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Hit by Penguin? Did you link build?
smithaa02

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 2:29 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

It appears there is a strong correlation...

For each of your sites hit by Penguin, respond to the thread answering if you did link-build for that site or not. Might be telling. Obviously don't show your website.

I'll start. Only one site of ours got hit and we did link-build for it.

 

tedster

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



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 5:47 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

No responses so far? I'll bet the correlation is only for certain types of "link building" - let's have people talk about HOW the link build, too.

nippi

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 6:52 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I hve seen sites hit by penguin that did not link build at all. Others who bought junk links, were smashed as well.

Link building seems to be a factor, but not the only one.

Rasputin

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 7:21 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

My hobby site was hit - nothing like active link building, but had a few ezinearticles from a couple of years ago linking to it (only about 5) and 2 sitewide link exchanges with very relevant sites dating back 4 years. Not excessive IMO! Site has plenty of natural links, facebook likes etc since.

But...the owner of one of the 2 link exchange sites has at some point added (presumably sold) a big 'payday loans' link in the middle of their homepage, completely unrelated to the site. Maybe that made them a bad neighbourhood? (Unfortunately I now can't get hold of them to get our link removed).

So either just one external link was the problem, or it is on-site factors.

conroy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 7:52 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Articles on the normal article directories with links to your site are now considered unnatural links by Google and they penalize for it.

I have confirmation direct from google in a reconsideration request and they have replied to my emails listing these as a problem.

driller41

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 8:22 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi, I used a lot of web2.0 linkpyramids along with social bookamrks, article directories and profile pages, these sites did get a toasting.

mann

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 8:39 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi conroy,

What google mean by 'Normal Article Directory'?

nettulf



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 8:45 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Mine was hit hard also, I had made 5 blogspots with lots of link. And 3 of them were even in the same webmaster tools account as the site. Have deleted them all so we'll see...

sem4u

WebmasterWorld Senior Member sem4u us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 8:52 am on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

One site was hit. Links on poor quality directories, forum signatures (real, not spam/bot posts), some obvious paid links (e.g. sitewide sidebar). Very few natural links not asked or paid for. Too heavy on the keyword anchor text, hardly any brand/URL links.

Sand



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 1:34 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

A good friend of mine was hit, and he's done absolutely zero linkbuilding. He doesn't have a lot of links mind you, but all the ones he does have are natural editorial links.

In his case, he was too aggressive with on-site factors (for instance, some of this title tags were keyword1 | keyword2 | keyword3, and his internal links all had heavily optimized anchor text). I obviously can't say for sure that that's what hurt him, but I've pretty much ruled out external factors being to blame.

I'm sure you can still get hurt by links, but I'd recommend that you don't focus all of your efforts there.

gouri

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 2:18 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Articles on the normal article directories with links to your site are now considered unnatural links by Google and they penalize for it.

I have confirmation direct from google in a reconsideration request and they have replied to my emails listing these as a problem.


Is it considered unnatural if you have a url link going to your home page and one going to an inner page using anchor text that the inner page is trying to rank for? I don't think that would be overdoing it if the links coming from article directories are done in moderation.

If this is considered overdoing it or spammy, how about one link going to the home page using the url as anchor text?

hotelmarketing



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 2:33 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Several sub-domains were hit on my 14 year old site and several others had no impact. The only difference was the sub-domains which were hit used in house ads that resembled adsense ads and embedded forms. Unfortunetly, we didn't block the adsense like ads and embedded forms from googlebot. The in house ads were published on every page and we only used 2-3 variations of the adsense like ads and one variation of the embedded form. The inhouse ads were included in the body of the page very close to the text. A very painful mistake.

I blocked googlebot from crawling these ads about a week ago and submitted a reinclusion request last week using the penguin mistake form. Fingers crossed.

No link building has ever been done on the site. For the most part, traffic increased after each panda update. We place alot effort in building quality content and starting to focus on usability and site features.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 2:47 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

don't think that would be overdoing it if the links coming from article directories are done in moderation


Ok, but what's the main reason article directories even exist anymore?

gouri

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 2:53 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok, but what's the main reason article directories even exist anymore?


I think that people do write in article directories to bring people to their websites, but I also feel that article directories can provide excellent information on different topics so they can be valuable.

That's why I am wondering if links to a website from articles in article directories are ok. I think that a couple of years ago they were considered ok but have things changed now?

[edited by: gouri at 2:58 pm (utc) on May 15, 2012]

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 2:54 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Articles on the normal article directories with links to your site are now considered unnatural links by Google and they penalize for it.

I have confirmation direct from google in a reconsideration request and they have replied to my emails listing these as a problem.


Did you file a request after Penguin / because of Penguin?

How do you know that google penalise for article links? Can you post a link to somewhere it states that? That would be pretty drastic as loads of sites are linked from article sites.

mrmatthewk



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 2:59 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

mine was hit and had obvious sitewide links. However my site had lots of what I would class as quality content. I had high quality UK based writers that I had employed to write articles that would be interesting to users. I can't help but notice that quality content does not appear be carrying enough weight in the algorithm, otherwise the serps wouldn't be littered with spammy tumblr sites in bad english, but thats another story...

mann

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 3:23 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I can't help but notice that quality content does not appear be carrying enough weight in the algorithm, otherwise the serps wouldn't be littered with spammy tumblr sites in bad english, but thats another story...


Me too notice same but we can't Teach G! can we :(

I think webmaster who believe in their site/s & contents need to wait some more to settle Google DANCE, Google just can't punish good webmasters & give boost to spammy & blackhat seo ... finger crossed

conroy

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 3:32 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is it considered unnatural if you have a url link going to your home page and one going to an inner page using anchor text that the inner page is trying to rank for? I don't think that would be overdoing it if the links coming from article directories are done in moderation.

If this is considered overdoing it or spammy, how about one link going to the home page using the url as anchor text?


I don't have any definitive answers but I would say yes I think google is saying all of these are unnatural. Mine have two links in each article, one to an internal page, one to the home page using anchor text and google considers this unnatural.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 3:32 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

One of my sites was hit, and I never built links, never did guest articles or article directories or anything. I just tried to write content worthy of genuine links.

Based on my site and the sites of others who claim (plausibly, IMO) they were hit unfairly by Penguin, I think in addition to looking at link profiles it's picking up on things like the following (but please keep in mind I don't know any of this for sure, it's just my speculation):

--Lots of genuine topical editorial links which look like a link farm to it even though readers see it as a resource page
--Natural use of phrases like "how to" in page titles. I'm thinking if you write tutorials and naturally title them "how to...", Penguin may think you're over-optimizing for a money phrase
--Pages with titles that start with numbers, i.e., "14 tips for training your pet rock." Even though a post with that title can be totally genuine and of value to readers, they were ranking weirdly high with Google for a while there, which probably means they somehow had an advantage over the algo that's gone away now. (In which case, the drops on these pages may be an algo correction more than a penalty.)

I've reached the conclusion it IS possible to spam inadvertently, by just trying things you see working for your competitors (and not even realizing they're SEO or spamming tactics).

breeks



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 3:56 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hit and no link building ever, no paid links, however I did have an branded affiliate web site with massive incoming links. Links have been removed even though WMT still shows them. Waiting for Penguin 1.1 to see if that was the trigger.

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 3:56 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think that people do write in article directories to bring people to their websites, but I also feel that article directories can provide excellent information on different topics so they can be valuable.


Sure they can, but it's more and more difficult in 2012 to find one that does, given how many there are, and how often they're copied and spammed.

But regardless of that, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Google regards article directories as having little to no value. You might not be penalized for having articles there, but I bet your links are probably devalued.

gouri

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 4:18 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

But regardless of that, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Google regards article directories as having little to no value. You might not be penalized for having articles there, but I bet your links are probably devalued.


Even if there is only one link in the resource box going to the home page using the url as anchor text?

netmeg

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 4:49 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Think *natural* linking.

chrisv1963

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 5:28 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hit and no link building ever, no paid links, however I did have an branded affiliate web site with massive incoming links. Links have been removed even though WMT still shows them.


How can you remove all those links? This doesn't sound like "natural" links.

Planet13

WebmasterWorld Senior Member planet13 us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 6:01 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

How can you remove all those links? This doesn't sound like "natural" links.


+1

breeks



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 7:13 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

How can you remove all those links? This doesn't sound like "natural" links.


The links were on a template that looks like my site, but hosted on affiliate site. We removed the footer off the template, which deleted the links.
There are still some nav links which we added no follow. 95% of the links were in the footer, which has been deleted. That's how it was done.

n00b1



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 8:15 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

And how is that natural? ;)

rlange



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 9:08 pm on May 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

We had one site hit. We did essentially zero link-building.

However, of the top five linking domains according to Google Webmaster Tools, four were quite obviously spam. The remaining domain looked legitimate to me, but still may have been viewed as questionable by Google.

--
Ryan

sgod



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 4:16 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

With Penguin, we lost 25% of the traffic to our reference site. We have done no link building, sharing, or swapping of any kind, and we can say this with no qualifications. 99% our work goes into the site itself, and the 1% of work that is offsite consists of managing our social networking profiles.

We do have spammy links to our site--including one domain with over 220,000 links to one page on our site (we requested that these be removed and that webmaster complied, but only about a week ago, and WMT still shows the links)--but we had nothing to do with them. Honestly, we never paid much attention to these links when we saw them in WMT because we figured Google was smart enough to figure out we had nothing to do with them.

So Penguin is not all about link-building, as we have done nothing of the sort. One potential issue we've considered is that a large portion of our backlinks are from comment sections and forums. These tend to be very diverse in nature, with links coming from news sites, sports forums, video game forums, livejournal discussions, Reddit threads, and on an on. I won't describe the subject of our site here, but I'll just say that people often share our content to settle bets with each other or to prove one another wrong, and our pages are very shareable for those purposes. We've considered the possibility that our content is actually TOO shareable, and that this is triggering something at Google. It's all very frustrating.

Andrew Howard



 
Msg#: 4453285 posted 5:16 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

After so many updates do anybody can tell that what is the natural way to create links. As blogroll is not working, free directory links are not working, if we go on blog comments same it is not working then what is the way to create genuine links. How we can sustain the Keywords ranking. Should buy paid links or free ones? I think google didn't have clear vision about what it will consider as natural.

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