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|1 year anniversary of penguin, no recovery |
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.
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.
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]
|My pages without any links were the ones that seemed to be hit. Do you see such a pattern? |
I do! My pages that have a lot of links are still ranking well. The pages that didn't have many links were the ones that suffered.
Insightful for a ( temporarily ) semi-blind young 'un..:)..I have always considered Susan Wojcicki [denverpost.com...] to be possibly the brightest mind at G..( as regards understanding what motivates people and how to influence them ) and her sister Anne Wojcicki's 23andMe is an interesting genetic data gathering device in the tradition of adsense et al..one catches far more flies with free honey..
|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. |
@Incredibill still not convinced that they do take into consideration of all the data you mention. I agree that they monitor the web, but doubt they have the capability (as yet) to incorporate all this into the ranking algorithms in terms of computational power. IMHO that is..
|@Incredibill still not convinced that they do take into consideration of all the data you mention. I agree that they monitor the web, but doubt they have the capability (as yet) to incorporate all this into the ranking algorithms in terms of computational power. IMHO that is.. |
They are debatable points for sure but here's a serious rational for why Incredibill is likely more right than wrong.
When logged into a Google account you get tracking data as [NOT PROVIDED] for your markets.
Google suggested that was to protect user's privacy when using Google... but the query is in fact associated with your domain (not solely Google's domain) so the user automatically desire you to be included in their privacy clause (otherwise they wouldn't click out of Google.
What it does prevents however, is you having the exact same data Google has access to which limits your ability to reverse engineer intelligence about your markets. That data is proprietary and now exclusive owned by Google.
The penalty seems to be permanent, I haven't seen any recovery so far, given up on it now. They did say that if you your site doesn't recover, you might want to start building a new website from scratch.
|They did say that if you your site doesn't recover, you might want to start building a new website from scratch. |
They do like to keep us preoccupied while they gobble up niches don't they?
|They do like to keep us preoccupied while they gobble up niches don't they? |
In my niche, results are dominated by 2-3 sites. Before there was so much diversity. Now on many queries all 10 results are from one site, 3rd page onwards...
Dear Google, If I wanted to search results from one site, I would have used site:example.com
Hate Google for reducing relevance and decreasing domain diversity. Ruins the user experience.
As a user, I loved the two years ago Google. Now I use it only cos I'm addicted to it, and there is no other good alternative.
I think, they are unable to handle millions and millions of websites, maybe it's getting too much data for them, so they are limiting the results to sites that they consider to be too good...
|but the query is in fact associated with your domain (not solely Google's domain) so the user automatically desire you to be included in their privacy clause (otherwise they wouldn't click out of Google. |
I'm fairly certain your position doesn't align with web standards.
|Clients SHOULD NOT include a Referer header field in a (non-secure) HTTP request if the referring page was transferred with a secure protocol. |
Google's moving to HTTPS. No compliant browser should send a referrer header to an HTTP website when the visitor came from an HTTPS site, including Google.
Regarding [NOT PROVIDED], google can certainly claim not supplying a Referer as a best practice.
They do, of course, have the data, and are choosing not to integrate it into GA for free. However, they do share the same type of data with Adwords advertisers, even when it's a logged in/https request. And, if you integrate GA with Adwords, you see it.
Since that's the case, I don't really buy privacy as their motivation.
It's browsers following w3.org protocol (web standards).
Tweet a link to an HTTP site of yours and click the link. Then go check and see if it's recorded by your stat program as a Twitter referral. Twitter didn't "stop sending referrer data". Compliant browsers don't send a referrer when a link is clicked on an HTTPS page and points to an HTTP page. Yes, Google could circumvent protocol and make associations in Analytics if they wanted to badly enough, but that's way more "conspiracy theory" than just following protocol.
And, although the data may look the same for AdWords:
1.) For Google.com search clicks: The search was conducted on Google.com (secure connection). The searcher knowingly/willingly sent the search to Google.com (secure connection). The Ad was displayed on Google.com (secure connection). The click was recorded on Google.com (secure connection). The Ad clicked is recorded via secure connection prior to the visitor being sent to the landing page. That click is associated with the landing page set for the account.
2.) For other sites that are HTTP: the information can be sent according to protocol, because it's information sent from an HTTP connection to an HTTPS connection or another HTTP connection. (Sending from "less secure" (HTTP) to "more secure" (HTTPS) is allowed. Sending HTTPS to HTTPS is allowed too. Sending HTTP to HTTP is even allowed. Sending HTTPS to HTTP is not.) For HTTPS sites: the information can be sent to Google, because the site the information is from and the site receiving the information are both HTTPS.
* Also: If Google really decided they didn't want to send referrer data all they have to do is add rel="noreferrer" to their links and no HTML5 compliant browser would send it, so they could totally quit easily if they wanted to, but they haven't done that yet to my knowledge.
I am definitely seeing some kind of recovery on my Penguin site as of yesterday. I thought I'd been seeing it because a couple of sitelinks came back and some of my "no longer indexed for that phrase" pages made it back into the index for their keyphrases.
But yesterday, my traffic doubled compared to the same day last week, or more than tripled compared to the day before. It's a noticeable spike on the graph. It's only 8am, but it looks like it might double again today. I've risen a few positions on my top keyphrases, but most of the traffic is coming from long tail phrases (many of which incorporate the top keyphrases).
Also, I've got all my sitelinks back.
Anybody else? This isn't anything like a full recovery, but it's definitely a big change.
|Also, I've got all my sitelinks back. |
still no sitelinks for my penguin ravished sites.
Interesting. If what I'm seeing is not due to a Penguin update, then that means I had other issues with my site.
There IS one Panda refresh date on which I had a small traffic loss, which I thought was due to another factor. I later got that traffic back and lost it again on dates that are within a couple of weeks of Panda refreshes/updates but don't seem to coincide very well. Still, maybe this is a Panda recovery I'm seeing.
Or could it be something else entirely? My site's not an EMD and I don't believe any of the other known algo changes have affected it.
See this thread: Penguin 2.0 No Update - Matt Cutts Confirmation [webmasterworld.com]
Very interesting, Tedster, thanks! Taking it to the RMSD thread. ;)
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