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Matt Cutts confirms Penguin Data Refresh - Oct 5, 2012
SnowMan68



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 12:42 am on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Looks like it finally happened!

Weather report: Penguin data refresh coming today. 0.3% of English queries noticeably affected.


[twitter.com...]
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[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 1:56 am (utc) on Oct 6, 2012]
[edit reason] fixed link [/edit]

 

klark0



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 11:54 am on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

I really expected recovery in this refresh.

The site i'm working on was hit in May refresh and had about 30 linking domains (2,000 links) with targeted anchor text at the homepage. Those links came from a press release and 2 directories. That was about 25% of the total linking domains then.

I cut that down to just 4 link domains and 14 actual links.

At the same time, the site earned new backlinks from places like the library of congress, got into DMOZ, won awards, got on Forbes, and a few edu mentions. These links all used either example.com, example, www.example.com, or http://www.example.com as anchor text.

Don't know what else to make of it.

The site did have massive outage on Sept. 29th and part of the 30th. Crawl rate has been very, very low since then. That shouldn't matter with these algos right ?

gouri

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 1:49 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

If changes that I made to a page started to show up in the SERP in the afternoon and Penguin was run at night, would those changes be reflected in the Penguin run?

Or is the data that Penguin is using probably from a couple of days before the run?

SnowMan68



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 2:40 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

Or is the data that Penguin is using probably from a couple of days before the run?


With how long it took to compile the data for the latest Penguin run, I would have to bet it would be older than a few days. You'd think the data would be a couple weeks old or more.

gouri

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 2:44 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

@SnowMan68,

Thanks. I agree with what you are saying.

Do you think that it is the same way with Panda?

SnowMan68



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 2:48 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

It would make sense with Panda too. They seem to roll out an update every 3-4 weeks and a lot people have said it can take two panda updates to see any recovery after making changes.

crobb305

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



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 8:52 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

the site earned new backlinks from places like the library of congress, got into DMOZ, won awards, got on Forbes, and a few edu mentions. These links all used either example.com, example, www.example.com, or http://www.example.com as anchor text.

This is a prime example of how pathetic "Penguin" is. Google has lost sight of the forest through all the trees. Meanwhile, I see brand new domains with thousands and thousands of foreign (.ru) backlinks ranking very, very well and the press-release/yellow-pages spam proliferate. Established sites like yours, with links from Library of Congress or universities have tanked. Consumer beware.

Wilburforce

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 10:20 pm on Oct 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

domains with thousands and thousands of foreign (.ru) backlinks


My site has a lot of .ru backlinks (none intentional), which I had suspected might be part of the problem. Probably not, you think?

I entirely agree that what Google is up to at the moment is the crux of it, however, not anything we have or haven't done.

joost

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 9:45 am on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

With sites apparently hardly recovering, or not at all, this means Google results are extremely vulnerable for foul play. Anyone with a "clean" site, or -even better- a couple of "clean" sites- (and a big budget) can control not just one sites' position, but the entire outcome for a search term by hiring a bunch of link spammers and target everyone else for that search. Down goes everyone else, reigns Mr. "clean". I just can't believe this.

Does it sound paranoid to state this may be one of the reasons big brands (think: deep pockets) are ranking so well these days?

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 9:55 am on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I wonder if older domains were more vulnerable to Penguin than newer ones? I think really new such as a year or 2 were not affected anything like as much. I see some horrendous spammy links on my competitors site and think he got away with it due to the age of his domain. Any thoughts on this?

financialhost

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 11:27 am on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

With sites apparently hardly recovering, or not at all, this means Google results are extremely vulnerable for foul play. Anyone with a "clean" site, or -even better- a couple of "clean" sites- (and a big budget) can control not just one sites' position, but the entire outcome for a search term by hiring a bunch of link spammers and target everyone else for that search. Down goes everyone else, reigns Mr. "clean". I just can't believe this.

Does it sound paranoid to state this may be one of the reasons big brands (think: deep pockets) are ranking so well these days?


Lot's of SEO's are reporting requests to spam competitors - Google's spam team have lost touch on reality.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 4:52 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Evidently Penguin outweighs all the other parts of Google's algorithm combined. Even if all the other ranking signals are highly positive, a negative signal from Penguin can over-rule them.

Sand



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 5:19 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Evidently Penguin outweighs all the other parts of Google's algorithm combined.


The same is true for Panda in my experience.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 5:39 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sand
Yes, but many sites that had a passing grade on Panda still got hit by Penguin. So it over-ruled Panda too.

Ralph_Slate

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 5:54 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I don't think that Penguin outweighs all the other parts. I think that a strong backlink profile for a specific page can negate Penguin; I was hit on April 24 - not sure if it is Penguin or Panda - I am still seeing many of my pages ranking at the #1 position or on the first page; however others with similar amounts of content are not found in the first few pages, and others are nowhere to be found anywhere in the SERPS.

Due to the nature of my site some of my pages could be perceived to be thin - some widget pages are naturally thinner than others - and I think that in the past my domain authority allowed those pages to rank. Now a lot of long-tail pages are not ranking at all, even behind spam pages, scraped pages (which ironically often link to my unranked page) and pages that aren't even remotely related to the query.

It is clear that my site has a penalty, but again, many pages are able to overcome it, and I think the answer is the backlinks.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 6:05 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I think the answer is the backlinks.


ralph_slate, removal of or addition of or both?

Sand



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 6:44 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, but many sites that had a passing grade on Panda still got hit by Penguin. So it over-ruled Panda too.


The reverse is also true.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 8:32 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sand
I'm not sure that's completely true in all cases. Because panda is a specialized part of the algorithm aimed at content farms and similar sites. So it has a limited scope, Whereas Penguin apparently can hit any type of site. So Panda could catch a content farm-like site that passed Penguin, but not other types of sites that passed Penguin.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 9:51 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ralph_Slate wrote:
I don't think that Penguin outweighs all the other parts. I think that a strong backlink profile for a specific page can negate Penguin; I was hit on April 24 - not sure if it is Penguin or Panda - I am still seeing many of my pages ranking at the #1 position or on the first page; however others with similar amounts of content are not found in the first few pages, and others are nowhere to be found anywhere in the SERPS.

@Ralph_Slate -- Your description of what happened to your site sounds exactly like Penguin. It's exactly what happened to my two Penguibized sites. Some pages didn't drop, some dropped slightly, and some fell into oblivion. I think the hard-hit pages on these sites were penalized because they had artificial backlinks with anchor text containing their keywords. But I also think that all the pages were weakened somewhat, even those that held onto a #1 position in the rankings, because Penguin apparently devalues many of a site's backlinks, so that the total "pagerank juice" coming into the site is reduced.

joost

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 10:30 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)


@Ralph_Slate -- Your description of what happened to your site sounds exactly like Penguin. It's exactly what happened to my two Penguibized sites. Some pages didn't drop, some dropped slightly, and some fell into oblivion. I think the hard-hit pages on these sites were penalized because they had artificial backlinks with anchor text containing their keywords. But I also think that all the pages were weakened somewhat, even those that held onto a #1 position in the rankings, because Penguin apparently devalues many of a site's backlinks, so that the total "pagerank juice" coming into the site is reduced.


This is exactly what happened to one of my sites October 6th: only the pages I built links to sunk. The index page, which I built most links to, even sunk to bottom of results. Other pages still rank in top of results. Site was online for just one month, after index page only had been online for about a year.

So I understand recuperating rankings for the pages that were hit is difficult if not impossible? How about new pages I now add to the site, will they rank, provided I can get enough "pagerank juice" for the site? Or even more specific: can a new page that I optimize for the same keywords a hit page was optimized for, rank and thus replace the hit page?

Or is it best to abandon the domain and start again?

BaseballGuy



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 11:02 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Sooo....

All of you guys who took Matt Cutts advice and "cleaned up your links" by spending thousands of hours (and in some cases thousands of dollars)....

Have you guys recovered your rankings as of this latest "Penguin" update?

Ralph_Slate

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 11:17 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

Jez123 - I feel like the pages with a dozen or so solid links continue to rank well; those with no links or just a couple haven't fared so well.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 8:10 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Have you guys recovered your rankings as of this latest "Penguin" update?


Cleaned links. Added new high quality links. Changed structure of site. Merged weaker pages. Deoptimised pages. Added new high quality content. Moved all images to cloud to speed up loading of site. Moved server as old one was laggy.

Google has not budged one inch with my site. It still massively prefers a site that is similar to mine as the guy basically copied my whole concept. I still think that he had a part in my downfall as I have so many unexplained links (plus about 80,000 links that have been added at some time but are not present now that I know nothing about at all, looking on the historical data with well know program).

I feel like I wasted the 5 or 6 months working on the site. Let alone the money spent and the fact that deoptimising the site has had a bad effect on my Bing / Yahoo rankings.

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 8:39 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wouldn't removing your links have the same effect as Penguin? The difference is you've cleaned up your site and can start building and working on remedying other elements.

Whitey

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 8:39 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 8:45 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Wouldn't removing your links have the same effect as Penguin? The difference is you've cleaned up your site and can start building and working on remedying other elements.


It would but the site is still penalised. Nothing seems to have made any difference in a postive way. If the site showed some sign of coming out of the penalty it would give me hope but it's just not.

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 9:42 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google still has a record of the keywords you used in the anchor text of any purchased or artificially-built backlinks. So even if you remove the backlinks, the site could still be penalized for those keywords.

Jez123

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 9:49 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google still has a record of the keywords you used in the anchor text of any purchased or artificially-built backlinks. So even if you remove the backlinks, the site could still be penalized for those keywords.


If that is the case then there is no defence except to forget and move on or sink. Unless the penalty is lifted after time of course.

joost

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 10:15 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Google still has a record of the keywords you used in the anchor text of any purchased or artificially-built backlinks. So even if you remove the backlinks, the site could still be penalized for those keywords.


Ok, so new page on the same site for the same keywords is not an option then. Guess that would have been too simple. Any idea about new pages on the same domain with "non-penalized" keywords, will they rank (with SEO and backlinks "clean" according to G's rules)?

textex

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 10:51 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Google still has a record of the keywords you used in the anchor text of any purchased or artificially-built backlinks. So even if you remove the backlinks, the site could still be penalized for those keywords. "


Is there any proof of this?

joost

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 11:18 am on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is there any proof of this?


Fact that only certain pages on the same domain are hit (and no-one reports improvements later on), and others are not, is probably part of that proof, since each page is normally optimized for a certain keyword, or keyword set.

This is why I think it is important to find out if non-affected pages (and new pages) can better their rankings for other keywords then the ones penalized. That would form the rest of the proof.

Anyone?

aristotle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 4504703 posted 12:11 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Is there any proof of this?

textex -- I meant it to be a theory or hypothesis. That's why i used the word "could". It's an attempt to explain the reports of people who removed backlinks but haven't seen any indications of a recovery.

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