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Dr.Marie last won the day on July 26 2016

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About Dr.Marie

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  1. Wow, it's been a long time since I've been here. I saw your tweet about this post, Kim, and it piqued my interest. I've had this happen a few times to me. What I usually do is say something like, "I really wish that I could help you, but unfortunately I can't. Best of luck, Marie." What usually ends up happening is that they continue to send emails to see what they can get out of me because they're desperate. I know I should ignore them, but it's really hard to do so. so, what I do is try to answer in no more than one sentence and then reiterate again that I can't help. For example, "That sounds like a tough problem. I wish I could help you but unfortunately I can't." or "You're right...finding good help for cheap is difficult. I wish I had a solution for you but I don't." If I keep engaging more than that then they keep pushing for free advice. I had one person that continually kept sending me emails every day with questions and every day I'd answer with one sentence telling them that I couldn't help. After some time with that one I eventually just stopped answering.
  2. Big things ARE happening. I was confused by what I was reading on Twitter because all of the black hats were saying that Penguin was refreshing because it was targeting spammy links, but I was seeing big improvements on Panda hit sites and not Penguin hit sites. So Google confused everyone by releasing the Payday Loans algo update and a big Panda update within a couple of days of each other. They've done this before. The initial Penguin update on April 24, 2012 was sandwiched between two Pandas at April 22, 2012 and April 27, 2012. And when the EMD update hit on Sep 28, 2012, Google announced a couple of days later, "Oh, by the way, we also updated Panda on Sep 27." That was a BIG Panda update. Lots of sites were affected and the vast majority of people thought they were hit with EMD when really it was Panda. It looks like this Panda update is a real softening of the algo. My veterinary site has been hit by several Panda updates. I've been too busy to fix the problems and had it on my "to do" list. But look what happened yesterday: I can't even claim that I did any fantastic cleanup work. It just happened on its own. Thanks so much Donna for the kind word about my newsletter!
  3. I think the important thing here is that the publisher has to make a conscious decision to add a rel=canonical to each post and as such, it really is a true vote. With that being said, I could see how this could be abused and what Glyn is saying is making sense. If, for example, my veterinary site was a high PR site and super popular, instead of selling links from my site I could sell article placements on my site. It wouldn't need to be labelled as a guest post or even have links pointing to the originator. But, I would place a rel=canonical in the header of that article that points to a duplicate version that is on the originator's site. From what EGOL has described, any internal links that I have pointing from my site to that article would likely pass some equity via the canonical. AND...if my site is popular, that article would likely attract links. The canonical would mean that the links get attributed to the originator of the article and the duplicate version that would be on their site. However, my version of the article would not appear in the SERPS...it would be the originating page that appears. But, again, if my website gets traffic via social channels and direct visits then it still would attract links. I think that this is the type of thing that probably could be picked up by a manual review. And, if it became common practice Google would probably find ways to algorithmically detect it. Still, I think that what EGOL is doing is OK and in my opinion is the intended use for a cross domain rel=canonical. But, if EGOL started publishing lots of articles with rel=canonical links to sites all across the web then I'd be concerned. With all of this being said, have you guys seen Bill Slawski's article on a patent that Google has that could indicate how they pick up paid links? I thought that it was very interesting that Google could possibly look at sites and determine ownership and reduce the effectiveness of links that point between these sites. Here's a quote from the patent: So, it sounds like Google may already know that links pointing from my big site to my little sites are self made links and they may not count them for much. I don't know if the same thing would apply in EGOL's case with the cross domain canonicals. Sure the links are appearing in WMT but that doesn't mean that they're passing link equity as WMT also lists nofollowed links as well.
  4. I'm not sure if I agree with the idea that it is not safe to use rel=canonical across domains. This article from Google seems to make it sound like what EGOL is doing is exactly what he should be doing. At one place in the article it says the following: The way I read that, Google is saying that if you want to publish your content on other domains then use a canonical to tell Google which domain should get the link equity that points to all versions of that article. And this article by John Mueller talks specifically about using cross domain canonicals. Here's a quote:
  5. Dr.Marie

    The Problem With Disavow

    I've noticed a few people on Twitter and in forums talking about some random sites that are popping back up into high positions after being hit with link based issues. But, I haven't noticed any changes in any of the sites that I monitor. Who knows though...perhaps they are testing Penguin?
  6. IMO this is exactly how rel=canonical should work. I would keep things as they are!
  7. I think it's semantics when Google says that Penguin and Panda aren't penalties. They say that they're simply adjusting the algorithm. So, in the case of Penguin, if Google distrusts the links to a site then the algorithm doesn't treat it very favourably. But, if you drop from page 1 to page 5 that certainly seems like a penalty! On the other hand, Google is just adjusting the link profile so that the links gained unnaturally don't count. But I still would call it a penalty in my books because not only does it remove the benefit of unnatural links, but it also causes new links to be less effective because Google doesn't trust them. (Or at least I think that's what happens.) My personal thought on why we have only seen sites recover from Penguin that have gone through a manual review process as well is that these sites are the ones that been extremely thorough. In order to get a manual penalty lifted, you have to remove or disavow almost every single unnatural link in your backlink profile. I've worked with several sites where we thought we had addressed every bad link but Google failed us and pointed out that there were additional links we were missing. In some cases, these were links that were not in our WMT list of links. Sometimes the links were not on ANY backlink checker. For example, one site owner had purchased a fiverr.com gig where they got a whack of Russian forum profiles containing their keyword as anchor. None of these sites were being picked up by the backlink checkers, but Google gave two of them as example links so this means Google was seeing them. We tried to remove all of those, had no success and then disavowed. Once that was done, the penalty was lifted. Let's say that that site didn't have a manual action, but instead was dealing with Penguin, an algorithmic issue. I would not have found those forum profile links and they would likely still be causing the algorithm to distrust the site. I still think it's possible to recover from Penguin if you do a thorough disavow. The jury's still out on whether you should be removing links as well or whether disavowing is enough. I recommend removing as many as possible because then you know they're gone and you don't need to wait for Google to recrawl the site to disavow it. Here's an interesting case. It was a client of mine where we were working to remove a manual penalty. We had done a thorough link audit, removal and disavow but were still struggling to get the penalty off. (This was a really hard one because Google was calling links that we are sure were natural unnatural. The site had previously purchased links in blog posts. We removed those, but Google distrusted other blog post links from people who told us they placed them on their own volition. But that's a story for another time.) In the midst of this process, Penguin refreshed on October 4th. Here's what happened to the site's organic traffic: IMO you're rarely going to see a full recovery from Penguin because the previous rankings were based on unnatural links that are now gone. Still, this site likely now looks better in Penguin's eyes and can now start to increase as they gain more links naturally. Incidentally, we finally got this penalty lifted after 4 months of work. The May 22 Penguin update did not see many recoveries at all. I believe Donna posted about one but I have not seen any other reports. But, the October 4th update seemed to be more favourable. I believe that Google has adjusted things so that the algorithm can recognize when a site owner is truly trying. I am thinking that we'll see more recoveries the next time Penguin refreshes. With that being said, the other issue is that many Penguin hit sites have nothing left once their bad links are removed. You can't expect a recovery if there is no base of good links and no future link attraction happening.
  8. Dr.Marie

    The Problem With Disavow

    Very interesting. The explanation of links not counting as disavowed until they are recrawled makes sense. Just for the sake of creating discussion I can propose some other causes as well. After removing several manual penalties I am amazed at how much variance there is on what the webspam reviewer will accept as acceptable in order to lift a penalty. I have some sites that go through 4, 5, 6+ reconsideration requests and each time Google comes back with some lone straggler of a link that they want to see removed. I say "lone straggler" because it might be something like a press release with anchor text when there are absolutely no other such links to be found. Then, I have other cases where I pass on the first try and Google doesn't nitpick with me. My point is that I think it is possible that the webspam team could choose to revoke a manual penalty if a certain threshold of work has been done, but there still may be enough unnatural links remaining to cause Penguin to be a problem. Here's another possibility. In some of these cases where in manual review Google has been nitpicky, the example links given to me were ones that were not in WMT, ahrefs, majestic or OSE but were still in the Google index. Sometimes I could find them by doing creative Google searches. For example, one client failed reconsideration and was given 3 forum profile links as examples. A search for inurl:"forum/user" + keyword found me about 15 additional forum profile links that were not in any backlink checkers. A couple of months ago, we would not have been given an example as this is just something new that Google is doing for most sites. So, a few months ago, they likely would have lifted the manual penalty without us removing those forum profile links. But, I bet you those links would still count when Penguin is concerned. They're in the algorithm and they contain a keyword as anchor and they're self made. I think it's possible that some sites are under the influence of links that they can't even find. It's just a theory though.
  9. Dr.Marie

    The Problem With Disavow

    I think that it's important to know that what we are seeing in WMT is not always indicative of what is affecting different algorithms. So, let's say that I have a bunch of links that are forum profile spam. Those types of pages are ones that rarely get crawled. So, if I disavow them it could take weeks or even months for Google to crawl that page and apply the invisible nofollow to the links. But, let's say that those pages get taken out of the index. For quite a while, Google is still going to show these links in my WMT list of links. If they haven't recrawled, then even if the links have been removed from the Google index, my WMT links are not going to show a change. But, does that mean that they are still being factored in to algorithms such as Penguin? This is likely why Penguin has to be re-run in order for sites to see a positive impact after cleaning up their links. There are two ways that Penguin can be re-run: -An update is where Google changes the criteria that they use to evaluate sites. (An update usually also runs along with a refresh). -A refresh is where Google uses the same criteria as before, but checks to see if there have been changes made to your site and its links. This is just my theory, but I believe that when Penguin refreshes, then the algorithm looks at how many bad links you currently have. At this point the algorithm would probably recognize that those old forum posts are no longer in the index and they won't count towards my site in regards to Penguin. However, as EGOL mentioned, the process that updates the WMT links is probably a totally different one that is not connected to Penguin. So, it's conceivably possible that I'll still see links pointing to my site even though they are not in the index.
  10. Hey guys. I just wanted to clarify a couple of points, especially about the Twitter conversation between Ann and I. A site is not going to be penalized because lots of people link to it with the site's brand name. What I am seeing are sites that have been penalized for excessive use of guest posting regardless of the anchor text being used. There's nothing wrong with getting the occasional post published on another site. You're not going to be penalized for that. But, if guest posting is done on a large scale as a tactic to gain links then it can get you a manual penalty regardless of the quality of the sites hosting your post or the anchor text used.
  11. I have one personal site that dropped about 10 places, but I did some questionable link building so it probably deserved it. Most clients stayed the same. A couple saw a slight increase. (Yay).
  12. Dr.Marie

    Getting A Non-Paid Link

    Here's what the Quality Guidelines say about this under "Link Schemes": http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66356 In your example, though, they are offering you free product but not asking you to write about the product. So, technically this is probably not against the quality guidelines. But, as JoeHall said, it's all about scale. Even if this is a paid link, one paid link is not going to get you a penalty. But, if this becomes a pattern and you are regularly linking out to sites where it doesn't quite make sense to do so then you may get dinged. In doing unnatural links removal work I've seen a lot of mommy blogger sites that had their PR stripped to N/A because they wrote a lot of paid reviews. The question is, though, "What is a lot?" If this were me, I would only offer the link if it really made sense for you to do so for your reader's sake. I would think, "OK. If Matt Cutts was to look at my page, would I feel nervous?" If so, then I wouldn't offer the link. I know that just one link is unlikely to hurt, but my standard is to only link out where it makes sense to do so.
  13. Dr.Marie

    Panda Update

    Google stated recently at SMX West that they will not be announcing future Panda updates. They're going to roll them along with regular algo changes so that they happen very frequently now.
  14. I am having a similar issue. For some time now, off and on I will get a bunch of crazy high CPC clicks, all on articles that don't receive much traffic. Then, later on in the day, I'll check my Adsense reports and those clicks are all gone. When that happens, I'll initially log in to see that I have great Adsense revenue for the day and then later in the day it is cut down by 75% or more. My overall revenue has been much lower than usual as well so I'm suspicious that some good clicks are getting rolled back as well. I noticed today that I am getting a lot of direct visits to random pages from one user in Columbus Ohio, all using different IP's. I used the form to report this to Google so we'll see what happens.
  15. Dr.Marie

    Online Consultation For A Fee

    Wow. That's insane. I'll stick with my $15 per month unlimited worldwide long distance phone plan. Or Skype for video chat.