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Google’s penalty against The Online Slang Dictionary

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Closing update to this page: October 13, 2020

August 14, 2020: The Signal mobile telephone number listed within the
stable contact suggestions section modified into once not functioning but must silent now be mounted.

August 14, 2020: Google’s penalty has been occurring for years. Since
they’ve eventually nearly killed this role, I’ll begin releasing tiny print on Monday
August 17 of my conversation with the Google worker who told me in secret about thepenalty. This might culminate in my begin of an MBOX file at the side of corpulent headers.

August 17, 2020: Since Google has eventually nearly killed this role, I
have started releasing tiny print of my conversation with the Google worker who told me in
secret in regards to the penalty. Extra part is to come.

Even as you survey this page attention-grabbing, I would treasure to talk with you.
Even as you work for Google, then we must silent talk rapidly. I might additionally be reached at .

– Walter (editor)

Table of contents

Summary

This online page has been penalized by Google below suspicious conditions. The penalty
causes our net sites to appear at decrease positions in Google’s search outcomes than what
they’ve earned on their advantage. It’s an intentional, hidden, handbook penalty executed viaGoogle in distinction role.

Publicly, the firm says that net sites can survey and fight these handbook penalties by a
instrument they give. What they manufacture not expose is that Google can and does
manufacture hidden penalties
against sites. Since they’re hidden, there is no technique for
role owners to answer to – and even learn about – the truth that Google is intentionally restrictingguests to their sites. Web sites are residing or die per folks visiting the role.
This design that Google kills sitesin interior most, without a recourse for the role owners. And there is no oversight or accountability.

Urban Dictionary's owner and former Google employee Aaron Peckham with Google's former head of penalties Matt Cutts


Urban Dictionary’s owner and outdated school Google worker Aaron Peckham with Google’s outdated school head of penalties Matt Cutts.

Photograph by Julie Pimentel (licensed CC BY-NC 2.0.)

To my data, Google’s skill to execute net sites in this form has not been
disclosed earlier than.

I modified into once supreme made attentive to the penalty after a whistle-blower educated me of it.

One by one, when confronted about this hidden penalty, a Google worker lied to
me and to the general public about it
. That Google worker is Matt Cutts, the
outdated school head of the Google crew that executes penalties against net sites. He quietly
left the firm after an prolonged “sabbatical” and, tellingly, no person has been employed to
change him.

Right here is an preliminary data drip. I will be releasing extra data over
time
. Let’s explain, your entire entire
conversation history with the whistleblower – at the side of associated metadata.

Please support me in spreading the note. Even as you have gotten stumbled on The Online Slang Dictionary to
be priceless, please let your pals and colleagues know in regards to the role. The generous strategy tosave it’s to make a selection up the note out.


About The Online Slang Dictionary

Started by Walter Rader in 1996, The Online Slang Dictionary is the oldest slang dictionary on the internetand the vital to just get submissions from guests. Serving 1.5 million guests each month,
it supplies extra than 28,000 valid definitions for over 19,000 valid slang words
and phrases. The role supplies the correct slang thesaurus on the gain, which is fully integratedwith the dictionary. Other lively functions consist of showing you the draw authorized each note is,
how excessive it’s, and the build geographically it’s dilapidated. Logged in guests can add words and
definitions.

The role is just not ideal: I completely acknowledge that. I exact need my role to be in a region
to compete by itself merits, comparatively than being intentionally crippled by Google.

The first penalty: automated

This role has extra than 5,700 citations curated by hand from published sources esteem TV
programs, films, news publications, and magazines – and added by hand to the rightdefinitions. Every is a brief 1 – 3 sentence excerpt, with correct attribution. This role
is the correct freely on hand slang dictionary on the gain that has citations.

The first penalty executed in distinction role by Google modified into once automated. That’s, the
penalty modified into once utilized by an algorithm – not a human. This algorithm has a malicious program: it
mistakenly thinks that the citations on this role are a signal of a low-quality role
that must be penalized.

Further, Google hides automated penalties from online page owners, so there modified into once no technique for
me to know the purpose of the penalty.

Sidebar: Why are citations indispensable?

Genuine dictionaries have citations because that’s how they demonstrate that their definitions
are valid. Being a dictionary of valid slang terms, the identical applies to us. Citations
encourage the identical purpose in dictionaries as they manufacture on Wikipedia: they give proof
for said info. Now not like encyclopedias corresponding to Wikipedia, dictionary citations are
inline excerpts comparatively than links to birth air works.

After months of this algorithm at Google intentionally limiting the traffic to this
role, and after months of experimentation and hundreds of changes made to the role, I
removed the citations – extra than 5,700. This modified into once a decided experiment, having attemptedeverything else I would also mediate to remove a seek for at to get rid of the penalty. This caused the penalty
to be undone, again robotically, by the algorithm.

Basically the most contemporary penalty: handbook

A Google worker later executed a handbook penalty against the role. Opt that apenalty against a net-based role causes net sites on that role to appear at a decrease region in
Google’s search outcomes than the region they’ve earned on their advantage. A guidepenalty is one which has been activated by a human, by hand.

On October 9, 2011, a Google worker location an interior flag that executed a penalty
in distinction role in a single draw that’s each very not going to undo, and intensely not going to detect viathe role owner (me.)

I modified into once supreme made attentive to the penalty after a whistle-blower educated me of it.

There is just not this form of thing as a truthful justification for this penalty. On the opposite hand, when a guidepenalty is activated, a purpose might additionally be recorded. The Google worker recorded the clarification whyas being connected to intellectual property law. However that is unnecessary as there are no –
and have never been any – intellectual property law violations on this role.

Even as you work for Google, then we must silent talk rapidly. I might additionally be reached at .

The automated penalty in additional part

This section describes the automated penalty at measurement. In this section:

(Present this sectionConceal this section.)

Introduction

In 2011, Google launched a exchange to their ranking algorithms designed to penalize low-quality
net sites. One thing Google now believes is a trademark of low quality is exhibiting excerpts
of convey that exists in completely different locations.
No topic citations being a trademark of a excessive-quality dictionary, they pick up interpreted viathis exchange (known as Panda) as your entire reverse, because by definition
citations are convey that exists in completely different locations.

Sidebar: Citations on The Online Slang Dictionary

This role has extra than 5,700 citations curated by hand from published sources esteem TV
programs, films, news publications, and magazines – and added by hand to the rightdefinitions. Every is a brief 1 – 3 sentence excerpt, with correct attribution. This role
is the correct freely on hand slang dictionary on the gain that has citations.

To boot as to the 5,700 citations on this online page, we now have one more 11,400 to be added,
which can maybe maybe bring the entire citation count to extra than 17,000.

However we cannot demonstrate them to you. That’s why they seem blacked out, as in a redacted
classified document. When Google started penalizing this role, it modified into once because we
have citations. There is a malicious program in a single in every of Google’s algorithms, connected to a location of changesthey name “Panda 2.0”. This malicious program incorrectly interprets the citations as proof that the
role is low quality, despite citations being a signal of the valid reverse: a
top quality dictionary. This penalty modified into once automated: it didn’t require any human
intervention. Elimination the citations resulted within the penalty being removed, also
robotically.

So since we cannot demonstrate you citations, there is no purpose as a draw to add the extra 11,400 citations
talked about above.

The following shows the final consequence of this penalty, measured in visits to this role from
Google searches.

The the relaxation of this section explains the data in additional part.

Visits from Google searches decline due to the penaltyVisits from Google searches are restored after the penalty is lifted


Timeline

2011

  • April 11: Google releases the Panda algorithm changes globally to all
    English-talking customers, and begins penalizing this role.
  • November 5: I remove away all citations, largely as an experiment. I might perhaps well not judge
    Google will be penalizing a dictionary online page as a result of the presence of citations.
  • November 13: Google confirms that the citations are the purpose by retracting the
    penalty.

Google penalizes The Online Slang Dictionary for showing citations

Google’s Panda changes – designed to penalize what Google’s algorithms judgeare “low-quality” sites – were launched globally to all English-talking customers on April 11,
2011. Visits to The Online Slang Dictionary that were the consequence of a Google
search dropped markedly on April 11, 2011.

This chart supreme shows traffic from Google searches.

April 11 2011 traffic drop

The loss in traffic modified into once restricted to visits from Google searches. No other traffic sources (other
search engines,
affirm traffic, or referral traffic) were affected. This form of tumble is unprecedented for the role
since I started tracking role analytics in 2007.

Specifically, traffic declined because Google moved this role to a decrease region in its
search outcomes. Reports from Google Webmaster Instruments demonstrate that the region of The Online Slang
Dictionary in Google search outcomes fell on April 11, the date of the Panda penalty.

Google Webmaster Tools average position

The experiences that I truly have pick up admission to to quilt a interval of time of a month, comparatively than a single day. So
the outcomes of the penalty supreme begin to become evident within the characterize dated March 12 – April 11.
The following dated characterize goes via April 12, so it involves 2 days of penalty. The nextreport involves 3 days of penalty, and heaps others. As extra days of the penalty are interior thedate differ of the characterize, the amount of the decline is increasingly published.

(Why the uptick at the pause? Since the experiences demonstrate a differ, the closing characterize that comes toApril 11 is dominated by subsequent dates. There modified into once a tiny uptick in ranking for the duration of thesedates – which didn’t restore traffic – then the ranking dropped reduction down.)

In affirm the data shows, The Online Slang Dictionary started receiving a penalty on April 11,
2011, and that’s the reason the date that the Panda changes were launched to all English-talking usersof Google.

Citations are removed

In the future of the following seven months, I made dozens of structural changes and hundreds of convey
changes to the role – yetthese changes had no enact on the amount of traffic referred by Google queries.

Largely as an experiment, I removed every citation from the role on November 5, 2011. I might perhaps well notbelieve Google will be penalizing the role as a result of the presence of citations. In spite of every thing,
excessive-quality dictionaries have citations, and Google Panda modified into once designed to penalize
low-quality net sites.

Every week and a day later – on November 13 – the penalty modified into once rescinded.

The following chart shows supreme traffic from Google searches.

Penalty is lifted November 13 2011

The handbook penalty in additional part

This section describes the handbook penalty at measurement. In this section:

(Present this sectionConceal this section.)

Timeline

2012

  • October 6: Believing I had identified one draw to restore the citations with out
    incurring the penalty, I add them reduction to the role.
  • October 9: A Google worker dilapidated an interior instrument to manufacture a penalty in distinction
    role.
  • November 16: So as to compete with dictionary net sites that manufacture not have
    citations, I once extra remove away
    citations.
  • November 16, 2012 – October 18, 2020: The penalty
    continues with out reduction.

Google penalizes The Online Slang Dictionary again

The citations were then missing from the role for nearly a year. In early October 2012, I
identified what I believed modified into once one draw to restore citations to the role with out being penalized viaGoogle. The corpulent stock of citations – approximately 4,800 at present – returned to the
role on October 6, 2012.

The penalty returned 3 days later.

This chart supreme shows traffic from Google searches.

Penalty returns November 9 2012

This second penalty executed by Google in distinction role modified into once handbook. Opt that apenalty against a net-based role causes net sites on that role to appear at a decrease region in
Google’s search outcomes than the region they’ve earned on their advantage. A guidepenalty is one which has been activated by a human, by hand.

On October 9, 2011, a Google worker location an interior flag that executed a penalty
in distinction role in a single draw that’s each very not going to undo, and intensely not going to detect viathe role owner (me.)

I modified into once supreme made attentive to the penalty after a whistle-blower educated me of it.

There is just not this form of thing as a truthful justification for this penalty. On the opposite hand, when a guidepenalty is activated, a purpose might additionally be recorded. The Google worker recorded the clarification whyas being connected to intellectual property law. However that is unnecessary as there are no –
and have never been any – intellectual property law violations on this role.

I attempted a second technique to restore the citations, on the other hand it didn’t get rid of the
penalty. As we reveal, I modified into once unaware that the penalty modified into once handbook. (Opt that this
handbook penalty modified into once location to be hidden from me.) Had I identified, I save not have perseveredto try and demonstrate this precious data to my guests.

Citations are removed again

On November 16, 2012, in affirm as a draw to compete with dictionary net sites that manufacture not have
citations, I once extra removed all
citations.

I had hoped that it might maybe well purpose the penalty to be lifted. That’s, I hoped that the
Google worker that had executed the penalty in distinction role would mediate that I removedthe citations, and would undo the penalty.

That has not came about.

Matt Cutts lies, and affirmation of the handbook penalty

Matt Cutts is an ex-Google worker. When he modified into once at Google, he ran the Webspam crew –
the crew that’s enirely to blame for each automated and handbook penalties. They
develop the algorithms that manufacture automated penalties and write the insurance policies for
executing handbook penalties.

On March 21, 2013 Matt Cutts wrote the following per someone asking how the
owner of a tiny role might perhaps maybe also pick up a penalty resolved when Google had de-listed Digg.com in
its entirety. Cutts answered, in
segment
:

In traditional, when a member of the webspam crew directly applies a handbook webspam action
against a role, we also tumble a conceal to the role owner at http://google.com/webmasters/ .
That helps the role owner expose whether or not something is occurring with handbook spam vs. exact
algorithmic ranking. Then any role can manufacture a reconsideration quiz at the identical build or
put up in our webmaster discussion board at https://productforums.google.com/discussion board/#!discussion board/webmasters .

I answered announcing that though there perceived to be a handbook penalty against my online page,
I received no notification of any design that there modified into once a handbook penalty. On March 22, 2013
Cutts replied with the following:

Hi Walter, the correct handbook webspam action I mediate regarding onlineslangdictionary.com is
from loads of years ago (are you conscious of a firm known as Web Assemble Pages or someone
named Jim Boykin?), but that not applies right here.

You are tormented by a pair algorithms in our traditional net ranking. The first is our page
structure algorithm. Glimpse http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2012/01/page-layo… or
http://searchengineland.com/google-might perhaps maybe also-penalize-advert-heavy-pag… for extra
context on that. In explicit, evaluating a page esteem http://onlineslangdictionary.com/that technique-definition-of/compy to a page
esteem http://www.urbandictionary.com/interpret.php?interval of time=Pepperazzi… , your role
has great extra well-known ads above the fold when when put next with Urban Dictionary.

Your role will be tormented by our Panda algorithm. Right here’s a weblog put up we wrote to present
guidance to sites that are tormented by Panda: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/extra-guid…

I’ll answer to every of his claims.

Hi Walter, the correct handbook webspam action I mediate regarding onlineslangdictionary.com is
from loads of years ago (are you conscious of a firm known as Web Assemble Pages or someone
named Jim Boykin?), but that not applies right here.

I manufacture not know who Web Assemble Pages or Jim Boykin are.

(Even as you may maybe well be conscious of net ranking and net optimization corporations, an enticing belief experiment
is: If Matt Cutts were telling the truth, how would a handbook penalty against my role – or
any role – be tied to each a particular person and a spefific firm? Let’s explain, did the
owner of an net optimization firm have a exchange of coronary heart, present Google with a total customerlist, and Google – with out any analysis whatsoever – exact manually penalized the gain page
of each of these customers? a. That’s not how it works. b. I’ve never heard of the
person or firm. What’s a legit technique that a handbook penalty might perhaps maybe also were
in build against my role – or any role – tied in some technique to a particular person and a
explicit firm?)

There modified into once never any handbook webspam action against the gain page. Diagnosis of traffic
referred by Google searches shows snug boost till Matt Cutts decided to rupture the
online page. There is zero proof of a handbook penalty, which will be apparent in thetraffic analysis.

You are tormented by a pair algorithms in our traditional net ranking. The first is our page
structure algorithm. Glimpse http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2012/01/page-layo… or
http://searchengineland.com/google-might perhaps maybe also-penalize-advert-heavy-pag… for extra
context on that. In explicit, evaluating a page esteem http://onlineslangdictionary.com/that technique-definition-of/compy to a page
esteem http://www.urbandictionary.com/interpret.php?interval of time=Pepperazzi… , your role
has great extra well-known ads above the fold when when put next with Urban Dictionary.

No topic Matt Cutts’ claim to the opposite, Urban Dictionary truly had extra
conceal role dedicated to ads than this role.

On the opposite hand, I removed all ads for roughly 6 months. There modified into once no exchange in theamount of search traffic that Google referred to my role. (Opt that once the
earlier automated penalty modified into once removed, search traffic modified into once restored – right here’s how
automated penalties work.) Computerized penalties are removed when the topic is mounted. It
doesn’t happen directly, on the other hand it occurs a ways extra rapidly than 6 months. What does it
point out if the topic modified into once mounted and the penalty modified into once never removed? It technique that the penalty
didn’t exist within the vital build.

Your role will be tormented by our Panda algorithm. Right here’s a weblog put up we wrote to present
guidance to sites that are tormented by Panda: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/extra-guid…

Correct as I removed the ads, I removed the entire citations. There modified into once no exchange in theamount of search traffic Google that referred to my role. (Opt that once the previousautomated penalty modified into once removed, search traffic modified into once restored – right here’s how automated
penalties work.) Computerized penalties are removed when the topic is mounted. It does nothappen directly, on the other hand it occurs a ways extra rapidly than 6 months. What does it point out if
the topic modified into once mounted and the penalty modified into once never removed? It technique that the penalty didn’texist within the vital build.

So the inquire stays: how exactly manufacture I do know that Matt Cutts modified into once lying? How manufacture I
know that there modified into once (and is) a handbook penalty against my online page?

Because a Google worker told me so.

I’ll begin releasing tiny print of my electronic mail conversation with the Google worker,
culminating in my begin of an MBOX file at the side of corpulent headers.

Across the time of my exchange with Matt Cutts (mediate above) I had an electronic mail verbal exchangewith a Google worker. It went something esteem this. (The below is closelyparaphrased. As time goes on, the below will come increasingly to resemble the realconversation.)

Topic: What’s along with your article in regards to the penalty?


From: redacted@google.com


Date: redacted 2013

Hi there, I seen the article for your online page. Is there the relaxation I will manufacture to support?

Topic: Re: What’s along with your article in regards to the penalty?


From: Walter Rader


Date: redacted 2013

Yes. Would possibly maybe maybe well you please check the gain spam crew what’s up with the handbook penalty
against my online page?

Topic: Re: What’s along with your article in regards to the penalty?


From: redacted@google.com


Date: redacted 2013

There is and has been a handbook penalty against your role for a whereas. I am unable to support
you.

In closing

The penalty is ongoing as of October 2020, and is killing The Online Slang
Dictionary.

Please support me in spreading the note. Even as you have gotten stumbled on The Online Slang Dictionary to be
priceless, please let your pals and colleagues know in regards to the role. The generous technique to save
it’s to make a selection up the note out.

Even as you work for Google, then we must silent talk rapidly. I might additionally be reached at .

Thanks to your time.

Any suggestions?

I would treasure to hear them. My electronic mail contend with is .

Continuously requested questions

I exact did a Google search and your role appeared within the vital few outcomes. Does that
point out that the penalty has been removed?

No.

“Google Juice” is an casual interval of time for how favorably Google views a net site and pages
on that online page. There are heaps of factors that slither into how great juice net sites and
pages develop.

At any time even as you manufacture a search, Google’s algorithms review every page on the gain to
settle how connected each page is to your inquire of – how great Google Juice each of the pages
has to your inquire of. Then they demonstrate the hunt outcomes, that are ordered by the amount of
Google Juice each page has.

What the penalty does is subtract an amount of Google Juice from every page in thisrole. However whether or not that technique we seem 1st, 2nd, or 307th within the hunt outcomes depends on how great
juice each of the other pages on the gain need to your inquire of.

You may perhaps additionally mediate it as a foot flee. The penalty doesn’t work as in: on the other hand you
have within the flee, Google will tumble you down by 9 locations. It works as in: Google
attaches a 20 pound weight to your foot, and whether or not that technique you have 1st or 307th
depends on how exact the opposite runners are.

So most regularly pages from this role seem in opposition to the tip of search outcomes. That honesttechnique that these explicit pages have ample Google Juice – and other pages on the gain have
so little Google Juice – that even with the penalty, we are in a position to appear in opposition to the tip.
However total, the penalty drags our pages down a ways ample that we might perhaps maybe pick up about
thrice as many guests if the penalty weren’t in build
.

(This resolution is written for a normal viewers. Even as you have gotten technical questions, feel
free to electronic mail me at .)

Why are the 5,700 citations for your role blacked out?

This role has extra than 5,700 citations curated by hand from published sources esteem TV
programs, films, news publications, and magazines – and added by hand to the rightdefinitions. Every is a brief 1 – 3 sentence excerpt, with correct attribution. This role
is the correct freely on hand slang dictionary on the gain that has citations.

However we cannot demonstrate them to you. That’s why they seem blacked out, as in a redacted
classified document. When Google started penalizing this role, it modified into once because we
have citations. There is a malicious program in a single in every of Google’s algorithms, connected to a location of changesthey name “Panda 2.0”. This malicious program incorrectly interprets the citations as proof that the
role is low quality, despite citations being a signal of the valid reverse: a
top quality dictionary. This penalty modified into once automated: it didn’t require any human
intervention. Elimination the citations resulted within the penalty being removed, also
robotically.

The penalty is just not any longer an automated one, but comparatively a handbook one. A Google workerlocation an interior flag that penalizes our role, and it’s not likelyremoved till someone interior Google eliminates it. However if that occurs, then having
citations on the role would seemingly consequence in one more automated penalty.

Hence the blacked-out citations.

Why not remove away them completely? Since the correct technique to make a selection up Google to remove away the guidepenalty in distinction role is for the worth of that penalty to be seen.

Encrypted electronic mail

You may perhaps additionally employ PGP / GPG to encrypt electronic mail despatched to .

Be obvious that to incorporate your public key.

Acquire into myth that supreme the body of the electronic mail will be encrypted. Electronic mail metadata will notbe encrypted, corresponding to sender, self-discipline, when the electronic mail modified into once despatched, and the electronic mail carrierdilapidated to send the electronic mail.

Sadly, as a result of the time suck of combating Google’s penalty, this role is just not yet
served by SSL. The hypothetical risks inquisitive about publishing, receiving, and using a
public key over a non-SSLed connection is
low, restricted to:

  • a MITM assault changing my valid public key with a fallacious key that contains an
    exploit of the encryption/decryption instrument dilapidated to securely talk
  • my simply not being in a region to decrypt electronic mail that modified into once encrypted using the fallacious
    public key, since I manufacture not have the corresponding interior most key.

Out of an abundance of warning, my public secret’s on hand on a separate enviornment which
I encourage a watch on and which is SSLed.

My
public secret’s on hand right here
.

Hyperlinks to my public key and/or the general public key itself are also on hand by this role’s
official weblog, Fb, and Twitter accounts. Designate that the official weblog is hosted
on Google’s Blogger provider.

Signal

Signal is an encrypted prompt messaging and explain and video calling platform. Apps
are on hand for iPhone, Android, and desktop working programs.

Getting
started with Signal

Download and set up

I might additionally be reached by Signal at: +1 530 727-

Attributable to the time suck of combating Google’s penalty, this role is just not yet served by SSL.
The Signal number above will be on hand by this role’s official weblog, Fb, and
Twitter accounts. Designate that the official weblog is hosted on Google’s Blogger provider.

Postal mail

I might additionally be reached by postal mail at the following contend with.

Walter Rader


PO Box


Washington, DC 20016

Attributable to the time suck of combating Google’s penalty, this role is just not yet served by SSL.
The contend with above will be on hand by this role’s official weblog, Fb, and Twitter
accounts. Designate that the official weblog is hosted on Google’s Blogger provider.

In closing

The penalty is ongoing as of October 2020, and is killing The Online Slang
Dictionary.

Please support me in spreading the note. Even as you have gotten stumbled on The Online Slang Dictionary to be
priceless, please let your pals and colleagues know in regards to the role. The generous technique to save
it’s to make a selection up the note out.

Even as you work for Google, then we must silent talk rapidly. I might additionally be reached at .

Thanks to your time.

Any suggestions?

I would treasure to hear them. My electronic mail contend with is .

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