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Old 07-19-2005   #1
shazbot
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High PR inbounds and NO BOOST AT ALL!

OK, see if you can figure this one out. I just learned of the existence of SEO in February, just in time to attend the NY SES Show. My site started with a PR4 with aboout six inbound links. After six months, I have aquired thousands of inbound links, relevant and not so relevant, several PR7's and even a PR8. (these are from news and general topic sites). I have also done tons of on site optimization. Basically hundreds of hours of work.

The net result?

I am still a PR4 and nowhere to be found in Google for my main terms, but starting to really kick butt in MSN (small consolation). I know PageRank isnt supposed to be a big deal, but I want to use it to more easily get link partners, so it IS a big deal to me. WHY did I get no PR bump when I got such awesome high PR inbound links?

Last edited by Marcia : 07-19-2005 at 08:48 PM. Reason: Off topic portion edited out.
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Old 07-19-2005   #2
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When was your site originally launched or a better question would be when was your site first indexed by Google?

Also what about your targeted keyword phrases? Are you shooting for realistic phrases or phrases that would be considered very, very competitive?
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Old 07-19-2005   #3
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Quote:
After six months, I have aquired thousands of inbound links, relevant and not so relevant, several PR7's and even a PR8. (these are from news and general topic sites).
I have underlined all the issues that may be causing you to not get any PR transfered, in my opinion. Keep the faith, stick to relevant inbounds and not so many at a time, and get some traffic through other methods...this may be the "missing factor." Hopefully your optimized content is original?
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Old 07-19-2005   #4
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One thing to look at that would affect the PR is whether the pages you're linked to from are actually passing PageRank. Some don't.
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Old 07-20-2005   #5
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A couple of months ago I got a link from Google themselves. Now, I already have good rankings, but I thought that link might work magic. It didn't. No change in either PR or rankings. Ah well...
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Old 07-20-2005   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shazbot
The net result?

I am still a PR4 and nowhere to be found in Google for my main terms, but starting to really kick butt in MSN (small consolation).
People should be aware that these kind of situations are more and more commond nowadays, newly launched sites have to go through some credibility test before they are recognized as such.

It can take around 6 to 9 months and in some cases even 1 year to get decent rankings in Google nowadays. Remember the SE's are constantly improving algos to seperate spam from relevant sites so it will take the time it takes for your site to decently rank for your target keywords. nothing more nothing less.
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Old 07-20-2005   #7
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My guess you bought LINKS from a site/sites that don't pass PR..

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Old 07-20-2005   #8
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I remember reading somewhere not too long ago that the server that calculates pagerank was being recalibrated. I'll try to find the link.
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Old 07-21-2005   #9
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Angry

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Wallace
When was your site originally launched or a better question would be when was your site first indexed by Google?

Also what about your targeted keyword phrases? Are you shooting for realistic phrases or phrases that would be considered very, very competitive?

The first part of this mystery is that I have had this website up since 1996. (I don't know if it is OK to post URL. I could post it if it helps) All original content hand typed by me. It had a PR4 back when I knew zero about SEO.

Anyway, here is what I did. I studied the backlinks of the leaders of some highly competive keywords and bought their most important links. One of these is a PR8 (their site is a solid PR7). I have about 6 seperate incoming links from PR7+ pages---ONE of them should have bumped me to a PR5 or 6.

I have also focused on some really simple keywords (with a keyword text link on PR7+ sites) that I should dominate in this update, but I am nowhere to be found. I got into 100+ seperate paid and free directories.

Get this one: Some of my interior product pages are showing a solid 18,000 backlinks in Yahoo (remember I started with 6 links) and I am nowhere in the SERPS-- in google an yahoo that is. MSN is great.

Could it be that I bought too many site wide links? If so, why do those same links help my competitor and hurt me? Am I just doing something completely stupid and slitting my own throat? Why does Google suck so bad? Who shot J.R.?
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Old 07-21-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcia
One thing to look at that would affect the PR is whether the pages you're linked to from are actually passing PageRank. Some don't.

My understanding is even one good PR7 with 20 or less outbounds should make me a PR5/PR6. I have 1 PR8 and 6 PR7s from seperate sites.

What are the chances of NONE of those sites passsing PR to me? Remember, i started as a PR4 and I am still a PR4. It makes no sense. Also the site is ancient. It has been up for almost 10 years now.
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Old 07-22-2005   #11
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I would be quite surprised if on PR7 with 20 outbounds on the page bumped you up to a PR6, but your PR is way too low for the amazing number of links you say you have.

I would suspect that your rathertoo enthusiastic linking campaign (18,000 links to an interior page in 6 months is just not natural) may lie at the root of the problem, but whether this is because the sites that you have obtained links from are not passing PR or if you have tripped a filter.
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Old 07-22-2005   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mel
I would be quite surprised if on PR7 with 20 outbounds on the page bumped you up to a PR6, but your PR is way too low for the amazing number of links you say you have.

I would suspect that your rathertoo enthusiastic linking campaign (18,000 links to an interior page in 6 months is just not natural) may lie at the root of the problem, but whether this is because the sites that you have obtained links from are not passing PR or if you have tripped a filter.
Mel, I have to think you are probably right. The 18,000 links are showing on Yahoo because of a few sitewide links that have a LOT of indexed pages. I don't know if Google now discounts sitewides (even if they come from under 10,000 alexa ranked sites--which this is).

Over time, if I don't go too crazy with getting huge "unnatural" numbers of links (just regular link building), do you think my rankings and PR will come back/improve? Could it just be a time thing with Google? Or if you trip a filter, that's it, you're done?

The high number of inbounds could explain my high rankings in MSN, though. I now get more traffic from MSN than Google or Yahoo combined, and I am paying Y & G (PPC) for that traffic!! Maybe I shuould just focus on MSN and dominate those SERPs.

I hope my experience can help others with their own strategies....I am still learning.
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Old 07-22-2005   #13
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Only time will tell if its possible to get rankings back, but recent discussion seems to indicate that Google may now be looking at patterns, and if a pattern trips a flag then some past experience may come into play to decide if you deserve a penalty or not.

I have seen many sites which are four or five years old and have less than 2000 links total, but rank very well, but these are one link per site type links.
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Old 07-22-2005   #14
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I hope my experience can help others with their own strategies....I am still learning.
Thank you for being willing to share, and for the sentiments. It is appreciated.

shazbot, if I may ask a question, and not about specifics - but just out of curiosity and for the benefit of those of us trying to learn more, and to help everyone - did you find and negotiate all those links and make all those submissions by yourself, on your own?
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Old 07-22-2005   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcia
Thank you for being willing to share, and for the sentiments. It is appreciated.

shazbot, if I may ask a question, and not about specifics - but just out of curiosity and for the benefit of those of us trying to learn more, and to help everyone - did you find and negotiate all those links and make all those submissions by yourself, on your own?
Thanks Marcia. Only by helping each other can we all be successful.

Yes. All on my own. I did a lot of backlink checking on competitor sites to find their most important links and went after them. The leaders of some of the most competitive keywords buy all of their most important links. "Natural" links seem to be quite rare. I also went after a few news sites (as they cover a wide range of topics and couldn't be considered irrelevant--everything can be news.) I paid someone to submit to the directories, though. We did 100+ free directories to spread out the links, and I paid for a few.

I understand that getting a bunch of links at one time is considered unnatural, but what is natural? 10 links a month? 100 a month? I just simply discovered that I needed inbound links to improve my rankings and went out and did it. To me, that is normal.

Honestly, the sad part is I have no idea how I am supposed to get good links other than buying them or getting in directories. The only other way I am aware of is a link exchange, but I need a much higher PR on my link exchange page to get anyone to trade. I have good original content, but it is rare indeed for anyone to link to you without something in return unless you are a pure informational resource.

It is quite frustrating, because other than buying links, I consider myself a white hat. Nothing that Matt Cutts said to do at SES NY in Feb. makes any sense or works in the real world. In fact I thought all of the Google reps at that conference either were not helpful, or were plain decietful (i.e. the Google gal who was telling an incredulous audience with a straight face that PPC link fraud doesnt exist)

I am more confused than ever, which is why I may just put all my effort into MSN. But please glean what you can from my posts and learn from my "mistakes".
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Old 07-22-2005   #16
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You have to remember that PPC - Adwords - and organic search are two different things, and I wasn't there to hear Matt Cutts but basically, if you read even the patent he took part in writing the invention for, what you can expect to hear from him are things that will keep you out of trouble. Whatever he says is worth listening to and remembering, because we have to know how the "other side" thinks - and he's the closest we have to getting a basic philosophy from their POV.

At least half of SEO is knowing what to avoid in the first place and how to spot problems - preferably before they get caught, because afterward it's much harder and takes longer to recover.

The conservative route may take longer, and will NOT work for killer competitive keywords, but slow and steady is longer lasting for an established site that's in it for the long term - and there are still a LOT of keywords besides the ones that take going over the risk line into treacherous waters that can sustain a site quite profitably for a long time.
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Old 07-22-2005   #17
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Being conservative can still help you compete against even the most "competitive" keywords. There's no reason to think every successful website cheats, because there are tons of examples of sites that don't.

You just can't "force" your way into Google these days.
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Old 07-23-2005   #18
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I think we have to face the fact that in many of the most competitive or profitable areas the sites that are ranking well are sites that have huge numbers of links and IMO Googles last update has implemented a factor that at the very least looks at linking patterns and may even be giving PR a bit of a boost ranking wise.

Being conservative is no guarantee that you will be successful however, but its a starting place. I am aware of at least one site which has never bought or traded a link yet has 2000+ IBLs, but which nevertheless went from above the fold to page 3 on many search terms in the last update. Part of the problem is that once a site becomes successful in the SERPs, it will then gain unwanted links from scraper sites, which may be detrimental to its rankings. I would expect this to be rectified in future updates however.

Take a look at the Google SERPs for search engine optimization and tell me in your opinion how many of those sites should be on the first page?

For the record IMO there are only 3 sites that I see as being relevant to what a searcher entering the search term search engine optimization would expect to see. Even this forum and SEOchat are very gray areas, but since they they are relevant sites for SEO information its a moot point I guess.
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Old 07-23-2005   #19
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Quote:
The first part of this mystery is that I have had this website up since 1996.
My site started with a PR4 with aboout six inbound links.
That was in January, after all those years. Then that's what's been the normal pattern for *your* site.

Aside from the sitewides which appear to not have done anything for PR, accumulating 100 directory links all at once is WAY over the top, and far too many all at once - particularly for your site, with it's natural history pattern.

Being that it's an established site that's been around since 1996 with a good prior track record, now is about the time to look at a recovery plan.

Do you have any arrangements with a link broker for the purchased links, and did you buy all the links short term by the month, or long term? And do you do any outbound linking on your site, or any reciprocal linking? Are you in ODP or Yahoo Directory?
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Old 07-26-2005   #20
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Ok Shazbot.

what else did you do..

apart for getting more IBLs.. did you add new content, internal link structure etc etc..

DaveN

psst who did you use to get you links ... I would not want others to fall in to your trap
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