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Penguin Recovery Tips - think tank part 2
fred9989




msg:4467540
 10:06 am on Jun 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

< continued from: [webmasterworld.com...] >

Let's go back to Penguin recovery tips, of which there are none easy logical ones for an average small business. Except maybe develop more good links where Google found bad ones, quickly and in numbers. Which, apparently, Google dislikes. And at this point black hats are reporting being able to successfully nuke sites at will thru simple linkfarms.


I don't think it's quite so simple. I had / have a number of sites in dmoz, the open directory (remember that!?), whole categories of which were targeted by spammers for some nefarious purpose. End result - sudden gain of hundreds of spammy inlinks to my sites.

While not quite sure what they were up to (possibly testing the idea of nuking sites, if I had to take a guess), and I can't really be bothered to find out, what I know is that of my 5 sites which fell into the category they attacked, Google has treated them differently.

Three were deindexed to varying degrees: one has been completely deindexed, obliterated; another is showing just the url in Google when I look for the domain. A third shows a couple of pages.

The two that survived this attack and appear not to have been affected, as far as I can tell, already had lots of solid links garnered over 12 years.

One possible conclusion is that having solid links already (or a history) gives protection against spam attacks.

[edited by: tedster at 2:34 pm (utc) on Jun 24, 2012]

 

aakk9999




msg:4476904
 10:03 pm on Jul 18, 2012 (gmt 0)

@gouri
One thing that I was thinking about, the sites that you have that have this pattern, is this pattern on a lot of pages or only on a small number of them? Do the sites have a lot of pages? If you had to think in percentage terms, about what percent of the pages have this pattern?

I do not think you can compare like this at all. It will certainly depend on the rest of the site, on what else is on the page (amount of the content), external factors etc. etc.

If tedster tells you that the site he is looking after has every single page with a few links like this - this would tell you nothing really.

Many CMS have this issue where the list of articles for example link to the page with the link anchor the same as either title or h1 of the page. Yet these sites all rank differently and you cannot isolate this as being a sole factor.

gouri




msg:4477171
 4:17 pm on Jul 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Many CMS have this issue where the list of articles for example link to the page with the link anchor the same as either title or h1 of the page. Yet these sites all rank differently and you cannot isolate this as being a sole factor.


That's a good point.

Do you think that the search engines can tell if the website is using a CMS or if the internal link and title tag were created by someone, and if it is the latter and occurs many times, it is seen as over optimization?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4477288
 9:06 pm on Jul 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

Do you think that the search engines can tell if the website is using a CMS or if the internal link and title tag were created by someone, and if it is the latter and occurs many times, it is seen as over optimization?
Do you think they care nowadays?
gouri




msg:4477367
 2:36 am on Jul 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

If the anchor text of an internal link being the same as the title tag of the page being linked to is a possible area of over optimization, then I think that it is possible that the method is looked at?

Jez123




msg:4477443
 9:42 am on Jul 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Did anyone read the news today about google's profits?

"Internet giant Google has reported a jump in sales and profits for the three months to the end of June"

Adwords being driven up by the likes of Penguin, anyone?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4477456
 10:35 am on Jul 20, 2012 (gmt 0)

Adwords being driven up by the likes of Penguin, anyone?


[webmasterworld.com...]

gouri




msg:4481930
 3:36 am on Aug 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have read that suppose you have 3 pages on a website and the link navigation text for the homepage is Home, for the second page, it is New Widgets and for the third page, it is Old Widgets.

All the pages link to each other and when you look at the cache versions of the pages, the navigation links are the first links that you see on a page.

Now suppose each page links to the next page, so the page about new widgets has a link to the old widgets page using Old Widgets as the anchor text at the bottom of its body text. The new widgets page now has two links to the old widgets page: one from the navigation link and one from the body text. I have this pattern on many of the webpages for some sites that I am working on and use the same anchor text because I find that the phrase is an accurate description of what the linked to page is about.

I have read that if a page has two links going to another page only one of them is used and, in this case, since the navigation link appears first, that is the one that counts.

Is it true that when there are two links going to a page (e.g. Page 3) from another page (e.g. Page 2) only one link counts and the one that counts is the one that appears first (this would mean that the navigation link counts and I have read that links from the body text are more valuable so a webpage would not be getting the most value that it can from the internal link going to it)? Or does the navigation link not count and the one from the body text is the one that counts? Or are both of them in fact counted?

Is the fact that there are two links going to Page 3 from Page 2 considered over optimization by Penguin?

In this example, the anchor text is the same but I have read that the same things apply even if they are different.

I would appreciate if you guys can tell me what you think and also if you have faced this situation, what you did?

idolw




msg:4481949
 6:33 am on Aug 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have read that if a page has two links going to another page only one of them is used and, in this case, since the navigation link appears first, that is the one that counts.


This is a very old issue. I remember people were running these tests back in 2005/6 and I guess most of more current posts/articles about that are just a repetition of this axiom.

Internal links have been abused for years and navigation links are a kind of internal links. I would say, Google is trying to ignore misleading links (incl. internal) but we all know how they're doing.

In your example, however, I would not be afraid of over-optimisation. The link in navigation is there for those busy people who somehow came to your site via current page and the link in content is for readers of that page. I would not be afraid of using multiple variations of anchor texts as well.

gouri




msg:4482091
 2:41 am on Aug 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

@idolw,

Thanks for your thoughts about whether this is over optimization.

I appreciate it.

seoN00B




msg:4482110
 7:19 am on Aug 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Avoid having a link on old articles.

I recently added a contextual back link on an old article (about 2 years old).

My ranking from first page was moved to 8-10 pages after two days. So i removed it right away and now (after 1 week) is ranking at first page again.

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4482111
 7:37 am on Aug 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

That is surprising. I would not have thought that a single link would have caused that amount of a fall. Could it have been that the domain where the article was located was the problem?

seoN00B




msg:4482112
 7:42 am on Aug 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

@BeeDeeDubbleU possible also since the domain is PR 0.

But in terms of relevancy the domain is matched.

Jez123




msg:4483141
 8:23 am on Aug 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Any one seeing anything different? My site crept back for some SERPs, achieving #3 for one that I feel is quite important and abbout #7 for another, while my main SERP has stayed way off, like page 6 or 7. On the 1st of August the one that got back to #3 was again demoted to page 3. The one that got to #7 has stayed (so far) and the main SERP slipped to page 10!

I had hoped that I was seeing some recovery but have been firmly kicked in the b@lls again. Did anyone else see anything on 1st Aug? Or have any changes happend to your Penguin hit site at all at any time?

I am starting to think that scrapping my site should have been my first option and not my last as now I cannot afford to start again at this stage.

I am starting to think that google are only going to refresh Penguin yearly.

gouri




msg:4484830
 10:18 pm on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wanted to ask you guys if it would be okay to put one word in an h2 tag.

<h2>Before</h2>
<h2>After</h2>

That is how it would look and in each section, I would have a couple of images (in the before section, before pics and in the after section, after pics) and some text. The site is about working out. The page is not very long, maybe a couple of hundred words.

I don't want to put something such as

<h2>Before Widget Program</h2>
<h2>After Widget Program</h2>

because I already have those terms in the Title tag and h1 tag and putting it in the h2 might be Penguin over optimization. Just writing Before and After on this page, I think, would be accurate and informative.

Would only putting one word in an h2 tag be seen as only an attempt to rank? At the moment, I have Before and After as slightly larger than the other text on the page and in bold. They are not in h2 tags.

I appreciate your feedback.

Leosghost




msg:4484833
 10:35 pm on Aug 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

Personally Gouri..
If I were promoting / selling the "after"..? :)
I'd have ..
<h3>Before Widget Program</h3>
<h2>After Widget Program</h2>

Better to distinguish the one which has more importance for me, as the site owner/SEO and hopefully to emphasize the relative importance I'm aiming for, in the minds of my visitors..

Make the "after" the more appealing in whatver way you can ..size, colour, font, italic, ( maybe even "blink"*..depends on your market ) all is fair in ...

HTH :)

* yes I know..but IIRC, .. Gouri's "market" is susceptible to "blink" etc

gouri




msg:4484883
 1:58 am on Aug 15, 2012 (gmt 0)

@Leosghost,

It does help. Thanks.

If the site is an information site (so there isn't a particular product that is trying to be sold), would you still go with the h3 tag for Before and h2 tag for After? Or would it be okay to use the h2 tag for both?

Also, would having one word in the h2 tags or 1 word in the h2 tag and 1 word in the h3 tag be okay? From the content of the page, it would be clear what Before and After are referring to.

gouri




msg:4485588
 7:16 pm on Aug 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

Since I want to emphasize the After, I understand using the h3 tag before the h2 tag, as in the example below:

<h3>Before Widget Program</h3>
Text
Text

<h2>After Widget Program</h2>
Text
Text

but when I did some research on the internet, I read several times that the h3 tag should appear after the h2 tag. That is the proper markup for a webpage.

Have you guys built webpages where you put the h3 tag before the h2 tag, and if you have, can you describe the situations in which you put the h3 before the h2?

Also, how would you say that those pages were interpreted by the search engines?

Thanks.

gouri




msg:4486229
 2:48 am on Aug 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have a website that has a link in the footer to the homepage in the form www.example.tld (so all the pages on the site have this link), and I have the same link in my contact page's body text in my signature:

Text
Text

Name
www.example.tld
Email address

I am wondering if this might be Penguin over optimization: too many links going to a page with the same anchor text and I wanted to know if it might be good to change the signature to:

Name
http://www.example.tld
Email address

or

Name
Email address

I would appreciate your thoughts as I think the way I have it now, even though it is not my intention, I might be over optimizing.

tedster




msg:4486304
 6:56 pm on Aug 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

I've seen plenty of sites that do that and were not hurt by Penguin at all.

gouri




msg:4486327
 8:07 pm on Aug 19, 2012 (gmt 0)

This site doesn't have a lot of internal links. It is on the smaller side. There is the link in the footer going to the homepage (which is from every page on the site), less than a dozen links overall in all of the site's body text and the navigation links.

On the contact page, there would be two links of the form www.example.tld going to the homepage (1 from the body text, 1 from the footer).

Does the first and/or second condition make it possible that the way it is now, it could be over optimization?

Jez123




msg:4489705
 8:22 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I have a question regarding the worth of links from web directories. It seems that the main thing with Penguin is the use of too much targeted anchor text. So the thing seems to be, reduce where possible by contacting the site where the link(s) is and ask for removal or change to non targeted anchor such as URL or business name or generic, such as click here.

My question, however is about adding new links to possibly dilute the existing. I have next to no web directory links. Is it worth adding any to the better ones available? I don't know where google stands with directories, whether they are counted as a link or as spam or what? Do they still have any worth? I have always avoided them but I see lots in my competitors link profiles?

I honestly wonder if I have been far too choosy about links. Getting small amounts of quality links with decent anchor text has always seemed to be the right thing to do and now it's sunk me.

So is it worth diluting my rich links with some of what I have always thought of as not worth bothering with?

diberry




msg:4489877
 3:36 pm on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

"I honestly wonder if I have been far too choosy about links. Getting small amounts of quality links with decent anchor text has always seemed to be the right thing to do and now it's sunk me."

Same here. I didn't try to build/manipulate my links at all, so naturally a lot of well-intentioned little websites linked to me with my domain name as anchor text. I don't know if this is what triggered Penguin, but I wonder.

netmeg




msg:4489882
 3:46 pm on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

I didn't try to build/manipulate my links at all, so naturally a lot of well-intentioned little websites linked to me with my domain name as anchor text. I don't know if this is what triggered Penguin, but I wonder.


By itself? I doubt it, thus every site on the web would be penguined.

Jez123




msg:4489889
 4:06 pm on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

@ diberry does your domain contain your keywords?

I think netmeg is right though - I think it's more than just one thing that triggers Penguin. I have been changing the internal linking structure as well. The site, being WP based does tend to be repetitive if you let it / are not aware of it. The URL structure can be something like TLD/main-product/red-main-product and I now have it as TLD/watered-down-red-main-product and have also removed the breadcrumbs which also seemed, in hindsight, spammy.

I have also added lots of content to existing pages that have been copied and made sure that once again they are my originals (why should I have to even do that?). But still no gains :(

diberry




msg:4489962
 8:01 pm on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

No, the domain has no keywords.

My WP URLs have been mydomain.com/post-name-here from the start. No categories or dates.

gouri




msg:4516132
 2:49 am on Nov 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

gouri wrote:

I have a website that has a link in the footer to the homepage in the form www.example.tld (so all the pages on the site have this link), and I have the same link in my contact page's body text in my signature:

Text
Text

Name
www.example.tld
Email address

I am wondering if this might be Penguin over optimization: too many links going to a page with the same anchor text and I wanted to know if it might be good to change the signature to:

Name
http://www.example.tld
Email address

or

Name
Email address

I would appreciate your thoughts as I think the way I have it now, even though it is not my intention, I might be over optimizing.

@tedster wrote:

I've seen plenty of sites that do that and were not hurt by Penguin at all.

@tedster,

I wanted to add some additional information to this and would appreciate your thoughts.

I looked at the text only version of the cache version of this page and saw that the links going to the homepage are pretty close to each other. There is not a lot of body text on this page, and the link in the signature is toward the end of the body text and the footer is just below that.

Also, in the source code, the links are pretty close to each other.

Additionally, there is one link on this page from the site's navigation (located toward the top of the page) going to the homepage - the anchor text used is Home and the url in the address bar when it is clicked on is www.example.tld/home.html

The url in the address bar when the link in the navigation is clicked on might be a little different, but this would be 3 links going to the homepage from this page.

Could I be over optimizing? Should I switch my signature to one of the options that I mention? I didn't mention this in my original post so I also wanted to indicate that the email address is in the form name@example.tld

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