Avoiding the OOP filter

On the 14th of January 2009, i tweaked one webpage of my site in the hope that it will no longer be penalised by the Over Optimization Penalty (OOP) filter of Google. 2 days ago I noticed that the webpage was back in Google’s index, however the ranking is not back yet. This webpage has been penalised since October last year and i couldn’t find it in the index for several months until now. I filed a re-consideration request as well but nothing came out of it.

It was only re-indexed after I made changes to the text of the webpage. The conclusion is that OOP filter is something that is applied to webpages which seem to be highly over optimised as in url, page title, h1 tag are too tighly aligned and the keyword density is a bit high too. For that particular page, i couldn’t change the url because of incoming links and couldn’t change the title as well because this was too risky. So i ended up modifying the h1 tag and dilluted the keyword density for the phrase i was targetting. I’m really happy that it’s now back in Google index but it is ranking beneath another page of my website now for that keyword. This leads me to think that there’s some kind of penalisation which is still being applied to the ranking of this webpage for this particular keyword.

Searching for a unique phrase on that web page shows the webpage which is a good sign and searching for another variation of the keyword shows the page on search results page 2 which confirms my thinking. I’ll give it a few days to see if the rankings come back without doing anything.

Note: It took nearly 3 weeks for google to re-include the web page in its index. From the server logs, i think google crawled it 3 times within that period. However the cache of the page when it first got re-included was for the 21st of december 2008. It was a really old cache which had the over-optimised text. But subsequently the cache got updated to the new version on Feb the 3rd, 2009 when i checked on the 7th of Feb.

Faking PR with 302 redirect

I was redirecting a web page with a 302 redirect accidentally and I found out that the page which was being redirected got a PageRank of 2 which is the same PR as that of the landing page. Here’s the scenario:

1. Redirect Page A to Page B with a 302

2. If Page B has PR5, Page A will be assigned PR5 in the next PR update as long as the 302 redirect is still up.

Now you may be wondering why you would want to do such a thing. Well for people who sell links on their sites, they want to have the highest PR to get the maximum value for the links placed. If they have been 302 redirecting to a site they own which has a PR of 6, then even though the other URL does not have any incoming links, it will be assigned PR6. Once the visual toolbar is updated, they will then remove the redirect and when you go to that page, you will see a fake PR of 6 for a site which doesn’t have any backlinks. If they don’t remove the redirect, you will be redirected to the real url with real PR (but that’s going to defeat the purpose, wouldn’t it).

So before buying any links, make sure you’re checking the backlinks in yahoo explorer for credibility!

Removing forum links

Let’s see whether these forums links could be killing my SERPs! So i must have about 50 links with the same anchor text pointing to an internal page on my website and the web page appears to be penalised. I edited the content a bit to dillute the keyword density about 2 weeks ago but it didn’t solve the problem. Yahoo and MSN are not showing the page in their search results as well. So there must be something about that particular page which is preventing it from ranking. But what?