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Penguinised site: fight back or start afresh?
JackR




msg:4493249
 1:36 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

It appears that my site has been well and truly Penguinised. Page 2 and healthy Google referrals in July has now become page 452 and zero Google referrals in the month of August.

My Webmaster Tools account traffic graph looks like a suicide - almost as though the site decided to leap from the San Francisco bridge at the beginning of August, never to return.

Bizarrely, I only noticed this huge drop after realising that my Webmaster Tools account had been disabled for attempted unauthorised access. After contacting Google, the account was re-enabled and all is well.

Except the fact my site is now harder to find than a Mel Gibson fan in Israel.

It's still fully indexed with the sitelinks, etc and listed when searching for the name of the site.

There were no changes made to the site full stop in the months preceding August as I was travelling. Not a single byte was modified in fact.

So, this being the case, do I dump my seven year old domain and start all over again, or does anyone have a tale of hope about a site that managed to de-penguinise and recover in the SERPs?

 

crobb305




msg:4493328
 3:34 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)


It appears that my site has been well and truly Penguinised. Page 2 and healthy Google referrals in July has now become page 452 and zero Google referrals in the month of August.


There hasn't been a Penguin update since May. There was a Panda update in August, however.

tedster




msg:4493331
 3:38 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

See our Update History [webmasterworld.com] to help you diagnose Penguin/Panda/other problems. If you start with a wrong assumption you could chase your own tail for a long time.

JackR




msg:4493333
 3:48 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sorry guys,

I read through the most recent Google threads and then thought the August update was being referred to as 'Penguin'.

As mentioned above, I was travelling for some months so have clearly missed a LOT of G action.

If this August/'Panda' update is responsible, can anyone give some guidance as to whether what I have described seems familiar.

Bizarrely, I think the downward movement I have seen during August most closely resembles those old -450/-950 penalties. After all, the site has effectively been demoted 450 pages.

Only problem is, according to Google I have not been manually penalised!

Grrrrr

Jez123




msg:4493335
 3:56 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Are we all certain that Penguin has to be refreshed for sites to get penalised by it?

tedster




msg:4493340
 4:09 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think we ALL agree on almost anything at all. However, I'm quite certain that this IS the way that both Panda and Penguin work. They are both very complex and computationally heavy secondary algorithms. They are based on machine learning and they only affect websites on the dates that either a dedicated Data Refresh or full Update occur.

The confusion for Penguin comes, in my opinion, because of the "bad backlinks" campaign that Google is running. Some people assumed that Penguin was all about bad backlinks, so when that independent Webmaster Tools program started up, it began to get confused with Penguin.

I'd suggest anyone who wants a broader view of Penguin go back and re-read the original announcement for clues and hints: Another step to reward high-quality sites [insidesearch.blogspot.com]

Jez123




msg:4493423
 7:14 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

So why the hell aren't they running it? If sites don't come out in the next refresh is it going to be another 5 or 6 months before they re run it? Seems way too harsh. I get the feeling that something is wrong and that's why they aren't running it as this just feels like too long with no glimmer of hope.

Back to the OP's question. I wish I had immediately cut my losses and started a new site (my site is 10 years old). Now I am on my knees with next to no funds left to do anything else.

Frost_Angel




msg:4493466
 8:51 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

<quote>Except the fact my site is now harder to find than a Mel Gibson fan in Israel. </quote>

OMG - I'm sorry - but this made me laugh and I so needed that today. I'm considering starting over with my Pandalized site -- I've been fighting back for 16 months - nothing helps.

Not sure about the Penguinized aspect - but I fear sometimes.... you're just screwed and that's that. It's just wasted energy.

I've done 4 reconsideration requests -- this was after countless changes and improvements each time. They offer no insight and no sign of penalty.

seoskunk




msg:4493475
 9:10 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I would just start over if no improvement after the next imminent update....

Wait 1 week.....

nickreynolds




msg:4493487
 9:23 pm on Sep 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think it has to be both.

Do the obvious things to get the site back if such a thing is possible but in the meantime start building a new one.

Martin Ice Web




msg:4493637
 6:58 am on Sep 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wish I had immediately cut my losses and started a new site


And this is the next monster google rising after MFA Sites. Now all penguin/pandalized sites will put up severall new sites and much more to crawl and calculate for google. I think it was a short sight algo that they have released onto the web.
Someone at the plex must have been wasted a thought on it, but i doubt they did.
Prior to panda they only have to fight against spammers, now they made legal webmasters to spammers because there will be no other way. GOOGLE THINK ABOUT THIS!

Whitey




msg:4493645
 7:39 am on Sep 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts: The bottom line is, try to resolve what you can

If youíve cleaned and still donít recover, ultimately, you might need to start all over with a fresh site. [searchengineland.com...]

But you need to give the Penguin algo time, and to the best of my knowledge there has only been one update, and no substantiated recoveries.

Likewise, I'm very sceptical about any widespread recoveries involving Panda.

The key takeaway to me is that sites that have unique content and/or have optimized heavily to compete, and offer no significant user value, in Google's eyes, are going to find it hard to find a sustainable place on Google's SERP's, regardless of what they might do.

Brand signals are the endorsement that Google has always seemed to use, to excuse those elements, that others have got hit by. Without doubt, many big brands that i see use "over optimization tactics" and content that is really not sensational at all. So clearly, the algorithmn has prejudiced business' that have a sustainable business brand presence on the web.

To compliment this, Google uses it's "assets" to dilute the presense of organic listings anyway.

Somewhere i read about an overheard conversation by an SEO that Amit Singhal commented in a "Plex Cafe" where he was heard to explain that there is no longer any capacity for SEO's to use "manipulation" on any scale. Someone might help me find that reference and post it here.

Folks i know have spent $100k's with content, usability , high value SEO's consultancy and the sites, as a service product in themselves, and user metric results have been impressive - yes I've seen improvements in excess of 30%. Yet to no avail with translation to traffic from the SERP's.

It seems to me that Penguin and Panda, was a catch all "combo" to eliminate the small players except in high user value niches on site wide specialists.

It may not have been a stated commercial intention, but that what i think happened.

I think Google's message is clear - participation in the organic listings is now limited.

To answer the question, why spend money without certainty? Wouldn't you be better off doing something that pays the bills, if you can?

[edited by: Whitey at 7:45 am (utc) on Sep 11, 2012]

Jez123




msg:4493649
 7:47 am on Sep 11, 2012 (gmt 0)


I think Google's message is clear - participation in the organic listings is now limited.


And adwords are ridiculously expensive. Google has strengthened the bigger brands, further enabling them to out price the small guy. Hence cornering both organic and paid markets. Nice work google.

driller41




msg:4493663
 8:58 am on Sep 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

You should head over to the Warriorforum - they have loads of guaranteed fixes to Panda and Penguin over there - those guys have certainly cracked it. :)

To be honest though I would think about starting a new site, there have been so few recoveries I believe the deck is stacked against us.

I would assume they are happy with panda and penguin and I would not expect much of a recovery.

I have restarted a new site using the old sites content and left the home page on the penalised site up as an experiment.

An alternative to this is to create a new site and 301 the old site to the new site, this tends to last for 4-8 weeks before the penalty hits the new site - but in that time you can start making money again - which can be better than sitting on your hands waiting like a puppy for a reward which never comes, then you can repeat the process a number of times to try to milk some money from the old site and perhaps spend it on the new site.

At least this plan is moving forward. And of course try not to focus the new sites income structure on google this time.

Whitey




msg:4494002
 10:42 pm on Sep 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

they have loads of guaranteed fixes to Panda and Penguin over there - those guys have certainly cracked it. :)

@driller41 - I'm hearing the "noise", but not the substance of those claimed recoveries. Where's the evidence? What's the space [ niche or crowded space ]?

We really need to be seeing evidence amongst the recognised SEO's of this World of proven remedies in some volume - and it's not there, and as i mention we only have one Penguin update run - so too soon.

driller41




msg:4494148
 8:30 am on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

@driller41 - I'm hearing the "noise", but not the substance of those claimed recoveries. Where's the evidence? What's the space [ niche or crowded space ]?

Sorry I was just been ironic, just all the rubbish over there gives me a laugh.

HuskyPup




msg:4494152
 8:43 am on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

It's certainly an amusing forum, gawd help anyone who takes much of that advice!

Robert Charlton




msg:4494508
 10:56 pm on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

JackR - Penguin was about overt spam. Panda, which apparently is what the timing suggests that you were hit by, was about the quality of the site content and presentation.

Low hanging fruit, too many ads, content too much like that of other sites, was hit in the early rollouts. Too many similar pages within a site, eg, built just for targeting different keyword variations, was a common problem. Data sorting problems, too much faceted navigation, also could cause Panda drops.

Panda isn't a penalty... it's kind of an algorithmic filter, meaning that Google has simply raised the bar, and, for whatever reason, your site isn't getting over it.

I'm not sure why you might have dropped when you did... nor even for sure whether it was Panda, but the timing does sound like Panda. I suggest you go back to the very early Panda update discussions and do a lot of reading. Also use site search to look for Panda recovery topics.

You might also want to check out your site in terms of the quality factors and check your backlinks, to see if you spot any signs that would cause a drop. A great many sites simply fail in terms of content.

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