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My site appears to be penalized. Why? RRS feed

  • Question

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    My wife's site www. innovative eyes .com "- no spaces" was placing well in the serps untill about a week ago. Some of the keywords were placing us in the top 3. These include Palm Coast Photography, Palm Coast Maternity Photography, etc...

     

    Now I cant even find my site if I search "innovative eyes . com"- no spaces

     

    I am at a loss to determine what happened the site has sitemaps no validation errors- at least on the main page.

     

    Could someone please help me with this?

     

     

    -Nate

     

    {{{{UPDATE:}}}}

     

    The site has finally started to show back up after not even being able to be found via direct url search. [ Jan. 29 2008 ]

     

    You may be asking "what did he do differently to help his site show back up?"

    Well the answer is, I did absolutely nothing and I now place 1st in the search result for "Palm Coast Photography"

     

    Hopefully everyone else who has been stressed by this situation will find similar results as myself and peace of mind knowing that maybe nothing was wrong with your website in the first place, and that MSN has had a problem with their indexing. 

     

    Good Luck,

     

    Nate

    Wednesday, December 12, 2007 10:24 PM

Answers

  • {{{{UPDATE:}}}}

     

    The site has finally started to show back up after not even being able to be found via direct url search.

     

    You may be asking "what did he do differently to help his site show back up?"

    Well the answer is, I did absolutely nothing and I now place 1st in the search result for "Palm Coast Photography"

     

    Hopefully everyone else who has been stressed by this situation will find similar results as myself and peace of mind knowing that maybe nothing was wrong with your website in the first place, and that MSN has had a problem with their indexing. 

     

    Good Luck,

     

    Nate

    Tuesday, January 29, 2008 10:44 PM

All replies

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    I doubt you're penalized.  The same thing has happened to many of the users on this forum.  Our promotional pens site can only be found with a direct full www.promomanagers.com search.  Otherwise it's invisible.  The SERPs return 3 or 4 dozen pages referencing ours, but it doesn't see the actual site.

     

    The bot registers as last visiting 3 weeks ago. 

     

    Live search is messed up.  Whether or not Microsoft wants to admit it yet is the question.  

    Thursday, December 13, 2007 6:44 AM
  • I know you may get tired of hearing me say it, but I have the same response as in earlier posts on this issue. 

    There are lots of reasons for a site to lose rank. I first recommend that webmasters review our indexing guidlines. For a site to be indexed, it must meet specific standards for content, design, and technical implementation. Ensure that your site follows our indexing guidelines.

     

    As for the original question I think it is important to remember that each time the index is updated, previous relevance rankings are revised. Therefore, you may notice a shift in your website’s ranking as new sites are added and others become obsolete.

     

    Jeremiah

    Monday, December 17, 2007 8:20 PM
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    Thank you Jeremiah, btw did you visit my site?  I would like to think that it meets the guidelines, if someone could point out how it does not that would be great. And, this still does not explain why the search "innovativeeyes.com" does not show my site even though it is in msn's index.

     

     

    If anyone reads this message and would like to help me out by explaining how my site would not be in compliance with msn's indexing guidlines I would really appreciate it.

     

    Thanks,

     

    Nate

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007 12:00 AM
  • Nate,

     

    I am seeing your site in our index. 

    http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=site%3Awww.innovativeeyes.com&go=Search&mkt=en-us&scope=&FORM=LIVSOP

     

    Give it time.  Work on the basics and I am sure this will continue to improve.

     

    Jeremiah

     

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 4:40 AM
  • But why isn't it returned when you seach for his company name, innovative eyes or innovativeeyes?

     

    Why aren't exact matches for a search term weighed more heavily than partial matches?  This is what you aren't getting, what does THIS problem have to do with anything else? 

     

    If I go search for tylenol by the logic demonstrated here I'll get results for no and len before results for tylenol.

     

    Are you trying to make an effective search tool or trying to rank sites? 

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 3:24 PM
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    This situation is indeed, very frustrating as my wife's competition in the area has not been affected by this problem with msn. This was not the case a month ago so something HAS changed with msn, and the only conclusion I can draw from the drastic changes in the serps is that maybe her competition reported her site or tried another method of sabotage to eliminate her from msn's search results. In fact if you search for palm coast photography there is a site that shows up which I will not point out that is definately keyword stuffing and is utilizing some basic blackhat seo tactics, yet this site has not been affected by msn's algo one bit. My site disapeared shorly after overtaking that site in the search engine position results for palm coast photography. With that in mind I would not put it past that web developer to utilize tactics to eliminate the competition by expoiting a buggy search engine algorithm. I'm not trying to make it sound like I'm a great web develper, but my wife's site is constructed well and is locally targeted for palm coast, fl. So what should I do? Exchange links that really offer no benefit to anyone searching the web for a photographer in palm coast? Who would I exchange with, other local photographers? I doubt they would be very enthusiastic about sending there business to another website.

     

    As far as being able to use the siteBig Smileomain.com fuction, how many people are going to do that to find my site?

    My question which has yet to be answered is simple, What happened, in the past two months that changed the search results so drastically?

     

    My case was escalated and I was sent here as a result, yet I have been answered with canned responses that leave me more confused about the situation. I'm beginning to get the feeling that Microsoft is trying to force me to buy my way into the search results.

     

     

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 5:37 PM
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    Nate, if you want to send me an email I'll provide  you a valid mailing address for someone at Microsoft that is undoubtely following this debacle and these threads at this point. 

     

    I think your site has the same problem ours does, the regular expression of your site is confusing msn...and therefore it is not returning your results.  promomanagers instead returns dozens of totally useless and irrelevant promo managers results the leading example of which is an article read about 30 times published 5 years ago (#1 result). 

     

    The whole link building thing is a red herring.  I've been able to duplicate the expression problem with at least 5 other sites that ranked fine before the algorithm changed. 

     

    Nobody tampered with your site, the problem is just innovativeeyes isn't something the bot is able to digest.  You're situation is identical to ours in that even a search of  your address with the www.name.com fails to return the site.  

     

     

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 9:55 PM
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    http://news.softpedia.com/news/No-Search-Market-Share-Present-for-Microsoft-this-Year-73810.shtml

     

    It's really no wonder customers are using other search engines and leaving live.com.  If relevant sites continue to vanish in favor of 5 year old classified ads?

     

     

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 10:56 PM
  • This is an interesting question!

     

    So lets walk through your reasoning.  If I search for Tylenol, you expect the Tylenol home page correct?

     

    http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=tylenol&form=QBRE

     

    As you said the first result is tylenol.com and all the other pages are related to the Tylenol Brand.

    So why is it different for innovative eyes?   Well when I run a search for innovative eyes, I get:

     

    http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=innovative+eyes&form=QBRE

     

    The results include 2 design firms both named "innovative eye", A page about the literary magazine called "innovative eyes" at Hamshire College, and numerous optomology firms that use the terms innovative eyes in the pages.  

     

    So why the difference?  The reason for the difference between tylenol and innovative eyes is that there is a clear canonical reference for Tylenol as a brand.   If I am a student at Hamshire College and I search for innovative eyes the thing I am looking for is a litterary magazine, but no matter who I am when I search for Tylenol the the Tylenol.com site is a great result. 

     

    So who should rank first?

    Is it the site that has the terms in the URL? Maybe, Maybe not.  This is really why search engines exist, because context for a search is in the searchers head.   We do our best, that is why we look at both the term "eye" and its plural "eyes".  The algo has to make a determination.  All the search engines do it slightly differently.  

     

    This is why your content and marketing strategies are important, because it helps you tell us why your site is more important than the two design companies with similar names. Although when it is innovativeeyes.com who is ranking number one, you can bet that they will be looking to get back to number one and be asking the same questions you are.

     

    This is why I constant focus on the basics.  Good SEO, good content and white hat marketing are the best way to increase your coverage.

     

    Hope this helps explain things.

     

    Jeremiah

    Friday, January 4, 2008 12:47 AM
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    Okay Jeremiah,

     

    But why wouldn't a search for innovativeeyes.com return their site first?  We're not asking you for divine intervention to determine what the searcher was looking for at the time of the search.  If a user types in innovativeeyes.com isn't it pretty clear what they are looking for?  Yet Live returns photolinks.com as the first result, it doesn't even return sites with a similar name.  Nowhere in the first few pages does it list any sites under the name innovativeeyes.

     

    I believe you are right in pinpointing the plain language aspect of the problem but I believe MS is missing what we are telling you in trying to blame it on the customers:

     

    Our site suffers from the same malady as innovativeeyes.com to a T, right down to not being able to find it by searching for innovativeeyes.com.   Yet I bet like our site the Live Bot is there, we've had 375 page views over 70 visits during the last few weeks.  But the connection isn't being made for whatever reason and I about guarantee it's a flaw in your process.  Something is preventing the SERPs from figuring out innnovativeeyes.com should be associated with the pages it indexes from that site.  Your bot is viewing 60% of our pages and indexing none.  

     

    Microsoft has to decide if Live is going to become the Millenium Edition of search engines or actively take the time to listen to customers instead of telling us what we're doing wrong. 

     

     

     

     

    Friday, January 4, 2008 1:04 AM
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    "Although when it is innovativeeyes.com who is ranking number one, you can bet that they will be looking to get back to number one and be asking the same questions you are." - Jeremiah

     

    You are completely missing the point here Jeremiah the only reason that I am using the search for innovativeeyes.com and not some broader search term like say "Palm Coast Photography" is to show you just how broken your search engine really is.  If you guys would stop passing blame on us web developers and start working on the problem at hand, everyone would be happier and I wouldn't have to waste my time reading your non-sensical responses to a very CLEAR question.

     

    BTW, our site was ranked #1 for "Palm Coast Photography" and I am looking to get back there, but that has nothing to do with the design of my site, so if you are telling me nothing is wrong with your search engine, what are you trying to say?

     

    Should my Marketing Strategies as you mentioned in your response include me buying ads from msn?  Nice way to make a few bucks Microsoft.

     

    This is the last post I am making here so, have fun losing credibilty when it turns out that MS was forcing people into a paid placement strategy.

     

    Nate

     

     

    Friday, January 4, 2008 6:38 AM
  • Nate,

     

    I am not encouraging you to buy paid placement. I also have not said that the results for innovativeeyes.com is the best answer.   All I am saying is the algorithm is the selecting factor and in this case your site isn't coming up.   I have shared your concerns with the relevance team and the goal would be that the algo would make a different selection in the future.   This isn't something that will change overnight.

     

    As for what I mean by marketing, First thing you should work on is increasing the number of quality inbound links to your website. This will make it easier for search engines to find your content, and it will make then think the content on your site is more valuable.  Believe it or not this is still how most search engines judge the quality and authority of your site.

    • One thing you might consider is starting a blog on your site. In your blog you could talk about common issues that people have when selecting a photographer, what to plan for on the day of your photoshoot; trends in the industry, or do photography related product reviews or even post fun pictures/ stories of things you’ve experienced with your customers.  This will help add a lot of content to your website, and give folks a reason to link to it.

    This could also help you Heather. Your site is one of millions of sites about promotion and promotional items.   Differentiation is the key.

    • Also you could talk to some photography sites like istickphoto.com and get them to put you in their designer spotlight section.  High quality links like this give credibility and shouldf help you on all search engines.

    ·         The second thing that I would recommend is to register your business with all of the search engine’s local search directories. You can find live search’s directory located here:

    o   https://llc.local.live.com/ListingCenter.aspx

    o   http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/local/ll.php (they have free options too)

    o   http://www.google.com/local/add/lookup?hl=en-US&gl=US

    o   Also check things like yelp, angieslist or any other local search sites and recomendation sites. Your customers could be the best advocates for your site.

     

    Search engine marketing is really about highlighting why users should want to find your site over every other site in the index.  There are billions of sites in the index, but there is a limit in size to our index. Not everyone will make it and not every page on every site will make it.  We are working on the best algorithmic design possible, The algorithm is complex and is never human-mediated. You also can't pay to boost your website’s relevance ranking.

     

    Jeremiah.

    Friday, January 4, 2008 5:17 PM
  • I have done all the things you have mentioned months ago,

     

    1. the site does have a blog,

     

    2. it is linked in through professional photography networks website ie. PPA,

     

    3. It is listed in live business search, google business search

     

    4. Online press release though prlog have been submitted as well.

     

    5. There is also the ability for myspace users to host there images with this site that will give a backlink from their profile everytime that someone does so.

     

     

    This goes to show that you obviously have not looked into the problem, your number one point was create a blog, if you would have visited the site you would know that there is a link to the blog page from every page of the site.

    Saturday, January 5, 2008 4:38 PM
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    Jeremiah, what you're still not getting is none of that matters for me or Nate.  You're not taking the pages you index and putting them in the site.  All the content won't matter until that problem on Microsoft's end is fixed.  Your bot visits at an increasing rate and is now indexing hundreds of pages a day, but they never end up in the index for live.  You're seeing our site perfectly, it's just not getting placed in SERPs.

     

    Adding a blog won't matter if you're engine thinks a hilton hotel site is more relevant for our name than ours.  We will most likely never have the page ranks of an international conglomerate.

     

    Something in the process is busted.  It seems odd that two of the cases here are directly related to the verbage of the sites names. 

     

    If we can't be found by typing in our company name on live, I think that's a starting place don't you?  Before we all worry about keywords, let's just get the index working.   My guess is the algorithm not being able to find us by our own name is directly related to the no indexed page issues.

     

     

    Saturday, January 5, 2008 5:23 PM
  • {{{{UPDATE:}}}}

     

    The site has finally started to show back up after not even being able to be found via direct url search.

     

    You may be asking "what did he do differently to help his site show back up?"

    Well the answer is, I did absolutely nothing and I now place 1st in the search result for "Palm Coast Photography"

     

    Hopefully everyone else who has been stressed by this situation will find similar results as myself and peace of mind knowing that maybe nothing was wrong with your website in the first place, and that MSN has had a problem with their indexing. 

     

    Good Luck,

     

    Nate

    Tuesday, January 29, 2008 10:44 PM