Three days after getting walked on by the Penguin, we are slowly recovering. We had one site that was hit pretty hard, out of the 25-30 we manage for ourselves and others. I will not explain the exact, step-by-step things we are doing to recover, but we have not asked Google for any help. (no re-inclusion request, and no "you got it wrong" form submission, etc)
As quickly as the loss happened we started searching for the answer, which turned out to right in front of us. We chose to address EXACTLY what MC said it was about. Aggressive optimization (keyword stuffing, overuse of meta, alt-img, text links, etc) and offsite link schemes.
- If you are penalized by bad inlinks, you have two choices, remove the links, or remove the pages they are linked to. (pick one of those and run with it)
- If your onsite pages were highly optimized, scale it back.
We focused on the search generated traffic that delivered the highest conversion rate. Chose the pages those visitors liked the most, and worked on fixing those first. We defined success as getting our pages back into the serps first, not reclaiming the exact ranking. If a phrase that used to rank 3rd, was no longer in the top 50 due to Penguin, we accepted a lower placement as long as it was in the results. From here, we can work to get it ranked better going forward.
Example Results -
Old page1 ranked 1st on Apr 23rd.
Old page1 ranked 110th on 24th
Fixed page1 ranks 8th today.
Old page2 ranked 3rd on Apr 23rd
Old page2 ranked 200th on 24th
Fixed page2 ranks 16th today.
I have 10+ years experience selling these products to consumers. They are not, or very rarely, sold online.
- US based consumer product reviews and expert buying guides.
- Subject matter expert written content, 2500+ word pages.
- Affiliate and Adsense (1 affiliate banner, 1 adsense block)
- 3+ years old
- Moderate brand signals, office address (not in google places), LLC, VPS server, SSL on personal info forms, 800 number, etc.
- Site still ranks #1 for brand name.
- WordPress backend