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1 year anniversary of penguin, no recovery
Shepherd



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 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.

 

purplekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 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.

TheOptimizationIdiot



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 5:42 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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.

Yeah, sites that make you think and form you own conclusions totally suck. I mean who believes in thinking, gathering information, drawing a conclusion and acting on it in this day and age?

Personally, I would guess your posts are much more appreciated at the Google Forums where you can actually criticize a specific site hit by PENGUIN rather than have to repeat things over and over like you do here for us who just don't know any better than to gather information and think about how it applies to our sites for ourselves rather than taking someone else who doesn't even bother to read posts and assumes their blanket conclusions fit every site's word for it.

1. If you don't have inorganic links you don't have a PENGUIN issue. Your loses are due to something else.

Prove it.

You're getting refuted here left and right for a reason, and it's not because we're stupid. I mean really, look at my join date and I already know you can't prove every single site that got hit by PENGUIN built spammy back links.

[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 5:51 am (utc) on May 6, 2013]

purplekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 5:49 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)


This is immaterial - I assume you have been devalued for some reason.


Yeah, no kidding. Thanks for that Captain Obvious.

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 5:52 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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.


Post in the members lounge and I'll take a crack at it.

However, it is worth noting that insider information as to the history of the domain (history of the links as deliverables) are needed. You can't simply take a cursory review of the domain to pinpoint a problem.

My arrogance served Ralph_Slate whether he wishes to believe that or not. It forced him to demonstrate what only he could possibly know and slowly he showed everyone that it wasn't PENGUIN at play. You can't possibly achieve that level of understanding without privileged information.

This is what I learned from Google... only Google (the Webspam Team) know the precise link makeup that they classified as inorganic. All 3rd party consultants are disadvantaged to understanding the framework behind any link and the more links involved the more complex the equation.

We can certainly guess and be right much of the time but if the owner says "I do not have inorganic links"... they presume to know what Google knows... and the end of that statement is "I do not have a PENGUIN problem."

Be that as it may, recovery from PENGUIN is simple... ignore the past and focus on the future. If you believe you have high quality content... make content that is even more desirable than that... you'll never get back to #1 maintaining the status quo.

[edited by: fathom at 5:59 am (utc) on May 6, 2013]

purplekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 5:58 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, I know I have high quality content or I wouldn't have the following I have with actual human beings TELLING me that they value and appreciate what I'm publishing.

Whether or not Google sees it as such is an entirely different thing. It's frustrating to be caught up in whatever I'm caught up in, and it would be great to figure it out, but I publish for my websites users, not for Google. So...I will just keep plugging away as per usual.

I'm just contributing to this thread my experiences to see if collectively those of us here can figure it out.

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 8:07 am on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, I know I have high quality content or I wouldn't have the following I have with actual human beings TELLING me that they value and appreciate what I'm publishing.

Whether or not Google sees it as such is an entirely different thing. It's frustrating to be caught up in whatever I'm caught up in, and it would be great to figure it out, but I publish for my websites users, not for Google. So...I will just keep plugging away as per usual.

I'm just contributing to this thread my experiences to see if collectively those of us here can figure it out.


I'm not making light of your situation (nor the situation of anyone else).

But Google LIKELY does not use phone calls or emails as signals to demonstrate high quality... it does LIKELY use links so how does actual human beings showing their patrons what you got work into the puzzle? Google also maintains that it uses 200 different signals and there are LIKELY a major division of those focused on link attributes.

It's a theory that is yet to be proven but since Google has massive experience with CTR from Adwords that LIKELY drives behavioral appreciation as it relates to organic results and click throughs from both organic and inorganic links.

Regardless of what the link anchor is anchored with an organic link tends to be placed for the patrons of the resident website and not for the direct value of the receiving website which LIKELY suggests there is a greater range of click referrals for such links.

This also explains why someone can use Pinterest with Google's approval and someone else can do it purely for link value to another domain and the former gains value and the latter gains a devaluation.

There are some challenges with this form of thinking... how does Google gather that info? Well Googlebot must crawl every link to credit it... that establishes a baseline. Repeated similar anchors crawled can provide a threshold of potential inorganic to be investigated by PENGUIN.

So if you are below a certain granular level (that Googlers suggest exists) you can have 100 domains all doing the same things but only some will be devalued because most websites have a certain amount of natural attributes... where some versions of arrangement can provide greater cover for longer periods.
________

On the other side:

As best as we can - we attempt to emulate those signals that we believe Google focuses on for ranking value and for better or worse we often develop without considering any of the consequences.

When Google wishes to take a shot at aggressively fighting webspam they simply mirror that set of signals we decided to focus our attention on.

In my day to day development on understanding PENGUIN starts with:

What is the purpose of a link?

It's sole purpose is to provide the patrons on a specific website additional information. THAT'S IT!

If that isn't it... then you have inorganic links.

Ralph_Slate

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 1:31 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@fathom, yes, I mainly made improvements to my site that were not focused on backlinks - but I did so because I had no other options. I didn't have a spammy backlink profile. I had to try something.

I don't know why my site recovered. I doubt even Google knows, since the penalty was algorithmic. It's very possible that my profile was a false positive and Google corrected their algorithm - in theory I could have had a backlinks problem due to my site being so heavily referenced by Wikipedia, and then being duplicated so many times on so many Wikipedia clones. It's possible that improvements to my site navigation appeased Google. It's possible that the seasonal change in my traffic caused my site to overcome a penalty. It's possible that the fact that I removed an adsense unit from each page tipped the scales. Or maybe it's a little bit from each of those things. I don't know.

Google's advice on the topic is, quite frankly, patronizing. They basically say "if your site isn't the best it can possibly be, then that is your problem". EVERY site can be better. Even Google.

Awarn



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 2:41 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have had the "thing" (maybe it's Penguin who really knows) for around a year now. I read these posts that say I need to build my site for my customers and not Google, focus on making customers convert etc. I thought I did that. Did I spam - NO. I did have a section of related sites. They were mainly related areas of interest sites etc (but here again how far do you stray before it becomes too off topic in Google's eyes?) The site was pretty clean and this is why this Penguin thing irritates me so much. I would consider me clean and many of my competitors spammy.

Now I have looked at this many ways. Nothing makes sense why I am outranked. I have the product, am not spamming, have a site that gives the customers what they want etc etc. But I do have a lot of backlinks. In fact, over time when I look at the backlinks I ask where did this and that come from. A lot come from people who just link to you or these directories that just pick you up etc. Isn't that what Google wants? Is it?

So lets look at Tedster and Ralph_Slates and Fathom's posts. Maybe they are all correct in a way. What if Google implemented a conversion tool on backlinks that looks to see how long the user stays on the site after they came from the link. If they stay long enough it carries value, if the user backs out right away it flips something like an irrelevant score flag. Eventually if you get too high of a score your site is flagged for spammy links (aka Penguin) and the penalties start to hit. You may not be spamming at all. You may have a good site but you have a backlink profile that makes it look like you did SEO. Also how can the disavow tool kick into to this calculation?

So in effect all these sites that link to you can help you or can in fact hurt you if they aren't relevant enough.

I am not sure but it sure looks like a possibility.

purplekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 3:01 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

But Google LIKELY does not use phone calls or emails as signals to demonstrate high quality... it does LIKELY use links so how does actual human beings showing their patrons what you got work into the puzzle? Google also maintains that it uses 200 different signals and there are LIKELY a major division of those focused on link attributes.

You must have mistaken me for a moron. I understand that Google isn't an omniscient being capable of deriving what human beings think and feel. My interactions with human beings are online, not phone or email. If Google is even capable of half of what you say it is (and I believe it is, too, 'cuz I use Google Analytics - shocker!), it has the ability to see how popular my websites are with individuals.

I realize I'm no SEO expert such as yourself, but I've been doing this website publishing for ten years, have lurked here reading for several of those years watching as people were hit by various things and tried to recover - never seeing an impact at all on my own websites, and have a basic grasp of how this Google thing works. If you think you're schooling me, you're not. What I, and several others, are telling you is that we've followed "the rules" with regards to link building and still we were hit by Penguin. I'm not entirely sure why you choose to dismiss this as a falsehood. Nothing is absolute. Not even a new algo Google begins using to fight webspam.

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 3:20 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Post in the members lounge and I'll take a crack at it.


Thanks, but I'm not really all that interested in someone who still insists PENGUIN = Spammy Backlinks. If I wanted a broad, oversimplified, unfounded conclusion, I would consult my horoscope:

You have the power to ease someone else's tension today. Simply by letting them have a little more control over things, you can cool their increasingly hot temper and kill any combative energy that's swirling around. This angry person needs to feel busy and more useful, so when you give them this power they will respond very well. But if you insist on doing absolutely everything yourself, you will inevitably get involved in an ugly power struggle with them.

That's it! I just need to give Google a nice shoulder rub and reassure them they are still #1, and they will take PENGUIN back!

What we're looking for here is something called EVIDENCE, usually found by sifting through DATA and TESTING it, and filtered by CRITICAL THINKING.

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 3:44 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

It's very possible that my profile was a false positive


I've seen Google take great interest in false positive and eagerly expedite reversals, odd they would string you along for 6 months on a set of parameters they were unwilling to share.

I could see them doing that to a known spammer that isn't interested in playing fair but to do that to someone that doesn't spam whatsoever for so long and to openly admit you don't have a PENGUIN problem suggests they are liars as well.

Go figure.

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 4:02 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

What I, and several others, are telling you is that we've followed "the rules" with regards to link building and still we were hit by Penguin. I'm not entirely sure why you choose to dismiss this as a falsehood. Nothing is absolute. Not even a new algo Google begins using to fight webspam.


I generally cannot refute your claims that you follow Google's guidelines to the letter but then again the guidelines are intentionally vague so it is difficult for anyone to be completely aligned to Google posted ideals.

"Just make a great website" is very subjective and Google does not provide explicit step-by-step instructional guidelines either.

I however don't dismiss anything... I do however get under people's skin and they eventually say something that might be the missing piece of information.

Yes Google could have detected a false positive for your website, but that then begs the question what are you doing differently that 95% of other websites in the world are not doing to be falsely detected by PENGUIN?

Surely high quality content isn't what's different.

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 4:08 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

What we're looking for here is something called EVIDENCE, usually found by sifting through DATA and TESTING it, and filtered by CRITICAL THINKING.


You have all that... your website, your analytical data, WMT data, and all the privileged internal promotional and business related information that the rest of the world does not have assess to... is at your fingertips.

Surely the critical thinking (in your case) starts and ends with you.

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 4:22 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I have had the "thing" (maybe it's Penguin who really knows) for around a year now. I read these posts that say I need to build my site for my customers and not Google, focus on making customers convert etc. I thought I did that. Did I spam - NO. I did have a section of related sites. They were mainly related areas of interest sites etc (but here again how far do you stray before it becomes too off topic in Google's eyes?) The site was pretty clean and this is why this Penguin thing irritates me so much. I would consider me clean and many of my competitors spammy.


You have to work backwards to identify the problem(s).

What specifically created your ranks?

Not everything did so weed out what didn't and what's left (prior to your loss) are the suspects.

purplekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 4:29 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I generally cannot refute your claims that you follow Google's guidelines to the letter but then again the guidelines are intentionally vague so it is difficult for anyone to be completely aligned to Google posted ideals.

"Just make a great website" is very subjective and Google does not provide explicit step-by-step instructional guidelines either.

I however don't dismiss anything... I do however get under people's skin and they eventually say something that might be the missing piece of information.

Yes Google could have detected a false positive for your website, but that then begs the question what are you doing differently that 95% of other websites in the world are not doing to be falsely detected by PENGUIN?

Surely high quality content isn't what's different.

I can't speak for 95% of the rest of the world's websites. I can only speak to my industry since I follow the big guys to see what they're doing (many of whom have started websites similar to mine in recent years) as it relates to what I'm doing and what I'm seeing is that those who have separate websites for each discipline and cross-link have the same phenomenon that I'm seeing on my own websites (as I've already mentioned) - still ranking in Yahoo & Bing, but nowhere to be seen for the most highly searched for keywords in Google.

I've looked at what I'm doing, took the advice of the helpful people in the google forums, and can see how I look like a link farm to Google according to Google's guidelines. I really have no doubt that that is my issue. If I had a crystal ball when I started these two sites eight years ago, I might have done things differently. I've considered removing all cross-linking but again, the links aren't there for Google as much as they are there for my humans, some of whom are interested in both disciplines. Therefore, I've put nofollow on those links and am now waiting to see if it has a positive effect when Google reruns Penguin.

If it doesn't, I really will have no other idea what Google doesn't like. As I said, Google does have the ability to "see" if websites are popular with users. Most users are NOT linking to the pages because they don't have websites. Frankly, I think social media today is a much better indicator of what someone thinks about a website's content rather than some obscure website backlinking to my site and I have a pretty big and increasing footprint on several social media sites, including pinterest (which Google seems to really, really like!) which sends me a substantial chunk of my traffic right now.

incrediBILL

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 4:45 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Maybe they are all correct in a way. What if Google implemented a conversion tool on backlinks that looks to see how long the user stays on the site after they came from the link. If they stay long enough it carries value, if the user backs out right away it flips something like an irrelevant score flag.


You mean tools like Google AdSense, Analytics, etc. that people gleefully put on their site because it's free until it feeds Google data that can tell them your backlinks are worthless junk?

specifics which are absolutely needed to resolve anything


When you have this many sites all suffering from the same problem your specifics are meaningless except in the case of someone else doing the recovery homework.

Not to mention in the SEO world every site reviewed is a site stolen (copied, mimicked, etc.) by someone else as you've just exposed a viable business model to someone else looking for ideas. Kind of like trying to have a steak dinner in the middle of a lion's den, BAD IDEA.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 4:46 pm (utc) on May 6, 2013]

diberry

WebmasterWorld Senior Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 4:45 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

No, Fathom, I meant YOU should provide EVIDENCE based on DATA filtered through LOGIC about your proclamations on high. Surely I wasn't that vague, was I?

Leosghost

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 4:55 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Not to mention in the SEO world every site reviewed is a site stolen (copied, mimicked, etc.) by someone else as you've just exposed a viable business model to someone else looking for ideas. Kind of like trying to have a steak dinner in the middle of a lion's den, BAD IDEA.

First glass of the day..wasted on keyboard again..good thing I have a large reserve stock..:)

Although not too sure about the use of "every"..there are some real "doozies" out there that no-one would target the "niches"..( present company excepted..I hope ) :)..

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 6:33 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

No, Fathom, I meant YOU should provide EVIDENCE based on DATA filtered through LOGIC about your proclamations on high. Surely I wasn't that vague, was I?


I openly offered to show you what you might be missing on your own domain based on DATA filtered through LOGIC and you flatly refused that stating:
Thanks, but I'm not really all that interested in someone who still insists PENGUIN = Spammy Backlinks.


Unfortunately, WebmasterWorld public rules forbid posting urls, keywords, etc., and it isn't all that easy to use "widgets" for everything.

When you have this many sites all suffering from the same problem your specifics are meaningless except in the case of someone else doing the recovery homework.

Not to mention in the SEO world every site reviewed is a site stolen (copied, mimicked, etc.) by someone else as you've just exposed a viable business model to someone else looking for ideas. Kind of like trying to have a steak dinner in the middle of a lion's den, BAD IDEA.


Ya... unfortunately that is so very true.

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 6:42 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Therefore, I've put nofollow on those links and am now waiting to see if it has a positive effect when Google reruns Penguin.


Purplekitty, PENGUINized links are links dropped from the link graph... that's why you lose ranks... adding rel="nofollow" prior to losing any ranks will have the precise same loss impact (assuming those links generated the ranks)... thus adding rel="nofollow" after PENGUIN has already dropped them from the link graph will only maintain your current status quo "as is".

Additionally, Google re-RUN of PENGUIN only allows Google to add more violations to the mix e.g. adding different ways to detect such violations... I'm sure if they have lots of false positive they could tweak PENGUIN and prevent those false positives but that is usually preceded by a Google statement about the false positives.

Don't take my word for it... go to the video meetups and ask Googlers.

purplekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 7:05 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, you keep parroting the same thing but that doesn't change what other people are saying - that it's more than what you say it is.

Honestly, if Penguin is so simple it's Google just filtering out "bad" links in this day and age, that's a pretty pathetic algorithm.

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 7:44 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, you keep parroting the same thing but that doesn't change what other people are saying - that it's more than what you say it is.


You misunderstood Suzanneh, SEO101, Travler, Lysis and anyone else that mentioned that.

What they suggested was adding rel="nofollow" to suspect paid links (or self-owned links) so they won't cause you issues with Google. That in itself will not provide rank recovery. All you did was align to TOS.

At best... nothing will change.

At worse... if such links you added rel="nofollow" to were not previously impacted by PENGUIN you just did that yourself and your results will drop even farther. But you don't have any webspam anymore... so start getting more links.

I'm sorry to say the cause & effect of DIY SEO when you don't have a clue what you are doing is a huge part of the problem.

purplekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 8:08 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)


You misunderstood Suzanneh, SEO101, Travler, Lysis and anyone else that mentioned that.

No, I don't think I misunderstood anything that they said, but they aren't the people I'm referring to when I say "other people" in my post. I'm specifically referring to what people in this thread are discussing when we take a look at our sites and what has happened.


What they suggested was adding rel="nofollow" to suspect paid links (or self-owned links) so they won't cause you issues with Google. That in itself will not provide rank recovery.

At best... nothing will change.

At worse... if such links you added rel="nofollow" to were not previously impacted by PENGUIN you just did that yourself and your results will drop even farther.

Well, then adding nofollow was stupid advice. Is that what you're saying? Because doing so is meaningless if Google has already done what it's going to do and that, in essence, was to add nofollow for me.


I'm sorry to say the cause & effect of DIY SEO when you don't have a clue what you are doing is a huge part of the problem.

I don't disagree with this at all. I'm no expert and don't purport to be. I'm a simple website owner doing what I thought was within Google guidelines and have been caught up in some type of algorithm penalty. Which is the EXACT reason I reached out to the Google webmaster community. Believe me, I won't freaking do that again with the way I was treated. I'll keep the rest of my opinions about that experience to myself since this isn't the forum for them.

Bottom line is still I don't know how anyone without insider information can really know anything about the Penguin algo. That's just logic and common sense. Few (if any) websites have recovered and Google has confirmed itself that no Penguin update has been run since October 2012.

I did what I did with nofollow because applying logic, I can see how my two sites look like a link farm. I think it's a reasonable conclusion that some have mentioned in this thread (incrediBILL comes to mind) that the algo has tagged my site in some way and that is what is stopping a recovery for my lost keywords which - if it can be fixed - won't be fixed until another Penguin update.

So thanks for the advice to keep doing what I'm doing by providing content for my website users which is what you think is the only thing that will make the difference. I'm not entirely sure what you think those of us affected have been doing in the meantime all year long?

Awarn



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 8:12 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

incrediBILL - I think it could be any of those or even Chrome. All they need is a track record of users clicking on a link and rapidly backing out and then they can determine that the link is not a good reflection on the site. That signals either bad site, bad link or something negative. So look at big sites that have had SEO work over the years. You get links then those links attract new links. Its the old Page Rank. But now maybe Google says fine let them link but if they aren't real relevant and if you have too much of those kind of links we penalize your site.

Fathom you say PENGUINized links are links dropped from the link graph... that's why you lose ranks. I think you not exactly correct. I am still on page one on Bing and Yahoo. Yet just like Ralph_Slate says there appears to be a -10 penalty. I can stay real constant about 10 to 12 spots below where I should be. That is not because of devalued links. That is because some automated function is implementing a -10 penalty. A one or 2 page BS site on a subject should out rank a site over 15K pages on the same subject matter. And when this hit I didn't make any major changes and any potential causes that I am aware of has already been tested.

Kind of all makes sense too. Google had issues with the Page Rank model that they were built on. Link building and directories manipulated the system. So why not implement a positive and negative aspect of Page Rank. There is definitely a penalty like Ralph_Slate describes.

rish3



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 8:19 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think it could be any of those or even Chrome. All they need is a track record of users clicking on a link and rapidly backing out and then they can determine that the link is not a good reflection on the site


Danny Sullivan questioned Matt Cutts directly about that.

See [searchengineland.com...] for the details.

[edited by: tedster at 11:10 am (utc) on May 7, 2013]
[edit reason] replace search term with link [/edit]

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 8:25 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Fathom you say PENGUINized links are links dropped from the link graph... that's why you lose ranks. I think you not exactly correct. I am still on page one on Bing and Yahoo. Yet just like Ralph_Slate says there appears to be a -10 penalty. I can stay real constant about 10 to 12 spots below where I should be. That is not because of devalued links. That is because some automated function is implementing a -10 penalty. A one or 2 page BS site on a subject should out rank a site over 15K pages on the same subject matter. And when this hit I didn't make any major changes and any potential causes that I am aware of has already been tested.


Bing & Yahoo are not Google (with PENGUIN).

I also would gather not all links are devalued only ones deemed inorganic. Some websites lost 20% of traffic other lost 99% and the difference tends to be the level of inorganic links that drove results.

I also would suggest that Ralph_Slate issues were unique and not directly related to PENGUIN. Like the sun at the time of a total eclipse darkens - it isn't because the sun stop shining it is because the moon got in the way. When PENGUIN is incorporated into the algorithm there won't be any oddities left.

[edited by: fathom at 8:47 pm (utc) on May 6, 2013]

Awarn



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 8:30 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

If Ralph_Slates issues are unique why do I have what appears to be the same -10 penalty. Is the moon in my way too? If I look at Bing and Yahoo and put a -10 penalty I am real close to Google (with PENGUIN).

fathom

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 8:46 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

If Ralph_Slates issues are unique why do I have what appears to be the same -10 penalty. Is the moon in my way too? If I look at Bing and Yahoo and put a -10 penalty I am real close to Google (with PENGUIN).


I cannot possibly understand your issues with your domain because I never review it so anything is possible. But generally correlation does not imply causation.

Ralph_Slate

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 8:55 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@purplekitty, keep in mind that it is believed that Google has timed/tiered penalties. You can fix the source of your penalty but maybe Google has put you in the cooler for 3 months, so you have to wait it out.

Also keep in mind that Penguin last ran in October, so if you made changes since then, you may still have an algorithmic flag set on your site. If you made the changes before the last Penguin run, your changes may not have been what Penguin is hitting you for.

I have a theory that you can overcome Penguin issues with pages that have a legitimate backlink profile. When I got hit, my pages that had good natural links to them were more or less OK. My pages without any links were the ones that seemed to be hit. Do you see such a pattern?

I view Penguin as applying a weight around your site, maybe amplifying other problematic issues, or maybe taking away some karma that you've built up. It wouldn't hurt to try and improve the site in other ways - maybe eliminating some thin content, no-indexing pages that don't belong in the index, making sure you don't have forum spam, etc.

I think that it was correct of you to nofollow your cross-owned links. Although I think that Google is being stupid by forcing us to disavow such links because their algorithm is dumb enough to give you a benefit from having them, you don't deserve the benefit either because the links are all made by you.

purplekitty

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 9:36 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Ralph, yes, I do see a similar pattern as I mentioned earlier in the thread. I have one page specifically that hasn't lost ranking at all and is still very strong. It's a very popular type of "widget" in my industry and it's the second most linked to page by source domains of my website, right behind my home page (according to my WMT).

And again yes, I think I'm in some sort of cooler. I didn't do anything to my websites until well after October because I pretty much had no idea what was going on and figured I wasn't doing anything wrong (heh!) so it will all work itself out. It was only after I got the decreased traffic message for my 2nd site in December that I thought, huh, something's not right, started looking into it and began to believe in earnest that I'm hit by Penguin.

Right after I put the nofollow on my links, I saw rankings for all the previously watched keywords come back somewhat a couple of days later, not where they were, but there. Then most of them disappeared again, with a handful staying, again not where they were before, but there.

At the same time, I had released a press release and there were links back to this website in the press release. The PR got picked up by some high profile websites in the industry and within social media, so I have no way of knowing if the handful of keywords staying is related to the PR or not, but considering what keywords stayed and what the subject of the press release is, I don't think it's a coincidence.

incrediBILL

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



 
Msg#: 4568906 posted 9:45 pm on May 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

If you think your site got PENGUINized, opposed to mine that got BettyDavisEyesed, and you think it was a link scheme involved let me put forth this scenario of how Google probably finds those link schemes because they're trivial to spot if you're Google.

Think of Google like the USGS but instead of seismic monitors, they have traffic monitors installed all over the web including, but not limited to, bandwidth backbones itself.

1. Google knows where searchers go from Google by tracking their clicks.
2. Google knows where any traffic came from landing on sites with AdSense/Analytics/etc.
3. Google now has monitors all over the web for G+ "likes" or whatever.
4. Google 'safe surf' and suggestions used in several browsers tell them where you're going even when you're not in Google.
5. Google PR in the toolbar or SEO tool you always use also tells Google what sites you visit or investigate for SEO purposes. SEO tools most likely out SEO's back link buying because of the UA it uses, more likely it's odd and easily spotted activity so they know already where you're buying links from this activity alone but I'm ahead of myself.
7. Chrome
8. Android
9. etc.

So on and so forth, they have monitors everywhere so they know who does what, even if you use Bing, Yahoo, Ask, Yandex, the odds are they know where those searchers landed as well thanks to being in most sites so short of turning off Javascript for EVERYTHING, they're probably getting some intel, even an old school sincle pixel image load no <NOSCRIPT>.

Now, given just what I've mentioned above Google has a pretty good idea which directories on the web have traffic landing on them and leaving them to other sites so they know if it's a sham site or not and there are many.

They also know if there are sites out there nobody uses except to build cross linking for PR because nobody uses these sites, they generate no traffic and the links generate no traffic.

Basically, Google is like Santa Claus, they've been making a list and they know if you're being naught or not and they know if your site is an SEO sham or not.

I would guess they err on the side of caution and even sites with a reasonable trickle of traffic don't fall into the bad link list, but the tens of thousands of SEO trash sites stick out like a sore thumb when you run a report comparing all sites around the world that generate traffic in descending order of volume and all these sites are at the very rock bottom.

Forget bounce rate, you would have to have someone bouncing from them in the first place.

This is all I would do, as described above, to find all the link scheme sites out there buying and selling links because no matter how hard you try to hide your activity you can't hide a lack of inactivity.

Now comes the fun part, if they have any way of tracking the people going to and from those bad sites, most likely just the people looking for links and buying them, they've also tracked you and all your other traffic sources assuming you left them a trail to follow and didn't use a TOR proxy as you did your link buying.

Additionally, a lot of these link scheme sites had unrelated links on the same page and trends of pages with scrambled content links makes no sense as crochet and paintball don't mix for example so those kinds of things are easy to spot, or some sites that always put the sold links in the same spot on the bottom of thousands of sites and it's always off topic, etc. Lots of profiles to identify, build a list of those profiles, click <RUN> and VOILA! Penguin.

Then they give everyone a disavow link tool and like a bunch of scared kids in school when one guy gets busted for pot, everyone rats on everyone and even the sites they didn't suspect of selling links are being outed. Nice.

People in the past have scoffed that Google could know about all their tricks but I contend Google is a good angler and instead of reeling in all the misbehaving SEO fish too early, they've given them lots of line to run and run before now reeling them in.

More likely they didn't have a coherent platform to assimilate everything properly and the sheer volume of data in disparate formats made it unmanageable but as we've noticed on the front end with all the privacy merges and more associated with G+ the same has probably been going on internally with the backside and this is the result.

If history has taught us nothing else it was BEWARE GrEEKS BEARING GIFTS and all those freebies, including AdSense money, turns out to possibly be one big elaborate trap to control how the rest of the world behaves on the web to make sure AdWords revenue is maximized by eliminating all possible competition.

[edited by: incrediBILL at 2:02 am (utc) on May 7, 2013]

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