Has the Google Penguin Update punished you and you are not sure why?
Well, you can visit a few thousand websites to get the answer you need, but in reality, you are going to have very few options from what I can see, just a lot of speculation currently.
Before we get into what you can do about the Penguin update, I should let you know that our site got slammed by the Penguin our traffic is down around 46% after the update with no real way out from what I can see.
How Can A Cute Fury Little Animal Like A Penguin Be Scary
Living in Australia the only real fear we have is all the deadly spiders and snakes and if you do go for a swim in the beautiful crystal clear water which by the way is much to warm for a Penguin you only have to look out for the colossal man-eating sharks that may or may not be lurking in the depths beneath you.
Oh and not to leave these fascinating creatures out, we also have some of the deadliest jellyfish and biggest crocodiles on the planet, but no rabid Penguins that I knew of.
However, you get used to that, and for most in Australia, it is no surprise if you get bitten or stung or even lose a limb to one of these dangerous creatures.
Until Now That Is!
As for penguins that lose their way and end up on the southern shores of Australia we usually patch them up and send them back to where they came from, I think however this penguin is beyond repair and needs to be put down.
I Have To Admit The Penguin Got Me By Surprise I Never Realized It Had Such Big Teeth
Then one sunny morning I logged on to find a horrid message in my Webmaster Tools Account about un-natural linking dated the 7th April 2012, I knew I was doomed from the start.
Especially when others were saying that this was no more than a scare tactic from Google and all you should do is ignore it.
However I have never known Google to send a message that you should ignore because they will take action and by the end of April they did, my site disappeared from the Top 3 listing for “Affiliate Marketing” to nowhere that I can see, all I can say right now is thank god for Bing and Yahoo who are both still sending my site traffic.
Being online for as long as I have has taught me one thing, and that is to expect the unexpected when it comes to Google, or any changes that they make, what they say and what they do can sometimes be two different things.
However Don’t Panic Just Yet
With all the fuss going on about the Penguin Update and what you may not know already is some of the sites that were initially hit by the Google Penguin update are starting to come back into the SERPs, that’s right no changes to these sites, no panic stations just a waiting game to see what your site will do.
You need to remember right from the start of all this that the search listings went crazy there we sites ranking that had no quality, no social signals or any real content to speak of and in some cases no actual keywords to mention in the content.
Sites like Tumblr.com and Blogger.com started to appear for very competitive keywords, and with little content, that is not what Google’s intention would have been, so they are going to have to make some adjustments. What their aim as many will tell you is to favour big business brands, but that will be a story for another day.
What Will We Do To Tame The Penguin?
Even though our site has taken a hammering in the SERPs it still retains its page rank, whether Google is manually adjusting or the page rank will be removed in the next update I can’t say, and I don’t think anyone else can either that’s why it is a wait and see what happens scenario.
For those that are in Panic Mode and following all the advice currently online you should slow down take it easy as you may be making matters worse for yourself. Those that have done the wrong thing in the eyes of Google and you know who you are then maybe you need a new site, Google has not done this to allow you back in anytime soon, that is for sure and how long will take you to fix all the vague guidelines that you have to work with it’s just better to move on and start fresh if you can.
So What Is This New Term Negative SEO?
Can negative SEO hurt you well I say yes, only because once this update happened my Webmaster Tools account started showing thousands of incoming links from three sites? These sites had hundreds of subdomains attached and were using articles to link back to my site all with the anchor text “Affiliate Marketing” the earliest date I can find when this started was January 2012.
Others say that it can have no impact as long as you have strong social influence, well some of our pages have 500+ Tweets as well as Linkedin, and Facebook likes it made no difference to what has happened.
So why do I think this is happening?
Simply put, I believe the Algorthim that Google had in place for what they considered irrelevant links has now been replaced by the Google Penguin Algorithm. The Penguin Algorithm is looking at all links going to a site to get a bigger picture of what you are or have done online which is then used to determine whether or not you get a Penguin Slap.
Some of my other friends online friends have also said that they are finding articles that were written in some of these de-indexed Blog Networks three years ago or more are now starting to surface in their webmaster tools accounts and as trackbacks in their blogs, so you would have to think if it is said that links from other sites cannot hurt your ranking then why are these links now appearing after not being counted by Google.
Maybe a better way for Google to approach this would have been to send the notification about the unnatural links and then advise the webmaster that if this practice continues your site will be penalised. I think that this would have been enough of a deterrent to stop the practice fast and not impact on the thousands of business now being affected and in some cases sending people broke.
And the worse thing about all of this is some of these sites had no SEO done on them and were nothing more than little Mum and Pop businesses trying to survive in these hard times.
These are just my ramblings to what has happened us but if you want some great articles on the Google Penguin Update then check these out…
- Microsite Masters – Penguin Analysis: SEO Isn’t Dead, But You Need To Act Smarter
- SEOMOZ – The Penguin Update & How Google Identifies Spam (a must read)
- Matts Marketing Blog – The Google Penguin Update
Regardless of what has happened, you need to keep a calm head, don’t rush out and buy products that are claiming to fix this they probably will not. Take a long hard look at your business model and see if you can make any improvements or what you can do differently starting today.