Manual action on payday loan site – Reinclusion case study

If you read my latest post you know that SmslånOnline.se got wiped. 2 days ago it turned out it was a manual action. After two days of tunnel vision, slight panic and mourning I actually took my time reading it,  trying to understand. The thought ”Wtf, I am an honest guy!?” was blocking me completely in the beginning. ”My site stands out incredibly much to all spam!

I have a reason to be upset.

But. It is actually just better trying to understand what the message actually says before you interpret it as  as ”You are f****d forever and we hate you very much. Thank you for your understanding in this matter”.

Updates, reinclusion requests sent to Google:

  • Reinclusion Request 1
  • Reinclusion Request 2
  • Manual action REVOKED after 10 days. I will give you a complete update about this case but at the moment I still am working on site improvements. This mustn’t happen again and I will improve the site even more before I spend more time with blogging.

The Manual Action (translated from swedish)

http://smslånonline.se/: Thin content 2014 Jun 19

Google has discovered that technology that violates our webmaster guidelines seem to be used on some of your pages.

Because of the existence of thin content with little or no added value to the site, Google has taken a manual spam action against xn – smslnonline-08a.se /. It may be that other actions have been taken against the site or parts of it.

Recommended Action

  • Update site to follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
    Once you have made ​​your changes, send in a request for reconsideration.
  • On page Manual steps for an updated list of manual steps that have been taken on your site recently.
  • If there are no manual actions in the list you no longer need to submit a reconsideration request.

This made things easier for me.

Because:

  1. It actually says some pages have this problem, not all. And they cause the whole site to drop.
  2. They have thin content. That is way better than pure spam. Logically I had no reason to think it was pure spam but when you are under fire and the business is payday loans you don’t expect much understanding.
  3. It makes sense as problems were actually created by myself. Bad stuff happened but the intentions with it was good. It is explained in the post ”Dear Cutts – you need to check your payday algorithm update”  below the header  ”First: I may actually have caused the problems myself”.
    The short version:
    3.2.  A newly installed forum created a mess (I played around with urls, headers and also imported short intros from my project blog (duplicate content even though they were verified in GWT?). I also put up a sidebar linking to the reviews. I thought it made the forum look more like the site and that it was connected. I wanted to create this forum but shit happens even when your intentions are good. The pages were empty (= thin content) as it was a completely new forum.
    3.1. Onea.se changed prices and suddenly had the best ordinary prices for every loan on the site. The sites functionality (which is actually useful) is to link to the best price from different loan sizes 1000 – 10000 SEK and loan periods (30, 60 and 90 days). This made this payday loan company recieve at least 3 x 10 x 24 links = 720 links. It is actually useful for visitors but not that good for Google as it seems like I try to game them. In this case it was a fair price though.Damn – I even took a loan myself to check them up so that they were not fooling around with incorrect price information.
    Add some possible other problems to this and you may have a reason to get in trouble. I think they were to harsh in this case but as proven before, it is not what you think –  it is what happens that matter.

My Reinclusion Request

I have fixed all problems above (+ other minor problems) and  sent my first reinclusion request. Was I too quick to act on this? I am not a guy that think strategies about ”wait X days before sending your reinclusion request” is that important. I think it is important to fix the problem and give good information about the problem and what actions have been taken.

I am of course hoping that this will be solved pretty easily but you can never be sure. Until I recieve an answer I will spend my time making minor changes to improve things even more.

More improvements made

Apart from the above changes and things mentioned in the first reinclusion request  these things have also been fixed which is actually much more. Now I wish I waited a little bit longer with the reinclusion request.. This list will be updated continuously (check back later please!)

  1. Updated, fixed and relaunched the mobile app of the site. I had this since before but there was a glitch so it was down for a while. It’s works correct now and is also improved.
  2. Fixed tabs which could be seen as ”thin content”. All review pages contained tabs 30, 60 and 90 days. If a payday loan company didnt offer a loan for the specific tab (days) then each loan was given ”-” as data. This could probably look like thin content as this was repeated on many pages.
    I have fixed these pages so they now only print out tabs for the prices they actually have. It should be much clearer now and this was actually a fix that was in the pipe since earlier.
  3. Fixed home page, removed toplist in the intro. Navigation to important pages better exposed. This results in fewer ”ads” and a more clean and navigation oriented site. It is important to mention that the overall ratings are real – not the fake kind of stuff, clearly explained on this page: http://smslånonline.se/att-recensera-smslan.php
  4. Fixed home page, removed 7 reasons to choose SmslånOnline.se. Text moved to subpage instead.
  5. Trimmed the price slider on home page to make the content of the site easier to find. Shorter list = better overview.
    The slider on the home page now only lists the top best regular prices (3, not a horribly long list). Instead I added a note in the end of the list that tells the visitor that if they want to check all prices they can visit the page ”priser.php” which is a complete list of prices for all payday loans on the site – on it’s own page.
  6. Shorter listing in sidebar. I only list 5 rated payda loan companies in the sidebar instead of ~25.  is a list to a subpage if they want more information.
  7. Fixed daypay.php, missing text made it look like an empty duplicate page.
  8. The rating summaries on review pages in the top of the pages now contains smaller texts and click buttons, avoiding pushing content to far down on the page. The intention of this div is to make it totally clear where to go if they like the price as they don’t have to serach for it (as they see it the first thing they do).
  9. Updated year in footer which said ”2013”. Stupid miss. Updated.
  10. Updated page smslan-betalningsanmarkning.php. The text is improved quite a lot and give more in depth information. Removed old picture which was quite ugly and childish. Removed the big listing taking up all space and made a floating list to the right of the article text. It’s better now as the content is more helpful while at the same time the user get the information about companies matching the article.
  11. Improved design for smaller lists and summary lists. Ex: http://smslånonline.se/skef.php. Doesn’t interrupt reading now.
  12. Fixed price information on review pages. Replaced ”-” with ”Erbjuds ej” which means it is easier to understand. (It means that it is a loan not available, previously you maybe thought that this wasn’t checked at all and was empty data and therefore a thin page. It wasn’t.
  13. smslanaren.php 301 redirect to expresskredit.php. The company ”Smslånaren” changed and switched to ”Expresskredit”, I kept the page to keep traffic. Now removed.
  14. Fixed review article texts for kreditkontot.php and kortlan.php that were missing.
  15. Added link to project blog in sidebar. Should make it way more clear I am more than a thin an affiliate. I have blogged ~50 000 words about the business.
  16. Improved review pages (free offers): some companies have free offers for new customers. If company have a free offer it is now very clear which loans are without costs or not. Example: http://smslånonline.se/vivus.php
  17. Removed page Euroloan.php. Yes, it is thin and was inactive. But as they recently changed product I was thinking about launching it again as it seemed to fit the site better. Never mind. Gone.

Severe ”Google’s problems”

  • Other sites are now stealing my content When I do a cache for SmslånOnline.se this now showed up as the cached page: Mytellus.se. This is a domain which has been doing negative SEO at my site since long. I write about it here. Anyone following me knows that I am doing my own stuff. I don’t steal.
    This is horrible to see when you have worked 2 years with the site (or is it just because my site has a manual action?):
    Cache Smslånonline.se
  • Strange caching  of pages:
    Smslånonline.se/credento.php cached as http://xn--ln15-qoa.se/credento.php
    For a while I had this site Lån15.se which was supposed to list bigger loans. I had not time for this and decided to focus on SmslånOnline.se instead so I closed down the site (which was clearly visible in the top) and made a to 301 this page to SmslånOnline.se’s review page.
    When checking cache for credento.php http://xn--ln15-qoa.se/credento.php shows up as cached page? That’s weird. It is verified in Webmaster Tools since before. I am the owner so the article is not copied. Lån15.se has no backlinks and my intention where not to ”cheat” with this, I had just spent quite a lot of time with it and wanted to push this traffic to the better site which I focused on.
  • Even more strange caching:
    I have a 301 redirect from SmslånOnline.se to SimonNystrom.com/smslan-i-google/ which is the project blogg. I didn’t want to mess the site up as it is a mix of payday loans, seo and spam discussions withing the industry. Why is this indexed for SmslånOnline.se? It wasn’t before.  That is an indexing problem within Google. Is this related to ”thin content”? If it is, I have to tell you the content is mine and it is about 50 000 words and it’s the thickest content you will find in the payday loan business in Google. That doesn’t mean I want it indexed for Smslånonline.se…(!)
  • I am afraid that you think I am copying content but I am not guilty. If you do a search for ”Här jämför du alla smslån, recenserade och betygsatta på ett ärligt och rättvist sätt.” you will see stats sites with my content. They rank the site ”Billigtsmslan.se” which is the old version of SmslånOnline.se. It is redirected to SmslånOnline.se. I don’t steal content but much negative SEO have cause troubles. Look at it this way: It seems likely that I have energy to write a couple of rows of text as I programmed the whole site from scratch and made my own CMS, why should I steal some smaller texts? I have worked with the site for years now.

Even if I am not happy this happened I think it will result in an even better site in the end. I choose to see it as another challenge. Hope it counts.

And if you think I am just another spammer, think again.

Spammy affiliates (swe) do not do this I can tell you for sure. And I am light years ”nowhere to be seen” away now. Compare me to anyone. Please.

 I can always argument for my right to at least be included in search like everybody else. At the moment I am not even to be found in Google. That’s weird.

You may be interested in checking what is showing up instead.

*mustntfreakoutmustntfreakoutmustntfreakout*

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