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1 year anniversary of penguin, no recovery
Shepherd




msg:4568908
 1:40 pm on Apr 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well it's been a year since our site got hit by penguin demoting pages for specific keywords. Over the course of the year we have attempted to correct the issues that presumably caused the manual action and as of yet have had no success regaining the ranking we had for the specific keywords.

Early on we launched a campaign to remove the inbound links that we created/had built. We were successful in getting about 90% of the links removed.

We submitted a list of all links that were created/built by us to google along with the attempts that were made to have them removed.

We removed directories/pages that had excessive inbound links. (for example, example.com/widgets was removed and the content was added to example.com/widget)

We did not use the disavow tool.

We did no link building since penguin was applied.

We have not yet seen any upward movement in the serps for the affected keywords, still ranking 900+ for the affected keywords and the pages that are ranking are obscure pages that should not be ranking for the keyword.

Also, when penguin hit we lost site links and those have not come back even for a search of the domain name (example.com).

With the exception of the site links issue I would think that we have not regained our rankings due to the fact that we have not done any link building since penguin.

We still rank very well for long tail keywords.

 

spreporter




msg:4570818
 9:08 am on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

1 year anniversary of penguin, no recovery
Perhaps that will be out of topic, but, in that 1 year if you had started from scratch new websites, small and targeted, you might have been on top results. Did any of you analysed the SEO of new websites on top results? its easy and has nothing to do with old SEO link building,keyword stuffing etc, just follow the guidelines, unique content,good design, social elements. And back to the topic, I don't think there will be any recovery as long as Google will multiply its profits.
fathom




msg:4570819
 9:17 am on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Fathom believes that I was not hit by Penguin. I had no manual penalty applied, so whatever hit me was algorithmic. If you go with @Fathom's theory - that it wasn't Penguin - that means that if he's right, other sites could be chasing phantoms too - that they were hit by Panda coincidentally on the Penguin day. I don't know how anyone can validate that theory though.


While PENGUIN isn't just about artificially developed link anchors most websites that are impacted by PENGUIN have a link problem.

Reference: [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com...]

The opposite of "white hat" SEO is something called “black hat webspam” (we say “webspam” to distinguish it from email spam). In the pursuit of higher rankings or traffic, a few sites use techniques that don’t benefit users, where the intent is to look for shortcuts or loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve to be ranked. We see all sorts of webspam techniques every day, from keyword stuffing to link schemes that attempt to propel sites higher in rankings.


Since you clearly don't have a keyword stuffing issue and Google doesn't suggest any other forms of webspam beyond stuffing & linking - linking is required and in your case... out of all the queries you lost... how many have some links to your domain?

NONE!


Occam Razor...

All other things being equal what remains is usually the correct one!


Get a few webspam links to a single phrase that you believe is negatively impacted by PENGUIN.

Since there is no evidence of PENGUIN impacting your domain you'll rise.

I don't recommend you invest in webspam I recommend you determine that you haven't being impacted already... and because PENGUIN isn't overly granular a few links out of 120K or more is a few grains of salt.

fathom




msg:4570821
 9:32 am on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

If I'm the only source of a piece of information that someone searches for, I expect to be #1 for someone searching for it. During my penalty phase I was not. Since October 13 I am again.


At some point you need to invest in someone that might be able to address that question.

Why does Google's SEO page and Wikipedia SEO page beat SEOMoz or SearchEngineLand for SEO?

Clearly SEOMoz or SearchEngineLand are far superior sources for SEO than the other two. Google's page is geared only to Google SEO and not all SEO and Wikipedia isn't overly detailed to any specific version of SEO.

The actual answers only come to light if you review all four domains in massive detail. But that doesn't have anything to do with negative factors to add to the scoring card either.

That's but four domains... you want the answer that requires hundreds of domains to be investigated and for thousands of queries to be investigated and if I may... if all of the other websites have a single link for the query anchored... that could be the reason you dipped out on them.

You don't have a massive amount of value for such queries... thus the difference between "YOU" and them is "TOO GRANULAR" for Google to seriously consider you an authority on such topics.

Lack of quality for all domains suggest behavioral activity is possibly the deciding factor. Say, when you ranked #1 and you had a 100% bounce rate (because you lacked quality) why would Google think things have changed when you haven't?

Seriously, if you don't have any plans to build quality in those circles why do you deserve results?

Your answer "because everyone else is marginally worse" ... isn't really good enough to suggest you are a HIGH QUALITY DOMAIN to rise to the top IMHO which is what Google denotes is the purpose of PENGUIN... so OK the date ties in and for those queries you aren't HIGH QUALITY.

I'll concede... you're devalued by PENGUIN but you have no plans to increase your value either...

HINT! HINT!

For everyone else... that is the answer right there... if you have no plans to add value to your current domain to become a HIGH QUALITY domain - why would you expect Google to treat you like a HIGH QUALITY WEBSITE?

...you're focused on the wrong side of the argument. It likely isn't "when will Google believe I am a high quality website?"... It's likely, "when will you show Google you have indeed become one!"

fathom




msg:4570829
 11:18 am on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ Ralph_Slate - I finally realized you said you "recovered"... which supports the conclusion made months earlier.

Thanks for posting all of these details. Looking at your site, I don't see any specific technical issues, or general issues with the links to your site. I can, however, imagine that our algorithms might have some trouble understanding the unique value of your website in comparison to other, similar sites (especially considering that the content is primarily aggregated statistics). My general recommendation would be to continue working on your website, making it the best site of its kind. There's no single change that you'd need to make, so I'd really look at your site overall and see where you could make improvements on a general level -- you mentioned that you might have some thin pages, perhaps that's a place to start (or at least, to try things out with A/B tests, etc).


It's important to note PENGUIN 4 will be coming out and if you haven't made substantial improvements to your domain (in generally) you can easily be back to the problems of last year.

Whitey




msg:4570834
 12:31 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

@fathom- could you reference the above, I can't find it.

Brands get a pass on a lot of things. Plenty of brands have thin content and sailed through Panda. Many have high concentrations of IBL/exact match anchor text and sailed through Penguin. Chances are that Google doesn't use them for trophy keywords , preferring to rely on on-page signals, rather than who with the most links - just my hunch.

@Ralph_Slate - I'm voting that your Penguin penalty threshold was eclipsed around the revival date with brand signals around your reputation keywords.

What about referring links? Did any of those sites pick up around that date to assist in the regaining of authority back to your site?

Did the keywords that you lost return, or did you get different ones? [ I assume they were the same/similar ].

diberry




msg:4570849
 3:39 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Fathom, do you work for Google? You seem to have a lot of information no one else has, and I can't find sources for some of it.

Are you suggesting that people hit on 4-24-12 who did not have spammy backlinks were hit by something other than Penguin?

...you're focused on the wrong side of the argument. It likely isn't "when will Google believe I am a high quality website?"... It's likely, "when will you show Google you have indeed become one!"


No, the actual problem is that people THINK Google wants quality sites. It's not that simple. They wouldn't let ehow on the first page if they did (I have never once found useful info on ehow).* Google wants sites that have a certain link profile, or get a certain response from visitors - something like that. This is why, as a searcher, I have a lot of difficulty finding the quality info I want through Google and end up going to Bing instead.

Please don't be telling people that if they build a quality site, Google will bless them with top rankings, rainbows and unicorns. What humans recognize as quality is NOT necessarily what Google is ranking.

*See also movies, which pander to the lowest common denominators and serve up a lot of rehashed low quality crap. But it sells tickets, and that's all they care about. Suggesting that Google is also pandering to the lowest common denominator is NOT a conspiracy theory. It is merely suggesting they think like other big companies.

fathom




msg:4570860
 5:12 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

@fathom- could you reference the above, I can't find it.

Brands get a pass on a lot of things. Plenty of brands have thin content and sailed through Panda. Many have high concentrations of IBL/exact match anchor text and sailed through Penguin. Chances are that Google doesn't use them for trophy keywords , preferring to rely on on-page signals, rather than who with the most links - just my hunch.


Copy the quote into Google - you'll find it at Google Groups.

purplekitty




msg:4570862
 5:13 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)


No, the actual problem is that people THINK Google wants quality sites. It's not that simple. They wouldn't let ehow on the first page if they did (I have never once found useful info on ehow).* Google wants sites that have a certain link profile, or get a certain response from visitors - something like that. This is why, as a searcher, I have a lot of difficulty finding the quality info I want through Google and end up going to Bing instead.

Exactly. I keep having people tell me I need to build my website with quality content. I HAVE been building my website with quality content. I have a huge following via newsletter and social media. It ain't my content that's the problem. lol

You know what ranks for one of the highest searched for terms in my industry in Google? A links directory in first place (which provides me with the majority of my traffic because they link to hundreds of my pages), a pinterest board in third place, and someone's youtube video playlist in ninth place. In between those links are some pretty big industry companies that sell supplies.

When you add the word "free" in front of the search term, the links directory is in first and second place, and there are two pinterest boards - in 6th & 7th place.

Clearly the Penguin algorithm as designed is not providing for quality content. Why do you think Bing has been promoting their challenge now? Because Bing really is offering up quality content. I've tested quite a few highly searched for terms in my industry and the results offered by Bing are so much better...I've even switched to using Bing myself when looking for something.

I'm not saying I should rank on the first page, or that the big companies don't belong where they are. But a pinterest board and youtube video playlist? Really?

I didn't see that type of thing in my industry before Penguin. I might not have liked who was ahead of me or bumping me off the first page, but at least they were relevant topical websites for the search term.

Now if Penguin's purpose is to offer up results of websites that have links to other websites with quality content, then they needn't change a thing.

fathom




msg:4570866
 6:03 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Fathom, do you work for Google? You seem to have a lot of information no one else has, and I can't find sources for some of it.

Are you suggesting that people hit on 4-24-12 who did not have spammy backlinks were hit by something other than Penguin?

...you're focused on the wrong side of the argument. It likely isn't "when will Google believe I am a high quality website?"... It's likely, "when will you show Google you have indeed become one!"


No... I'm saying I objectively review Ralph_Slate's domain and concluded long before John Mueller ever mentioned he didn't have a PENGUIN problem that he didn't have a PENGUIN problem.

I cannot possibly make any unilateral claims for all domains since I have never reviewed them.

John Mueller did point out "their algorithm" might have a problem with his domain... PENGUIN isn't parceled with "their algorithm" as yet so from an insider that says alot.

No, the actual problem is that people THINK Google wants quality sites. It's not that simple.


Obviously you're right but then again you have a limited definition of "CONTENT"!

As for eHow... Google singled them out in the April 24th post if you followed the link anchored with "returned higher-quality sites in search results" referenced: [newscientist.com...]

It [Google] won't provide details, but many site owners noticed that the update detected and penalised sites that publish multiple near-identical articles, a favourite tactic of content farms. For example, the traffic flowing from search engines to eHow, a Demand Media site, dropped 20 per cent after the update.

fathom




msg:4570868
 6:21 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Exactly. I keep having people tell me I need to build my website with quality content.


When you link schemed your way to the top and got caught all that is left is acquiring earned links... that is how you recover. It doesn't matter how you feel about your quality level your votes are purely webspam.

If you can't earn them your vision of quality isn't as good as you think.

Additionally, just because someone else is in a high (or higher) position does not mean they earned anything either... their webspam just so happens to be a little more granular than yours for Google to detect... but give it time.

purplekitty




msg:4570871
 6:50 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

When you link schemed your way to the top and got caught all that is left is acquiring earned links... that is how you recover. It doesn't matter how you feel about your quality level your votes are purely webspam.

If you can't earn them your vision of quality isn't as good as you think.

Additionally, just because someone else is in a high (or higher) position does not mean they earned anything either... their webspam just so happens to be a little more granular than yours for Google to detect... but give it time.

Um, I didn't link scheme my way to the top. You have no idea what you're talking about when you say my votes are purely webspam. That is hilarious. But your assumption is not surprising. It's exactly the accusations I found when I reached out to the google community for help and insight into what was affecting my sites after Penguin.

People link to me because of what I publish. I didn't go looking for them. I continue to publish every day and people continue to link and share. You know, the way Google says they want it.

I'm pretty confident that the people who actually reached out to help me were right about what my problem was with my sites after Penguin because it's logical. So I'm just waiting now for recovery when Google runs a new Penguin update.

purplekitty




msg:4570872
 7:02 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh, and one other thing, your final conclusion that people's pinterest boards are somehow getting their rankings because of their own webspam is also hilarious. People pinning things to pinterest have zero interest in where they rank in google. They are not out there building backlinks to their pinterest boards!

I do think that Google will fix that eventually by making changes in the algorithm over time. Penguin's new. It was bound to have some hiccups. To not recognize that, though, and blame it on all the website owners is pretty short-sighted.

heisje




msg:4570881
 8:10 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

@fathom

I have followed your attitude throughout this discussion. Your views on the topic are your privilege, but do you really need to be so extremely RUDE towards the people you are addressing?

Just wondering . . . . .

.

rish3




msg:4570903
 9:38 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

@fathom

I have followed your attitude throughout this discussion. Your views on the topic are your privilege, but do you really need to be so extremely RUDE towards the people you are addressing?

Just wondering . . . . .


site:productforums.google.com/d/topic/webmasters fathom

Whitey




msg:4570905
 10:24 pm on May 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Got it - [productforums.google.com...] - thanks.

Is John Mu revealing anything about Penguin in this? You'd have to think he is, wouldn't you?

@Ralph_Slate - after looking at your site and having seen other sites hit by Penguin, then correlating it to John Mu's assessment of your site, the only thing I can think of is that the internal links to content ratio is very high. Google doesn't comment on penalties, But John Mueller did give you a technical and an IBL's all clear - then just focused you on "thin content".

Again, I still think you're "brand" activity might have lifted you out. Brands that I see ranking with a pass are are often not much better, but you'd have a hard job being a strong brand versus the official bodies in your sports niche. Nevertheless, you have a good following and are useful, it would seem.

Whitey




msg:4570919
 12:34 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

However, there are a few hit sites that have recovered - definitely not many, and especially not e-commerce. The successful approaches I know about always seem to include a focus on conversion optimization rather than traditional SEO methods. Focusing on the user experience with a strong value-add for the visitor seems to make a big difference.

@Ralph_Slate - also your recovery date does not correspond to the 6th Oct Penguin update. Actually nobody has reported evidence of a recovery around that date.

Tedster's statement above seems to suggest that onsite metric improvements that might be baked into a brand assessment also play an interim role.

It seems to line up IMO

diberry




msg:4570921
 12:45 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

When you link schemed your way to the top and got caught all that is left is acquiring earned links


Okay, so your arguments are based on the unfounded assumption that any site affected by Penguin "linkspammed its way to the top."

There's problem with substituting this belief for actual data, evidence or logic. Several problems actually:

(1) No algorithm is immune to producing false positives and false negatives, as measured against, say, the conclusions of a large human focus group. It is logically absurd to believe that every site affected by Penguin would be rated as spam by a human focus group, too.

(2) Unless you worked on Penguin at Google, you can be no more sure than the rest of us just what factors Penguin weighed. There is no evidence to justify the belief that it is strictly about backlinks.

(3) The assumption that everyone who has a certain problem has brought it upon themselves is based not on evidence, but on a personal authoritarian philosophy.

(4) That personal philosophy does not address the issues at hand, it just attempts to shame people into silence. Which is not helpful to discussion.

Ralph_Slate




msg:4570924
 1:00 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Whitey, my concern was never with my pages not ranking against the big players. I know I can't compete with them (although I often do). My concern was what I stated above - I had the ONLY page on a topic, but when I searched for that topic I was, at best, #11, and the top 10 results were not even related to that topic.

I'm open to the idea that I was penalized for thin content - but why specifically on Penguin day rather than on Panda day?

@fathom, I don't get why you are adamant that my penalty was not due to Penguin, but you then you say this:

It's important to note PENGUIN 4 will be coming out and if you haven't made substantial improvements to your domain (in generally) you can easily be back to the problems of last year.


There could be some merit in this theory, that Penguin somehow takes away your "get out of jail free" card that protects thin pages on larger authority sites from Panda, but that ignores the idea that Penguin is supposed to be primarily about backlinks and webspam and JohnMu said that I had no such issues.

Whitey




msg:4570929
 1:21 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

My concern was what I stated above - I had the ONLY page on a topic, but when I searched for that topic I was, at best, #11, and the top 10 results were not even related to that topic.

Site's with a brand pass are ranking site wide for almost every trophy keyword. So it possibly follows that non brands will have a site-wide inverse reaction.

What seems to be happening is that trophy keywords are being eliminated for sites that do not fit with quality metrics and perceived over optimization. When Google recognized your site for having brand status due to good click through rates on your site name etc. , Google gave your site a pass and took you out of your Penguin restrictions.

Your problem still exists IMO [ which is where I see validity with @fathoms views - it's just that you are considered better than Google originally thought and have some reprieve.

I'd work hard on improving all metrics per Tedster's earlier remarks to strengthen your overall threshold and be counting yourself lucky with a great escape [ and good luck to you ].



It's the closest evidence to a recovery of sorts, but as @fathom say's, it's not technically a Penguin recovery. It's more of a Penguin related recovery because other factors flicked Penguin out.

fathom




msg:4570953
 3:46 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Okay, so your arguments are based on the unfounded assumption


The only view I've put forward is the same view Google initiated...

PENGUIN is primarily about webspam and more specifically about link webspam... obviously if you don't have any link webspam then you are not impacted by PENGUIN.

In reverse, if you believe you are impacted by PENGUIN then my assumption that you did focus on inorganic link in founded and you can't say it is invalidate.

You can't reconcile one without the other.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4570954
 3:49 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

PENGUIN is primarily about webspam and more specifically about link webspam... obviously if you don't have any link webspam then you are not impacted by PENGUIN.

Yeah, Google's well know to publish the exact details of what they mean when they use inclusive phrases like "webspam" while giving "specific examples" so figuring out exactly what their rankings are based on is easy, and we can definitely draw specific conclusions from their examples used in statements. /sarcasm

[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 3:59 am (utc) on May 6, 2013]

stgeorge




msg:4570964
 3:59 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@fathom based on that last statement I infer that google will never make a mistake. Thank goodness for that.

Some people who lost their rankings on well publicised Penguin dates must be suffering because of some cosmic event in a parallel universe.

fathom




msg:4570965
 4:00 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm pretty confident that the people who actually reached out to help me were right about what my problem was with my sites after Penguin because it's logical. So I'm just waiting now for recovery when Google runs a new Penguin update.


May I ask what does a recovery look like to you?

Is that a regain of ranks that were based on the same inorganic links PENGUIN deemed violated Google's TOS in the first place?

If your past results were based on inorganic links that PENGUIN devalued no amount of PENGUIN re-RUNs will afford recovery.

I'm not rude in saying if you lost something because of PENGUIN you are not going to recover that same thing you lost because of a different PENGUIN.

That line of thinking is why people are on their 1st anniversary.

fathom




msg:4570983
 4:16 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Some people who lost their rankings on well publicised Penguin dates must be suffering because of some cosmic event in a parallel universe.


Well that could be true but I would start a little closer to home and investigate things that the owner actually controlled first.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4570987
 4:31 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's been stated by at least one of the best SEOs I know, who has way more information than I do that Penguin would be very difficult to reverse engineer and the info they got came from some people high up at Google.

Capitalizing "penguin" and stating any site having issues related to it is about spammy links is about as easy as it gets and people would be able to recover and reverse engineer it easily if they just listened to those type of posts.

I think it's a bit more than: PENGUIN PENALTY = You built spammy links

That's a bit too simplistic and 2005 to be difficult to reverse engineer, imo.

[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 4:41 am (utc) on May 6, 2013]

incrediBILL




msg:4570988
 4:32 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

No algorithm is immune to producing false positives and false negatives, as measured against, say, the conclusions of a large human focus group.


It's what's called "collateral damage" when friendlies accidentally take a hit trying to eliminate masses of bad guys.

You know they have a big list of URLs they test against which are supposed to either generate positive or negative results and people that complain they got thrown under the Penguin bus has someone at Google look at their site, which could backfire, as it goes into one of those 2 lists for testing to make sure it stays punished by Penguin or escapes in the next update.

Based on the vast numbers of people claiming they report problems with various Google updates, and the next revision of the update still doesn't correct the problem, there are only two conclusions you can draw.

1) That the issue causing your site to be inadvertently penalized is too low priority for their team to deal with at this time and they just haven't gotten around to it yet, assuming they ever will do anything about it, or,

2) Your site was intended to be demoted in the first place and that's where it will stay and it's probably in the list of URLs being used to test to make sure it stays demoted as they update Penguin.

Not a good place to be either way it goes.

Remember Spock's dying words about the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few, etc. They project a percentage of how many sites in Google's index will be impacted and I'm sure there's another percentage of how much collateral damage is in that overall percentage impacted. They'll probably only work just so long to make adjustments to fix the most common errors, the low hanging fruit, and the rest will just be left to suffer.

Guess what I'm saying is people trying to recover after a whole year using the same domains, same content, same back links, etc. should probably abandon ship and start somewhat from scratch and try to avoid any of the pitfalls that might have gotten the site lumped into collateral damage in the first place.

If it were mine, I'd relaunch it squeaky clean without buying any links from anyone. Stay away from those submission services, directories except maybe a handful of the top respected ones, not that they matter much anymore.

Here's a simple rule of thumb, if John Wu or Matt Cutts asked you why you did something on your site or in your link building and the answer would probably be a lie, then don't do it.

purplekitty




msg:4570989
 4:51 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

May I ask what does a recovery look like to you?

Is that a regain of ranks that were based on the same inorganic links PENGUIN deemed violated Google's TOS in the first place?

If your past results were based on inorganic links that PENGUIN devalued no amount of PENGUIN re-RUNs will afford recovery.

I'm not rude in saying if you lost something because of PENGUIN you are not going to recover that same thing you lost because of a different PENGUIN.

That line of thinking is why people are on their 1st anniversary.

If you had bothered to read anything I wrote instead of assuming, you'd know what my issue was. But allow me to repost for you.

The advice I was given was to nofollow my own links between my sites since it looks like a link farm to the Penguin algo. I have recently done that. Within two days of doing that I saw rankings again for a handful of keywords phrases I had lost, not where they were, but not MIA anymore either. I am hoping that once a Penguin update runs, I'll regain more because I wasn't building a link farm, I crosslink for my human users, so the nofollow should take care of looking like a link farm.

I do NOT have inorganic links. You insisting I do does not make it true. I've sat here working on my websites for the past 10 years building for my users like Google says they expect. I have never received notification of unnatural linking. When I sent a reinclusion request, I was told there is no manual penalty. The only think I've ever gotten from Google was a message on the two sites in question telling me that there was a big traffic change for the top url. Here is the exact message I got:

Search results clicks for mysite.com have decreased significantly.

The number of clicks that your site receives from Google can change from day to day for a variety of factors, including automatic algorithm updates. However, if you have recently made significant changes to the content or configuration of your site, this change may be an indication that there are problems.

Recommended action

Check the Search Queries page in Webmaster Tools
Investigate whether the traffic change affects the whole site or just a few pages. Configuration changes are likely to affect the whole site
Some content is popular only for a short window of time. If the change in traffic affects only this kind of content this message may not be indicative of any problem


And you might not be rude saying that if I lost something because of PENGUIN I am not going to recover that same thing I lost because of a different PENGUIN, but it doesn't make you correct either.

diberry




msg:4570990
 5:08 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Guess what I'm saying is people trying to recover after a whole year using the same domains, same content, same back links, etc. should probably abandon ship and start somewhat from scratch and try to avoid any of the pitfalls that might have gotten the site lumped into collateral damage in the first place.


Unfortunately, none of the SEOs who've looked at my site can figure out what google's issue with it is, and I sure can't either. This site is very similar to my others, which have never been hit by any update. I honestly just don't know what Google's issue is with the site.

So I came up with a better idea: I realized my niche is moving away from Google anyway (not en masse, but noticeably), so I started focusing on other traffic streams - traffic streams I'm betting will outpace Google in a few years anyway (again, just for my niche).

I'm still curious about this Penguin thing, but I'm not desperate to overcome it. I'm doing fine without Google.

TheOptimizationIdiot




msg:4570991
 5:22 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Diberry, you forgot to say PENGUIN. You're not an authority unless you use caps lock every time you type the word, okay? That's why you can't figure out how you built spammy links when you didn't build any links at all but still got hit. PENGUIN is all about your spammy links, nothing else. That's what makes it so tough to reverse engineer ;)

fathom




msg:4570993
 5:33 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you had bothered to read anything I wrote instead of assuming, you'd know what my issue was. But allow me to repost for you.


WebmasterWorld is not the best place to post information about your domain as you can't get into specifics which are absolutely needed to resolve anything... so assumptions are all you have here.

The advice I was given was to nofollow my own links between my sites since it looks like a link farm to the Penguin algo. I have recently done that. Within two days of doing that I saw rankings again for a handful of keywords phrases I had lost, not where they were, but not MIA anymore either. I am hoping that once a Penguin update runs, I'll regain more because I wasn't building a link farm, I crosslink for my human users, so the nofollow should take care of looking like a link farm.


Doing something and seeing change does not mean those are related... you ASSUME they are. Prove it!

It takes time for Googlebot to crawl and you can track that in your log files... did it? ... or are you just assuming it crawled all your pages (most or many) where the links are?

Rel="nofollow" categorically drops links from the link graph... (so does PENGUIN actually)... dropping links from the graph that are already dropped from the link graph changes nothing.

I do NOT have inorganic links. You insisting I do does not make it true.


My comments are based solely on yours... "you do not have a PENGUIN issue then".

I've sat here working on my websites for the past 10 years building for my users like Google says they expect. I have never received notification of unnatural linking.


In general, spam reports produce Manual Reviews, and getting an cautionary unnatural link advisory is actually a good thing... dot getting one does not mean you don't have a link problem.

When I sent a reinclusion request, I was told there is no manual penalty. The only think I've ever gotten from Google was a message on the two sites in question telling me that there was a big traffic change for the top url. Here is the exact message I got:

Search results clicks for mysite.com have decreased significantly.

The number of clicks that your site receives from Google can change from day to day for a variety of factors, including automatic algorithm updates. However, if you have recently made significant changes to the content or configuration of your site, this change may be an indication that there are problems.


This is immaterial - I assume you have been devalued for some reason. It's good to know Google reviewed and does slap you with a Manual Review but all that means is PENGUIN did it's job.

Recommended action

Check the Search Queries page in Webmaster Tools
Investigate whether the traffic change affects the whole site or just a few pages. Configuration changes are likely to affect the whole site
Some content is popular only for a short window of time. If the change in traffic affects only this kind of content this message may not be indicative of any problem


So at this time with the recommended actions everyone else agrees you don't have a PENGUIN problem - correct?


And you might not be rude saying that if I lost something because of PENGUIN I am not going to recover that same thing I lost because of a different PENGUIN, but it doesn't make you correct either.


I'm correct in saying:

1. If you don't have inorganic links you don't have a PENGUIN issue. Your loses are due to something else.
2. You cannot regain inorganic link juice so to regain ranks you lost and
3. All you can do is make your website better to induced more earned links

purplekitty




msg:4570994
 5:34 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

So I came up with a better idea: I realized my niche is moving away from Google anyway (not en masse, but noticeably), so I started focusing on other traffic streams - traffic streams I'm betting will outpace Google in a few years anyway (again, just for my niche).

I'm still curious about this Penguin thing, but I'm not desperate to overcome it. I'm doing fine without Google.

This is me.

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