Probably since September/October last year, I noticed that a particular category on one of my sites has been penalised by Google. The reason for me to believe this is that even after Q3 PR update, most articles in this category remained at PR N/A while more recent articles managed to get PR0 or PR1. Now i have been trying to find out what the possible causes of this might be to no avail.
So far I have concentrated my research on external factors like external links but today my attention was caught by a post on a blog which talks about sitewide links on a new site pointing to an external site. Here’s the link:
This post has made me realised that I could be having the same problem on my site because at the end of each article I’ve got a section for related articles which pulls down all (not a few related ones!) articles from the same category. Now for the category which has been penalised, I’ve got lots of articles written about it and if you look at one article for this category, you can see at least 50 related articles. This is a technical problem which i was meant to address before but delayed it because I was designing a new CMS for the site. But this has been like this for more than 6 months now as i haven’t got much time to finish the CMS until now.
This is just what i think is the problem anyway. If by removing the related article or decreasing the number of related articles to 5 I manage to ditch this penalisation, it would mean too many internal links are bad for SEO. Having said this, when i’ve looked in Google Webmaster Tools, I’ve noticed that pages which have been labeled as PR N/A, not because they are new but because of the penalty on them, are not shown as internal links in Google Webmasters Tools.