Archives for December 2005

Best SEO Blog of 2005!

You may already know this, but Search Engine Journal declared the winner in the “most likely to flame a spammer” category, and I beat Jeremy! Woohoo! I’m also very flattered that people rated me high enough to snag the Best SEO Blog of 2005. Thanks go out to everyone that supported my stab at trying something new this year.

Congrats to the other winners, including Search Engine Watch Blog (Best Search Engine News Blog), Search Engine Roundtable (Best Search Engine Community Blog), Technorati Weblog (News & Blog Search Engine Run Blogs), JenSense (Search Engine Marketing and Contextual Advertising Blogs), and the Official Google Blog (Search Engine Owned Blogs). Congrats also to all the sites that were nominated.

I can’t believe my site has only been live since August; in a lot of ways, I’m still getting my feet wet and getting the hang of things. I can’t wait for 2006; I’ll be trying a few new ways to give (and get!) feedback and advice this year. What would you like to see me try in 2006?

SEO Mistakes: Not checking your site

Gwen of writes in a comment:

november we had our best month ever! december we were dropped flat by google.. after speaking to someone they said we were link/google bombed! now we have no page rank (it was never above a 4 but at least we were ranked) and are not coming up in any of the google searches. we have never paid for links, we did searches for similar sites to link to & didn’t have a ton of them! suddenly we have 14,000 links! now down to 4,000 but most are things we’ve never heard about. this is our livlihood, not coming up in google can pretty much put us out of business so the question is… how do you convey to google (and get them to listen) when someone link bombs your site? how do we get reinstated? we were coming up on the first of second page for all of our major/base products until googles last spider. we need help and we need it fast!
it’s a bit frustrating to be dropped, to send multiple emails and never get an answer as to what we may have done wrong. the link bombing is the only answer we’ve gotten from anyone (not from google).
any help would be greatly appreciated.

Gwen, your problem wasn’t link bombing or anything else. Your problem was hidden text. Here’s what your site looked like before:

hidden text

See the yellowish text on the yellowish background that I’ve highlighted? (The dark blue text on a blue background isn’t great, either.) The text is visible now, so at least someone knew what was going on.

Just to review, here’s the life cycle of a spam penalty:

1. Spam
2. Get caught
3. Fix the spam.
4. File a reinclusion request.
5. Possibly get reincluded in our index. You need to convince us that we won’t see any spam in the future.

Gwen, you’re in the middle of step 3. Before you try a reinclusion request, check out the links you have over the text “Thank you for shopping with us, we look forward to your order.” Urls like would look just like keyword stuffing to one of your competitors. And urls like
have the exact same content, except with a “click here to view” link to different pages. Those pages move from keyword stuffing into doorway pages: the same content is posted to attract searchers, with a single link to different pages.

Finally, it looks like you might also run too? That site has serious problems too. First off, on how does text like

Remodel or build your new kitchen sink sink kitchen faucet bathroom bathroom sink Jacuzzi room tub bathroom faucet lavatory faucet vessel bowl tempered glass mirror kitchen shelf bathroom shelf laminated sink double layers sink glass sink bowl iron cast wrought stainless steel faucet stainless steel vanity oak vanity table stainless steel pedestal wall bracket pop up drain p-trap above or over counter sink tile mount faucet wall mount sink granite sink marble onyx sink dark wood vanity table marble sink or stone sink here at

not count as keyword stuffing? And why are you dropping links on to sites like and and in miniscule links? isn’t even registered any more–it’s dead. And on pages like there’s still hidden text links (e.g. “sinks faucets and more”).

To summarize, your problem is not that someone “linkbombed” you. The good news is that you have the power to fix your problems yourself. The bad news is that it’s going to take a lot of scrubbing before your site(s) are ready for a reinclusion request.

The SEO mistake I want to communicate here is to check your own site before assuming that someone else is hurting your site or that Google is making a mistake.