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However, there are a few hit sites that have recovered - definitely not many, and especially not e-commerce.
We have done a TON of work to try to recover good sites, removing links, changing link profile, disavow etc.
20. A device, comprising: a memory to store a first rank associated with a document; and a processor to: retrieve the first rank; dynamically compute a second rank associated with the document; select a rank transition function that represents a transition, over a period of time, from the first rank to the second rank; compute, based on the rank transition function, a sequence including a plurality of transition ranks over the period of the time; detect, during the period of time, changes to one or more ranking factors associated with the document; compare the sequence to the detected changes to the one or more ranking factors; identify a signal of rank-modifying spam based on comparing the sequence to the detected changes to the one or more ranking factors; determine whether the signal of rank-modifying spam satisfies a threshold associated with a positive identification of the rank-modifying spamming; and reduce, when the signal of rank-modifying spam satisfies the threshold, a rank score associated with the document.
The purpose of rank-modifying spamming is to raise the rank of a document so that the document appears highly ranked in a set of search results even if that document is not relevant, or not as relevant as some lower ranked documents, to the search query. Various techniques exist, such as keyword stuffing, invisible text, tiny text, page redirects, META tags stuffing, and link-based manipulation.
An exemplary rank transition function consistent with the principles of the invention may be derived from a conventional ranking algorithm. For example, the rank transition function may insert time-based and/or random factor(s) into a conventional ranking algorithm. In one implementation, the conventional ranking algorithm may rank documents based on link-based information (e.g., information regarding the incoming and/or outgoing links associated with the documents, such as the number of incoming and/or outgoing links, weights assigned to the incoming and/or outgoing links, information regarding the linking documents, etc.).
The rank of a document may change over time due, for example, to changes in the document itself, the links pointing to the document, or documents with links to the document (sometimes referred to as "linking documents"). These changes may be the result of legitimate modifications or rank-modifying spamming. The rank of the document before the changes may be referred to as the "old rank" and the rank of the document after the changes may be referred to as the "target rank." The rank transition function may generate a "transition rank" that is interposed between the old rank and the target rank. The transition rank may cause a time-based delay response, a negative response, a random response, and/or an unexpected response to occur during the transition from the old rank to the target rank.
As explained above, the delayed and/or negative response to the rank-modifying spamming may cause the spammer to take other measures to correct it. For example, for a delayed response, the spammer may subject the document to additional rank-modifying spamming (e.g., adding additional keywords, tiny text, invisible text, links, etc.). For a negative response, the spammer may revert the document and/or links to that document (or other changes) to their prior form in an attempt to undo the negative response caused by the rank-modifying spamming.
When a spammer tries to positively influence a document's rank through rank-modifying spamming, the spammer may be perplexed by the rank assigned by a rank transition function consistent with the principles of the invention, such as the ones described above. For example, the initial response to the spammer's changes may cause the document's rank to be negatively influenced rather than positively influenced. Unexpected results are bound to elicit a response from a spammer, particularly if their client is upset with the results. In response to negative results, the spammer may remove the changes and, thereby render the long-term impact on the document's rank zero. Alternatively or additionally, it may take an unknown (possibly variable) amount of time to see positive (or expected) results in response to the spammer's changes. In response to delayed results, the spammer may perform additional changes in an attempt to positively (or more positively) influence the document's rank. In either event, these further spammer-initiated changes may assist in identifying signs of rank-modifying spamming.
When signs of rank-modifying spamming exist, but perhaps not enough for a positive identification of rank-modifying spamming, then the "suspicious" document may be subjected to more extreme rank variations in response to changes in its link-based information. Alternatively, or additionally, noise may be injected into the document's rank determination. This noise might cause random, variable, and/or undesirable changes in the document's rank in an attempt to get the spammer to take corrective action. This corrective action may assist in identifying the document as being subjected to rank-modifying spamming.
You are implying that every SEO who advocates a Penguin risk management strategy is wrong.
but wondering how many people may have made too many changes that have a ranking influence
That's a good point, however in our case all of our changes were made in the first 2 months following penguin (may/june 2012) and we have made no seo changes in the last 10 months.
Did you make them all at once, or did you make one, then another, then another?
clear violation of obstructing free trade.
All summer I had posted repeatedly in the Google forums and the (mostly rude) posters there mostly focused on my content even though the penalty was on April 24.
Then Penguin came, and it wasn't. 80% of my G traffic disappeared,
You refused to look at sound reasoning and you started thread after thread about the same thing.
That said, you can't fix your problem without fixing your content.
TLDR: I wanted to put that out there - I was undoubtedly penalized on Penguin day, and my traffic undoubtedly returned on October 13.
My Penguinized site - which, like many here, was actually totally hands-off on link development... 80% of my G traffic disappeared...
Google through PENGUIN removed your ability to use inorganic links so all you can do is "make your website great!"
[edited by: TheOptimizationIdiot at 8:06 pm (utc) on May 3, 2013]