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Penalized For One Keyword Phrase Only
Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:18 AM
I have not been able to find much information on this, but for over a year now, Google appears to have penalized a client website for a certain keyword phrase only. I will use the keyword phrase "Wholesale Watches" as an example.
History of the site:
1. Ranking in top 5 for Wholesale Watches for several years with no problems.
2. Client hires a cheap SEO company and after a couple months, the term "Wholesale Watches" drops off all search results for Google.com. Other search phrases are not affected or drop slightly.
3. We review his site and other SEO company had spammed his rss feed. This was removed and re-inclusion request filed.
4. Old site was scrapped about 6 months ago and new site was launched, with search engine friendly features
So after some serious link building campaigns, the website is still no where to be found for the term "Wholesale Watches". Even though the site is very well optimized for this term, as well as allot of the link building used "Wholesale Watches" within the anchor tags. For nothing to show up within the first 300 results is very strange and only confirms that Google has penalized based of a keyword phrase only since other keyword phrases are not affected. When compared to sites ranked on page 5 - 10, competitive research shows our client website has much more targeted backlinks and in theory, should be ranking higher.
Has anyone had a similar experience? What is the solution to this problem? Is there any other theories on what could be causing this?
Posted 02 April 2009 - 12:25 PM
It's very difficult to get a newish site to rank well for moderately competitive phrases. Also, I'm guessing that the phrase is probably highly competitive. You may not have lost it due to spamming, originally, but just due to more and more sites cropping up that use that phrase.
Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:10 PM
No, it is the same domain, just a completely new site design and shopping cart software.
I would understand that the keyword position was lost due to competition, but this is not the case here, because the site does not show up at all in the results for that search phrase. Competitive analysis with sites sitting on the 10th page show our site to be much more popular and should rank higher. It isn't a case of competition, it's definitely a case of being manually removed by Google for a certain phrase.
Posted 03 April 2009 - 03:48 AM
If you think this is the case, perhaps it might help if you vary the anchor text in new IBL's to "balance the link equation". I don't know if removing any of the older IBL's will help and I don't know if future IBL with that specific anchor text will be ignored or if Google ignores just the group of identical IBL's it thinks has been acquired too fast.
Do a search on "balancing the link equation" for more info.
Posted 03 April 2009 - 09:35 AM
We have definitely varied the anchor text on the IBL's, so I don't think that is the cause of the issue.. I wish it were, then I would of had a definite answer to this mess. I'll read up more on "balancing the link equation" and see if there is any correlation to the activities of the past seo company.
Posted 24 April 2009 - 09:28 PM
I recently worked on a site that a previous designer had set up for a client. They had keyword stuffed a major phrase for the client's industry [36 times in 1 1/2 paragraphs], and the search engines had pretty much blocked them off from the listings.
*I won't even get into all the black hat code that designer had plastered throughout the site
Aside from properly optimizing the meta tags on every individual page (I know, most experts state they serve no purpose, but they achieve excellent steady results for me), I went in and re-adjusted a lot of the content. Though the phrase still appears in the content (it's integral to their industry), I limited the repetition, and converted placements within the content for keyword proximity whenever possible (rather than exact adjacent usage).
In the meta keywords (yes, I use them adamantly), I used proximity phrase combination and also expanded phrase combinations (sparingly).
Example (using your "Wholesale Watches") -- Wholesale Watches Manufacturer
The search engines accepted the new variants, and began to combine the key phrase with other keywords found within the content -- which the SE starting building on their own. The results quickly brought in strong results, and the bonus was that (since the SE included their own variations) the searches were also bringing in a higher percentage of prequalified target users.
The important part is to make sure the content matches the SE relevancy -- don't just use the phrase for the sake of getting it (re)listed. If the SE determine the page has strong relevancy through keyword proximity, it can help return listing and placement quite quickly within the rankings.
Think of it [the search engines] taking a second look at the site and seeing that site has cleaned up its act. As the SE build new phrase combinations, you'll find your original phrase regains placement rankings.
Hope that helps a little,
Posted 24 April 2009 - 09:56 PM
Then you are completely mixing up cause and effect if you believe that.
Posted 24 April 2009 - 10:04 PM
Have you conducted a search for some unique text from your home page? I'm assuming here the home page is the one you're expecting to show up for the MIA keyword phrase. Start with the text from the title tag if it has fairly unique text.
I have seen cases where massive duplication or even limited duplication if another domain had some links will end up ranking instead of the real domain. Making it seem like the real domain is penalized for the highly valued term even if technically it's not penalized but is being filtered. You'll know it when you see it if the title and/or snippet end up showing the exact text or essentially the exact text of the real domain. Then it's just a matter of tracking it down and shutting off the other domain.
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