Could This Silo Structure Cause A Penalty?

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Hey Guys,
A question to the experts here.
I have a minisite that targets a keyword which has lots of longtails so I've made a 6 level deep silo to try and target each longtail with a dedicated page.
So let's say site my site is chihuahua.com (brand site) and I'm targeting the keyword "dog training" with its longtails like this:



Would I get penalized for having "dog training" in all of my pages?

I have a site that is built exactly like that and it's got penalized on August 26th.
Could this be the reason? if so, how would you recommend doing it without over optimizing?
#over optimization #penalty #silo #siloing #structure
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
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    There's no penalty for having relevant pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author Smoker2
    Hey Yukon,
    Well I have a pretty clean link profile so what could be the reason for the penalty?
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by Smoker2 View Post

      Hey Yukon,
      Well I have a pretty clean link profile so what could be the reason for the penalty?
      How do you know there's a penalty against the site? Does Webmaster Tools say there's a problem?

      [edit]
      How are you monetizing the pages (Clickbank, Amazon, etc...)?
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  • Profile picture of the author Smoker2
    Well I've been ranking #1 stably for months and then on August 26th I was dropped to page 7 over night.
    All the pages on my site lost their ranking, hence it's a sitewide penalty.

    My link profile is fairly clean, I have a decent pbn and a good mix of links to make for a natural profile.
    I barely have keyword rich anchors built and my density is also very low around 1%.

    However I did use lots of press releases to pillow my site, I did 1 press release and submitted it to about 50 sites like SBwire, PRBuzz, MyPRGenie etc...

    So my main suspects are either the press releases or the site structure.
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by Smoker2 View Post

      Well I've been ranking #1 stably for months and then on August 26th I was dropped to page 7 over night.
      All the pages on my site lost their ranking, hence it's a sitewide penalty.

      My link profile is fairly clean, I have a decent pbn and a good mix of links to make for a natural profile.
      I barely have keyword rich anchors built and my density is also very low around 1%.

      However I did use lots of press releases to pillow my site, I did 1 press release and submitted it to about 50 sites like SBwire, PRBuzz, MyPRGenie etc...

      So my main suspects are either the press releases or the site structure.
      Unless your doing something real shady (cloaking, etc...) it's most likely safe to rule out anything on-page. Relevant internal pages isn't worthy of causing a penalty.

      You still haven't proven a penalty, is there a warning/message in WMT? If not, doubtful you have a penalty.

      Check your links. Losing links will drop a page in the SERPs without a penalty happening. Example, losing 1 really good link could be the tipping point between ranking & not ranking.

      Are those press releases followed links? Are those links still intact?
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  • Profile picture of the author Smoker2
    Well, there's no message on WMT so that means it's an algorithmic penalty.
    BTW, I'm monetizing the site through clickbank.

    I did lose a lot of press releases lately due to deindexing, I started with about 70 indexed and now only 50 are indexed, I guess because google sees the same content over and over again...most of them are dofollow links but they're not really what's responsible for my rankings, I did them solely for the purpose of pillowing.

    What was really ranking me is my pbn and so far everything's fine with it.
    Here's a screenshot of my rankings from the day I received the penalty.



    Are you sure it's not the site structure?
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by Smoker2 View Post

      Well, there's no message on WMT so that means it's an algorithmic penalty.
      BTW, I'm monetizing the site through clickbank.

      I did lose a lot of press releases lately due to deindexing, I started with about 70 indexed and now only 50 are indexed, I guess because google sees the same content over and over again...most of them are dofollow links but they're not really what's responsible for my rankings, I did them solely for the purpose of pillowing.

      What was really ranking me is my pbn and so far everything's fine with it.
      Here's a screenshot of my rankings from the day I received the penalty.

      Are you sure it's not the site structure?
      Like I said earlier, dropping in the SERPs isn't proof of a penalty & unless your doing something hardcore on-page doubtful on-page is a problem. That's why I asked about cloaking or anything similar.

      Most likely the problem is your links. You can test your link profile by trying to rank another page for a very easy competition keyword. Don't worry about traffic volume, just test If the links rank a page & hold rank.
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  • Profile picture of the author Smoker2
    Well, I do cloak my affiliate links but I'm guessing that's not what you mean when you say hardcore stuff

    Yukon, as you can see in the screenshot some drops were astronomical, from page 1 to page 21 overnight, isn't that a clear sign of a penalty?
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    • Profile picture of the author yukon
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      Originally Posted by Smoker2 View Post

      Well, I do cloak my affiliate links but I'm guessing that's not what you mean when you say hardcore stuff

      Cloaking outbound affiliate links could eventually be an issue. Google doesn't like cloaked links.

      My advice is create your own self hosted sales page, remove all the cloaked links from your site & link directly to the CB checkout page with your affiliate link. A Google search will show how to set that up & still drop the CB cookie. That way you have 1 outbound link on your entire site & that one OBL will be pointing to a nofollowed/noindexed SSL checkout page.

      Again, your links are probably dropping off or just weak links to begin with.


      Originally Posted by Smoker2 View Post

      Yukon, as you can see in the screenshot some drops were astronomical, from page 1 to page 21 overnight, isn't that a clear sign of a penalty?
      No, the screenshot doesn't look like a penalty considering you still have 7 pages/keywords ranked on the first page of the SERPs. Dropping from #1 to #10 isn't a penalty.
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