Google, I've been with you since the 90s. At least read this.3 Recommended Answers
- As of 2 or 3 days ago, we're down another 10k a day.
- We're not a brand or corporation, we've helped people learn English for about 12 years (for free obviously).
- We followed all the 'vibes' you set out before us, we never engaged in Black Hat / spam / or nonsense, we hardly even played the SEO game.
- We can't (like our 10 million dollar VC funded competition) remove all our adverts (They ofc will extract that money back when we're all gone - more monopolies) - It's just about enough to get by on, decreasing every day.
- We've support other sites, even our competition with real links, real references.
- You are killing us off, our content is solid and written by quite a few of the world's (most generous) experts.
Our AdSense Rep said our site was "perfect"
A reconsideration request revealed no manual spam action
We received no webmaster tools or AdSense warnings
We have spent months (and about £7000) improving all of the metrics of our site, upgrading servers, and a million other things with no improvement in Google traffic.
The single problem we found that we believe may have caused the issue was Google indexing all of the ?replytocom variables which are generated by default by Wordpress (for every comment on our site). Like you I believe that it is absurd that Google would penalize a site for something that I believe is Google bot's problem.
Like Google recommend we 301 redirected the ?replytocom variables back to the route URL. We did this in February and this has had absolutely no impact at all on the amount of variables indexed. Only 1 week ago (End of May) we gave up on this method and went down the canonical approach. I will get back to you and let you know if this has any affect. Currently webmaster tools is showing 44k URLs indexed and the site has 8k pages.
I don't see how you can get a constructive response to a question worded as an accusation (though I do feel your pain) but if the issues you are having can be split onto smaller, more manageable pieces, some people with knowledge may respond and may give you clues.
I would suggest splitting this into two questions:
#1 Can someone comment on a nature of the update that happened around Nov. 16 - Nov 17th 2012 when lots of forums (and other types of sites featuring large proportion on UGC) got demoted?
#2 what can a site that naturally has little diversity in anchor text do to avoid getting caught up in successive iterations of Penguin? Plenty of your links are either "Learn English" or "English Forums". I don't know about"Learn English" - this one could have been specifically targeted by you and therefore backfired. But "English Forums" is how I would naturally link to your site (if I cared to format an HTML link properly)
Perhaps you can think of some other, simpler questions, that Google's employees and fellow webmasters can actually respond to?
Avoid SEO at all costs, make great content and simple, fast and clean sites - pray that Google doesn't screw up.
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