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Penguin / Panda Recovery Strategies

2:30 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Mar 5, 2008
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Hi, I've browsed through some threads on the topic of Panda / Penguin - a lot of good information, however a lot of rant about Google being unfair, etc. We all know that, Google sucks with their animals, however I think we can all benefit from a sort of repository of fixes, No nonsense.

Please post some of the fixes YOU DID (not guesses or theories), what is exactly involved, and what you recovered. Also a collection of links to GOOD articles will be helpful.

In the nutshell, post techniques, strategies and steps here - something actionable, something everyone can act on. Also, with penguin 4 coming (or 2.0), I think we can all benefit from this.

- So far we've been doing the basics, link cleanup, anchor dial down (12%), new quality content. The site has moved from page 4 to the middle of the second, however it is not budging further.

---- Clean up

Roll up your sleeves. Get all the link data, Webmaster Tools, MJSEO, OSE, Ahrefs (by the way Ahrefs are the MOST complete and freshest as of now, so if you're tight on cash, this IS the service).

Go through links one by one in a spreadsheet, mark those for removal.

Now the tough past - getting the contact info. There are several automatic tools of extracting contact info, however the downside you will be missing the name. Having the name in gets you a WAY better response rate.

What we're using is outsourcing all info extraction oversees and getting the data like, Name, Email, Email form (if no email is found), Social links (if no email / form is found).

Then once there a database is build, I use Polite Mail for mass sendout, using merge field to personalize the email with the first name (not full) and website. A template ends up reading like you sent it only to one person, but you can be mailing thousands. (since this is not a newsletter, the person DOESNT really know this is a mass sendout, unless you make it look like one). For email format plain text ONLY. Polite mail has a nice option of turning off the opt out, so it looks like you just sent it to one person. Some contacts will be missing names, so make sure NOT to leave a comma after the NAME merge field, otherwise it will look like

Hi ,

Just wanted to drop.... ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Also this technique is GREAT for any other scallable outreach. Watch your titles as well. Make them like you're emailing a buddy. No long ass smart news like titles here, something 2 - 4 words THATS it.

From that point on, you will get a set of links taken down right away, some will want cash - pay if you got the budget, bargain a little.

Once done, send a follow up and a follow 2, maybe 3.

---- Link Building

On the link building side we're doing reviews with manual outreach, giveaways, moving more toward quality guest posts (manual outreach, no network stuff), and also journalist outreach is in the works using Cision. At this point I can say the review / giveaway are working so, so, as the sites are usually of mediocre domain metrics. There is however a lot of twitter engagement, since this is where the giveaway people get their participants. In a way links get proofed by twitter which is great. On the downside - easily traceble by Google, hence I'm working on other strategies that still allow for more - or - less precise anchor control and still look natural.

Did a big scholarship campaign - however NO results at all. Got around 100+ links from .edu's etc, but the rankings barely moved. We either have a really penalized domain, or Google is on to this.

The key to the scholarship strategy if you're going to do one - is having the right contacts, so be prepared to either spend a lot time / money on contacts gathering, and obviously outreach.

Also, one of the things I did, which is really helpful (and recommend) is the dissection of all the links by PA / DA, Anchor text, and then putting everything into a graph for visuals. Right off the bat I've spotted a lack of deep links so we're focusing distribution on internal pages for now.

---- Content

One of the big problems we're still having in regards to the Panda is complete lack of domain trust. We rewrote all the content on the website, and when you select a sentence and search for it on Google, our site either doesnt come up, or comes up waaaay far in SERPS. We're 100% original author, yet Google gives contribution to sites that copied us! Any idea how to fix this one? Its frustrating!

Would appreciate if you can help!

[edited by: goodroi at 6:38 pm (utc) on May 13, 2013]
[edit reason] Please no links as per forum charter [/edit]

9:01 pm on May 13, 2013 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:May 26, 2000
votes: 0

I helped on site with exactly that symptom - they had lost authority for their own content and were being outranked by a pile of scrapers. Panda 1.0 killed their traffic - even though they already had a stable of tem recognized industry authors.

What we did was:
1. Delay the RSS feed until googlebot crawled the new article
2. Use PubSubHubbub to ping Google on new articles
3. Execute many DMCA takedown requests
4. Institute authorship mark-up

Within 6 months, search traffic was back. Two years later, has gone from record to new record.