Google Bans, Penalties and Filters


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Google Bans, Penalties and Filters

  1. 1. Bans, Filters and Penalties How to Detect and Counteract Them SEM Days @irishwonder
  2. 2. What Can Affect a Site in Google? Bans Penalties Filters Ban ≠ Penalty ≠Filter!!! @irishwonder
  3. 3. Case (See the complete story at usadotcom-13651.html) @irishwonder
  4. 4. Case: Fast Forward 7 Months―About 3,470,000 results‖ – sites are not delisted forever @irishwonder
  5. 5. Case: Fast Forward 11 Months(Post-Panda and Penguin)―About1,400,000 results‖ – however things can change both ways over time @irishwonder
  6. 6. Power Tip It’s a good idea to keep track of a site’s number of pages in Google index as it changes over time 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 @irishwonder
  7. 7. Google Webmaster GuidelinesThings to Keep in Mind: Typically bans and penalties happen due to Google Webmaster Guidelines violations Sites don’t get banned or penalized as soon as you violate anything – only when Google discovers violations Google Webmaster Guidelines is what Google wants site owners to do, not an enforceable law Google employs human reviewers but they only refine the algorithm, not influence specific SERPs directly Google encourages spam reports from users and relies on them where it cannot@irishwonder its results clean up
  8. 8. Google Webmaster Guidelines Avoid hidden text or hidden links. Dont use cloaking or sneaky redirects. Dont send automated queries to Google. Dont load pages with irrelevant keywords. Dont create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content. Dont create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware. Avoid "doorway" pages created just for search engines, or other "cookie cutter" approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first. ( ) @irishwonder
  9. 9. Spam Reports The form gives a glimpse into other possible reasons for bans and penalties (not only web spam but also other violations): @irishwonder
  10. 10. How to Diagnose a Ban Site: search for an existing and previously indexed domain in Google brings no results @irishwonder
  11. 11. How to Diagnose a Ban PageRank in the toolbar is n/a (grey bar) for a site that previously had PR – however this is NOT a 100% indicator: @irishwonder
  12. 12. How to Diagnose a Ban Site not appearing anywhere in Google for an exact match search for a fragment of content off it: @irishwonder
  13. 13. How to Diagnose a Ban If a site is verified at Google Webmaster Tools, there may be a message for the site owner there @irishwonder
  14. 14. Reasons for a Ban Copyright infringement (DMCA filed against a site) Paid links Hidden text / links Spam reports But iAcquire case is neither! (=purely ―political‖ action by Google) @irishwonder
  15. 15. Ban Facts You can get banned if you have links from banned sites (=patterns for Google to follow) You can get a banned site when buying an aged (previously owned) domain You can ―ban‖ yourself by having a noindex rule in robots.txt or in meta robots A competitor can get your site banned, too (despite Google saying otherwise) @irishwonder
  16. 16. What to Do If a Site Got Banned Fix the factors that could cause the ban if possible Get some strong authority links File a reinclusion request? (only helps with manual bans/penalties) If nothing helps, move on to a new domain and start from scratch @irishwonder
  17. 17. Penalty Penalty ≠ ban Ban = site disappears from Google completely, penalty = site drops for all its keywords for approximately the same number of positions (e.g. ―-50‖ penalty) However there are page-level penalties too A penalized site does not rank #1 for its domain name (but still can be found lower down the SERPs) From the commercial point of view, there is not much difference – you lose traffic Penalty is temporary and lasts from 90 days to a year @irishwonder
  18. 18. Reasons for a Penalty Duplicate content (on your own domain or elsewhere) Paid links ―Thin content‖ type of site (Panda) @irishwonder
  19. 19. How to Fight a Penalty Analyze the site Remove possible reasons of the penalty Keep building links Improve the site @irishwonder
  20. 20. What Is a Filter Penalty=site punished for certain factors, filter=certain factors are discounted Penguin: spammy links no longer taken into account by the algorithm Blog Directories networks WP theme footers @irishwonder
  21. 21. Sandbox? @irishwonder
  22. 22. Panda Update Targets thin content sites, heavy ads, poor user experience Affects less popular pages on a site If a drop happened not on the date of one of Panda updates it is NOT due to Panda Removing affected pages and moving to a new domain/subdomain has been identified as an effective way of getting out of Panda-imposed penalty @irishwonder
  23. 23. Panda Dates(Source: oogle-panda-37-15227.html)  Panda 2.5.2 on October 13th Panda 3.7 - ?  Panda 2.5.1 on October 9th Panda 3.6 on April 27th  Panda 2.5 on September 28th Panda 3.5 on April 19th  Panda 2.4 in August Panda 3.4 on March 23rd  Panda 2.3 on around July Panda 3.3 on about February 22nd. 26th  Panda 2.2 on June 18th or so. Panda 3.2 on about January 15th  Panda 2.1 on May 9th or so. Panda 3.1 on November 18th  Panda 2.0 on April 11th or so. Panda 2.5.3 on October  Panda 1.0 on February 24th 19/20th @irishwonder
  24. 24. Penguin Update Targets ―unnatural‖ link profiles Targets over-optimized anchor texts Benefits sites with strong brand signal and social signal If a drop happened NOT on a date of Penguin update this is not due to Penguin @irishwonder
  25. 25. Penguin Dates Penguin 1.0 — April 24, 2012 Penguin 1.1 — May 25, 2012(Source: change) @irishwonder
  26. 26. Staying Out of Filter/Penalty/Ban Make sure the user experience is great Do not create unnecessary pages Avoid duplicate content Do not buy links (or if you do, be careful and avoid footprints) Do not overdo ads on the site Improve the site’s trustworthiness Add social interaction If possible, create a brand signal @irishwonder
  27. 27. Questions? Twitter: @irishwonder @irishwonder