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Trying to figure out our situation - Panda? Penguin? Penalty?

     
8:44 pm on Sep 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I know we have some sort of penalty as a result of dodgy links. We received a notification in WMT some time ago and have not ranked above 50 for main money terms way before Penguin. We were good on long-tail. In fact, we were getting more traffic with long-tail than money terms...until Penguin. Once Penguin hit, our money terms fell to 150+ and we lost about 1/2 of our long-tail. For inner pages, some we rank well for all targeted terms, while others will only rank for a few targeted terms (we rank top 10 for keyword keyword2 keyword3, but 150+ for keyword keyword2).

We made a bunch of changes (cleaned up links, etc) but have not seen much good or bad results with these mini Panda refreshes. Two steps forward, one step back, two steps back, one step forward and so on. Never really moving more than + or - 10.

I've been debating internally for some time...is the above Penguin? Panda? Or something else?
8:55 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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The first thing to look at is the timeline. If you have big drops that correspond with major update dates, then it's very unlikely you had a separate effect the merely coincided.

If you've got a manual penalty, then reconsideration is the quickest way to resolve it (and by quickest, you're looking at a month or two with that route).
9:07 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm leery about filing a reinclusion with the stories I have heard about sites dropping even further even though they have been cleaned up.
9:19 pm on Sept 27, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I'm leery about filing a reinclusion with the stories I have heard about sites dropping even further even though they have been cleaned up


I confess, it's not something I've seen, but obviously you need a pretty high degree of confidence that your site is going to pass scrutiny to go ahead with it.

I certainly wouldn't rule out algorithmic demotion of your listings based on the symptoms. But I guess you want to have it clear in your head whether you are just no longer relevant, or whether you would be relevant were it not for a negative effect applied by Google?
2:47 am on Sept 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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If your site can't pass human scrutiny, then you might as well throw in the towel as their algo will eventually catch up with you.

If you've cleaned up, file the RR to remove the manual penalty for unnatural links.

If the loss of long tail coincided with either of the two Penguin dates, then you'll have to wait until the next refresh to be released from that.
5:15 am on Sept 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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you need a pretty high degree of confidence that your site is going to pass scrutiny to go ahead with it.

I agree. People who have had a manual action against their site get into trouble by hoping that they can just fix some things and getting the rest to sneak by

If you've got a manual action, I'm sure there are very clear "notes" about the infractions for the Reconsideration team to refer to. So trying to sneak something by is not a smart thing to do if you really want to recover.
12:31 pm on Sept 28, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hey, it's generally pretty easy to figure out what problems you have as long as you have Analytics installed and can review the timeline.

I have picked up a client that who has, it would seem, pretty much every penalty going. They have a manual penalty from before Penguin and Panda and subsequent analysis shows further drops on all the relevant panda and penguin dates.

We have been working to resolve the issue(s) and have made some improvements by removing panda targeted pages and removing bunches of backlinks from some of their own network of sites but as of yet, whilst things are better, we have not been able to resolve the manual penalty and it would seem to get out from under that rock, there is more to do.

So, point being, don't think this is a one penalty gig, you could have problems with a manual penalty, panda and penguin and all of them are contributing.

There are some good resources now for diagnosing specific issues and you can likely resolve some, if not all of your panda problems without too much trouble. Penguin stuff depends on your link building and how much control you have over the link profile but seeing as you have a manual penalty as well then.... I am guessing you may have further problems.

There are some fairly solid resources out there now on how to diagnose and at least determine how possible it is to recover but if you are in big trouble, it may be easier to kill this domain and move the site to a new address.

Ultimately, it's impossible to advise without a link and some analysis, but there are ways to get an idea of how much work is involved and whether you are best to start fresh or persist with your clean up efforts.

Hope this helps!
Marcus

[edited by: tedster at 1:39 pm (utc) on Sep 28, 2012]

 

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