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Penguin Recovery Tips - a think tank thread

     
7:35 pm on May 9, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Since the main Penguin Update thread has 700 posts and counting, I'm hoping to start a new thread solely focused on Penguin recovery tips. I have a site that was hit by Penguin and I am trying to work my way out of it.

I think reason I was penalized was my content. I was inadvertently keyword stuffing. This is just the way I have been writing content for years. I have updated the content on my main pages where I have fixed the blatant keyword stuffing. My density levels are much more in line. My main question is:

I have over 80 blog posts that have some instances of keyword stuffing. Do I need to go back and fix all of these pages? Some of the posts are over 3 years old? I also have some really old pages that are buried in my site that may have poor content. Should fixing these old pages be a priority?
12:00 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I own a few blogs and a noticed that those blogs which content I have not been updating for a long time were a little more hit by the Google Penguin update. May be the freshness of content plays some role when Google determines site rankings after the Penguin update.
12:59 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I did some search for my one keys, to get a clue out of this mess.
What I figuered out is, that if I do a normal 3 word search my site is not to be found within the first 30 results, the most of the results are crap. While I reasearch with -amazon, guess what, my site now is on #16. Does there somebody want to get rid of competitors? -amazon will bring better results in almost any search.
Even Peguinezed sites show up again.
2:13 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Martin Ice Web I noticed exactly the same. If I search a phrase like "strand palace hotel - amazon" our site that was ranking page 20 is on page 1 as it used to be.....

What's this all about ?
2:22 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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-amazon will bring better results in almost any search.
Even Peguinezed sites show up again.
I see no difference in serps.
2:23 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Maybe your site wasn't hit by Penguin. But for our site searching any affected page with the term -amazon.com (make sure you put .com) it brings our pages back to where they were
2:25 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Wow! That's very interesting. I just did a two keyword search using the -amazon and the test site is back to #1. However, when I used -ebay the same site is nowhere to be found. I remember something similar back in the Florida days where a piece of nonsensical text (was it waffle?) added to the search string pulled up results without the keyword penalty. This seems to be along those lines.

[edited by: Play_Bach at 2:33 pm (utc) on May 17, 2012]

2:25 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Maybe your site wasn't hit by Penguin. But for our site searching any affected page with the term -amazon.com (make sure you put .com) it brings our pages back to where they were
ok, when I append with .com, yes I see a different set of results, but this doesn't happen when I append just -amazon. Like you said, it has to be -amazon.om. It is an interesting finding.

However, when I used -ebay the same site is nowhere to be found.

Are you also appending the .com (-ebay.com)? I still see the same phenomenon.

Added: I also see it happening when I append -cj.com.

[edited by: crobb305 at 2:35 pm (utc) on May 17, 2012]

2:34 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yes if I append -ebay.co.uk our site's rankings are back
2:35 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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No .com
Just -amazon or -ebay
2:36 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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No .com
Just -amazon or -ebay


It isn't working for me without the .com, as neildt pointed out. For me, the phenomenon is occurring when I append ANY domain name -example.com, -anotherexample.com, etc)...brings my site back to page one with sitelinks.
2:39 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So what does this mean ? Because it won't bring our ranking back
2:42 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So what does this mean ? Because it won't bring our ranking back

Since I see it happens when any domain name is appended, I don't think it means anything. It basically amounts to gibberish. Try doing your search with -webmasterworld.com appended -- same phenomenon.

[edited by: crobb305 at 2:56 pm (utc) on May 17, 2012]

2:43 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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> So what does this mean ? Because it won't bring our ranking back

I wonder if Google is doing this too? Adding modifiers to search strings as they come in to serve up completely different results. If they are, that in itself might explain the sharp drop in traffic many of us are experiencing.
3:45 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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But there are differences between adding -amazon.comm and -anydomain.com.
For my site this means, adding -amazon.com -> prepenguin results,
adding anydomain.com -> better but still penguin results

It seems like if the added domain suppresses something like a niche penalty/filter.
Like if keyword matches amazon _-> #1 amazon #2-#9 brands etc.
if amazon is filtered -> prepenguin
4:20 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Like if keyword matches amazon _-> #1 amazon #2-#9 brands etc.
if amazon is filtered -> prepenguin


None of the pages ranking top 20 in my niche post-penguin has anything to do with amazon and no amazon pages are ranking. Appending -amazon.com (or any other domain) does change the serps, but maybe I'm misunderstanding what you're saying with respect to Amazon and its significance.
4:35 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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For me on 2 sites wich are definitely penguined, they come back on the ols positions when adding -example.com or -amazon.com

For me it seems at least a signal for being penguined on the 24th (and not by the panda update 2 days earlier,

It seems like if the added domain suppresses something like a niche penalty/filter.


back in the Florida days where a piece of nonsensical text (was it waffle?) added to the search string pulled up results without the keyword penalty


weird stuff,
who is able to draw conlclusions from this?
4:42 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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> who is able to draw conlclusions from this?

The more I think about it, the more it's beginning to make sense that this may be what Google is doing behind the scenes - adding modifiers to search strings to serve up different results. If I can get different pages with -amazon -ebay, why couldn't Google?
4:49 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@crobb,

I will try it this way.
If g will find some results on amazon then this will change the results in favour of amazon ( cause goog thinks this is the best for the users ). If you add -amazon then the complete search will be traded normal.
So if in your serps nothing is changing, then this theory is supported by your observation, cause there is nothing goog can amazon favour for.

IN other words. There are different niches. Each niche is added one or more authorities. This authorities are manly display, other domains are suspressed. If you suspress this authorities in your search then the old results are coming up. Therefor it does not matter what domain you add as long this fits to the niche/authorities.
I see different results for adding different domains ( in my niche ).
5:04 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting similar results using -amazon and -waffle.
5:12 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting similar results using -amazon and -waffle.

-webmasterworld.com
-google.com
-example.com
Anything can be appended, and the results shift to bring penalized sites back up. It's interesting. We've seen it before, I believe after the Florida update, when gibberish could be appended.

@Martin Ice, thank you for clarifying your point.
5:23 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, that's what I said too. Somebody figured out in during Florida that adding "waffle" (?) reset results to pre-Florida. My question though is whether Google is doing this too to serve up seemingly random incoherent results from user to user?
5:25 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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You can add whatever domain and .com to your search terms but they won't affect 'reality'...
5:40 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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You can add whatever domain and .com to your search terms but they won't affect 'reality'...


And that is the unfortunate reality.
5:41 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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1. What if your domain name is critical to your business? (the domain is the business identity)

2. What if your competitor has sabotaged your site with spammy backlinks?
5:45 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Just tried this using the domain of a company we resell for on a phrase I've long suspected my site is being suppressed for and we jumped up 10 places. Our competitor was 9th, we were 29th......added -theirdomain.com and we became 19th.

Our site is suffering from Panda but no noticeable effects from Penguin.

To me, this looks like a duplicate/similar content suppression mechanism.

When I use amazon.com, etc. there's no difference, only when I use domains of competitors or similar sites in my niche.
6:03 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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When I use amazon.com, etc. there's no difference, only when I use domains of competitors or similar sites in my niche


thank you claarky, this is what i mean. There are authorities seperated into niches and this authorities rules and/or is the measure for the other domains. Serps are changing by adding the-domain by rescoring your domain to the next authority.

edit: But this would mean there is no way out of this mess.
6:27 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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maybe there are different forms of the same phenomenon

btw i find it also with a domain penalized months earlier....

i think adding the -domain lifts different penalties in different ways
7:09 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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So if my site was at number 2 for a keyword and is now at no position in the top 500 since the penguin update. Then I do the "keyword -authoritysiteinmyniche.com" into google and it shows back to number 2, what does this mean to me?

(a) Does it mean my site has been given an automated penalty by peguin?
(b) Is there anyway to say if this is an off-site or on-site penalty?

This all makes so little sense to me. Sorry.
8:49 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if Google is doing this too? Adding modifiers to search strings as they come in to serve up completely different results. If they are, that in itself might explain the sharp drop in traffic many of us are experiencing.


Thanks for pointing that out - it works a treat

Great for showing which sites have suffered penguin damage and which ones need some - all the more easier for a nseo attack on their other ranking pages!
10:08 pm on May 17, 2012 (gmt 0)

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But there are differences between adding -amazon.comm and -anydomain.com.
For my site this means, adding -amazon.com -> prepenguin results,
adding anydomain.com -> better but still penguin results

It seems like if the added domain suppresses something like a niche penalty/filter.
Like if keyword matches amazon _-> #1 amazon #2-#9 brands etc.
if amazon is filtered -> prepenguin


I have seen strong indications in the past that Google run more than one database, and that the ranking rules are different for each one. If my theories are correct then which database comes into play depends on the search terms submitted. Therefore, the main money search terms are treated in a different way to more minor, or long tail, terms. Main search terms for red widgets are treated in a different way to those for green widgets. Therefore, adding some garbage to a common search term will mean that the query will be handled by a different algo altogether, and thus give completely different results, than the case would have been had the original term been entered.

This is the cause of a great deal of confusion amongst webmasters who expect more straightforward results to queries and this is, I believe, whilst not necessarily the only reason for this procedure, a very useful one to Google for keeping the algo opaque.

In analysing results it is necessary to think outside the box a little and not assume that a simple logical sequence will take place. It most certainly won't.
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