Imagine if you will, a 70′s style gameshow complete with host in spangly Gold Lame jacket, permatan, and gleaming white teeth….
“Hello ladies and gents, boys and girls and welcome to another fascinating episode of… “What’s my Google Penalty!!”
“This week’s contestant is a familiar face here on What’s My Penalty and she’s really wondering how the hell she got here again. Please welcome… KIRSTY MCCUBBIN!!”
*Crowd goes wild, insert Hammond organ medly, Cue Google Robot Dancing Girls…*
Yep, It’s Happened Again!
Over the past few days my brand new site Blokes Undies has been on a bit of a downward spiral in the organic traffic stakes. Over the weekend it stopped ranking for its own name, which is usually a strong penalty indicator.
So What Is It THIS Time Kirsty?
Well, at first I found THIS when I searched for D&G Maxi Logo Boxer Shorts (opens in new window) and was fairly convinced that these nasty scrapers had gotten me a Duplicate Content Penalty with their scurrilous spamming activity.
After a quick consult with the kind people over at the A4UForums I filed various Spam reports, shortened my feed content to stop people nicking content that could knock me from the SERPS, and generally stewed in my own juice.
But Was it That?
See, one thing you have to remember about trying to work out a Google penalty is that the first thing you find, compelling as it may be…. isn’t necessarily your issue!
I had also found another funny little issue with my indexing, where content on the site seemed to be attributed to lots of different pages by Google, despite only appearing on one. Example Here (opens in new window) but as it had been present for a while I’d put it down to “a bit of a Google glitch” and a couple of people said they’d had similar in the past.
“Can’t be that then.” I thought.
And I Reckon That’s The Nasty Little Game Show Type Trap These Situations Can Pull on You!
I’ve seen lots of “Google Penalty Checklist” type posts, and in not one of them does it say “NEVER rule out anything.”
Fortunately, the indexing situation was nagging away at the back of my head. I don’t like leaving issues and expecting them to fix themselves. Earlier, I finally thought to view the source of one of my pages… just in case there was an outside chance there might be some odd thing on there.
And What Do I Find?
Arrghhh!! The featured content gallery plugin I posted about previously doesn’t only post nice pictures and titles… it features content excerpts from each post as well. On my site, they were within the source code of each page, not visible to users, and indexable by Google. Not good.
Having checked out some other sites using the plugin I think I must have gotten something wrong with the install as I’m not seeing the same issue on any of them!
Well, all I can do is wait and see how it all pans out now. Honestly, how many penalties can one girl just trying to “get it right” actually create! I think WordPress is great, but the amount of issues that can happen without you knowing about it because of how automated and brill it all is are many and varied.
It’s never dull is it?!