Penalty Time... and what to do next

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Thanks @CCarter and @Ryuzaki

The site is a one time visit type of deal so emails are not something that I have focussed on given that there is little reason for anyone to enter their email. Obviously I could come up with an angle to make that work but I think it may be grasping a bit.

Having looked around at the expiring domain market there is nothing out there that is quality and suitable.

CCarter makes a valid point re competitors spamming the new domain which is something I had in my head already.

ACTION PLAN

Major redo on the content on each of the existing 13 urls in line with CORA analysis.
Redo and submit the disavow file.
Target 5 Guest Post Links for each URL.
 
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just a quick thought, but once you have the cora analysis and has redone your site, then why not rinse and repeat on 5-10 new sites/domains, not only will you make it a lot harder and less profitable for those trying to go after you with neg seo it also would increase your earning potential plus even if one site gets hammered with neg seo, then you have one or more ready to fire up and take over while you are recovering the first site(negged seo'ed).
 
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Heres something I have noticed in SEMRush analysis.

Google appears to be ranking the wrong pages for the wrong terms.

EG. The page ranking for blue widgets is actually about red widgets. The only thing that ties it to the blue widget kw is a sidebar related posts link.

Why would this happen?
 

Ryuzaki

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Why would this happen?
It's never obvious. Sometimes the main page for the term is over-optimized with the on-page signals. Other times it can have anchor text over-optimization with the off-page signals.

In your case you mentioned that certain keywords tanked while others didn't, which is an indicator that whatever got you might be working at the page level and not the domain level, and the main page took a hit. That could be because of the two reasons above or Google decided your intent doesn't match the intent of the query. Have you checked out what's ranking and compared it to your own content? Are you in the same ball park?

This doesn't relate to you but on newer sites Google often screws this up and then sorts it out on it's own given some time. Sometimes to, there's some interlinking issue going on that's flowing juice to the wrong page with the wrong anchors or near the wrong words, sending relevancy signals to the wrong page.
 
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The intent is perfectly matched. It is non commercial content and my content far exceeds some of the spam sites that have moved in and taken over top spots.

I am testing one url and leaving it for a while. So what I did was delete all the old content and run a CORA analysis.

It told me I needed 6k words to beat page one averages so I did 6.5k words and uploaded to the existing URL.

I have also disavowed all spam links so now I guess I will let it sit for a while and see what shakes out.

Still not in the top 100.
 

CCarter

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It told me I needed 6k words to beat page one averages so I did 6.5k words and uploaded to the existing URL.
6K words? Something to consider is with Cora you will need to suppress websites like Wikipedia, imDB, Instagram, twitter, and others that are ranking based off if Mega Authority. So that 6K words might be influenced by a Mega Authority domain, and when it comes down to it, you might need far less.
 
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Without giving the vertical away there are no mega sites like that in the pack - all the competitors have super long form content.

6K is the maximum result of page one and not the average so I take your point.

Quick question guys - it seems to be a category that has been penalised on the site rather than the whole site as @Ryuzaki suggests.

For example all the articles related to blue widgets in the blue widget categoty are nuked whilst articles related to orange widgets in the orange widget category remain stable.

Would you 404 the other 15 blue widget pages and leave the new 6k word blue widge post in place to show that all the offending blue widget content has now been removed from the site?

This is in the interim whilst my writers bang out another 6k words of fresh new replacement content for each of the 15 offending articles which will take some time.
 
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So it looks like new content is no longer being indexed...

A search of site:mydomain.com/post-name shows nothing in the index for any new content added in the last month.

kws continue to be lost but some kws are improving position.

What a mess...
 

Tao

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Is your sitemap updating ok?
I had an issue a while back with Yoast where the sitemap was either being cached or not updated with new posts. I was missing a few articles which I noticed were missing from the index.