Google's new position 6 penalty
A discussion in
an online webmaster forum indicates that Google might have
invented a new ranking penalty for websites that rank well
for popular search terms.
What has happened?
During the last few weeks, some webmasters noticed that
some of their long term position 1 or position 2 rankings
in Google suddenly ranked at position 6.
The problem affected well established websites with a
long history. The dropped web pages had long time rankings
for popular search terms, usually on position 1.
Why has Google done this?
It is not exactly clear yet which factors cause that ranking
drop in Google's results. There are two theories:
- Google now considers usage data when calculating the
- Google now has a better understanding of word and phrase
If different usage data is the reason for the change then
web pages with a higher click-through rate would get higher
positions. However, some webmasters reported that even
web pages with high click through rates have been downranked.
The penalty also seems to affect web pages that are listed
with an appealing title and a description that is very
relevant to the search term so it might be that the click-rate
is not taken into account.
think that it's more likely that the word and phrase relationships
are the reason for the ranking drops. It seems that web
pages with too many inbound links using exactly the searched
keyword as the anchor text were affected by the filter.
If the link to a special web page always uses exactly
the same anchor text then the word variety is probably
extremely low compared to the competing websites in the
top results. That indicates a manipulation of the anchor
texts and Google applies the filter.
What can you do to avoid that filter?
When you build links to your website, make sure that you
use different but related keywords for the links to your
site. If you overuse the same link text, Google might discover
If you use different but related keywords, then ranking
algorithms will consider your web page relevant to a special
topic. Use IBP's inbound
link analyzer to get further information about the inbound
link structure that leads to top 10 rankings.