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Can Adwords Define Your "neighborhood"


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#1 ktaylor310

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 08:27 AM

I have been trying to find an answer to a question (or at least get a couple of opinions) for days and am not getting anywhere! Any answers I have received end up dragging the thread off topic with general warnings about cleaning up my site, etc. Because of this I feel like I have to start off with a waiver.

I am doing a site review for a client whose website has most likely been penalized by Google. I am making recommendations for cleaning the site up, etc. This is not my site, not my site, not my site! I have run into a scenario that I've never run into before and I have a question. I'd like to know the answer because it helps me learn and understand and give current advice.

OK... It wasn't until after I had reviewed the site, accessbility, etc., that I was provided with access to the client's webhost stats. I was stunned to see a ton of pornographic/adult search phrases in his key phrase logs. I was a little confused as there is no adult content on the site or shady links to other sites. There were also several yucky or questionable incoming links to his site. Sorry, but I wasn't about to click on any of them to see how they were linked to him! In my mind I'm thinking the only way for the successful searches to show up in his log is via direct link or doorway page.

A couple of days later I was provided with his Google login/password and was further shocked to find that he had purchased an adult Adword. Google had tagged the adword as "adult" too. I believe the client was trying to target an adult crowd because he owns lodging out of the country.

Here's my question... I am well aware that Adwords are supposed to be completely separate from organic listings and do not have any impact on rankings (as far as boosting them). BUT, if you purchase an adult adword and choose "automatic placement" and Google scans and chooses the network for you, and that network includes adults sites (including on from .ru!!) and you accept those sites as part of your network, and those sites end up sending successful porn searches to your site, how can you NOT be tagged as a bad neighbor?

If it is possible that this can cause a bad reputation, how can Google justify the fact that they ok'd the adword and provided the network?

Here's what I received from Danny Sullivan "@ktaylor310 buying adult adwords shouldn't tag a site as adult in organic listings. but if you're buying them, perhaps there is some adult"

Another twitterer said "Nope, buying adwords cannot in any way affect natural listings... in Google. It can help with Yahoo if you have your meta kw's all filled in'

So my question isn't really about ranking so much as about being associated with bad neighbors. Advice? Opinions?

#2 Randy

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 02:46 PM

No association with those other sites should be in effect either. They're linking to the site you're working on, not the other way around, and even then they're only through an adwords jump link which isn't going to be counted at all on the organic side of things.

And even if it was, how could the be considered to be bad neighborhoods if Google has accepted them as an Adsense publisher? That would make no sense at all since the other sites are apparently Google Approved. (Yeah, yeah, I know they mess that up way too often with their Adsense publishers.)

Long story short, I think you're looking in the wrong place if you really believe the site has been penalized. It usually takes a considerable amount of plain old dumb things to get a site penalized. Or one thing where it's blindingly obvious to even the casual observer that someone is trying to show real users something different than what they want the search engines to see.

What happens if you search for some unique bits of text from the site? Do you get that site? Do you get any others? Is it safe for us to assume you've already looked into a site: type of search to make sure all of the pages are being indexed and there's not some technical issue?

#3 ktaylor310

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 03:47 PM

There are some really obvious reasons that their site would be penalized, including hidden text & keyword spam on the home page. They also have a duplicate site sitting on another domain in a subdirectory that links to and is part of a crazy link exchange that is totally associated with "bad neighbors". Since they had ranking up until September and it disappeared over night it's pretty certain they were penalized. I have pointed out these obvious infractions, the Adword thing I just want to understand.

#4 Randy

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 04:09 PM

Oh yeah, there are reasons for them to be penalized.

There's not going to be much you can do until all of that is corrected. Then a reinclusion request will have to be filed. Then you'll have to wait to see how long that takes to be implemented. I'd tell 'em to plan on a year or more of hard work and waiting to recover.




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