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Post-Penguin site recovery strategies: Please list yours
Whitey




msg:4607441
 3:13 am on Sep 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I noticed that John Mueller said in one of his recent Webmaster Central hang outs [youtube.com...] where he mentioned a few key things with regards to Penguin [ sorry, I don't recall which one and/or the time ]. With a focus on recovery strategies, I noticed, he said :

1. Recovery could take 1-26 weeks to see the results of disavow works, since there is no knowledge on when the next update will be.
2. He had no information on when Google might move to a rolling update [ like Panda ] and
3. that "bridging the gap" , between disavowed links and new quality links was recommended.

So, what do you recommend folks do, post Penguin, after the disavow process or link removal cleansing, to either escape, future proof your sites and/or raise rankings?

Thoughts?

 

Jez123




msg:4607487
 8:50 am on Sep 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think the answer lies with more links. As it always has with google. I have seen some small recovery / increase in google traffic by concentrating on social media links. It's slow and difficult though. I hope for more signs of recovery with the next update of Penguin. I think it's a matter of regaining google's trust but in the dark stumbling around.

Robert Charlton




msg:4607494
 9:19 am on Sep 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I think the answer lies with more links.

IMO, with sites that have depended on artificial links, this may be leaving out some important steps.

Penguin was a spam penalty, and the site will have a bulls-eye painted on it. Google will certainly be monitoring for artificial link building.

Content very likely would need to be improved, design enhanced, and the site made more engaging... to the point where the site would attract natural inbounds. It then needs to be promoted socially. I don't think the process will work the other way around.

Jez123




msg:4607496
 9:30 am on Sep 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Google will certainly be monitoring for artificial link building.


Yes, I probably should have mentioned that, Robert! That's why I have concentrated on social media links, namely Pinterest. I suppose it probably helps to dilute over rich anchor text as well. Maybe.

Also I have improved content, internal linking, design, got links from top UK newspapers as well as some French magazines (all unsolicited) as well as other incidental links along the way. So not JUST social media but to be honest I have had no improvement from the UK news and other links so perhaps they will kick in after the next Penguin refresh. I hope.

Whitey




msg:4607709
 12:49 am on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Penguin was a spam penalty, and the site will have a bulls-eye painted on it. Google will certainly be monitoring for artificial link building.

Content very likely would need to be improved, design enhanced, and the site made more engaging... to the point where the site would attract natural inbounds. It then needs to be promoted socially. I don't think the process will work the other way around.

This is more or less what John Mueller says. I found this link / time which I'll paraphrase :

"you might want to bridge the gap by going out and getting more links, but this is tricky otherwise they wouldn't be natural. But by creating fresh content that users would want to link to" is probably the answer.

For approx time around 30:00: [ paste this link ] "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY6B2eEatbc&feature=player_detailpage#t=1835" found on [youtube.com...]

So, I find this comment significant in isolation, particularly with @Robert_Charlton's comment

Does Google mean you can't go ahead and pitch to someone, say, "hey, have a look at this site, which I think is useful to you because it could be useful for your audience - would you consider linking to it" or "referencing it with a link". And I'm not talking about making any payments along with it - which would be a clear paid link.

It looks like link building along these lines is no longer white hat.

If that's the case then the whole process of soliciting links is "off limits". We're no longer talking about paid links, this is any solicited links.

Perhaps now is the time to really think strongly about how you market your content for future proofing. And it does seem to dovetail into Panda for quality.

This is vital for survival and future link profile health, as any site that has been surviving off of old style linking has to move fast "to bridge the gap".

Can folks see a way to dig a little deeper along these lines and list how social media might work to build those links better?

Robert Charlton




msg:4607778
 6:37 am on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

If that's the case then the whole process of soliciting links is "off limits". We're no longer talking about paid links, this is any solicited links.

Whitey, I don't interpret what JohnMu said about getting links as having quite the same implications you assign to his words. There was nothing in what he said, IMO, to prohibit outreach.

Techniques I've criticized all along though, of getting dofollow links via aggressive article placement, or building links faster than visitors are likely to have visited the site, though, are probably more carefully watched than ever.

As I heard, it, at about 31:25 into the video, John says (and I went over this several times to try to get it verbatim)...
"So of course, it's tricky to say that you should go out and just get new natural links, because that's not something we can go out and do, as otherwise they wouldn't be natural..."

...and then John then goes into the range of site improvements that motivate people to link to you, and suggests social tools to make it easier to reach them. So, I am in agreement with him, at least as I interpret his comments.

It might have been clearer if he'd said: "It's tricky to say that you should go out and just get new natural links, because getting natural links is not something we can just go out and do"... which arguably is essentially what he did say.

I think I see where you're coming from, though, with regard to the idea of a shift. In the Link Development Forum, you started a thread two weeks ago with a title, to which martinibuster and I both replied....

Best turn key practice with budget for link building project
http://www.webmasterworld.com/link_development/4603775.htm [webmasterworld.com]

I don't think you'd use that title now. I had trouble with the word "turnkey" with regard to link building... but I have trouble with that word for almost everything of any complexity. ;)

Martinibuster IMO summed it up beautifully...
Conservative equals free link outreach mixed with select article outreach. No anchor text optimization at all.

Less conservative, well, everything else?

Neither mb nor I specifically mentioned social, because your wording of the question seemed to exclude it. We are obviously both aware of using social for article outreach. Jez123 's comment above focuses on social probably more than I would, but is also looking at a mix of media.

Since Vince/Mayday, I've been taking a more diverse approach to marketing as a whole... spending a lot of energy before a site is even planned or content written to anticipate the range of the target audience and its needs... and identifying likely communities and how each community is best reached.

This mix of target audience and what they're looking for might well fold back into the additional content I'd add to a Penguinized site. It most likely also applies to sites affected as far back as Mayday and Panda. I see these algo updates as a likely continuum, with Penguin simply an extreme case of a site that relied much too much on aggressive SEO, and not enough on all the rest of what makes a site good. The order of the algo updates is interesting.

If the site is going to have any chance of recovery, all the rest of your infrastructure needs to be built up. If the site does/did have an actual following, or a known brand, I think that disavowing and rebuilding is likely a better choice than starting over, but it depends on how close the domain came to getting completely burned.

I don't think that what John Mueller said about new natural links means that you can't solicit links as part of the mix. It may mean you can't solicit them on a turnkey basis, or the way you used to.

JD_Toims




msg:4607779
 6:54 am on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

It might have been clearer if he'd said: "It's tricky to say that you should go out and just get new natural links, because getting natural links is not something we can just go out and do"... which arguably is essentially what he did say.

+AsManyAsICanGive -- I wish I could agree more!

Whitey




msg:4607970
 10:14 pm on Sep 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

and suggests social tools to make it easier to reach them. So, I am in agreement with him, at least as I interpret his comments.

I'd imagine there's quite some creative thinking that could be applied here. Does anyone want to list a few techniques along these lines that would be useful in "bridging the gap" and bringing sites towards a good standard?

diberry




msg:4608106
 4:49 pm on Sep 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I can back up the observation about social media links with some anecdota.

I have one site hit by Penguin 1. I didn't do a lot with it after that because I honestly didn't know what to do - I hadn't built links, hardly had a link profile at all, didn't get an unnatural links notice. I made some structural improvements and left the content mostly alone, but began working harder to build a good, valuable-to-visitors Pinterest page.

One page in particular took off with Pinterest - it was just right up a lot of users' alleys. My rankings on that post are very good for quite a lot of relevant key phrases. This improvement started before Penguin 2, so it can't be that Penguin 2 released me from penalty.

Another interesting anecdote: I have another page that has proven extremely useful to visitors (it details a method for dealing with a common scam). This page hasn't gained any new links or social media response. Desperate searchers just keep drilling down the SERPs, looking for solutions, until they find my page and the information on it actually works. Then they often leave comments telling me it worked. So either Google is detecting that searchers go through lots of pages before mine and then stop after getting to mine; or they are somehow detecting phrases like "This worked" and "thank you" in my comments (which are not hidden from the bots). Either way, this suggests Google is at the very least finding roundabout ways of generating user metrics and using them to determine rankings.

I should mention that I never built links and in fact my site hardly had a link profile before Penguin, so no one's quite sure why it was hit by Penguin. Therefore, my results be different from someone who built links and then used disavow.
.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 6:07 pm (utc) on Sep 7, 2013]
[edit reason] spliced from split-off discussion [/edit]

Robert Charlton




msg:4608126
 6:10 pm on Sep 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Mod's note: In order to clarify and limit the focus of this thread, the thread title has been changed from... "Recommended Activity Post-Penguin: Please List Yours" to...

"Post-Penguin site recovery strategies: please list yours".

Several posts, commenting on the Google algorithm or life after Panda and Penguin in general, have been removed. We're holding them until we have time to put them into a thread of their own or decide what to do with them. Our intention is not to stifle opinion. It is to keep this thread, which interests many of us here and is vitally important to some, on topic.

I'm sympathetic to the adverse effects that Google changes have had on many members, myself included, but the practice of using just about any topic in this forum to editorialize and take opportunistic pot shots at Google has got to stop. Such posts pull threads off topic, and that has been making productive discussion on those threads impossible. Mods here are all volunteers, though, and we only have so much time and energy. In the future, these posts will be removed without notice.

Please also see this thread: IMPORTANT - The Focus of This Forum [webmasterworld.com]. It's pinned to the top of the Google SEO Forum index page.

mcskoufis




msg:4608171
 10:32 pm on Sep 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Haven't had any site hurt from Penguin or Panda, only one site which lost 70% of its organic traffic due to an agency doing some very nasty link building (latin american links for a Greek website of a major international brand).

Got the SEO contract (not a Penguin recovery contract) so what I did was to effectively not do any link building at all and focus on fixing some coding problems and begged for new content - it is hard to get like 10 people from the factory in the country of origin down to the marketing and CRM personnel in Greece.

My content requests were not met, nor my consultation on contacting the sites and trying to get the links removed. (People who are involved in such projects will probably know how hard it is to do your job right.)

Several months ahead the traffic lost was regained! We had some new content in but for products which were replaced by new ones. I think what worked was that we focused on the site and left the link building to occur completely naturally. As with most of those brands, a new product is something that draws attention quick and links (see the new iphone launch and how many links Apple got).

We didn't use the disavow tool as well as I didn't want to inform Google about specific links. We just focused as much as we could on getting the new product content up as best as we could and in effect I didn't do much hands-on work. Just meetings after meetings and got tired indicating the same stuff again and again which the client never approved.

My point is that ok you got hit by Penguin, don't focus too much on what hurt your site. Focus on the future, keep your SEO activity off Google's radar (by making changes that the editorial team would do, not the SEO) and the traffic and rankings will definitely return.

In the case of such a multinational brand, you can't switch domains nomatter how much they got burned.

Needless to say that the site had some very high quality links that no other competitor could get (they had some unique links as well). The previous agency just did a year of crappy link building, but once we showed that this activity was stopped and we got "organic" again Google boosted the site to levels not witnessed before.

I still think we should disavow those bad links as well as make efforts to have them removed but can't get permission from the client, so left as is...

My latest observation is that these links hold the site from performing even better with Google. And I am sure a future Penguin update will hit them again but they don't listen to me, or they are afraid for losing their job etc. (again factors which you have to deal with when working for such a brand)

SUMMING IT UP: Focus on your site and what you do from now on and focus less on disavows and cleaning up bad links.

###

Some of my thoughts on Google's Penguin: Still it can't trace some clever black hat link building, such as using an army of legitimate looking businesses with different whois records and even LTDs set up for each of them, that don't even operate (calling them and noone answers ever).

While it has made progress with spam, getting to the new techniques discussed the past few months in the Black Hat community will take ages to be fought by Google. Intelligent spammers who play clever still rule the SERPs nomatter how many spam reports Google gets on them.

By the time the next Penguin is live, the advanced techniques now employed by black-hatters will still not be dealt with until Penguin 5. Which is so unfair.

###

Now if the only links you have are crap, I don't see any chance of recovery... Sorry! It can be harsh if you developed a great site to have it burned from bad link building practices.

* Robert (Charlton) hope this post is acceptable based on what you mention above.

Simsi




msg:4608175
 10:57 pm on Sep 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

Here's a thought to throw out there for affiliate marketers. I think we can probably assume that Google knows how to identify an affiliate or agent site in many instances. It probably knows how to recognise a brand and it probably uses the knowledge of each of those to detect the other.

There are of course legitimate reasons for an affiliate site to link to another but when you think about your own site, how many links have you put in place to another affiliate site purely because it's a link that will interest your users and not one that is influenced by commercial reasons?

I wouldn't mind betting that this is something that has occurred to Google.

Whitey




msg:4608201
 2:34 am on Sep 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

Neither mb nor I specifically mentioned social, because your wording of the question seemed to exclude it. We are obviously both aware of using social for article outreach. Jez123 's comment above focuses on social probably more than I would, but is also looking at a mix of media.

I asked a question on this thread [webmasterworld.com...]
On a personal note, would you invest strongly in g+1?

@ marktraphagen replied:
Would I "invest strongly in g+1?" No not at all. But I would (and have) invest heavily in Google+.

Does anyone have any experience that would suggest how this might assist? Perhaps a bit more deeply and varied so that we can share some insight.

turbocharged




msg:4608203
 3:33 am on Sep 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

I'm sympathetic to the adverse effects that Google changes have had on many members, myself included, but the practice of using just about any topic in this forum to editorialize and take opportunistic pot shots at Google has got to stop.

Instead of generalizing dissent as "pot shots," I prefer instead to understand the relationship between all the publicly available variables to answer the question of "why." Just as Google's algorithm is made to identify many signals, we as webmasters should expect Google to use its wide reach to achieve their specific goals and should not be limited to a set of criteria that provides only one piece of the puzzle. For example, just as Google manually penalizes websites, one could also logically assume that Google also whitelists websites.

As webmasters we need to be honest with ourselves and others. With so few recoveries reported from Penguin, despite many efforts on the part of webmasters, it only makes sense to expand the discussion beyond an algorithm that does not judge equally. Once again, we are looking at the reason "why" some were penalized by penguin and how to employ forward strategies to "recover." When recoveries are next to nil, even after following Google's guidance to the letter, it is clear that to achieve recovery we must look beyond the surface for answers instead of spinning our wheels in the same rut.

So to answer the OPs original question, I have no strategy for recovering from penguin. You can look at the many people who have tried to remove and disavow links without any success. Altering the anchor text of existing links has also been largely a failure. Of those that have achieved the highest degree of successful recoveries, from what I have witnessed, they have entirely abandoned their domain name and started anew. Starting new can be a painful process if you invested a significant amount of money and time to build a brand, but may be necessary if your business model is dependent on search traffic originating from Google.

Zivush




msg:4608208
 4:36 am on Sep 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

So to answer the OPs original question, I have no strategy for recovering from penguin.


Have you thought of advertising?
I mean advertising a site for getting more traffic which increase its popularity among niche users.

Whitey




msg:4608214
 5:51 am on Sep 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Zivush- what struck you about turbocharged's response to give this comment?

To state the obvious, "advertising" is to make public declarations about the qualities and advantages of a product or business etc. But if you want your site to stick, you need more than passing traffic, you need positive engagement that holds. And I believe if done right, Google will follow.

I sense there's more to your timely response. What's going through your mind about how it could be achieved; how do you see this being played out.

@turbocharged - you're not going to attract visitors by using the disavow tool, playing with anchor text or whatever and doing more of the same thinking. You deserve better than that, and you know that complaining is not going to make your day and anyone else's day any better. You deserve some creative thinking to come to you, so that you can see the wood for the trees again.

What we appear to be seeding in this thread ( and I believe it's within your capacity to find the positive within you ) , is how you can engage with users with something to offer. Building a new site with the same thinking won't help.

Folks don't warm to complainers ( and gee, from time to time I've done enough myself ), how on earth do you think you'll attract followers for your business talking like this.

What's different about what you do? Why would users come to you? How are you communicating it? Don't hold back - be honest, and don't blame Google - it won't help you. If you need help, say it, so ....

btw - one of the things you could do post Penguin etc is put your site up for review, and you'll get some inputs from folks that want to help : [webmasterworld.com...]

Why not pitch along the lines of, here's my site for review, this is what I think is good about it, what's your view as I prepare to promote it. It's a great opportunity.

And Turbocharged [ I'm not singling you out really, you're one of hundreds of folks stuck in the mud ], why don't you join in those discussions to critique others sites. You might learn something out of it, and become much more energised for the exercise. Somehow, all of what I am saying is playing into a form of "engagement". btw - like your name, it deserves a good place.

Zivush might be stating the obvious, but there's something in that statement that catches my eye.

Zivush




msg:4608278
 12:07 pm on Sep 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ Whitey
I assume that Panda and Penguin aren't just about links/quality/user-engagement, it's also about reputation.
If you had a good budget to boost website ranking, what was the first thing you do?
How would you get this website become known and recognized (assuming its content and design are great)?
Ads in Adwords and Ads in Facebook (for the site's fanpage).

Whitey




msg:4608363
 9:35 pm on Sep 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

it's also about reputation

@Zivush - And so is brand.

Adwords is but one channel, and in many verticals, quite marginal at best. So it doesn't suit all to rely on it either. What else could one turn to that compliments this, and assists in the leverage loop to improve SEO?

Planet13




msg:4608397
 2:28 am on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

"So, what do you recommend folks do, post Penguin..."

It depends a bit on the budget and expected ROI.

On the site I am helping out (local, one person service business), they are short on man hours and need things to turn around pronto.

There were too many spammy backlinks that couldn't be removed without a majory campaign, So we are moving the site over to a new domain name and doing selective redirects from pages that (hopefully) don't have any spammy backlinks.

~~~~

"If you had a good budget to boost website ranking, what was the first thing you do?"

Depends on what you mean by "good", but probably look to Better leverage my core competencies so that I have an even more attractive value proposition, or do better demographic research.

I would also spend the time to go through the link development forum on webmaster world.

Zivush




msg:4608433
 6:11 am on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

@ Planet13
I have never 'developed links' to my sites as it can do more harm than any good. Yet, my sites gained a lot of links from many places I don't even recognize.
My sites never were the best on their niches just good enough.


"What else could one turn to that compliments this, and assists in the leverage loop to improve SEO? "
@ whitey
I would advise anyone to get involved in social networks where users are hanging out to bring your say in the most proficient ways.
If you don't want to advertise than the best bet is to develop a strong YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Linkedin, Twitter and slideshare accounts. Plus give away some free useful e-products. It works wonder.
Don't focus on Penguin or Panda. It doesn't worth the time.
That's it.

Whitey




msg:4608435
 6:19 am on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

On the site I am helping out (local, one person service business), they are short on man hours and need things to turn around pronto

Have you told them it may not be a quick thing to turnaround, per John Mueller's advice?

but probably look to Better leverage my core competencies so that I have an even more attractive value proposition, or do better demographic research.

I would also spend the time to go through the link development forum on webmaster world


@Planet13 - Have you thought about going beyond your own competencies to get some perspective. I'm a great believer that established knowledge can actually limit thinking. It happens to me all the time.

A lot of SEO's have a fixed view of how things "should" work. The best one's I see at work, work closely with folks who understand their business. In an ideal World the business people can drive the SEO, which then becomes more a matter of enablement. Having said that, a lot of the folks inside large organisations which should have those resources invariably struggle with any complementary inputs to assist SEO's. I stress some, even the majority perhaps.

Why am I saying this?

Well if connecting with your site's audience is key [ via links / social whatever ] , someone has to be across the foundations. I see it in a broad 3 steps :

1. Platform [ working , Google compliant, link cleansed, good UI / architecture , content and a properly validated value proposition - something folks really want ]. I may have missed something, but that's the giste.

2. A good understanding of how and who the value proposition is useful for, and how you're going to reach them. At this point, you can only work with the traffic you've got, plus other methods including social, advertising [offline and online] , partnerships and any other marketing channel you can think of; - from the Google perspective I'm suggesting building up the authority signals and perhaps consequently the link profile to "bridge that gap".

3. How to enable , and scale the traffic.

I just think that SEO's and webmasters could do a lot to open up [2] with complimentary inputs. [2] is the work that can go on while folks sit and wait for results that take them to the next stage - and that could involve multiple updates. That could take 1-26 weeks, even longer until rolling updates occur + monitoring and tweaking.

My hunch is that Google might not be releasing sites automatically, that haven't done "something" to bridge that gap. So if you have a manual action, then succeeded in having it removed, it's not enough to just sit on your hands and wait for a recovery. Folks have really got to get cracking. Think "Fresh Content" ; "New Ideas" ; "New Offers" ; "Reactions" .... the list goes on ..... help me someone, my list is short.

Google notices this, and tells the algorithm something's happening. And do it well, it can be good.

@Planet13 - have you considered introducing thoughts from folks who are shrewd and savvy, but not SEO trained? Sometimes a bit of perspective helps with challenging questions in that [2] area. Yes, fresh thinking.

If you don't want to advertise than the best bet is to develop a strong YouTube Channel, Facebook page, Linkedin, Twitter and slideshare accounts. Plus give away some free useful e-products. It works wonder.

@Zivush +1 - Now we're cooking on gas. Let's see some folks step out into this territory and share it on this thread. Let's hear some success stories that help whilst waiting for recovery. [idioms.thefreedictionary.com...]

What can folk's do, if they have lost their income and all they have is there bare hands to turn things around? That's worth a thought. Zivush - you're onto something.

[edited by: Whitey at 7:02 am (utc) on Sep 9, 2013]

JD_Toims




msg:4608439
 6:48 am on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

On the site I am helping out (local, one person service business), they are short on man hours and need things to turn around pronto.

The fastest way I've found or heard of is to dump [noindex] the pages on the main domain then move the info the EMDs/PMDs and build them instead -- No redirects; just take the info and move it to something that matches the query better then rank that domain [or those domains] rather than whatever domain the info is on but not ranking currently.

Note: I would include any/all products on any other EMD/PMD used rather than trying to drive traffic to the main domain so the EMD/PMD are not doorway pages -- In-other-words: Don't try to force anyone to visit the main domain to purchase anything they searched for. Give them what they're looking for as soon as they land on an EMD/PMD instead.

I'm a great believer that established knowledge can actually limit thinking.

+1 -- Very well said and a great point!

[edited by: JD_Toims at 6:57 am (utc) on Sep 9, 2013]

Whitey




msg:4608440
 6:56 am on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

The fastest way I've found or heard of is to dump [noindex] the pages on the main domain then move the info the EMDs/PMDs and build them instead

@JD_Toims - it could work well for some. Well said.

But somewhere, folks have to think about the next steps - in a completely new line of thinking. More of the same will have them stuck in the mud.

JD_Toims




msg:4608441
 7:01 am on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

More of the same will have them stuck in the mud.

Very true -- If people don't take the time to learn and figure out why they have issues with whatever domain they're using now then repeat the same process they've been using on a different domain, well, I've heard doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is the definition of insanity, so, to not be clinically metal, I suggest people do something different [like avoid overdoing things] on a new domain if they choose to make a move.

Whitey




msg:4608442
 7:33 am on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

What I like about what @Zivush says, matches paradoxically with the difficulties of what many webmasters who have been hammered are experiencing.

No website. No Google. What can you do?

It follows, that you can do a lot, with next to nothing - and prepare your strategy to underpin your SEO. And all those valued webmasters who no longer visit these pages, who are afraid or feel beaten so low as not to participate any longer for a lack of good ideas, are missing out on good discussions. There is a seed of something valuable here.

Really the age of tricks and low quality to rank is mostly over. Folks have got to switch their thinking and step up a few gears.

The good news is Google needs good content. It needs an audience. Make Google dependent on you. Let's think more around Zivush's initiating thoughts - there's 1,000's of opportunities that can play a part in improving SEO. More thoughts ?

Zivush




msg:4608463
 12:39 pm on Sep 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

More thoughts of becoming a powerful SEO in the next gen web? :-)
In addition to what I have wrote earlier - Mobile Apps, selling eBooks on Amazon, video tutorials, direct product sales, building partnership, Q/A and web discussions with users and market leaders.
That's how you establish a long term web presence that is never too SE dependent. Easy to say, hard to do ..

Robert Charlton




msg:4608892
 7:26 am on Sep 11, 2013 (gmt 0)

mcskoufis - Yes, your post is not only acceptable, it is very helpful. Thank you. I think, btw, that our conclusions are somewhat similar...

I'd posted....
If the site does/did have an actual following, or a known brand, I think that disavowing and rebuilding is likely a better choice than starting over, but it depends on how close the domain came to getting completely burned.

And your conclusion...
Now if the only links you have are crap, I don't see any chance of recovery... Sorry! It can be harsh if you developed a great site to have it burned from bad link building practices.

turbocharged - Sticking to the algorithm for the moment, one comment you made jumps out at me....

Altering the anchor text of existing links has also been largely a failure.

As I'm understanding it, yes, this would not work. If you've gotten unnatural links from a domain, my approach would be to disavow anything on that linking page, if not that entire linking domain. Altering the anchor text, I've come to think, is essentially like putting lipstick on a pig. It's assuming that Google isn't keeping track of things. You're trying to hang onto too much. It's the arrangement that's at question, not just the anchor text. No matter how you change the anchor text, the link itself is probably still unnatural.

I feel that if you do have a brand that has at least a partial basis in natural links, is a good site with unique content, and has traffic independent of linking, then disavow may be more efficient than starting anew. I hope more to come on this soon.

Planet13 - I really would check the backlinks to the pages that I redirect. If you're redirecting internal pages from a site with admittedly questionable resources, it may well be that those backlinks to internal pages weren't natural. Depends, of course, on the pages.... I'm just guessing based on what I've seen. Again, I hope more to come on this soon.

Whitey - I'm not sure one can simply forget about disavow, unless, like the site mcskoufis was working on, it was a known brand with popular products and a presence both off the web and on. That said, it's unrealistic for many sites to expect that disavow is going to be sufficient. I think they've got to look carefully at what drops they had when, to compare with known updates, and to get some outside opinions in order to evaluate what needs fixing.

These penalties also run together. If you've depended on artificial linking, chances are you haven't pushed your actual site engagement. Most affected sites I've seen have loading problems, structural problems, design problems, content problems, and targeting problems, and aren't much differentiated from their competitors. If you're primarily technical, maybe your site has weak writing and design.

In planning your content, think hard about all the things someone searching for "red widgets" might want to know... when in the buying cycle, or maybe they've come back for service and support.

I'd work on the weaknesses in some kind of prioritized order before I'd start tweeting a lot. Also, find out where your natural audience is on the web. Not everybody has an audience in the social arena. That's maybe where advertising might come in. Advertising is probably of greatest help to a good site that's not ranking yet or has lost its rankings. If it's not a good site, or doesn't have good offers, you may be wasting your advertising dollars. So, fix things first.

It's likely that any successful approach is going to take a lot of work, creativity, and time. Cookie cutter stuff won't cut it any more. Kansas is far behind.

mcskoufis




msg:4609919
 3:46 pm on Sep 15, 2013 (gmt 0)

@RobertCharlton thanks very much sir! Really honoured to hear this from a person of this magnitude (mod here). Sorry had a very busy week, need to read what all the great folks have replied with clear head :)

Whitey




msg:4610487
 6:59 am on Sep 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

@CainIV ..... the main goal should be building a real company, branding it, and testing early lean processes to ensure that you have a product or service that will gain appropriate traction.

Interesting products and services, promoted and socialized, often build enough natural links to rank well in my opinion. [webmasterworld.com...]

This was another thread; good words in the context of this thread I thought.

Perhaps folks can reflect on how this could assist them.

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