Can't Shake A Google Penalty? What To Do Next?

Feb 17, 2009 • 8:28 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Are you one of those webmasters that simply cannot get out of the Google penalty box? Are you convinced you have a penalty that is keeping you from the first page of Google? Have you tried everything and still cannot achieve high rankings in Google?

A WebmasterWorld thread shows one webmaster who has gone through the exhaustive list of changes to his, what he calls, white hat site, to make it even more clean, if that is possible.

Check out this exhaustive list of changes he made to 'fix' his site:

- Fix trailing slash duplicate content issue through a 301 - Fix 'index.php' duplicate content issue through a 301 - Fix 'www' subdomain canonical duplicate content issue through a 301 - Remove all defective and/or thematically irrelevant links - Added a privacy policy - Added a creativecommons licensing statement - Checked robots.txt -> nothing wrong - Checked safebrowsing tool -> nothing wrong - Checked meta tags -> nothing wrong - Added noindex,follow to news index and category pages - Added rel="nofollow" to a button of a thematically relevant high-quality top50 listing - I NEVER purchased or sold a SINGLE link - I added 'nofollow' to my free thematic business listing, just in case G might be thinking I'm selling these positions. - Built a couple of nice high-quality links through guest posting. - Added new quality content on a regular basis - Added a tagcloud to improve crawlability - Added a great deal of relevant wikipedia-like internal linking (as per Ronburk's classic post) - Added noindex,follow on the individual tag-pages to prevent duplicate content - Added the new canonical tag (yep, I am desperate) - Removed interlinking (it was only minor anyways) - Added valid XML Sitemap

He has submitted reconsideration requests to no avail. What should he do? What should you do if you are in this situation?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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02/17/2009 06:14 pm

He admits when he searches for his url, it shows up on page 5 so that screams penatly in every which way. I would venture to say he is stealing content, link spamming and may be borderline thin affliate. So he needs to stop making changes, write his own unique content, quit link spamming or he needs to consider that Google slapped him with the MSSA (My site sucks ass) penalty and redesign with a new url.


02/17/2009 07:43 pm

One thing he could do is post in the Google Webmaster Help forums. Sometimes having some other people (and perhaps even some Googlers) take a look at a specific site can bring up issues that might go unnoticed otherwise. It could even be that there are simple technical issues involved. Without knowing the URL it's impossible to tell.


02/17/2009 09:37 pm

Trinorthlighting just made an excellent post on webmasterworld and hit the nail right on the head. Its obvious there is a penalty, do you want to sit around and wait for Google to drop the penalty (Which may be never) or should you build new. He points to some people who were in the original -950 thread there last year and they still are stuck in the penalty.

John den Haan

02/18/2009 03:32 am

Nice to see my post has generated some attention. I am writing a google groups post as I speak.


02/21/2009 07:16 am

That's what hes doing now, what had he been doing in the past? I've always believed that if you do something more wicked than most that it will follow you around for a very long time. And based on what he's saying, I'm comvinced that in the past he was bad, and now he wants total forgiveness ...


01/25/2011 11:20 am

google webmasters is a joke. The people there are just A$$holes. They dont help people they insult people

Barry Schwartz

01/25/2011 11:24 am

Seems like you had a bad experience. Do you have a specific thread to show me?

Andrew Po

02/23/2011 11:08 pm

I've had a similar experience. I was shot down by people there because my site has affiliate links on it. It has only original content (e.g. not appearing anywhere else on the web). But according to folks at Google Webmaster Help, it's completely normal that it doesn't rank at all, because I'm trying to monetize it through affiliate links.

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