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Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time

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Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Duy Vu 2/11/14 9:41 AM
I've read the FAQs and searched the help center. 

Protectyourbubble.com was hit by a Google manual penalty on Dec 12, 2013.  We utilized third party agencies to support our SEO efforts, and since the penalty, have taken all aspects in house.  We directed our agencies on various SEO initiatives that ultimately lead to the penalty.  We accept full responsibility of the penalty as we should have implemented more oversight on our SEO initiatives.  It has always been our intention to comply with Google’s best practices and we will implement stricter guidelines when working on future SEO goals.

The Protect Your Bubble team worked tirelessly to remove and disavow harmful backlinks and domains per Google’s guidelines. On Dec 18, 2013 we submitted a reconsideration request to Google.  We submitted another one on Jan 7, 2014 after 3 weeks of waiting for a response.   On Jan 16, 2014 our manual penalty was revoked almost a month after it was enacted as Google was satisfied with our link removal actions.

However, on Jan 23, 2014 a second manual penalty was placed on Protectyourbubble.com, stating that we still had unnatural links in our back link profile despite the revocation of our first penalty.  We, again, undertook a rigorous process to examine all links since the inception of our site to ensure any potentially unnatural links were removed and domains disavowed.  We submitted another reconsideration request on Feb 4, 2014 and are still waiting for a response from Google.

What we do not understand is since our first penalty, there have been other sites (such as Rapgenius.com) that have also experienced manual penalties, but were able to have their penalty removed within 10 days.  If anyone has any knowledge to why or how Rapgenius.com recovered so quickly, that would be helpful.  Additionally, if any forum users here have overall experience with a manual penalty and more specifically, a 2nd penalty after the revocation of the 1st penalty - I would love to hear your insights or tips that may be relevant. 

Thank you,
Duy

Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Ashley 2/11/14 9:46 AM
We submitted another one on Jan 7, 2014 after 3 weeks of waiting for a response. 
Google won't review any additional requests until the first one has been processed. 


What we do not understand is since our first penalty, there have been other sites (such as Rapgenius.com) that have also experienced manual penalties, but were able to have their penalty removed within 10 days. 
I don't know what to tell you. Wait time varies on several factors - what's in their queue (there was more of a wait Dec/Jan); and your case in particular. Depending on the complexity of your case and the details in your RR - you could wait much longer. There's a human element here. Plus, I'm not sure Rapgenius was always telling the whole truth about their timeline and actions.... 

If you can, post the actual penalty that you have (paste what you see in WMT). There are multiple types of link penalties (site-wide, targeted, backlinks, outbound, etc.). 
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Duy Vu 2/11/14 10:03 AM
Both penalties were sitewide for unnatural backlinks.

I've searched for cases where sites received a 2nd penalty after the revocation of the 1st, but could not find anything.  Have you ever come across anything like that?

Thanks again,
Duy
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Ashley 2/11/14 11:00 AM
I've come across a few cases where timing was a little weird in terms of penalties, revocations, messages, and additional penalties. It happens. 

It may be worth posting your disavow file here (or even better, a list of links you evaluated and decided to keep). Volunteers may be able to help you tighten up the strategy and get rid of the penalty once and for all. 
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Ashley 2/11/14 11:02 AM
Before I go any further - how many websites do you have in this network? I'm seeing a fairly large footprint... 
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Ashley 2/11/14 11:06 AM
Including a dup? 

And lots of spam like this still live --- http://womenconnectonline.com/why-would-iphone-5-attract-women/
That's a big red flag!

You're assurant, right? Damn.... that's a big network. 
Just under one email there's over 700 domains listed

I'm seeing domains like this that are just a total bummer. :(

Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Master Shifu 2/11/14 12:15 PM
Unrelated, at least one of your sites has been hacked/hijacked: http://www.lifeinsurancequotes.co.uk/jointlifeinsurance.html
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Ashley 2/11/14 1:27 PM
Boy. You've got a lot of clean up to do!

Good thing you have a lot of resources. :)


I'm guessing part of the difference with RapGenius is that they seemed to have had 1 site and a straightforward penalty that they were able to quickly clean up - you have tons of sites and at this point, multiple serious liabilities. 
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Duy Vu 2/11/14 1:29 PM


On Tuesday, February 11, 2014 2:06:41 PM UTC-5, Ashley wrote:
Including a dup? 

-  This site was created for branding purposes for users who search "protect my bubble."  Would the best course of action be to 301 it to protectyourbubble.com?

And lots of spam like this still live --- http://womenconnectonline.com/why-would-iphone-5-attract-women/
That's a big red flag!
 
- It certainly is and looks like it was overlooked.  Thanks for the catch.

You're assurant, right? Damn.... that's a big network. 
Just under one email there's over 700 domains listed

- I did not realize the network was this large.  A lot of big companies own a multitude of properties, especially properties that are brand related.  The majority of these are not interconnected in regards to backlinks to each other.  That should be okay right?  What are the implications of having a large network?

- Secondly, Assurant employs an attorney (David Teske) on its behalf to handle its web properties.  Not all sites listed under his email are Assurant properties, but are on the behalf of other clients.  


I'm seeing domains like this that are just a total bummer. :(

- The site is currently not loading for me.   However, checking the web.archive.org version of it, the get a quote button seems to direct users to brokers.protectyourbubble.com which then redirect users to uk.protectyourbubble.com.  Is that what you were referring to?  I am unable to access other content on that site through web.archive.org.

Thanks for all the feedback.  Your insights have really helped!

Duy
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Ashley 2/11/14 1:47 PM
Yes, 301 redirect secondary domains.

That one spam example was overlooked? That's one of the very first backlinks I checked. Surely that's not likely to be a coincidence so I don't think you've properly cleaned up links. 


 I did not realize the network was this large.  A lot of big companies own a multitude of properties, especially properties that are brand related.  The majority of these are not interconnected in regards to backlinks to each other.  That should be okay right?  What are the implications of having a large network?
First - think about the resources. It cost more money and people to manage that many sites. Then, you have to provide unique content and nofollow links. Again, way more work and you're splitting potential ranking across many domains. Now, think about the users. Do you think having so many sites for your company/brand is clear for them or confusing? Does it build trust, or do they mistrust not knowing what properties are truly yours? Are there any benefits for users by having so many sites?

The resounding answers are usually that ONE fabulous site is good for your company, good for users, and seems to pay off in terms of ranking. So, the implications are that at best you're shooting yourself in the foot. At worst? It looks like a scheme to both users and Google. 

I understand I pulled one name (by the way, seems weird that domains would be registered to a 3rd party lawyer...) and so it may not show the full network (or show more). But, what do you make of this:
Reverse Whois:
"Assurant, Inc." is associated with about4,124 other domains




Not looking so positive, right?


Is a cheap spammy looking wordpress site. Ironically, in the footer in links to the page that Master Shifu pointed out as hacked. HA!
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Master Shifu 2/11/14 2:39 PM
In all fairness, many of those domains are dead or look like vanity urls only such as: 

http://allapartmentinsurance.com it 302 redirects to: https://w2.assurant.com/ari/rentersinsurance/accountId/AGM/jobNumber/277727/A/eprod/12704189/home.html

I wouldn't be concerned with any that are clearly not a SEO play. 

That said, it has only been about a week since your last reconsideration request so you might hear something soon.
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Duy Vu 2/11/14 4:22 PM
Yes, a lot of the domains have either 302s or nothing there at all.  If any sites in the network are linked to each other, it is not because of SEO/linkbuilding reasons.  Assurant's intention is defintely not to exploit Google's algorithm by using second hand tactics.  Protectyourbubble.com was solely hit with a manual penalty due to its aggressive SEO tactics and should not be associated with any other properties owned by Assurant.

Thanks,
Duy
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Duy Vu 2/12/14 7:13 AM
Thanks for all the help.  However, I am still confused why Google would revoke a penalty and then backtrack a week later and enact a 2nd penalty.  I understand there may have been some unnatural links that were overlooked, but apparently Google was satisfied enough with our link removal/disavowing during the first RR to lift the penalty.  I will also add that no unnatural links were built since the 1st penalty.  I suppose it is due to human fallacy as each individual of their web spam team has different subjective views of a clean backlink profile.  

Thanks again,
Duy
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Ashley 2/12/14 8:10 AM
Possibly - but just because you didn't continue to build bad links, didn't mean they didn't continue to grow. 

To steal from another contributor here - the bad links are link fungus. They spread.
Also, Google may be picking up more of the original ones. Lots of bad links occur on pages that don't get crawled often. Or the site is creating many duplicates of a single page so the link count goes up and up and up. 


Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Stephen Watts 2/12/14 9:58 AM
Hey Duy, in addition to the external link clean up, as someone mentioned earlier you've got to identify every single domain that you guys own and 301 redirect (page to page ideally) those URLs to the canonical version.

This is a pretty nifty tool that correlates Panda/Penguin: http://feinternational.com/website-penalty-indicator/?url=protectyourbubble.com&semdb=us

Shoot me an email, we can chat about this if you want. Hope all is well.
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Lysis 2/12/14 10:03 AM
^ GTFO with that.

This tool is garbage. It's a scam. No one can tell you if you have a penalty but Google.

Go peddle your scam somewhere else.
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Stephen Watts 2/12/14 10:10 AM
I am not affiliated with those folks, just think its neat. I believe they get their data from SEMRush which should be reasonably accurate. I'd love to see something indicating that the tool is useless. Also, I know the OP IRL.

Duy, another domain you guys have: http://www.lifestylesafetynet.com/
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Ashley 2/12/14 10:18 AM
Stephen - they have over 4K domains (established above). 
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Duy Vu 2/12/14 10:36 AM
Thanks for the help Stephen.  I'll send you a pm if I have any questions.  Hope everything is going well on your end.
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Duy Vu 2/12/14 10:44 AM
Thanks Ashley, the fungus analogy makes sense as well as the links that have recently been crawled.
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Ashley 2/13/14 11:45 AM
Duy - you mentioned you got your first penalty early December. You'd think then, that the spam practices would have stopped, right?


What's going on here, then?


:(


Seems like you're still trying to get away with bad practices. 
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time StevieD_Web 2/13/14 1:01 PM
> Google may be picking up more of the original ones. Lots of bad links occur on pages that don't get crawled often. 


Google will re-apply penalties should they find long time existing links that the did not previously find OR when the find links that have been recently added.   
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time RMC123 4/1/14 4:29 AM
And lots of spam like this still live --- http://womenconnectonline.com/why-would-iphone-5-attract-women/
That's a big red flag!

What's wrong with this link? Is this domain owned by Protect Your Bubble or is there something I've missed? From first glance the domain has decent PageRank and the article is contextually relevant. Don't get me wrong the site isn't a looker but why would Google consider this spam if their own quality measurement tools rank this domain as authoritative?
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Cheerful Charlie 4/1/14 5:51 PM
What's wrong with this link?

It's a guest post on a blog.

The author is not verified.

The link between women (the subject of the blog) and the post (iphones) is tenuous at best.

It has an anchor text rich, dofollow link which doesn't gel with the rest of the post.

The site says on the disclosure page "This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation."

That's at least five red flags that I see.
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time Cheerful Charlie 4/3/14 3:07 PM
Link Research Tools have done a case study on this very domain, and come to the same conclusion - massive linkspam on an ongoing basis

http://www.linkresearchtools.com/case-studies/protectyourbubble-unnamed-google-fresh-penalty/?track=casestudy12&subid=1350716
Re: Multiple Manual Penalties, Response Time furniturestorenyc 4/4/14 2:05 AM
Ashley, wy u consider these 2 articles spam ? Can be more detailed ? I am trying to understand for my own things, and lots of replies just stating this spam, that spam. Thank u .
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