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This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: 40 ( [1] 2 > >     
Are Penguin recoveries incremental?
Jez123




msg:4595393
 4:25 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

After the last Penguin update (at least I think it was after that) my site made a slight recovery and started getting between 30 to 40 percent more traffic. All long tail stuff, but very welcome all the same.

I notice that some terms still seem to penalised in varying degrees/ Some terms are pag 1 so I assume no penalty, some are page 3 or 4 and don't seem to be able to get beyond that. Some are page 5 and some are page 7 for the worst affected terms. I think that given time they too will be released from whatever holds them back and will improve. That's what I'm hoping.

I do believe that there is still a penalty applied and I will attempt to explain why.

The Penguin hit site recently made some national and international newspapers and magazine and subsequently go some direct links from some very authoritative sites and ranks 4th for the term that represents that event.

Another, newer site of mine has a similar unique content and no high powered newspaper / magazine links and it ranks #1.

This seems to suggest to me that no matter what links I get to that site it's still going to be held back until the penalty is lifted or times out.

Has any other Penguin hit sites experienced something like this? Diberry and I discussed this and seems to have a similar incremental release but this sort of proves to me that an actual penalty is in place and not just links / link juice being ignored etc.

 

aristotle




msg:4595465
 7:45 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Maybe individual keywords or terms could be released from the penalty one at a time. For example, if a term was penalized because of excessive use as anchor text in link-building, and those backlinks are removed or disavowed, then the reason for penalizing the site for that particular term would no longer exist.

But even if that term is released from the penalty, it probably won't return to its pre-penalty ranking because it will no longer get any boost from the backlinks that were removed or disavowed.

Sand




msg:4595474
 8:15 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Could be. That's how my experience with Panda worked out. I gained a percentage back with each update, and after about 6-8 updates, traffic was back to about 100% of pre-Panda.

Planet13




msg:4595545
 11:37 pm on Jul 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

Could your internal links be considered spammy?

Are you possibly linking aggressively from in-content links to your money pages?

rish3




msg:4595561
 12:29 am on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Incremental recovery makes sense to me. I've seen Penguin-hit sites with varying degrees of severity. Some that just dropped to the bottom of page 1, others that pretty much disappeared, others in the middle somewhere.

I assume that means penalty is proportional to the offense. So, removing *some* bad links resulting in *some* recovery makes perfect sense.

Jez123




msg:4595655
 8:10 am on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)


Could your internal links be considered spammy?

Are you possibly linking aggressively from in-content links to your money pages?


The linking is as short and as succinct as it can be. Just normal navigation as far as I would say.

Didn't Matt Cutts say that internal linking was not an issue some time back? I seem to recall it being discussed but I must admit I never saw the source.

So, removing *some* bad links resulting in *some* recovery makes perfect sense.


I did disavow some links. Are you implying that I may not have gone far enough? I would say that if some improvement has been gained that it's a good sign and not that I need to aggressively remove more links. I mean, where do you stop if that's the case?

Planet13




msg:4595768
 2:46 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

"The linking is as short and as succinct as it can be. Just normal navigation as far as I would say."


My concern is NOT with the normal side bar / top bar / footer navigation links.

My concern would instead be in-content links; in the middle of your text.

I think most are of the consensus that google treats links in the navigation areas differently than that which is in the body of your text.

"Didn't Matt Cutts say that internal linking was not an issue some time back?"


I think I remember something like that, but I think he also qualified saying something like, "In MOST cases it can't hurt you, but don't be spammy about it." (That is NOT an exact quote but I think that is the distillate of what he said.)

It was, if I remember correctly, a typical Matt Cutts quote - meaning it had just about zero actionable information.

"I mean, where do you stop if that's the case?"


What is your level of risk?

Penguin 2.0 discovered more unnatural links than Penguin 1.0.

I will bet that Penguin 3.0 will discover even more than 2.0

John Mueller and Matt Cutts have both said that in the case of algorithmic demotions (i.e., Penguin and Panda) it can take MONTH for rankings to improve.

JS_Harris




msg:4595800
 4:45 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Traffic gains are absolutely incremental as well, not just recoveries. If you don't have something that 'goes viral' or you didn't just add a huge amount of new content then your traffic will not move by leaps and bounds. Google has a patent on adding a time delay to serps changes where if a site is suddenly the best for a result but it was previously number ten it may take six months or more to rise to number one. By that time it may no longer be considered number one and may never reach the spot it deserved for a time. The inverse is also true.

austtr




msg:4595837
 7:50 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

traffic was back to about 100% of pre-Panda


The OP asked "Are Penguin recoveries incremental?"

I wasn't aware of anyone claiming a Penguin recovery, incremental or otherwise.

I would dearly love to be proved wrong, but one of Penguin's legacies seems to be the removal of most small to medium affiliates from the playing field. I suspect that was not a coincidence and those sites/pages are never coming back.

If a website relates to an actual bricks and mortar business on Main Street, then it may have survived Penguin... it might even appear on page 1 in the Google Places 7 pack. But if your site makes money by selling someone else's products and services, then that may be why you were hit by Penguin. Google's apparent dislike of affiliate sites has been a subject of discussion dating back to at least 2011.

You have to ask yourself if you want to throw lots of time and effort into trying to bring about a Penguin recovery if in fact your real problem is your business model, not your website.

diberry




msg:4595890
 10:42 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

On the May 9 update, which is theorized to be an early test before unleashing Penguin 2.0 on the world, I saw a noticeable little recovery. The next month around the same time, it happened again. And yes, I could tell you in each cases some of the keyphrases that were involved in each jump.

Since then it's been more gradual, but every couple of weeks, I set a new post-Penguin-1.0 record for Google traffic.

I do think this is a (very modest) Penguin recovery, and it seems to be incremental. My theory is that it's a sort of test, that maybe some of us were in a "gray area" with Penguin and they're releasing us from it incrementally in order to test more specifically whether we are in fact doing whatever spammy behavior Penguin 1 thought we were doing.

aristotle




msg:4595894
 10:56 pm on Jul 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

Maybe Google should take their recently-discovered "signs of authority", which they are using to "soften" Panda, and use them to soften Penguin too.

Whitey




msg:4595914
 12:25 am on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

but one of Penguin's legacies seems to be the removal of most small to medium affiliates from the playing field.

I don't see it this way. Some well known brand affiliate's traffic has gone through the roof unaffected.

austtr




msg:4595959
 3:42 am on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

well known brand


No argument there.... big brand affiliates are treated very differently from the small to medium players. That why we have seen post after post about the big brands now dominating the SERP's... they filled the slots created by the removal of the others as part of the Penguin purge.

Sorry for taking the post somewhat off-topic... but my point was how can we assess Penguin recoveries when there does not seem to be anyone claiming a recovery with any degree of real confidence?

Zivush




msg:4595970
 5:04 am on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Sand
Could be. That's how my experience with Panda worked out. I gained a percentage back with each update, and after about 6-8 updates, traffic was back to about 100% of pre-Panda.


Have you done something in your sites to lift the 'penalty'?
In my experience, there are some factors that may help recover earlier with stronger sites, while weak sites are in a hopeless situation and there's no shortcuts unless you turn them upside down.

diberry




msg:4596094
 3:24 pm on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

how can we assess Penguin recoveries when there does not seem to be anyone claiming a recovery with any degree of real confidence?


I'm very confident that I am recovering positions on keyphrases I lost with Penguin 1.0. It's not a complete recovery, but I do feel confident it's Penguin related.

Planet13




msg:4596099
 3:32 pm on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

"...but my point was how can we assess Penguin recoveries when there does not seem to be anyone claiming a recovery with any degree of real confidence?"


There are people who claim victory over penguin and have the graphs to show it. We just can't link to them here in this forum.

I am sure you can find tales of those recoveries if you just use bing to search for them...

rish3




msg:4596185
 7:23 pm on Jul 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

There are people who claim victory over penguin and have the graphs to show it.


I'm having trouble finding anything concrete. Once you filter out "penguin recoveries" that were actually "unnatural linking penalty recoveries" (easily spotted because they recovered with a reconsideration request) there isn't much left.

Then, filter out anyone that wasn't specific about what dates they were hit, and recovered, and there's really very little left.

Jez123




msg:4596367
 8:21 am on Jul 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

@rish3

I can claim a partial recovery as Diberry can. Like you though I am yet to see concrete evidence of a full clear cut recovery. I didn't submit a reconsideration request.

I'm very confident that I am recovering positions on keyphrases I lost with Penguin 1.0. It's not a complete recovery, but I do feel confident it's Penguin related.

Same. However, I think that Diberry's recovery has been faster and more positive than mine. I initially gained traffic in may and then the following week it dropped right back. A week or so after that it was back but slightly lower than the initial gain. Now I seem to have recovered about 40 to 50 percent of original pre penguin traffic.

Some of this may be weather, holiday, economy affected though. Plus to further cloud my stats I have picked up other traffic from other sources so my 40 to 50% may actually be a bit lower. I am in a great position to be too busy to really check this accurately.

austtr




msg:4596572
 10:58 pm on Jul 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

Now I seem to have recovered about 40 to 50 percent of original pre penguin traffic


That seems to be fairly typical of most comments that refer to a "Penguin recovery".

No offence intended, but those figures say that, despite lots of remedial action, implementing all Matt Cutts recommendations, waiting for something like 15-16 months, the site is still 50-60% down on pre-Penguin traffic.

I'm struggling to see how that can be seen as a recovery.

Planet13




msg:4596574
 11:06 pm on Jul 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

"I'm struggling to see how that can be seen as a recovery. "

I can only theorize that one will see a "recovery" to pre-Penguin levels when one has acquired enough natural links to make up for that page rank that one lost when google was mistakenly giving you - and probably after a page rank dampening effect wears off, too.

SnowMan68




msg:4596596
 12:50 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

John Mueller and Matt Cutts have both said that in the case of algorithmic demotions (i.e., Penguin and Panda) it can take MONTH for rankings to improve.


I don't disagree with this statement, because I realize they have to rerun the algo to see improvement after you've made changes. I am just curious if you have a link to reference?

Planet13




msg:4596601
 1:45 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I will see if I can find it. Pretty sure the LATEST time I saw it was a John Mueller webmaster central video on you tube. I will try to find the exact part.

Unfortunately, they made it harder to search on the google webmaster tools help forum via an author's name. I will see if I can find the posts about that as well.

When you submit the disavow file, google has to go and recrawl the links, then compare them to your disavow file, then calculate the new page rank (and other factors). This "takes some time" according to John Mueller:

[youtu.be...]

Starting around 12:20 he starts to talk about some of the things that have to happen for the disavow tool to take effect.

but I will look for the comments regarding the months time frame.

Robert Charlton




msg:4596625
 3:31 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

Planet13 - I think that this might be what you're thinking about, from June, 2012. This was our discussion here....

Search engines need time & other signals to confirm a site is "fantastic"
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4467831.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Google's John Mueller said...
From what I can tell, your site is still fairly new - with most of the content just a few months old, is that correct? In cases like that, it can take a bit of time for search engines to catch up with your content, and to learn to treat it appropriately. It's one thing to have a fantastic website, but search engines generally need a bit more to be able to confirm that, and to rank your site - your content - appropriately.

JS_Harris




msg:4596634
 3:55 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I can add credibility to the notion that big brand sites were boosted while the small and medium affiliates of these big brands were hit with traffic losses, I monitored one particular big brand site carefully, but I want to offer an alternative reasoning if I may.

Think about the following very carefully for a second
Big brands gained in traffic while many of their affiliates claimed major traffic losses.


At face value you could theorize that Google boosted big brand sites while reducing rank for their affiliates but it may in fact not be Google's fault at all. What if it is the affiliates themselves who are boosting big brand sites? What if those redirected+nofollowed affiliate links to well known big brand sites have had their nofollow tag and redirect ignored and the links now count as good links?

In short what if Google now says "we trust this big brand site already so your nofollow tags to it are ignored"? It would mean that hundreds of thousands of incoming links would suddenly have boosted big brands while draining affiliate sites. The more affiliate links, the bigger the drain. This would have the effect of cutting out the affiliates and bringing big brands(with affiliate programs) to the top.

It's just a different possibility that comes to the same final conclusion BUT it is one affiliates can control by reducing the number of affiliate links per page and by reducing the number of affiliate pages per site. Balance it out by linking to other authority sites etc.

edit: I cannot find a link to the page at the moment but Matt Cutts asked several months ago if webmasters would mind allowing Google to selectively ignore a nofollow tag. I'd be interested in revisiting the timing of that remark if someone can find it.

Jez123




msg:4596679
 8:23 am on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm struggling to see how that can be seen as a recovery.


I didn't ever state it was a full recovery. I was putting the question out there to see if anyone other than Diberry and myself were experiencing what seem to be an incremental or partial recovery.

No offence intended, but those figures say that, despite lots of remedial action, implementing all Matt Cutts recommendations, waiting for something like 15-16 months, the site is still 50-60% down on pre-Penguin traffic.


I am no longer proud. After the year I had last year I am lucky to still be trading. I will take what I can get and be #*$! grateful about it. I am just off to sacrifice another goat on my Matt Cutts effigy as we speak. :)

Planet13




msg:4596775
 4:12 pm on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ Robert Charlton:

I don't think that is the exact forum thread.

I am about 90% certain that there was a response that Matt Cutts had written regarding the comparative speed that one could expect to be released from a manual penalty when compared to an algorithmic effect. I am PRETTY certain that he did use the phrase "months and months".

diberry




msg:4596848
 8:57 pm on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

No offence intended, but those figures say that, despite lots of remedial action, implementing all Matt Cutts recommendations, waiting for something like 15-16 months, the site is still 50-60% down on pre-Penguin traffic.


Why do you keep asking to see a full recovery when the topic of this thread is whether Penguin recoveries are incremental, starting with Penguin 2.0? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm just wondering if I've missed something.

I think because Penguins 1 and 2 were nearly a year apart, no one's going to see a clear cut recovery, at least not on popular keyphrases where a lot of other sites will have entered the market during that time. Whether that's a function of Penguin itself, a failure of disavow or just what happens when Google takes 11 months to re-run an algo critter, there it is.

What I saw starting in May was an incremental recovery of my less competitive key phrases. They gradually came back to their pre-Penguin 1 positions. My more competitive keyphrases... not so much. Plus, my most competitive ones are now in one of those niches Google carved out - the links across the top of the page. So I assume those will never rank the same way again, not because of Penguin but because of how Google added those niches.

austtr




msg:4596867
 10:02 pm on Jul 26, 2013 (gmt 0)

@diberry..

Why do you keep asking to see a full recovery when the topic of this thread is whether Penguin recoveries are incremental


Everything I have seen or read about a Penguin recovery involves a lot of "lets see if this works" and that is a sure fire way to churn through a lot of hours ie expense, either direct or indirect.

There have been lots of posts from members claiming to have incurred that expense and carried out all the recommended remedial actions but without any change in their situation.

To most people the term "Penguin recovery" implies a return to their pre-Penguin rankings and/or traffic. I'm pushing this issue because I suspect that a lot of people will think twice about a trial and error exercise if the best outcome will only ever be a return to a fraction of their pre-Penguin results.

Planet13




msg:4596945
 4:45 am on Jul 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Well, the gist of it is, you lose a LOT of page rank / link juice when you remove / disavow links to escape Penguin. By it's nature, it was designed to detect links that were giving you more juice than you deserved. So by all intents and purposes, as I understand it, your site didn't have a legitimate reason to rank that well in the first place.

If I site had 100 backlinks all giving page rank and then 50 of them had to be removed or disavowed, well, you are only going to get half the page rank you had before, right?

So you are going to have to get LOTS of legitimate links to make up for the 50 you lost.

So yes, it looks like people will have to think twice, but the other options are 1) give it up entirely, or 2) move to a new domain, or 3) do some more blackhat / spammy stuff and hope they don't get penguinized again.

diberry




msg:4596960
 5:46 am on Jul 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

austtr, okay, but then how would you recognize a full-blown bona fide Penguin recovery? What would it look like? I mean, no one's going to recover all their positions exactly as they were because (a) it's been so long between Penguin updates that niches have changed and (b) Google siphoned off a bunch of niches before Penguin and a few more after for those links at the top. So given you can't expect the traditional "All my keyphrases came back to virtually exactly where they were before!" recovery, what is it you would recognize as a Penguin recovery?

This 40 message thread spans 2 pages: 40 ( [1] 2 > >
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