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Can Hummingbird Combine With Penguin For Delayed Impact?

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#1 seostudent


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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:00 AM

I have a client (I am not an SEO specialist) who has had their Google rankings and traffic dramatically decrease since Oct 5. We know the site has 1000+ backlinks, most comment spam created by earlier SEO providers. Prior to Oct 5 the site seemed to be unaffacted by the Penguin update. i was surprised due to the existance of the backlinks in particular - a clear violation of good SEO. However there has been a big hit to rankings (Google only, not Bing) since the approx time of Hummingbird impact early October.


My question is: could the Hummingbird update have also triggered impact from Penguin factors? I cant see any other reason for the timing of the rankings hit early Oct.


There has been no warning at any time from Google re the backlinks or other issues.



#2 Jill


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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:29 AM

Why does it matter what update caused the problems?

#3 seostudent


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Posted 21 October 2013 - 09:49 AM

I am trying to relate the effect to the cause, particularly as the site wasn't affected (it seemed) by Penguin changes at the time. Is it possible for the changes from Penguin or other updates to have a delayed effect? From what i read the impact seems to happen to most sites about the same time, no delay.


I realise that good SEO work is regardless of the Google update. But I think it helps to know why things happen when they do.

#4 torka


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Posted 21 October 2013 - 10:26 AM

Sounds as though you already know the site has a crappy link profile. Will knowing if this was an issue for penguins, hummingbirds, pandas, ring-tailed lemurs or any other adorable animal affect your course of action? Or do you already know basically what needs to be done?


Yes, it's nice to know, when knowing is possible. Sometimes, though, we just have to carry on without knowing for sure.


See, the "big" named updates aren't the only changes Google makes. In fact, most years they put through over 400 algorithm tweaks. That's more than one per day. Most of them are minor adjustments that only affect a handful of pages, so it's not worth making a big deal out of each and every one. (Besides, they'd quickly run out of animals if they tried to name them all.)


It's possible that your client's site was affected by one of these minor updates, so the rankings/traffic change may have nothing to do with the big named changes.


It's also possible it has nothing to do with anything Google did -- perhaps one of your competitors has started a new SEO campaign that's pushing their URLs up in the SERPs. SEO is a zero-sum game. If one URL goes up, another has to come down.


The point is: rankings go up and down all the time. Unless you can clearly tie a change to the timing of a big named update, you will usually have very little idea why. Even if you can tie the timing to a big named update, at best you can only say you think it was that update that caused the change. We can never be certain.


Do what you know needs to be done to improve the client's site and their link profile. Knowing the name of a specific update that might have caused the drop isn't going to give you any additional useful information in terms of fixing the problem.


My :02:


--Torka :oldfogey:

#5 qwerty


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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:51 AM

All good points, but if you do feel a need to apply the name of some troublesome beastie to the issue, this article from October 4 might help.


Penguin 5, With The Penguin 2.1 Spam-Filtering Algorithm, Is Now Live

Edited by qwerty, 21 October 2013 - 11:51 AM.

#6 seostudent


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Posted 21 October 2013 - 06:13 PM

Thanks torka for your comments - and thanks qwerty for the link. All very helpful.

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