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This is actually 2 stories by Robin good about how his sites were apparently kicked out of Google for selling text links

The second article is here
http://www.masternewmedia.org/online_marketing/text-link-ads-issues/text-link-ads-and-Google-ethical-issues-and-choice-20070816.htm

What happened to losing the ability to pass pagerank?
Comments25 Comments  

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from TimDineen 2540 Days ago #
Votes: 0

That site should be penalized just for having so much crap above the fold - excessive and large AdSense in the editorial space. No content other than the headline without scrolling. But it’s good information once you get down to it.

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from Halfdeck 2540 Days ago #
Votes: 0

There’s no solid evidence text link ads had anything to do with his de-ranking. That’s only a guess on the siteowner’s part. He does have off-topic hidden paid links on the bottom of the page that links to "conference call services" and "conference call company" Hidden because 1: it’s way below the fold and 2. the text is grey on white (sure, not exactly invisible but borderline is hidden in my book).

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from AndrewGirdwood 2540 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Ag. Let’s never try and suggest that ’below the fold’ is in any way ’hidden’. That would mean half of wikipedia and half of Google was spam.

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from Halfdeck 2540 Days ago #
Votes: 0

"Let’s never try and suggest that ’below the fold’ is in any way ’hidden’. That would mean half of wikipedia and half of Google was spam." Go and visit the site before you post. Let’s see how long it takes for you to find those links.

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from graywolf 2540 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Let’s cut through the BS and boil this down the simplest facts: take advertising money from google adsense when google gets a cut = good take advertising money from someone other than google where google gets nothing = banned from index While you may not like the ads in the prime area above the fold isn’t that exactly where google adsense tells you to put them for the highest click through?

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from AndrewGirdwood 2540 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Oh gosh. I agree with your point - it’s valid. There’s no evidence at all that the selling of links resulted in the penalty. I should have made that clear - but it was such a strong point I just assumed everyone else would agree. However - as it was such a strong point I feared that you’d influence more people to equate "below the line" to "hidden" and - waaah - I really don’t want that. Honestly, do you remember when so many SEO bloggers through SEL was hiding text when it was just using bog standard and entirely appropriate image replacement techniques. Say anything with authority and it risks becoming gospel.

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from AndrewGirdwood 2540 Days ago #
Votes: 1

AdSense is not designed to influence search positions.

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from TimDineen 2540 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Just because Google recommends that you stick ads in front of people’s face so they can’t avoid clicking them doesn’t mean that’s a good thing for your site. It’s bad for the user and they’ll remember it... or more to the point they’ll more easily forget your site and not come back. But if spamming for AdSense clicks is the goal, then cheers to an optimal layout. First visit = last visit for me.

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from graywolf 2540 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Why should web publishers have to change the way they do business because google built a flawed algo? They have more than enough people and financial resources to throw at the problem. Instead they take an "off with there heads" approach to scare people into submission. They also encourage people to narc on each other (for free without having to pay for the time people spend doing it). Oh want to make money and not get "in trouble" use our solution, we take a small percentage but really you’ll never notice. So again simpling the whole argument, don’t use the solution where we get a cut to monetize your website, you run the risk of never seeing traffic from us, sounds an awful lot like a mob shakedown tactic to me.

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from graywolf 2540 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@tim again it’s the double faced hypocrisy of google, create the great user experience, no shove these ads down your users throats. One could argue that burying they text link down at the bottom is actually a better user experience, except of course Google doesn’t get a "piece of the action" when they do.

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from Halfdeck 2539 Days ago #
Votes: 1

"However - as it was such a strong point I feared that you’d influence more people to equate "below the line" to "hidden" and - waaah - I really don’t want that. " No, you’re right. Just because links are positioned at the footer doesn’t necessarily qualify them as "hidden links." But throw in other factors (text color, page length) and those factors combine to qualify those links as hidden links. Google often doesn’t use just one factor to penalize a site. For example, a site that uses display:none will not be penalized if the site is otherwise clean because Google doesn’t see malicious intent (many sites use display:none for usability reasons). But if Google finds other negative quality factors (excessive bolding of keywords in paragraphs, stacking H elemtns on top of each other, internal anchor text stuffing, etc) then the "display:none" starts to look more suspect. Also keep in mind - this guy submitted a reinclusion request. At that point he isn’t dealing with a bot - he’s dealing with a human reviewer who can be extremely fickle, being exposed 24/7 to crap sites asking to be reincluded into the index that break guidelines left and right.

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from Halfdeck 2539 Days ago #
Votes: -1

As for adsense, I agree with Graywolf. If only Matt Cutts, Adam Lasnik, Vanessa Fox (and other GGWH Googlers) worked at Google, maybe things would be different; but I’ve dealt with Googlers on the PPC side of things who are just plain clueless and single-minded. Adsense above the fold is what Google wants; I don’t see a site getting hit for that. Maybe an MFA site might get their adsense account banned, but that’s about it. True, a big adsense block up top lowers user experience, but many quality blogs do the same thing and I don’t see it as the cause of the lost in rankings in this case.

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from dannysullivan 2539 Days ago #
Votes: 1

So Robin is guessing he got booted for text link ads. Or for hidden text. Or other things. He doesn’t know exactly what’s hurt him -- indeed, he doesn’t seem to have checked to see if Google Webmaster Tools is even reporting if he does have a penalty (unless I missed this). Of course, the tool doesn’t always report penalties. And it sounds like he has been hit with something. I guess I hate to say aha! here’s the first example of someone penalized for text links until we get some better confirmation.

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from MBison 2539 Days ago #
Votes: 0

the site command still shows the site indexed by google. It looks more like a rankings drop (minus whatever penalty) than a complete banning.

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from DanThies 2539 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Still indexed, but with all that light gray text on the paid links, some kind of "sorry pal enjoy life on page 99" filter may be in play.

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from mvandemar 2539 Days ago #
Votes: 0

When are people going to stop using phrases like "kicked out of Google" or "banned from Google" when their rankings drop? I can understand from people who don’t know how things work, but Andy? That website has 16,100 non-supplemental pages indexed. You cannot do any sort of direct correlation of loss of rankings to a penalty all on it’s own, even if you are in violation of the guidelines. It’s actually impossible to guess what the problem is without knowing a clear before and after picture as well. Just all looks like guesswork at this point.

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from AndyBeard 2539 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I posted an article which gives all of you experts a chance for a good discussion and possibly a potential client and chance to show your expertise ;) I used "apparently" in the description with a purpose, as I am well aware there are other factors involved. I have had a page on my site that for some reason was not in the index any more, which used to rank extremely well for money terms. The problem? Possibly because it was a paid review, though I have actually managed to get it back in the index either by making some noise about it, reporting the problem in detection to Google, or simply by linking to it a little more and site structure modifications. There is still some evidence that Google made some kind of mistake, because some of the tag pages linked only from that one article at the time and my main tag page still show pagerank, yet the article itself is grey barred from the previous update. The article had enough comments with substantial information not to be looked on as duplicate content compared to the tag pages some of which remained indexed. Also of note the article was syndicated with permission, and that page is not indexed again yet, so whilst I might have had whatever penalty removed, the syndicated copy hasn’t. The article doesn’t rank as highly as it did in the past, but hopefully that is because Google hasn’t recalculated link attribution for it yet.

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from must 2539 Days ago #
Votes: 0

guys, i think penalization depends on errors in sitemaps, not for text links or some hidden text. he talked about this error in another post, some day ago: http://tinyurl.com/yvsa3t (using tinyurl ’cause url is pretty long and html is disabled :) ).

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from pkudel4 2539 Days ago #
Votes: 0

the bs below the fold - rotfl

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from AndyBeard 2539 Days ago #
Votes: 0

must (Stefano) The linked article said this:- ... "What I had not paid attention to was a notice inside GWT that clearly said that while the errors it had reported for Master New Media did limit Google ability to fully index our site, these errors would have not impacted our Google search results or rank. In fact nonetheless visitors were still a small fraction of what we normally see, all of Master New Media pages were properly indexed by Google and the official PageRank was also firmly set at 7."... Anyway I have done a followup opinion piece http://andybeard.eu/2007/08/piad-links-paid-reviews.html

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from Sem-Advance 2538 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Do a google search for ’buy text links’ See all the sites not banned??? Do a search for ’cheat page rank’ See all the sites not banned??? Theres other reasons why your rankings vomited.

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from cemper 2538 Days ago #
Votes: 0

sorry to hear about Robin’s site tanking in traffic. But I see two major issues with his current situation still 1) while he communicates he learnt his lesson regarding Text Link Ads and bash them, he a) still runs TLA ads b) still runs AT LEAST one or two other link broker networks that are A LOT spamier than text link ads IMHO (and may be the cause of your ranks dropping essentially) 2) it’s the old "all eggs in one basket" problem ,as Robin already talks about laying off people after 7 days of tanking ranks... wow... that’s not a stable operation after 5 years... And frankly, the link boxes in his footer carrying TLA ads and besides that two other link networks, DO LOOK spammy

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from must 2538 Days ago #
Votes: 0

in the meantime, MasterNewMedia is getting back its usual ranking. while i’m very happy Robin’s nightmare is over, i’m slightly puzzled about the fact he doesn’t consider to count on a SEO specialist for his 200.000$/year website. @AndyBeard: in another post he’s saying "Sitemaps, contrary to what some have reported, are up and OK on Master New Media since a long time." so it’s pretty hard to say if sitemaps error can be the problem or not. we have no certainties about facts and we cannot rely on his conclusions. some one else notified him about some spam in comments in (at least) a couple of posts. but the website was coming back to its usual ranking before he knew that, so i’d discard even this one from possible causes. maybe we’ll find out the hidden h1 was the cause of it. or maybe, it was just a glitch in Google :) i’m afraid it’s too late to find out what was wrong with it :)

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from PaulHancox 2536 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I’m not a SEO expert, so I come at it from a different angle. (1) Is it possible Google have just tweaked their algorithm (again), and it happens that their latest algorithm doesn’t match up with these 16,000+ pages? (2) Isn’t it a bit dangerous to have a business model based solely around one other business (i.e. Google, Inc)? Just trying to stir up the honey pot, but I think they’re also legitimate points...

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from AndyBeard 2535 Days ago #
Votes: 0

I certainly agree that building any business around Google traffic is extremely dangerous.

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