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  1. #1
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    Being upfront with Google
    hello all, looking for some advice here before I surge forward.

    I have a domain that has supporting content for jewelry. The site has 100+ articles of original content and has been in the serps for years.

    Recently I was de-listed by Google. Confirmed when I wrote to them via Webmaster Tools and within a week of writing was re-enlisted.

    I was de-listed do to my use of phpBay Pro which was bringing in conten from eBay. I know this doesn't happen to everyone and I still have a few sites that haven't gotten pinged by G but this one did and I believe others have as well.

    The thing is, this domain, is largely a jewelry domain. It can be nothing else. And unless I plan on buying and creating jewelry inventory the only hope to maximize it's potential is through affiliate marketing.

    There are tons of feeds out there as you know for jewelry. I've tried everything from webmerge, to datafeedr, phpBay, csv to posts imports for Wordpress, to get this site set up with some content which could give some return.

    Nothing has worked. The reason I'm writing is that I'm about to set the site up with a popshops datafeed. I don't know, but I'm hoping for some reason G will see this differently (But why would they?)

    I've done, no follows, routing through the /info/ or /go/ directory,etc. Alot of things, really. Alot of things other than build value and give visitors a reason to come. (I'm not talking about that discussion. Please, that's another one. I could spend all day about creating a jewelry discussion board, or offering guest writer's on prom make-up, writing creative posts about cheap engagement rings, etc. I've done it. All of it..really,exhausting.)

    Wondering if the original content stays and then my popshops gets a /store/ directory and /store/ is blocked in robots.txt. Or what I really wonder is has anybody ever contacted Google told them about their plan to run an affiliate feed on a site and what's the best way to do it?

    Being de-listed from the was a quick wake up call in transparency. The domain is not one that can be trashed and rebuilt. There is value in the name. I would not want to permanently blacklisted.

    Any suggestions, advice or shared stories are welcome.

  2. #2
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Google delisted you for using phpBay? Boy, I haven't heard anything good about that software recently.

    What specifically made Google think that was a bad thing? There are tons of datafeed driven affiliate sites (good and bad) out there. I'm curious as to why phpBay in particular caused this red flag.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  3. #3
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    Hey Kevin, you know I don't know. It was averaging approx 200 visits a day, ranking on the first page for a few key terms and doing quite well with a pull of about 12 items to the home page underneath a bunch of original content and interior links.

    I began to get suspicious when traffic started to fall ( i can show you the stats, the graph looks like a dang cliff). I didn't panic but after a month or so I though wtf. I went a did a search on the domain name itself and nada.

    I did some queries on phpBay and found where others had thought they were de-listed. I took all of it off, inactivated the plugin and wrote G a note apologizing (groveling). The responded with;

    "We received a request from a site owner to reconsider how we index the following site: xxx

    We've now reviewed your site. When we review a site, we check to see if it's in violation of our Webmaster Guidelines. If we don't find any problems, we'll reconsider our indexing of your site. If your site still doesn't appear in our search results, check our Help Center for steps you can take."

    The only I was doing at the time was phpBay. Might of had something to do with the loud broadcast of 12 products on the home page. I don't know.

    It was all good for about 18 months.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador Georgie Peri's Avatar
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    Were you seen as a "THIN AFFILIATE" type of a site?
    OpA! Giasou Ti kanies!

  5. #5
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    Hi Magi,

    I wouldn't consider it thin. About 150 pages were indexed. All original content from hired writers. I know thin. I was just booted from Adwords last week for a thin site. No, this one wasn't thin.

    Or if it was then G's got a pretty healthy definition of thin.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Georgie Peri's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by isight
    Hi Magi,

    I wouldn't consider it thin. About 150 pages were indexed. All original content from hired writers. I know thin. I was just booted from Adwords last week for a thin site. No, this one wasn't thin.

    Or if it was then G's got a pretty healthy definition of thin.
    For the little I read .. if your stating your getting kicked out of Adwords, and being sandbox ...

    There must be more then meets the eye here ...

    Do you use RSS Feeds? Any Syndication? Got good quality backlinks ?

    ~~~~
    In regards to google ..

    Did you get the explaination email saying why your site was sandboxed?

    They usualy give you what is causing the problem in the first email....
    OpA! Giasou Ti kanies!

  7. #7
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    No, Adwords was a different site. I was just commenting on "thin". Thin, I know. This site in question is not thin.

    I'd have to say the backlinks aren't incredible. No high prs or edu's. There are a few good ones but nothing to be sure of.

    G didn't say why in the email. I approached them offering a reason as to why..perhaps that wasn't it..but I'd have to say it was the phpBay, I know it's not happening to everybody but I believe this was the case for me.

    Anyways, this is veering off into why I was de-listed. Want to move towards moving foward, and adding another feed type of product to the site. Is it prudent to be upfront with G moving forward? Has anyone done this? And if so would the approach be offering to put the feeds behind a /directory which would be excluded via robots.txt

  8. #8
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    I run datafeed sites and have no problems with Google.

    Don't block the datafeed pages from G. You want G to index them so that they will show up in search results.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
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  9. #9
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Yeah, I'm not sure /noindex is the way to go. I didn't tell google about any of my data feeds.

    And quite frankly, Google is just a big datafeed anyhow... Who are they to pass judgement? If they don't want to rank the site based on SEO practices or whatever, fine. But I don't get them de-listing someone for having datafeeds.
    Kevin Webster
    twitter: levelanalytics

    Kayak Fishing
    Web Analytics and Affiliate Marketing

  10. #10
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin
    Yeah, I'm not sure /noindex is the way to go. I didn't tell google about any of my data feeds.

    And quite frankly, Google is just a big datafeed anyhow... Who are they to pass judgement? If they don't want to rank the site based on SEO practices or whatever, fine. But I don't get them de-listing someone for having datafeeds.
    I didn't tell them about mine either and I've been doing this 11 years.

    Vietnam Veteran 1966-1970 USASA
    ABW Forum Rules - Advertise At ABW

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador simcat's Avatar
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    Just wondering...

    Are you using the basic phpbay or the WP version? (I've had no phpbay google problems so-far, but I have only the early non-WP version which doesn't allow for an upgrade to WP).

    Are you using a 'content' plugin like Search2Post?

    Some more info here in case you haven't seen it:
    www. wpcontempo.com/google-deindexing-phpbay-and-other-epn-affiliate-sites/

  12. #12
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    It's really funny how Google has it in for "thin affiliate" sites, but there are videos out there of Google people rabbiting on about how webserver response times and ease-of-use are important parts of the "quality score" of a website.

    Most "thin ebay affiliate" sites are a lot more responsive and easier to use than the blood sucking vampire squid that the eBay site has become, yet they're still considered to not "add value". What horseshit.

    I've got ONE site that is highly regarded for domain auction listings (has lots of links in from authoritative domain blogs, yet when you type the domain name into Google, the site isn't in the results! Only the sites linking to it. How crazy is THAT?

    Isn't not isting a site when you type it's proper location in sort of breaking the Internet since so many people use search to find websites rather than the URL bar?

    Here's an interesting recent article on Google search and being penalised...

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11...e_hand_of_god/

  13. #13
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    Thanks for that simcat, nice to see others having the same problem. I'd have to agree with his front page assessment. Having too many on the home page might lead to problems. I was running the phpBay Pro Plugin for Wordpress.

    And I appreciate everyone else's feedback. Still figuring out whether I'm going to be upfront with G. Might be interesting just to have the conversation.

    It's strange. If it wasn't phpBay then it was a weak backlink profile. but the sites been online for a while but only has about 70 unique backlinks.

    As far a G being the hand of god..well, maybe not but their traffic sure is nice. Running without is a whole different strategy.

    Thanks everybody.

  14. #14
    ABW Ambassador Joshua's Avatar
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    There was a pretty significant reshuffle in Google rankings recently, for both affiliate and non-affiliate sites. Sites with certain linking sources look like they've been penalized, and certain sites seem to have been given a boost without much reason for it. That's probably algorithm tweaks + the new caffeine rollout.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewbert
    Here's an interesting recent article on Google search and being penalised...

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/11...e_hand_of_god/
    Thanks for that, Dewbert. It was an enlightening, if not frightening, read.
    Richard Gaskin
    Developer of WebMerge: Publish any data feed on any site
    http://www.fourthworld.com

  16. #16
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    I have to agree. Thanks Drewbert. That article is very interesting.

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