Goole -950 penalty, case study

3 replies
  • SEO
  • |

I'm not sure I'll get them, but I need some exact responses on the following SEO issue.

My websites have been hit by a google penalty which makes the targeted keywords appear on the last page of the google results. For example, if my website was nr.1, now its on the last page, last result.

Reading about it, this penalty is called the minus 950.

Now, my websites are EMD's.
Do you know if there is a correlation between this behavior and the EMD update?

Extrapolating on this, could there be a correlation between the behavior above and the Panda or Penguin update?

I'm asking because I can't pinpoint the cause of the minus 950 penalty.

Folks on webmaster wold say it's because of onsite overoptimization.
I have fixed this before the holidays, now on a few test sites... the keyword density is under 1% for every word.

My hunch is that this is a mixed penalty - between links, over optimization, EMD, etc.

What are your thoughts?
#950 #case #goole #penalty #study
  • Profile picture of the author bouncingboy
    In my -950 case, I threw away the website and all of the backlink work. I reposted the content on another domain. I doubt the EMD was the culprit by itself. My suspicion is that there was a problem with my backlink campaign with a .edu forum that was full of spammer threads. I also tried to make the site clean with only 1 ad above the fold and no affiliate links and adsense on the same site. I'm real careful about backlink creation today.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
    There is nowhere near enough information for anyone to even guess.

    How old is the site?
    How long were you ranking?
    What kind of link building were you doing?
    Any messages in Webmaster Tools?
    Have you noticed any unnatural links coming in that you were not building?
    Are you sure there are no crawl errors on the site?
    Has your host been down much in the past few months?
    Have you made any design changes in the past few months?

    I can tell you one thing... Keyword density was not the problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author stephenwaldo
    As others have said, it is impossible to give you an exact 100% correct answer without knowing more. Even then it would be a highly educated guess.

    However, a SERP movement like the one you described does match what's happened to two of my own EMD's directly after the EMD update. They had both survived previous Panda and Penguin updates as the content is very good on both of them, but the severe drop in traffic and rankings leads me to believe that they were only ranking due to their exact match domain names. Both of the websites had not been updated in over a year, and I'd done no promotion on either of them so there's no way that the cause was "bad SEO" or anything like that.

    Now, while in your case it does sound like an actual penalty and not just an adjustment, ultimately it doesn't really matter why your websites lost their rankings. All that matters is getting them back, and the process is the same no matter what:

    1. Check your Webmaster Tools to make sure Google hasn't sent you a "Bad Links Warning" or some similar notification
    2. Move all content to a new domain (optional )
    3. Begin publishing fresh, naturally written content at a slow and steady rate... Something like 1 or 2 posts per week.
    4. Only promote through 3 to 5 of your own social networks, and do it organically. Do not build any unnatural links whatsoever.

    If you follow this process then there is a very good chance that you will start seeing traffic and rankings slowly increase, and in good time you may even surpass where you were before. Above all, search engine recovery takes patience.
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