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This 534 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 534 ( 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 [14] 15 16 17 18 > >     
Penguin Recovery Tips - a think tank thread
bostonyear



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 7:35 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Since the main Penguin Update thread has 700 posts and counting, I'm hoping to start a new thread solely focused on Penguin recovery tips. I have a site that was hit by Penguin and I am trying to work my way out of it.

I think reason I was penalized was my content. I was inadvertently keyword stuffing. This is just the way I have been writing content for years. I have updated the content on my main pages where I have fixed the blatant keyword stuffing. My density levels are much more in line. My main question is:

I have over 80 blog posts that have some instances of keyword stuffing. Do I need to go back and fix all of these pages? Some of the posts are over 3 years old? I also have some really old pages that are buried in my site that may have poor content. Should fixing these old pages be a priority?

 

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 8:40 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

My situation is getting worse. I removed a lot of links that I assumed were harming me and I have dropped further. More and more I think that google has just downgraded all the links that it doesn't like. Removing them may well be pointless and even harmful as you may be removing links that google did cound and like. Any one else seeing anything like this?

Hissingsid

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 9:01 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm starting to think that the best strategy for recovery is to look hard on page and at you site's link and anchor text structure only after you have that sorted and should look at your back links.

Sid

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 9:25 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I removed a lot of links that I assumed were harming me and I have dropped further.


I suspect backlinks are involved, which might take some time for Google to reindex. I also suspect a recursive element: Penguin penalises your position by a factor. The next time it runs, it again penalises your position by that factor if whatever caused the penalty is still there.

One page of mine - no spam, no solicited backlinks, not commercial, written solely for content - went from page 1 to page 3 to page 5 to (Thursday) page 39, without any changes to the page that would affect position.

If general page 1 results are anything to go by, Google's self-congratulation is delusional.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 9:40 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ wilburforce. I just cannot see what else could be wrong. I have been through everything that I can think of. The only thing that I know is an issue on site is the gallery that I use not adding alt tags to images and the livehelp software that I use breaks validation (along with the lack of alt tags of course). Unless, as you say, google still has stuff indexed that it doesn't like link wise. Not all terms are dropping though - one actually went up a place.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 9:46 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I suspect backlinks are involved


In fact, I think backlinks are the principal issue, and this fits with what we already know. Penguin could run dynamically rather than periodically if on-page issues were the only concern.

timwilliams



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 9:57 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

This might sound silly but I don't want to be in the top results right now. I'm not going to speak for every search but for the niches I watch the results are crap and frankly I'm glad google does not have us up there right now, if we were it would mean my sites are crap by association!

Google is either broken or its not. If it's broken, they'll fix it, not my job. If it's not broken and they want crap results then there's nothing we can do about it anyway, time to move on.

I don't think it's broken, I think it's exactly the way they want it. I saw yesterday that they are dropping the free shopping listings in favor of a paid listing model. The writing is on the wall folks...

themaninthejar



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 9:58 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm starting to think that the best strategy for recovery is to look hard on page and at you site's link and anchor text structure only after you have that sorted and should look at your back links.


This is exactly what I have decided. Look to the Content Keywords section of WMT for wisdom...

On the side, I'm hoping that as I haven't received a WMT message about dodgy backlinks then dodgy backlinks is not the main issue...

crobb305

WebmasterWorld Senior Member crobb305 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 11:27 am on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I was reading the following article from Search Engine Roundtable with a belly laugh. A couple of the examples posted in the comments are hilarious. Google is way off the results, and really should hold off on polishing their badge until they get it right. [seroundtable.com...]

I suspect backlinks are involved, which might take some time for Google to reindex.

It has taken over 5 weeks for me to see even a 50% reduction in the removed backlinks (cached and in WMT). Google is indeed very, very slow. I am suspicious as to how any recovery could have occurred on the update last week without manual action from Google. The spidering rate is so slow that removed backlinks are taking well over a month to get discovered.

gouri

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 1:30 pm on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

On the side, I'm hoping that as I haven't received a WMT message about dodgy backlinks then dodgy backlinks is not the main issue...


If you haven't received this message, does it mean that the issues you are facing are on site?

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 1:46 pm on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@gouri If only we could be sure that that was the case. I for one didn't get a WMT message.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 3:34 pm on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am not at all convinced there is much we can do to recover from Penguin. Very few people have done something and then recovered - most of the "recoveries" (and there have been very few) seem more likely to just be shifts.

Or maybe there's an element of traffic throttling or something happening too. I used to get a very predictable, yet variable, flow of traffic from Google. It peaked on certain days, because certain search terms were more popular on those days. My rank for various keywords never varied - if I was #2, I could search 100 times from 100 different browsers or proxies, and I would always be #2.

Now, I'm getting traffic for several distinct sets of keywords, and the traffic never varies by more than maybe 20 searches a day. I never engaged in SEO on page or off, but lately I've been improving and pruning the site to fit in better with what I believe my visitors' expectations are. It's pleasing the visitors and causing them to boost my traffic via social networking and so on, but Google remains unimpressed.

My searches from Google have been cut by over 80%. But you know what? My income on that site hasn't fallen by 80%. And that was only a fraction of my overall income.

So this may be the best thing that's happened to me. I've been so cautious about promotion strategies in the past, for fear Google would slap me. Well, now they have despite all that caution, so whatever! That band-aid has been ripped off, and now I'm clear: I need to promote my content by any legal/ethical means, regardless of what Google might do, because at the end of the day the traffic I get from people clicking inbounds will be more reliable than any Google traffic I could build.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 4:00 pm on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

@diberry
I am not at all convinced there is much we can do to recover from Penguin. Very few people have done something and then recovered - most of the "recoveries" (and there have been very few) seem more likely to just be shifts.


If I am right and google has just discounted a load of links that they don't like (think about it - it may not even be links to you but if some sites that link to you were giving you major juice and they got hit, well you got hit by proxy) we shouldn't need to remove any. Just add more to make up the defecit.

hotelmarketing



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 6:00 pm on Jun 1, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do you think using navigation across multiple subdomains could cause linking issues with penguin? There are hundreds of thousands of these links mostly from our forums to quality relevant content. The links do use keywords however, if I used any others words it would create a poor user experience. If an issue any recommendations on how I should handle it - remove, place in a javascript blocked in robots.txt, convert to an images, use general anchor text "Read Great Articles over here ...

maheshr



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 9:03 pm on Jun 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hey guys,

My site also penalized badly. But I am not sure whether it is Panda or penguin or something else. Can anyone please tell me that whether I can recover my site or should I start with a new domain?

Here is the details

I got unnatural link message in WMT on Mar 29. After 1 week my site throwed from front page to #600+ positions . Is it penguin or something else?

I am targeting around 6 keywords on homepage. Now 2 keywords showing homepage on around #50 to #70 the positions (But google is showing first paragraph of the content as description instead of my actual meta description). Main keywods are showing home page on 66th page(last page I think) of google or beyond #600 th positions but one inner page having few backlinks is ranking around #50 positions for most keywords.
btw I have sent a reconsideration request on april but it denied.
What kind of penalty is this? I am patiently waiting since 2 months.

Site have around 50 pages but no duplicate or crap content.

according to wmt my homepage have around 998 backlinks. But opensite explorer shows 552 links and traffic travis is showing around 14k backlinks. (99% are poiting to homepage)

Is waiting even more worth? or should I start with a new domain? considering my niche is very easy and it will only take 1 or 2 months to get a front page ranking.

Thanks in advance

Gemini23

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 9:18 pm on Jun 2, 2012 (gmt 0)

it sounds like Penguin.. did it hit on April 24th/ April 25th?

If Penguin then the likelihood is your link profile needs some work... remove spam backlinks.. and hopefully have some more 'good links'.. :)

You need to email or contact websites where your spam links are.. keep a record of everything you do...

You could also head over to the Google forum where you could post your url... and have others comment..

Beachboy

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 12:36 am on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

One of my business sites got slammed by Penguin. Not sure why, but its ranking for the most important keyword dropped several spots to #9 on the first page. For other keywords, it fell to the second page or further back.

It has been this way for almost two weeks. Today, however, I'm getting reports it is recovering for the main keyword and others as well. I'm still not seeing that change where I'm located, so today I drove around other parts of LA, checking rankings at various wifi spots. At some of them miles from my neighborhood, I am seeing the recovery, too. That's encouraging.

We did change out all the text on the site but I think that is not related to this apparent recovery. I don't think enough time has passed since the text swapout for Google to take it into account.

Just cooling my heels and waiting to see what happens over the next few days.

serenoo

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 7:10 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Let's suppose the Penguin problem is the content of the pages. I read many webmasters changed their text. Now my question is: Why nobody recovered after Penguin run for the second time?
Because the problem is related to the backlinks, indeed they need about one month to be updated by google, while the text is updated in a few days.
Any thoughts?

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 7:48 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

@sernoo, backlinks definitely don't account for every case. And while text changes don't take long to update in the SERPs, I've found Google often kind of sandboxes altered pages for a while before deciding just what to do with them. I wouldn't expect to see improved ranking from our on-page changes after the first refresh.

What I'm seeing is a different batch of search phrases every day, as if Google is testing each category of my site to see which one pleases visitors the most. Whether this even has anything to do with Penguin or not (or Panda, or just normal algo stuff), I have no idea.

tyankee



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 7:04 pm on Jun 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

Our #1 site for 6 years was ranked #1 for 'plural kw for sale' and 'singular kw for sale' until last month..

it dropped the night of the Penguin update. we have never done link spamming or to my knowledge keyword stuffing - but we did try to make the site ranked higher based on what we heard over the years - getting good backlinks and optimizing the pages..

now we have dropped way down in the rankings and are losing money every day. I looked at our backlinks and there are a few that aren't related but for the most part they are good.

i'm not sure where to turn right now.

[edited by: tedster at 6:12 am (utc) on Jun 4, 2012]

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 6:40 am on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hello tyankee, and welcome to the forums. I think we should all should take a few steps back and not think about Penguin in overly simple terms, such as keyword stuffing plus artificial backlinks. If that was all that's going on, it would have been a relatively simple tweak to the existing core algorithm. It's not that at all.

Penguin is another machine learning algorithm from Google, just like Panda was. It is computationally intensive and it does not run in "real time". In fact, there has only been one data refresh for Penguin to date, and the base algorithm has not been updated at all since the original launch.

All that points to a complex situation, and it is aimed at websites that rank well because of their "SEO" efforts compared to their user engagement. In contrast, Panda was aimed at demoting websites whose content was shallow or weak, but fell somewhere in between spam and a strong site.

It's not even clear to me what that difference is altogether, except that Pandalyzed sites were not considered webspam, and Google has labeled the sites Penguin targeted as webspam. What total combination of factors Penguin measures is not that clear, but I am certain that it is more than keyword stuffing plus backlink games.

====

Why would Google consider a well-ranked site to be "webspam"? How can we see a business we have labored over for years as spammy? That's a bitter pill! I'm sure it takes s kind of objectivity that is hard to come by for a site owner.

Have you considered asking a sampling of uninvolved people to look at the page that was ranking well and tell you if they would be happy with that as a #1 results?

tyankee



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 7:02 am on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

tedster, thank you for the input. I did have a few people look at it and they said the main keyword was listed too many times on the home page - which is hard not to do for a classified ads site where owners list their offerings as 'keyword' in the title.. but i found ways to not list it as much as i could.. but still the new #1 site and many others above us, use that keyword even more than us.

I also removed a couple 'nofollow' affiliate links, made the site load faster, checked out backlinks - but the site just keeps dropping slowly.. first down to the 3rd page and then back to #5 for a week or so and then #7, #11, #13, #14.. and now 3 sites are ranked ahead of it that use the keyword with a different meaning..

i'm just dumbfounded.. and no one at google answers emails.. and god forbid they have a phone number you can call..

[edited by: tedster at 7:17 am (utc) on Jun 4, 2012]
[edit reason] do not list your keywords, please [/edit]

tedster

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 7:20 am on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

How could Google possibly give the kind of individual attention to site owners you are hoping for? And do it at the scale of the web? Please, think this through a bit deeply before you become too bitter. Your expectations are not realistic.

Now I am seeing a deeper picture. I'd think about what your site can offer that other, similar sites don't. Otherwise, you're just one of many that are doing essentially the same thing, right?

backdraft7

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 12:47 pm on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Why would Google consider a well-ranked site to be "webspam"? How can we see a business we have labored over for years as spammy? That's a bitter pill! I'm sure it takes s kind of objectivity that is hard to come by for a site owner.


I believe this Penguin update has produced the most false positives of any Google update to date.
Just because Google is not ranking you highly at the moment, does not necessarily mean your site is of poor quality. There will be updates to Penguin, I'm quite sure of that.

Read the following article, then consider your next moves, but be warned, Google can change the rules at any time.

[sitepronews.com ]

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 3:52 pm on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I agree about the false positives with Penguin. I've had people look at my site, and they agree it's a false positive - for Penguin. The really odd thing is, I had just been waiting for the Panda hammer to fall on that site. When Panda first came around, I took a hard look and realized a lot of my pages were thin, and the site overall (despite a few very good pages) was weak. I deleted half the pages at that point and started rewriting all the rest - but it was slow going, because other sites were my priority now.

So when the traffic plummeted on April 24, I came in here expecting to see that Panda had put out another iteration. But no, it was this Penguin thing targeting webspam and SEO-boosted sites, and that's so not my site. If I'd been Pandalyzed, my reaction would've been, "Fair enough." But SEO/spam? If I knew how to use SEO to boost my sites, I'd have so much more traffic, LOL! It's laughable.

Either Penguin is very flawed or... I wonder if it interacted weirdly with the Panda refresh that happened days before. It's just so odd that my site should have gotten Pandalyzed but instead got Penguinized, so it makes me wonder if Penguin really behaved as expected. I mean, we know it produced some very screwy results by any objective measure (that "mold" thing).

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 4:10 pm on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'd think about what your site can offer that other, similar sites don't. Otherwise, you're just one of many that are doing essentially the same thing, right?


In my SERP I was the ONLY one offering something different and I got hit. What is left is all of the same old tired offerings.

textex

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 4:21 pm on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

This whole Panda thing is way too sensitive in regards to the penalizing sites/companies b/c of their SEO/marketing. Would you rather go for steak at Ruth Chris or the guy on the corner BBQing out of his trunk? That's what my sector looks like right now. All no name, no authority junk...

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 4:28 pm on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Either Penguin is very flawed or...


I don't think there is any "or". The results speak for themselves. I have stopped using Google out of preference for other results, not out of spite.

Martin Ice Web

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 5:42 pm on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Wilburface,

why shouldn´t you, cause goog is only showing the same odd results with #1 amazon, #2 amazon, #3 amazon. I doubt that this is what users especially business users want to see. Meanwhile the serps are getting more and more crude. Would like to know if google employees are using their amazon-engine anymore or if they have although switched to bing.

seoArt

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 6:51 pm on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Just an update, I have been getting a LOT of links removed by emailing webmasters. I've been requesting removal on the sites that were the most loosely related, and the ones where the links were the most obvious SEO anchor text.

So far, I have only seen my site's rankings drop further.

This is very frustrating. I plan to keep on trying though. If things don't change in a few more months, I plan on starting my site from scratch on a new domain name.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 6:55 pm on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

@seoart. I have exactly the same scenario and the same plan. Except I will split mine over 3 domains into the niches I follow

smallcompany

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4451491 posted 7:40 pm on Jun 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

the most obvious SEO anchor text
Isn't this something that every web marketer would actually want?

In regards of removal, I can only say that Google has scored here as some links being removed are those that Google could never sort as paid or manipulated. Penguin got webmasters to do Google's job.

At the end, if I promote red widgets on my example.com site, and I run a blog widgets.com, and I post articles about widgets and link "red widget" back to my site, is this a spam?

What I'm doing is I'm posting articles to promote a product, and I link to the site that sells a product. Same as when you see an ad on TV. What's the difference? A clear disclosure about possible/certain bias?

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