REW got Whacked

By
Title Insurance with myClosingSPACE

I am a little bit late to the party but it looks like REW has been struck with some sort of Google Penalty. A few people at REW noticed that site was not ranking for some terms that they did well on previously and even lost rankings on their own name. Currently their forum ranks first for the term Real Estate Webmasters but not the main page. Under it are a few blogs discussing the issue of REW losing rankings. Morgan wrote a blog post discussing it here. A couple of other bloggers wrote about it as well but they delve a bit deeper into the actual reason why the penalty occurred. Check out this blog and this blog

Update: It appears that REW is back to their previous status (at least after a cursory review). 

 

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Rainer
155,671
R. B. "Bob" Mitchell - Loan Officer Raleigh/Durham
Bank of England (NMLS#418481) - Raleigh, NC
Bob Mitchell (NMLS#1046286)
I understand the search engines doing the penalty thing, but I still think that it's all a bit mystical. To me it would be better if it weren't so secret. In this case, what specifically were they doing wrong that they got penalized for? Wouldn't that be helpful for them and others to know? Bob Mitchell ValueList Real Estate Services, Inc.
Jan 27, 2008 03:13 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,089,425
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Mark - I have been a member of the site but did not participate in any of the activity described in the links you provided. I have a few questions I am wondering if you can answer. I noticed a few days ago that my website dropped from position #4 on the the 1st page of Google all the way to page 5 for the term Hopkinton MA Real Estate. In the REW directory I was under Hopkinton MA. Could this be the reason for the drop and if so is there anything I can do to remedy it or am I an innocent victim.

I also noticed when going to my blog at the site it says account suspended. I have no idea why. Morgan Carey does not feel the need to explain as I have emailed him twice - any thoughts? 

Jan 27, 2008 03:48 AM #2
Ambassador
591,266
Konnie Mac McCarthy
MacNificent Properties, LLC - Cobb Island, MD
Broker/Owner - VA & MD "Time To Get A Move On!"
How do you even know if Google is penalizing you?
Jan 27, 2008 12:54 PM #3
Rainer
28,233
Mark Pilatowski
myClosingSPACE - Manhattan, NY

Bob: A big reason they don't just tell exactly what a site did wrong is because that information can be used by spammers to reverse engineer the algorithm. The logic is that if a spammer is trying a number of different black hat techniques and Google tells them what they did wrong the spammer could then clean up that aspect and continue spamming using the other tricks they are using. It's a bit of FUD but it does make some sense because there are people out there who could benefit from that type of feedback.

Bill: I am not sure about why your account would be suspended, only Morgan knows that. There is a possibility that you, and anyone else, who participated in the reciprocal link exchange with REW has received some sort of penalty. The exchange with Real Estate ABC and the other home page links you have may be contributing to the drop as well. Another possibility is that you don't actually have a penalty but all of the links from REW, and possibly ABC Real Estate and the other reciprocal links, are no longer passing any value to your site. Even if you are not penalized you may still be suffering due to the affiliation/agreement withe REW and the other reciprocal links you have. If you want my honest opinion I would kill all of the links you have on your home page (and any other similar links on your site) and fill out a re-inclusion request with Google. If you do not have a Webmaster Tools account I would create one and verify your site. Once that is done fill out the reinclusion request explaining exactly what you believe you did (the home page reciprocal links) and that you have removed them. If you removed everything Google found wrong they will remove the penalty. If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me.

Jan 27, 2008 01:21 PM #4
Rainer
28,233
Mark Pilatowski
myClosingSPACE - Manhattan, NY
Konnie: Unless the site is removed you can't necessarily be 100% sure but in this case it is fairly obvious. REW was ranked very well for Real Estate and now they are nowhere to be found. A number of additional terms where they were ranked well are gone too. On top of that many mebers blogs that ranked well are no longer able to be found in Google. And the big one is there name. When you search for Real Estate Webmasters they were not ranking. The forum is ranking now but they really should have sitelinks and the home page should be number one. Much of the first page is taken up by blogs talking about this incident. So it seem fairly reasonable to believe that they have a penalty.
Jan 27, 2008 01:25 PM #5
Rainmaker
1,089,425
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Hi Mark - Thanks for your comments. I realized I phrased what I meant to say wrong. I was not suspended but my account was flagged because REW does not like the fact that I linked from REW to AR. I did trade emails with Morgan and he explained to me their policy. I think it is crazy.

One would think they have better things to do than make waves about a Realtor linking to another blog. Morgan called it an attempt at making my posts at AR come up higher in the serps. Was not my intention at all. When a company is getting banned by Google for stuff like you mention it seems silly that they have moderators that don't like AR flagging accounts.

You have cemented my view that the association with them and the fact that I lost a good inbound link has created the drop. I was also a member at ABC so maybe the both of them have contributed.

I know you have a good understanding of this stuff - why would one set of keyword be affected and not others - It seems Hopkinton MA Real Estate was the only real drop I experienced?

Jan 28, 2008 01:43 AM #6
Rainer
28,233
Mark Pilatowski
myClosingSPACE - Manhattan, NY
Bill, it's hard to say. It could simply be a weird glitch in a Google Data Center. It could have something to do with the anchor text of some of your links that may not be passing any value any more.  Or it could be nothing and the ranking could pop back up and a few days. I would wait a few days before starting to make changes to reverse it. As long as you have other decent rankings you can at least be fairly secure that there is no penalty.
Jan 28, 2008 11:07 AM #7
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Rainer
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