Hey guys, Goran here.
It’s been only 2 days ago that I published my latest MNW Report where I was very happy with one of my sites that started to gain traction and saw a big increase in traffic. That site was MNW1, the first site I wrote about on Niche Cove.
If you read my initial strategy report for this site you know it was highly experimental. There was practically no content and my main focus was on link building. I used a mix of SAPE and GSA-SER to create backlinks and the site did slowly but surely climb those SERPs and this past weekend it actually had a peek at the first page for a 201,000 exact match global search volume keyword in some places.
But sadly this didn’t go unnoticed. Yesterday I received this very sad message in Google Webmaster Tools:
I must say the message itself is quite “creatively” written. I even had to look the word egregious up in a dictionary.
What Does a Pure Spam Penalty Mean?
Well I’ve done a bit of research on this and it seems to be the worst of Google’s manual action penalties. Essentially it means that your site is, well, pure spam. This means both, backlinks and content, but I’ll let Matt Cutts explain it himself:
So, I guess MNW1 was a totally crappy site. Well I did say I didn’t yet put any content on it. That, in my opinion, is the biggest reason. Of course all the links to the site were quite spammy and my link velocity was quite of the charts:
That’s upwards of 24k backlinks in a month and a half. But the lower picture shows a better view. All those links were from about 550 domains which live on about 450 different C-class IPs. That means that I got about 43 links from each domain. I can assure you I didn’t build all those links. What must have happened is a site-wide features like recent comments, which turns a single backlink into 100 or 200 backlinks. Google does like to see links from different domains, so multiple links from a single domain get valued less and less.
Getting a Pure Spam penalty is not subtle at all. It’s a side-wide penalty that actually affects your entire site and not just the links pointing at it. The result of this is that MNW1 got deindexed.
A pretty site, ain’t it? The ranking drops hurt even more:
These are all closely related keywords and as you can see the site was doing quite well.
Ways to Fix the Pure Spam Penalty
As I said, this is the worst penalty Google can throw at you. It’s even worse than the infamous Google Sandbox was back in the day, because the only way to get out of a manual action is to submit a reconsideration request and get it granted. This means you have to remove as many bad links to your site as you can, fix up the site itself and actually tell Google everything that you’ve done to get back in their good graces again.
That essentially means that after you’ve removed or disavow pretty much every link that was pointing to your site, you go and build a completely new site with new high quality content. Then you submit the reconsideration request and keep your fingers crossed that Google’s Webspam team thinks your site is now worthy to be in their index.
Plans For MNW1
Well my plans for MNW1 are pretty straight forward – I have no plans for it. Building a new site would be quite time-consuming as the niche is pretty competitive and I’d really have to do a good job for Google to even put me back in their index. So, for now I’m just going to leave it be.
I, of course, stopped all link building and I deleted all SAPE links. I’m hoping with time other links will going to die off and I’ll have fewer emails to write to webmasters to take off my links if I ever decide to resurrect this domain.
If you remember, I also said that my deadline for this site reaching page #1 was September 17th, which is a few days from now. I would have done it if it wasn’t for those pesky kids, uhm, I mean Google’s Pure Spam penalty. I suspect that the search volume for my main keyword will die right off as soon as the 17th comes, so there’s actually no point go me trying to do anything now. There is a chance that a second similar opportunity will arise, but it’s not confirmed yet. Once it is, I’ll think about resurrecting MNW1 and going after the keyword again.
Over to You
Well that was a kick in the gut, but that’s SEO for you. I knew that something like this might happen when I went into this business so this didn’t sting that hard. The site wasn’t making money anyway, but I did get this nice little article out of it.
Now, I’d like to hear from you guys. Any of you ever got a Pure Spam penalty or any other Google penalty? What did you do about it? Tell me in the comments bellow.