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Google Penguin Recovery


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22 replies to this topic

#1 devoteddomains

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 06:26 AM

Hi everyone,

 

I have been hit by the Penguin algorithm on the 24th April 2012.

 

I carried out an analysis on my website using a combination of the links from Webmaster Tools, Ahrefs and OpenSiteExplorer to give a more rounded overview of my link profile. I then used a certain “box named” (I’m sure you know the program I mean) piece of software to check Google indexation and anchor text, in addition to whether the links are actually still live. So as you can imagine I’ve been pretty thorough, and have cleaned up my anchor text so that it has a natural distribution.

 

I have also been through the homepage and reduced the keyword density I know Matt Cutts said not to, but I believe I was a bit “over-optimised”. Anyway despite all of this my homepage still does not rank for it’s main keyword (“removed”), not even in the first 200 results despite having a solid link profile. Have you any idea why this might be? It does however rank no. 1 for "keyword  town”.

 

I am certain that it is a Penguin issue as my traffic dropped on the 24th April 2012 and it no longer ranked for this keyword. I also know that it wasn’t a manual action as I didn’t receive a message through Webmaster Tools.

 

Thanks in advance.


Edited by Jill, 16 April 2013 - 07:31 AM.
Website removed


#2 chrishirst

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:02 PM

I would suggest reading the Tips for new SEOs to find out what SEO really is.



#3 devoteddomains

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Posted 16 April 2013 - 03:13 PM

That's not very helpful. I have been doing SEO for about 6 years now with great success with a number of sites, I am just stumped with this one.



#4 chrishirst

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:12 AM

. I have been doing SEO for about 6 years now with great success with a number of sites, I am just stumped with this one.

Then you have been "doing it wrong" for six years and Google has finally caught up with you.



#5 devoteddomains

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 05:34 AM

Again that's not very helpful, and you're wrong because I have a number of other websites that rank very well. I am asking a question about a specific example and you haven't even addressed it.



#6 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:53 AM

I carried out an analysis on my website using a combination of the links from Webmaster Tools, Ahrefs and OpenSiteExplorer to give a more rounded overview of my link profile. I then used a certain “box named” (I’m sure you know the program I mean) piece of software to check Google indexation and anchor text, in addition to whether the links are actually still live. So as you can imagine I’ve been pretty thorough, and have cleaned up my anchor text so that it has a natural distribution.

 

If by "cleaned up my anchor text so that it has a natural distribution" you mean "I changed anchors and left a lot of self-placed links out there" then you really did not clean up anything.

 

I have also been through the homepage and reduced the keyword density I know Matt Cutts said not to, but I believe I was a bit “over-optimised”. Anyway despite all of this my homepage still does not rank for it’s main keyword (“removed”), not even in the first 200 results despite having a solid link profile. Have you any idea why this might be? It does however rank no. 1 for "keyword  town”.

I don't recall Matt Cutts ever associating "keyword density" with Penguin.  He did say that embedding spammy text and/or links on your site could trigger a Penguin downgrade (it's not just about the links pointing to your site).  Your confidence in your "solid link profile" does not persuade me that you really cleaned up the profile.

 

If it's really a Penguin issue, however, you need to wait until Google releases another iteration into the wild before you can expect to see the fruits (if there will be any) of your efforts.



#7 Jill

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 09:16 AM

Have you read my 18 SEO killers article?  http://www.highranki...seo-killers-345



#8 devoteddomains

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 10:37 AM

If by "cleaned up my anchor text so that it has a natural distribution" you mean "I changed anchors and left a lot of self-placed links out there" then you really did not clean up anything.

No what I mean is, I contacted all of the other webmasters and got them to change their anchor text so that there are now more inbound links with naked URL's, the website in question does have a natural profile in that the other websites that link to it are other local resources controlled by other people.

 

I don't recall Matt Cutts ever associating "keyword density" with Penguin.  He did say that embedding spammy text and/or links on your site could trigger a Penguin downgrade (it's not just about the links pointing to your site).  Your confidence in your "solid link profile" does not persuade me that you really cleaned up the profile.

 

If it's really a Penguin issue, however, you need to wait until Google releases another iteration into the wild before you can expect to see the fruits (if there will be any) of your efforts.

 

Penguin is an "over-optimisation" algorithm change accompanied by manual penalties for people who are found to have unnatural link profiles. The algorithmic part of Penguin effects both over optimisation of anchor text that points to your website and over optimisation of the internal SEO, i.e. the website itself. Part of this is keyword stuffing which Matt Cutts has talked about specifically, and while he says not to get too bogged down with focusing on keyword density, if your website does have what could be termed as over optimised keyword density then the algorithm is going to effect your ranking.

 

The website in question was probably guilty of this to a certain extent and this is what I have now cleaned up, and just to clarify we did not receive a manual action just a drop in rankings for a specific keyword, the website performs really well for other keywords.

 

Are you sure that waiting for another iteration is the answer? If you watch this discussion with John Mueller from Google Webmaster Central:

 

 

You will see that he specifically mentions Penguin and that to see ranking changes you wouldn't need to wait for another iteration as they recrawl regularly, not quite weekly or daily but regularly. Am I misinterpreting what he says? Skip to 2:40 for the Penguin specific discussion it only lasts for a couple of minutes.


Edited by devoteddomains, 17 April 2013 - 10:38 AM.


#9 Jill

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:43 AM

If you're still not getting traffic for the keywords you would like to, then it could be any number of problems. The main one being that Google believes there are other pages that are more relevant or better than yours, which they would prefer to show their users.

 

Look at all of those that come before you very carefully and try to determine what it is that is better about them. Look at also what you can do differently on your page to make yours better, and also to make yours unique and different from those Google is already showing.

 

Google likes their top 10 results to be diverse. So the more different you can make your page be while still being totally relevant for the keywords, the better.


But if you're dealing with a single keyword (not a phrase) then often times it's simply a crap shoot.

 

I'd focus more on the zillions of keyword PHRASES that relate to your site rather than getting hung up on one keyword.



#10 devoteddomains

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:55 AM

If you're still not getting traffic for the keywords you would like to, then it could be any number of problems. The main one being that Google believes there are other pages that are more relevant or better than yours, which they would prefer to show their users.

My website ranked fairly highly for it's main keyword (in the top 10) before the Penguin algorithm came into place on the 24th April, so this is not the case. Our website is in fact linked to by even more relevant high quality sites now so it should be more relevant than before not less. It has been hit by the Penguin algorithm and that is why that it doesn't rank and for not other reason as it ranks highly for all it's other keywords.

 

But if you're dealing with a single keyword (not a phrase) then often times it's simply a crap shoot.

 

I have focused on an extremely diverse range of keywords and that's why we still get traffic, we have just been hit by the one keyword that potentially brings in the most traffic.

 

We don't seem to be addressing my original issue.



#11 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:58 AM

No what I mean is, I contacted all of the other webmasters and got them to change their anchor text so that there are now more inbound links with naked URL's, the website in question does have a natural profile in that the other websites that link to it are other local resources controlled by other people.

 

It's the LINKS that are the problem, not the anchor text.

 

Penguin is an "over-optimisation" algorithm change accompanied by manual penalties for people who are found to have unnatural link profiles....

Penguin is NOT an "over-optimisation" algorithm change accompanied by manual penalties....Where on Earth did you get this idea?  You can read about Penguin here on Google's Webmaster blog.

 

Are you sure that waiting for another iteration is the answer? If you watch this discussion with John Mueller from Google Webmaster Central:

John does not say how frequently the algorithm is run; he only says it is NOT run daily or weekly.  And, yes, you pretty much have to wait for them to run it again because -- like the Panda algorithm when it was introduced in 2011 -- Penguin is processed offline and then its results are "manually" integrated into the database/index.

 

I think you should really review the advice that Jill is pointing you toward.  Aggressive SEO is hard to undo once it gets caught but a thorough grounding in the basics, or a serious review of them, is necessary.  You're laboring under some misconceptions an that is not helping you.



#12 devoteddomains

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 12:11 PM

It's the LINKS that are the problem, not the anchor text.

How can you say that without performing a backlink analysis of the site in question (which I have done). The link sources are clean, reputable, on topic and the links are contextual.

 

Penguin is NOT an "over-optimisation" algorithm change accompanied by manual penalties....Where on Earth did you get this idea?  You can read about Penguin here on Google's Webmaster blog.

Yes Penguin is an "over-optimisation" algorithm, just perform a Google search and you will see from several different reputable sources such as SEOMOZ, SEO Book, Search Engine Land and countless others that this is the case. Just because Google haven't used this exact phrase in their blog post does not mean that it's not the case, but they do mention the items I have highlighted here: link profile and internal factors both of which I have worked on.

 

You're laboring under some misconceptions an that is not helping you.

I wouldn't say that this is the case either, I have done exactly what Google suggest in terms of "cleaning up my act".


Edited by devoteddomains, 17 April 2013 - 12:12 PM.


#13 Michael Martinez

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 06:28 PM

How can you say that without performing a backlink analysis of the site in question (which I have done). The link sources are clean, reputable, on topic and the links are contextual.

 

Having read Matt's own words about what Penguin does -- having watched many of his videos and read many of his articles and interviews about what the Google Web spam team looks for -- I am very confident that simply switching the anchor text isn't going to turn a bad link good.

 

If the link has been tagged as bad by the search engine, it's dead, gone, buried, and blistered -- and may be used against you in some future assessment (manual or algorithmic).  You don't have to take my word for that.  I won't hate you for not believing me.

 

Yes Penguin is an "over-optimisation" algorithm,...

 

No, it's NOT.

 

I wouldn't say that this is the case either, I have done exactly what Google suggest in terms of "cleaning up my act".

 

Then all you have to do at this point is wait and everything will go back to being fine and good eventually.



#14 devoteddomains

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 07:03 PM

I am very confident that simply switching the anchor text isn't going to turn a bad link good.

I am not talking about "bad links" I'm talking about good links with over optimised anchor text.

 

No, it's NOT.

Yes it is, try reading this: http://www.seroundta...date-14887.html or the countless other articles regarding Penguin. This is a direct quote from Matt Cutts. This was in the build up to the Penguin release on April 24th 2012, it's irrefutable.



#15 Jill

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 07:13 AM

My website ranked fairly highly for it's main keyword (in the top 10) before the Penguin algorithm came into place on the 24th April, so this is not the case. 

 

It doesn't matter that you ranked for it before. According to the new algorithm your site is no longer the best to show. Period. 

 

Make it be. 

 

(BTW I agree that Penguin has to do with what some refer to as "over optimization." Which is also why you have to look beyond just your links as I've said.)






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