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This 534 message thread spans 18 pages: < < 534 ( 1 2 [3] 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 ... 18 > >     
Penguin Recovery Tips - a think tank thread
bostonyear




msg:4451493
 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?

 

backdraft7




msg:4452927
 6:06 pm on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

I still believe it's to get us to use adwords.


Hi Jez!
In a way I agree, but I also say that Google's conversion rate through even Adwords has dropped off dramatically. I used to think it gave me an edge in my niche, now it seems to do nothing to improve conversions. My ad targeting is spot on too.

What I have noticed is that my Adsense revenue from the one right side bar tower ad I use on all my pages is now cut in half while my costs for Adwords remains pretty much the same. Whatever they did seems to be an effort to reduce the amount they pay out. (and it's working!)

My traffic is pretty much the same, and in some cases higher than other years, but my Adsense revenue (which is just ancillary to my product income) is much lower.

I think I'll just quit Adwords and Adsense altogether to see if that helps me recover.

If all this tweaking is a way to get us to use Adwords...it's gonna backfire.

nickreynolds




msg:4452928
 6:10 pm on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

So. I have one newish, smallish site that disappeared on april 24th and resurfaced back to previous positions a couple of weeks later. All I did was water down my desc, title and h1 tags a bit.
Was I hit by Penguin? I don't know. If Penguin is only run once every now and then I don't know if you can recover so quickly. My much better, longer established more valuable to a real person site has not recovered.
What I feel is this - you've got much better chance of success now launching multiple disposable sites. Get hit by Google on one site and you just forget it and carry on developing more sites.

bordering




msg:4452965
 8:11 pm on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

Re running to Bing, although apparently Hitwise says it now has a 30% market share in the US, my customers here in the UK never mention it (they aren't a savvy bunch) and when I occasionally do, hardly any of them know what I'm referring to.

Jez123




msg:4452966
 8:22 pm on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think I'll just quit Adwords and Adsense


I already have quit adsense. Same as you I have noticed that payouts have been chiselled down over the years to virtually nothing. To the point where I felt it was costing me money to have on the site. I feel more and more that it cheapens it. A bit like having a Jermyn Street shop and a cheap tart sitting in the display. Something like that anyway :)

fathom




msg:4453000
 11:47 pm on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

My advice for Penguin / Panda / Caffeine / May Day / etc, etc, etc recovery? Switch to Bing!

Let's face it, if you're lucky enough to recover from Google's endless tinkering, it's just gonna happen again, and again.
They've lost my trust and my "user love".


Would you dump Google "IF" you actually knew what to do?

You can't be a great or even a mediocre brain surgeon if you merely dabble in the trade... and let's not forget Bing can change as well and then what... "Screw it ... I'll only worry about Dogpile!"

Part of the problem people have with Google is they don't learn anything... they tip & trick their way to the top and when those tips & tricks stop working... "they are at a loss!"

I lost a few domains and so far recovered over half... not because I gave up and went to Bing.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

If you get a manual review and then revoked... that isn't the end of it... you still need to clear the algorithm (threshold) before you can recover... and that takes "FOREVER" unless you force Googlebot to recrawl everything now.

Lastly, I thought this was a Google recovery thread and not a give up and take my marbles and go home thread.

Post Bing info in the Bing Forum.

fathom




msg:4453002
 11:55 pm on May 13, 2012 (gmt 0)

nickreynolds wrote:
Was I hit by Penguin?


I highly doubt it... PENGUIN is 100% about unnatural links... while that "might" include something like articles for links where a copied article points to an original... 1 instance won't change anything.

Your loses/gains are unlikely associated with your edits... more likely they are associated with the recalculating of page ranks as swaths of pages around you bound with each devalue or recovery... e.g. if you have links from a domain that devalued... you lost the value from them... and when they recover so do you (all other things being equal).

Planet13




msg:4453041
 1:56 am on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I highly doubt it... PENGUIN is 100% about unnatural links...


I'm sorry, but I disagree.

If it were 100% about unnatural links, my page would be ranking #1. All the top commerce sites in my niche have MASSIVE link spam, and they rank ahead of me.

I'll keep filling out spam reports and see if that changes anything... not holding my breath.

Jez123




msg:4453122
 7:34 am on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Lastly, I thought this was a Google recovery thread and not a give up and take my marbles and go home thread.


LOL.

Care to share what you did to recover the sites that you have? or, is this your method?

unless you force Googlebot to recrawl everything now.


I assume that you are not just talking about the affected site but also the site where the links are placed?

Martin Ice Web




msg:4453126
 8:04 am on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

unless you force Googlebot to recrawl everything now.


This seems to be the major problem. goomazon says it will not crawl pages that - in their opinion - are from low quality? How can I run an algo without having the freshest content? Except this sites did not count in the algo?

driller41




msg:4453133
 8:35 am on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I had around 30 sites hit by Penguin on the 24/4, yesterday the first one resurfaced back to number 2 for it's keywords which is encouraging.

What did I do - the site was just 15 pages, the inner pages were all thin content boiler plate stuff, so I deleted them all to see what would happen and left the home page which is 500 words of original content.

Links - did i touch incoming links, no I am goung to try anchor text dilution on some other sites where I suspect this problem but did not create any more links on the recovered site.

What can I conclude:-

That weak content was the cause of the demotion on this site although I am convinced that incoming links is a major factor in other demotions.

Rather than just deleting the thin pages it would have been better to have increased their size/quality to see if this would have caused the same ranking improvement, I do not see why not although it may have been smarter to simply recreate 10 new pages with richer content rather than increasing the size of existing pages in case the penalty was page rather than site wide.

I was surprised to see the site reappear as I had read here [searchengineland.com ] that Penguin was only ran on occasions and thought that the demotions would be lifted at that point.

I now think that Penguin is ran intermittently as google claim causing the demotions but the penalties can be lifted at any time - perhaps after a good grace period has passed.

The way ahead I am going to increase the quality of the inner pages on other sites where i suspect the same problem and see how this affects these similiar sites if this first step works then fine after that I will try anchor text dilution on the same sites.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4453207
 11:40 am on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

@driller,

nice to hear that a recovery is possible.
Curious is, that u deleted thin content pages. Cause I see mainly thin pages outrank the high content sites.
Maybe your pages had another problem besides to be thin content.

Jez123




msg:4453214
 12:07 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that if the Penguin is triggered it will focus on over optimised links, bought links, content, keyword stuffing, in fact anything and all that it doesn't like. If triggered. If not triggered for one reason or another then it will pass on all of the other things. So once triggered by one issue unless all are cleaned it is not lifted.


That is why I am seeing super spammy links going to sites that have replaced mine in the SERP.

So, if someone does point bad links at a competitor, it may well not do any harm unless there is something else already wrong on site or with other elements of the link profile.

Comments please.

driller41




msg:4453218
 12:27 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Curious is, that u deleted thin content pages. Cause I see mainly thin pages outrank the high content sites.
Maybe your pages had another problem besides to be thin content.

Yes I was pleased to see that very little work was needed to fix at least one site, I now have a roadmap of what to do on other sites, by deleting the inner pages I have of course not got an exact reason for the drops but this was meant as an experiment. I was never happy with the inner pages and always thought that boilerplate inner pages would get nuked eventually hence my focus on this aspect of the pages.

Yes there could be another reason for the drops other than thin content - keyword over-optimisation is much more apparent if there is little content to support it for example.

So, if someone does point bad links at a competitor, it may well not do any harm unless there is something else already wrong on site or with other elements of the link profile.

I agree with this 100% Jez123

Martin Ice Web




msg:4453226
 12:45 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Jez123, 100% agreement.

One problem will cause sidewide penalty. Hard to find out what problem has to be fixed. Although there must be different triggers for ecom, big players ....

Planet13




msg:4453235
 1:09 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

So, if someone does point bad links at a competitor, it may well not do any harm unless there is something else already wrong on site or with other elements of the link profile.


Yes, I would agree with this.

bwnbwn




msg:4453238
 1:17 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I feel if your really going to fix a problem with a site I would go back in time. [webmasterworld.com...]

I posted a site was hit with the 1st Panda and what I did to begin the road to recovery. Since the changes I posted were finalized I have let the site sit and ride with the tide. Over the next Panda updates this site has gradually improved. This Penguin update was no different and traffic is about 100% back from the brink.

The vertical this sub is in goes against edu's and is highly competitive.

Jez123




msg:4453267
 1:51 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ bwnbwn Hmm, I think I need to determine if my pages would count as thin or not. I would think not but how do you determine?

bwnbwn




msg:4453288
 2:32 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Here is a pretty good list to help you determine if your pages are considerd thin. Note just a help list nothing is absolute.

1. Poor grammar and spelling errors
2. Content Too short
3. Too long repeating the same stuff boring content.
4. Too vague working around the topic but providing nothing for the user.
5. Duplicate Internal pages
6. Duplicate pages on cross sites you own or manage.
7. High number of ads be it adsense, banners for paying clients, affilates etc.
8- Make sure if you have a search fuction your not creating duplicate pages with diferent url's from the search.
9- Overoptimized pages targeting a specific search. The content is written for a specific search and the term is used in the text title h1 h2 and so forth in a manner that would draw this type of filter.

Thin can be 10 words or 1000 words there really isn't a true defination of thin. You could have great content and just got carried away with the term your trying to rank for. I see this more and more being an issue.

Sometimes it is better to say more using less. Internet people (me included) are scanners write for that type of activity. I have learned the more you say in less words tend to get the most attention IMO, but should be written in a manner that makes sense, grammer is correct, and provides a solution or value to the term searched.

[edited by: bwnbwn at 2:38 pm (utc) on May 14, 2012]

poaform




msg:4453292
 2:34 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

is google saying that they will provide an update for people that have changed their sites to "adapt" to this pengion-itus going on?

Gemini23




msg:4453305
 2:57 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I keep reading that the Penguin update is NOT a manual penalty and therefore a "reconsideration request" cannot be submitted...

However this update was preceded by several hundred thousand messages in Webmaster tools messages to webmasters that DO suggest a reconsideration request and even show a link to that page.

So, on the one hand a message that says "unnatural links" and you CAN submit reconsider... and within a few days Penguin update that focuses one area on "spam links".

So, have there been primarily two types of webmasters that have been hit? 1) "Unnatural links" message + Penguin and 2) No message but a significant drop in rankings due to Penguin?

The question is that IF you have been hit by the Penguin can just removing unnatural links enable a rise 'back to normal' for rankings.. and/or IF you have an unnatural links message then a reconsideration request is the only way to regain rankings.

bwnbwn




msg:4453318
 3:13 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

can just removing unnatural links enable a rise 'back to normal' for rankings
by being able to do this yes it looks like a request would be needed. Ranking probably not in the place you once held (IMO)but just getting out from under the filter would be a great start.
FrankTheRank




msg:4453319
 3:16 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

So, if someone does point bad links at a competitor, it may well not do any harm unless there is something else already wrong on site or with other elements of the link profile.


It appears from all the chat on the SEO forums at the moment that negative is the new game.

From our testing it is very easy to do, especially to sites that are part of an interlinked mini network and that pass juice throyugh dodgy re-directs. Sites that have created or create lots of content that can be used against them, respun etc. are also at risk from penguin attacks.

Contrary to what I read elsewhere PR seems to be no defence and size makes it an easy target for keyword spam against weak niche areas of the site, especially if their size has been built by dodgy link building over the years.

If things deviate too far from the optimal link profile, and enough flags are tripped then the penguin appears to come along within a few days, which makes us here believe it's a series of repeating refreshes.

I think that backlinks hurt the most. Or maybe older links don't matter so much. I had an htaccess file loaded with hundreds of 301 redirects. I did this because I changed from PHPNuke to Wordpress and the link structure was different. Recently, I accidentally replaced this htaccess file with an old htaccess file that didn't have any 301 redirects. Almost immediately my traffic returned to pre-penguin levels. I'm leaving it this way to see how it turns out.


@SirTox IMHO what occurred here was you accidently disconnected a lot of dodgy juice from your link profile. I keep reading that 301's from bad sites are a key weapon for a negative SEO campaign. They certainly seem to hurt after 24th April.

Anyone got any thoughts on this?

Kendo




msg:4453325
 3:35 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Can you imagine this scenario... accounts dept says we need more income, so tweak the algorithm to shake the money tree. Next month accounts dept wants to increase income even more. So tweak the algorithm to shake the money tree a different way... and keep tweaking until you find the most profitable combination.

Why does anyone think that their motivation is any different?

Jez123




msg:4453331
 3:41 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I recently changed my site from static to Wordpress. I also have a redirect list that is fairly long. I will lose ALL links apart from to main domain if I change that though. What's worse, not ranking from Penguin or not ranking due to having no links?

Jez123




msg:4453333
 3:43 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ FrankTheRank So, if I have a heavily penalised and 301 it to a competitor it would hurt them? Surely easy to spot and easily fixed isn't it? Or did I miss the point?

But I guess if it triggers Penguin which could trip the filter for all sorts of on and off page things.

FrankTheRank




msg:4453348
 4:01 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Finding a solution...........

I have made some keyword stuffing changes to what I thought were penguinised sites and their rankings have improved over a few days.

What I find highly suspicious is that there supposedly was a Panda (on page content factors) update a couple of days before penguin. I didn't notice it in my UK financial services sector as most pandalised sites have long been removed and panda changes dont affect top rankings.

However.......

What if the panda update was looking for keyword stuffing and marked a set of sites as suspicious but took no action?

When the penguin (off site bad link / dejuice)comes along a couple of days later and also marks those sites, then the panda penalties are applied at the same time as any penguin pooh.

Confuse and cloak!

Solution de-optimise for spammy internal nav and content and if you don't float back up within a week or two, seriously check your backlink profile for penguin droppings or attack.

FrankTheRank




msg:4453353
 4:13 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

@jez123
So I am informed although I haven't tried it yet.

It helps if you make lots more pages on the bad site, the same name etc as the target before you hit it (word from the @negativeseo guy has it).
These pages can be filled up with duplicate content apparently.

What I have personally seen demonstrated as successful negative attacks is to sites that have built another site to niche off their main brand site.
They have then 301'd the old pages to the new site and left the old keyword rich navigation links in place.

Where they own a lot of sites covering their niche they invariably at the advice of the in-house seo team (and Google), create 301's in a kind of giant linkwheel!

Spam the hell out of the 301's and watch the wheel rotate, and the site burn in very little time, so I am reliably informed!

backdraft7




msg:4453363
 4:35 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Part of the problem people have with Google is they don't learn anything... they tip & trick their way to the top and when those tips & tricks stop working... "they are at a loss!"


So, how do you learn? Google is a black box. That's right, you guess, just like everyone is doing in these forums. I have not seen ONE effective method of recovering discussed yet. If someone found the Google holy grail, everyone would be on it.

I think most of us feel like a blind man on the beach building a beautiful sand castle. Google comes along and kicks the cr*p out of it, so we're left to blindly rebuild what they have smashed.

No need to lecture me on learning. I've made it through every one of the past ridiculous quality updates, but this one is without a doubt the worst...and I'm getting tired of having to re-learn their game, again, without a manual.

Unless you didn't notice, my comment reflects the utter futility we experience when dealing with Google.

Panthro




msg:4453385
 5:20 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'll report daily on whether or not this stops the traffic. We are hoping it does as it is skewing our numbers. Hoping to see a bounce in other phrases.


@ scottsonline - Are you updating in another thread? I'm interested to hear about your results for this. Thanks!


[offtopic]I'm sure WW owners want to keep this forum as light as possible, but I think we could reallllly use some tools found on most other forums these days to keep track of posts, multi-quote, etc. Would make this place much more useful imo.[/offtopic]

martinacastro




msg:4453452
 7:03 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

@driller41

you said
"
did i touch incoming links, no I am goung to try anchor text dilution on some other sites where I suspect this problem but did not create any more links on the recovered site.
"

when you said: "to try anchor text dilution on some other sites"

you mean that you will add new fresh backlinks using not target Kws, for example domain name?

thanks

gouri




msg:4453458
 7:10 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

gouri, that sounds like a usability nightmare to me. There's no way I would expect a link on an image to take me to the Home Page. Seriously, I'd reverse that idea, no matter how many years it's been in place.


@Tedster,

Thanks for the response.

I hear what you are saying.

I also wanted to ask if you think that something like this could be impacting rankings in some way (e.g. keywords that the home page is trying to rank for, keywords that the page I am linking from are trying to rank for, some kind of overall effect)?

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