. Pick something you like and have an interest in and there will be money there as well.
          I completely understand that. And I originally chose the niche because of the low competition. I understand that if I actually had an interest in the topic I would have wrote higher quality content. and that is actually what I am doing on my next niche site attempt. But if I could figure out what specifically got me penalized I can avoid such risky moves in the future. For instance, I know the site is very VERY thin. and I would like to add content. But if the content I add has Amazon links, and that gets it penalized for too many affiliate links on such a thin site. I will make sure the sites have much more content in the future.

          I also agree that a lot of people are making trash sites expecting to make it big over night. believe me when I say I knew the site was trash and was amazed at the $5-6 I was making each month from adsense.
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  • Profile picture of the author ram930krishna
    I had gone through a similar problem before. I got frustrated but didn't give up. I started building more links. The pages got their ranks back in a few months time.
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  • Profile picture of the author dburk
    Hi voidd,

    The answer is simple. You have a blog, the content on your blog's homepage changes with each new blog post, and as it does, so will your rankings. Have you promoted the permalinks, or just the homepage?

    Aside from that, your blog seems to promote a single website (Amazon) with your affiliate links, so it may have been classified as a thin affiliate site, or a set of Doorway pages by Google's Penguin web spam fighting algorithm. You should build websites for users, not spamming search engine result pages. A real website will provide links to many different sources, not just your affiliate links, and not just link to a single affiliate channel.
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    • Profile picture of the author voidd
      thanks for the input dburk, I recently added another post with Amazon links in it. I wonder if I can remove that post and see if the rankings will come back.. being that this is my first Niche site i would like to learn why this happens so i dont make the same mistake twice. I will try removing the latest post and see what that gets for me.
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    • Profile picture of the author dburk
      Hi voidd,

      Mike is right, stop trying to game your way to top rankings and earn it.

      Think about actual real life users, why would they want to find your website, so that you can earn an affiliate commission? Google users are not searching for information in this niche to find a website that is setup purely as a gateway for another website (Amazon). The fact that you only link to Amazon and no other place, and that you are paid a commission for doing so, make your website untrustworthy, and a poor user experience for Google users. Google has an obligation to keep your website, as is, out of the top search results.

      Why not give users what they are looking for?

      Find all the best places to learn about your niche, and to purchase items related to that niche, and link to all of them, along with your honest opinion on why you think those places are worthwhile. And be honest with users about your affiliation with Amazon, tell them that you are paid to recommend them, but don't limit your recommendations solely to Amazon. Believe it or not people will respect and trust you more for your honest candor. Maybe then you will have earned a spot in the SERP.
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  • Profile picture of the author elperuanito
    Why did you not start a site about something you actually like and that adds value? I have difficulty believing you just want to know how to avoid a penalty for the next time, when you actually build a site that is worth visiting. Why didn't you do that after building this site?

    If a thin crap site tanks, it's not a surprise and it's almost not worth analysing exactly why it dropped. Just find another low competition keyword and start again. I don't even think you need to find something you know something about already (though it is definitely preferable). Just find something you can passionately research and write about.
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  • Profile picture of the author Icematikx
    Indeed. At least make what you're writing about FUN. Jobs are meant to be fun.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    While I agree with what most replies have pointed out about the poor content quality, the reason your not ranking isn't because of thin content as far as SEO goes. You have way more text than my niche sites & I've been ranking pages on multiple domains for years & getting backlinks from traffic (without asking). My point is, the amount of text means nothing for SEO or traffic (depending on what the traffic wants/needs).

    You do have a boatload of formatting problems with your on-page text, the punctuation itself is horrible.

    I agree with dburk that the Home page content constantly changing can sometimes affect the SERPs but your last post on that site (link in OP) is from September 11, 2012, so I'm thinking that's not the problem.

    That site (link in OP) will never get a natural backlink other than from worthless domains like whois, etc... The site serves no purpose other than your Amazon affiliate account.

    I don't see any point in making recommendations because you obviously don't care about creating a site worthy of traffic. Find a niche you like, it doesn't feel like work.
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    • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      I agree with dburk that the Home page content constantly changing can sometimes affect the SERPs but your last post on that site (link in OP) is from September 11, 2012, so I'm thinking that's not the problem.

      .
      Woah, I didn't know that that can affect the SERPs. What if I were to create over hundreds of pages? And only 5 of them are on the front page? Does that mean the rest of them will have a tough time to rank? Thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
        Originally Posted by GGpaul View Post

        Woah, I didn't know that that can affect the SERPs. What if I were to create over hundreds of pages? And only 5 of them are on the front page? Does that mean the rest of them will have a tough time to rank? Thanks
        Keyword placement on the page and LSI related terms has the most to do with it and its paged based not home page based
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        • Profile picture of the author GGpaul
          Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

          Keyword placement on the page and LSI related terms has the most to do with it and its paged based not home page based

          Thanks BRO.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
      Originally Posted by yukon View Post

      While I agree with what most replies have pointed out about the poor content quality, the reason your not ranking isn't because of thin content as far as SEO goes. You have way more text than my niche sites & I've been ranking pages on multiple domains for years & getting backlinks from traffic (without asking). My point is, the amount of text means nothing for SEO or traffic (depending on what the traffic wants/needs).

      I've seen you write things like this before but they are false in that they really just look a the issue from a strawman perspective. Its true that many people look at thin as relating to pages but thats not the extent of it. Thin refers also to not covering a subject adequately regardless of word count. A site can be thin in content if it actually says nothing. NO one would claim that a site was not thin on content if it had hundreds of "Lorem ipsum" pages. Thats still thin. Thin is not just an issue of how much text there is although it DOES often correlate to pages of content.

      Yes page count VERY OFTEN relates to poor content. People who put up these sites for adsense of affiliate purposes tend to not only write content in low quantity but in low quality and get no organic links as you admit yourself. So to say that it is not an SEO issue is false.

      Finally your analysis that based on your own site (that gets links) ranking text is not an SEO issue is patently false because the the algo is LAYERED. That means tht google looks at varied levels of things in their rankings and having a high score in one might override a low score on another. Adobe's click here ranking indicated that links are a factor in ranking and that when you get mad links for being the number one portable document app on the internet you can overcome the text SEO requirement on page but it absolutely does NOT show that text isn't necessary for rankings on other sites or that this site is not being affected by lack of content issues. If Adobe did not get mad links then the absence of enough text that tells Google what the page is about and related to would in fact be a very significant factor

      You use that anecdotal scenario often but it does not prove what you claim. It only shows that lack of content can be overcome by links (of varied amount according to theserp and competition) not that quantity of relevant content is not a factor in the algo.
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      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

        I've seen you write things like this before but they are false in that they really just look a the issue from a strawman perspective. Its true that many people look at thin as relating to pages but thats not the extent of it. Thin refers also to not covering a subject adequately regardless of word count. A site can be thin in content if it actually says nothing. NO one would claim that a site was not thin on content if it had hundreds of "Lorem ipsum" pages. Thats still thin. Thin is not just an issue of how much text there is although it DOES often correlate to pages of content.

        Yes page count VERY OFTEN relates to poor content. People who put up these sites for adsense of affiliate purposes tend to not only write content in low quantity but in low quality and get no organic links as you admit yourself. So to say that it is not an SEO issue is false.

        Finally your analysis that based on your own site (that gets links) ranking text is not an SEO issue is patently false because the the algo is LAYERED. That means tht google looks at varied levels of things in their rankings and having a high score in one might override a low score on another. Adobe's click here ranking indicated that links are a factor in ranking and that when you get mad links for being the number one portable document app on the internet you can overcome the text SEO requirement on page but it absolutely does NOT show that text isn't necessary for rankings on other sites or that this site is not being affected by lack of content issues. If Adobe did not get mad links then the absence of enough text that tells Google what the page is about and related to would in fact be a very significant factor

        You use that anecdotal scenario often but it does not prove what you claim. It only shows that lack of content can be overcome by links (of varied amount according to theserp and competition) not that quantity of relevant content is not a factor in the algo.

        I know you can't stand it when I say I rank pages with low text count & yes, thin pages (read that). I've already shown you examples of thin pages ranking (remember dafont?). Lets here an excuse for why thin pages & low text volume pages won't rank now. How many font sites do you think exist on the net, hundreds/thousands? Most font sites use the same content/text, which is very thin pages..

        I'm not telling anyone to create crap sites, but I guarantee a thin page can be ranked with the same links that a 1,000 word article can be ranked with.

        Make your excuses & keep writing 1,000 word pages of fluff just to appease the SEO Gods.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          I know you can't stand it when I say I rank pages with low text count & yes, thin pages (read that). I've already shown you examples of thin pages ranking (remember dafont?). Lets here an excuse for why thin pages & low text volume pages won't rank now. How many font sites do you think exist on the net, hundreds/thousands? Most font sites use the same content/text, which is very thin pages..

          I'm not telling anyone to create crap sites, but I guarantee a thin page can be ranked with the same links that a 1,000 word article can be ranked with.

          Make your excuses & keep writing 1,000 word pages of fluff just to appease the SEO Gods.
          you didn't even read what I wrote. You are just creating more strawman arguments about content having to be text as if thin sites can only refer to text. I haven't even wrote ONE 1.000 word page but nice try at the dodge and duck

          Font pages are not thin in content. You are being clueless. They provide the very content that people in that niche serp are looking for. try harder man. Your anecdotal attempts to fool people that good content is not necessary will continue to fail.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post


          but I guarantee a thin page can be ranked with the same links that a 1,000 word article can be ranked with.
          You have a way of complaining about crappy SEO threads and then creating the same kind of no evidence crappy SEO posts. You guarantee right? In another post you are SURE (about something in a secret algo that not you nor anyone else has ever tested).

          Fine. I can live with that and you said it. Since you "guarantee" lets see if you put your money where your mouth is. Name the price. I will go up to a few hundred dollars. I'll fund that contest and pay out. One newb here can follow your theory and put up a thin page and One will follow the content matters theory. Forget the made up 1.000 word page nonsense (no one ever stated that. You just made it up).

          We will put up a thin page against a page that covers a topic well with a solid article and see how it ranks with the same amount of links across several niche related keywords.

          If your guarantee has any meaning at all you should stand behind it. If you don't then we know what the guarantee is worth.
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  • Profile picture of the author alvinchua91
    I will say it's pretty thin, and like you mentioned, you did not build backlinks for quite some time, so it's natural that Google wiped you off its SERPs
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  • Profile picture of the author fanta81
    Same thing happened with one of my site. I stopped doing back linking for quite some time and it got hit quite hard. The best way is to keep on building links from top notch sites which will send your site to first page soon.
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  • Profile picture of the author elperuanito
    I've only experienced that in terms of ranking the home page only for a particular keyword I am targeting. With my Amazon sites, where each product has its own review page, they rank fine and don't need a front page presence to rank individually. However, with another blog I've made the mistake of changing the home page to a different template (where the front page changed to having the recent posts, rather than a fixed page) and then my ranking for the keyword that that page was targeting dropped.
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  • Profile picture of the author Quincy
    No offense, but I'm actually amazed that you got that site ranked on the first page for 20 keywords. If you can duplicated that feat, you should write a wso on ranking sites. :-0
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    • Profile picture of the author voidd
      your all correct that the site is not really worth while to anyone who visits.. I picked the niche because I did not know any better back the and thought it was a easy to rank keyword.

      but the lack of content and quality is purely my fault for picking a niche i have little interest in. So for my next site that I am currently working on I chose something I was already looking on information for. But could not find the info all in one place.

      And as a response to the last post being September 11, I actually had one post i made on December 16th, but I removed that to see if it was part of the cause for the penalty.

      Thank you all for any input on this. It is very much appreciated.
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