Google Penalized Me!

Anonymous_User

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Apr 25, 2013
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:cry:

Dear site owner or webmaster of http://www.anonsconverse.tk/,
We've detected that some of your site's pages may be using techniques that are outside Google's Webmaster 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.
We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you've made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google's search results.
If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request.
If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.
Sincerely,
Google Search Quality Team
I know that I have been penalized because if I type the name of my site, "anons converse", or "anons converse message board", or something like that, it's not coming up as the first or second result as it always used to! Last time I checked, it was coming up on the bottom of the sixth page.

Apparently it's saying that I have unnatural links. Now, I will go bullet by bullet and tell you what it is that I was doing:

- I submitted my link to a few directories
- I did a link exchange with The Admin Zone
- I kept answering questions on Yahoo! Answers and signing off with a link to my site or kept asking questions and linking to my website with the intent to promote it (this is what I think got me screwed because I probably got like 50 violations from Yahoo! for doing this and thank god they still haven't suspended me yet)
- I submitted a bunch of links to my website to Google - like one for my homepage, and then one for each of my forums
- For Promotion and Forum Hosting sites where it is a common practice to have a banner of your site that links to it in your signature, I did exactly that
- I changed my avatar on many places to that "AC" favicon
- I did html meta tags for a description as well as a list of keywords
- On some forums and places, I have set my "homepage" as my site

So is Yahoo! Answers what killed me, or is there something else as well? How do I resolve these issues?
 

ForumMechanics

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May 24, 2013
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It is probably the Yahoo answers that got you. How you are not suspended yet is beyond me. A year ago I answered 5 questions, all with relevant content to my website, and got banned from putting my link as the source. Anyway, it isn't that you are answering the questions with your link, it is the number of questions you are answering. It is completely obvious to Google that you have been doing this technique because of the time span and the number of links from Yahoo answers.

Remember the SEO golden rule: Create websites for your users, not search engines.

That rule will guide you to better practices that will not punish your rankings. Anything that looks unnatural will catch the attention of Google. Submitting 50 links to Yahoo ansers all with specific anchor text is suspicious. Link swapping schemes if done on a mass scale is bad too. Focus on less quanity and higher quality links in the future.
 

Ingenious

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The problem in general is that you are self promoting your site in a spammy way (which I think you realise) and one that is not natural or organic. Looking at Google's own video clips (on their SEO/ranking YouTube channel) it seems they only penalise in serious cases, so I think you need to look at the sites you submitted your links to to see if they are reputable - if they are simply link exchanges this is what's shafted you.

Are you able to remove the links to your site you created? Can you go back and remove the links on Yahoo?

Have you looked at your logs/webmaster stats to see where the bulk of your incoming links are (in case there are indeed any beyond your control)?

In the case of Yahoo I would imagine if everyone is stuffing their links in via questions and answers, Google would view that site as a "bad neighbourhood".

Edit - Ninja'd by ForumMechanics ;)
 

Anonymous_User

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I have only done one link exchange, and that is with TAZ. It was only directories and search engines I submitted my link to. With Yahoo!, the problem with some of the links is that they are in some of my answers within resolved questions, which you can't delete. However, I suspect I could delete many of my answers and questions that link to my website (and many were deleted by Yahoo! anyway).
 

Anonymous_User

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Yeah, I can't really get rid of the links that did survive Yahoo! Answers moderation.

So is there anything else I should do or keep in mind before I re-submit my site to Google?
 

Jack_Rouse

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I have only done one link exchange, and that is with TAZ. It was only directories and search engines I submitted my link to. With Yahoo!, the problem with some of the links is that they are in some of my answers within resolved questions, which you can't delete. However, I suspect I could delete many of my answers and questions that link to my website (and many were deleted by Yahoo! anyway).
Which directories did you use ?
 

cbp

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It would have been NOTHING to do with Yahoo! Answers - the links from there are nofollowed.
 

ForumMechanics

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It would have been NOTHING to do with Yahoo! Answers - the links from there are nofollowed.
Despite not transferring any pagerank, Google can still see all these links and accumulating many of them within a short period of time could be considered suspicious. Based on what the OP has told us so far, this is really the only red flag. Doing only one link exchange and posting to directories on a small scale will not get the attention of Google usually. Unless the OP is withholding some information about their SEO practices, we can only assume that Yahoo answers is the problem.
 

Anonymous_User

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Yeah, I only posted to directories on a quite small scale. In fact, I think it's unlikely that I submitted my link to more than five directories, and definitely not more than ten.

On the other hand, I made another account on Yahoo! Answers, and went through all of the questions where my content containing the link had not been deleted, and reported abuse on all of them with the reason, "Non-Commercial Promotion of Personal Site" (which is one of their violations that I kept getting dinged for). However, the problem is that many of my answers were actually chosen as the best and survived the community moderation and I don't think they delete Best Answers there.

Is there another way I can get my Yahoo! Answers links removed?

Also, are you saying I shouldn't submit my link to directories?
 
Last edited:

Jack_Rouse

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Yeah, I only posted to directories on a quite small scale. In fact, I think it's unlikely that I submitted my link to more than five directories, and definitely not more than ten.

On the other hand, I made another account on Yahoo! Answers, and went through all of the questions where my content containing the link had not been deleted, and reported abuse on all of them with the reason, "Non-Commercial Promotion of Personal Site" (which is one of their violations that I kept getting dinged for). However, the problem is that many of my answers were actually chosen as the best and survived the community moderation and I don't think they delete Best Answers there.

Is there another way I can get my Yahoo! Answers links removed?

Also, are you saying I shouldn't submit my link to directories?
There are good and bad directories, and it's a bit difficult to know which are which, I tend not to submit to directories that want reciprocal links, or offer only free submissions, I also avoid those that offer to submit your link to x number of other directories.

I would also only submit to high ranking directories, they tend to be the ones google trusts.
 

Anonymous_User

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The thing is that I don't keep track of what directories I have submitted to.

The only reciprocal links directory I submitted to was TAZ.

And what do you mean by "only free submissions"? All the directories I submitted to were "free".

Also, I think there was one directory that I submitted to that said that they will post my link in 100s of places but that was long before I even submitted my .tk url to Google.

Furthermore, what do you guys think I should do? What steps do I take to get this penalty reversed?

Also, keep in mind, I am only 15 years old.
 

Jack_Rouse

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The thing is that I don't keep track of what directories I have submitted to.

The only reciprocal links directory I submitted to was TAZ.

And what do you mean by "only free submissions"? All the directories I submitted to were "free".

Also, I think there was one directory that I submitted to that said that they will post my link in 100s of places but that was long before I even submitted my .tk url to Google.

Furthermore, what do you guys think I should do? What steps do I take to get this penalty reversed?

Also, keep in mind, I am only 15 years old.
Google will still find those links, if they are still active, and were posted a year ago.

Some directories offer a premium service for your link to be added quickly, but you can avoid charges by agreeing to wait, and have a free submission.

It's not easy to get a decision from Google reversed, the first thing to do is to try and remove those links.

According to my searches you only have these showing as backlinks :
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?p=14812099
http://forumpromotion.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=5786
http://linkcove.com/general
http://theadminzone.com/directory/random-listings.html
http://urldirec.com
http://www.theadminzone.com/directory/about.html
http://www.urldirec.com/latest

Can't really see anything worth banning you for there, are you certain that is all you did.
 

Anonymous_User

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Yeah, that is pretty much it.

Also, I did not actually get banned. I just got bumped down five pages on Google as a penalty.
 

Jack_Rouse

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Yeah, that is pretty much it.

Also, I did not actually get banned. I just got bumped down five pages on Google as a penalty.
Personally I think the only way you are going to climb back up is to submit your links to more sites in a more genuine way.
Google is a very strange beast, very easy to upset, and also quite easy to pacify, it's going to be hard work.
 

vau7

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Jun 15, 2004
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It is definitely not the YA - links. Analyzing your backlink profile there is one thing: you have 100% do-follow links which is absolutely not natural and begs for a penalty.
 

cbp

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Despite not transferring any pagerank, Google can still see all these links and accumulating many of them within a short period of time could be considered suspicious. Based on what the OP has told us so far, this is really the only red flag. Doing only one link exchange and posting to directories on a small scale will not get the attention of Google usually. Unless the OP is withholding some information about their SEO practices, we can only assume that Yahoo answers is the problem.
Yahoo! Answers is NOT the problem. They are nofollowed. Google just ignores them!!!!!
 

cbp

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Personally I think the only way you are going to climb back up is to submit your links to more sites in a more genuine way.
Google is a very strange beast, very easy to upset, and also quite easy to pacify, it's going to be hard work.
What a great idea!!! ... just do more of what got the penalty in the first place. Brilliant!
 

Jack_Rouse

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What a great idea!!! ... just do more of what got the penalty in the first place. Brilliant!
I think you need to read what I wrote again,

Submit links to more SITES, IN MORE GENUINE WAY,

That is do not submit to directories.
 

Jack_Rouse

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Yahoo! Answers is NOT the problem. They are nofollowed. Google just ignores them!!!!!
To say Google ignores "no-follow" is a myth and is wrong, Mat Cutts of Google has this to say about "no-follow" links and Google :

“Let’s be absolutely clear about this: Links that use the rel=nofollow microformat do not pass PageRank and are not used in our ranking algorithms.

This does not mean that the target URL will never be crawled. By adding a rel=nofollow to a link, you’re essentially removing a sign pointing to the restroom. Just because that sign is gone does not mean that Googlebot will never find the restroom. Using rel=nofollow is not a way to block crawling altogether – if you need to do that, then use the robots.txt file.”
 

Anonymous_User

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Honestly, I am just using Forum Promotion and other forum promoting sites and relying on those. They are great for message boards and have a lot of features. They usually have a directory as one of their forums. Then, they give you posting packages, reviews, and give you a place to do exchanges, etc. Promotion sites have even started offering paid domains for free if you accumulate a certain amount of "forum cash" or win a contest.

However, I would also like to submit my link for reconsideration. Is there anything I should do before doing that? Also, what should I say in their little "appeal box" where they ask you to explain what may have caused you to be penalized?
 
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