onlinesource - 5:15 pm on Sep 17, 2013 (gmt 0) [edited by: aakk9999 at 9:48 pm (utc) on Sep 17, 2013]
I know that Penguin has effected multiple businesses and their ability to be seen online, and a company that I work closely with is no exception. They have laid off 5 employees, were forced to move, etc. It is a major mess.
First off, this company sells fake widgets which are totally novelty widgets. I want to get that out of the way because I know somebody is going to have to say "no wonder Google dropped them, they sell fake widgets". That isn't true. Plenty of other widget sites rank for the "fake widgets" keyword. I know it can be considered "niche site" but niche sites still rank.
From a moral standpoint, if this still bothers you there are plenty of sites that promote such products for illegal use. This site only suggests their products be used for novelty or replacement purposes.
Now, that I hopefully got that out of the way and won't have to defend the site, let's move on.
Their site has ranked well for 6+ years and just dropped after Penguin 2. One night they are on #1 for the top keyword ("fake widgets") and within seconds they can't be found anywhere for it. Google still lists the site (it isn't banned) but all of their keyword power is gone.
They are clueless, so is the SEO company that they hired. I have people tell me that there are too many backlinks on the same server, some images are missing alt tags (most of that has been fixed since) but please check out:
This competitor ranks on the first page of Google (#2 right now) for "fake widgets". On their homepage, they have over 10 backlinks to their domain (which I hear Google finds as abuse), they also have a billion keywords in meta tags (I always been told 5 per page), they have 2 h1 tags for some reason and none of their images have alt tags.
So, what is the difference here? The first site follows as many rules as they can about content but this site gives a big finger to Google and Google loves them. There has to be something more here than simple content fixes with header tag and alt tag adjustments.
I would appreciate any assistance possible. I'm guessing that Google doesn't care that much about abusing your own site for backlinks, alt tags... all of that is not the real problem.
<snip> I had hired a SEO company for 6 years and ranked well. They mostly did link building and the links were added with white hat methods. I don't know, maybe a competitor has created a site to give us bad links? I have a list of all my backlinks via Webmaster Tools but have no idea what links are hurting or helping the site.
[edit reason] Exemplified, removed specifics [/edit]
[edited by: aakk9999 at 9:48 pm (utc) on Sep 17, 2013]