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    Google Penguin Problem


    Hi,

    I have a website: <snip> that used to rank very well in Google for keywords such as "formal letters", "personal letters", "letter writing" etc. Once the penguin update came out on the 24th April 2012 the website dramatically dropped in ranking. The website ranked very highly, nearly always in the top ten for many of the keywords previously, but after the Penguin update website it did not rank well at all and for some keywords dropped off the listings all together.

    I have attempted to dilute the anchor text of links coming through to the website in case this was the reason but there has been no effect on rankings. Even for our brand the "good letter writing" keyword which we were previously at number 1 for has been effected and we currently rank 12.

    Webmaster tools is setup and we have not received any messages about spam, I just can't for the life of me work out why our website no longer ranks, can someone please help?

    Thanks in advance,
    Pete
    Last edited by dzine; Feb 10th, 2013 at 10:36 AM. Reason: ...also know that site reviews are only allowed for people w/ more than 30 posts... See forum rules
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  3. rod@missionop.com
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    You can't target link anchors with "formal letters," "personal letters," "letter writing," etc., just for the sake of developing ranks.

    Best to target your exact match domain name or legal company name.
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    Thanks for your response.

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean, why can't I target those anchors? It doesn't really answer my question...

    I have a mixture of links coming into my website including my company name, domain name and occasionaly links with for instance "formal letters" as the anchor text.
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  7. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by devoteddomains
    Thanks for your response.

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean, why can't I target those anchors? It doesn't really answer my question...

    I have a mixture of links coming into my website including my company name, domain name and occasionaly links with for instance "formal letters" as the anchor text.
    I'm sure you do have a mix but PENGUIN targets links that are inorganic in nature and the way you tell those are repetitive use of keyword phrases purpose-built to rank pages.

    So without looking I can say your mix is lopsided.

    Ask 1000 people to link to your domain and don't say anything about the link anchor text... what do you suppose you'll get as anchors?

    Start there.
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    I'm sure you do have a mix but PENGUIN targets links that are inorganic in nature and the way you tell those are repetitive use of keyword phrases purpose-built to rank pages.

    So without looking I can say your mix is lopsided.

    Ask 1000 people to link to your domain and don't say anything about the link anchor text... what do you suppose you'll get as anchors?

    Start there.
    Hi Fathom, are you aware of any website that has been hit by penguin but then re-gained it's ranking? Are you or anyone aware of a site that has been hit for aggressive anchor text, for the webmaster to then remove/fix the anchor text issues to ensure a more balanced link profile (a higher percentage of branded links etc) and then the site restore its pre April 24th 2012 rankings?
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    From his other posts regarding the Penguin update, I believe that Fathom has had a lot of success in reviving those sites that have been affected.
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  13. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by markhincks
    Hi Fathom, are you aware of any website that has been hit by penguin but then re-gained it's ranking?
    Yes about 53 of them so far for myself.

    Are you or anyone aware of a site that has been hit for aggressive anchor text, for the webmaster to then remove/fix the anchor text issues to ensure a more balanced link profile (a higher percentage of branded links etc) and then the site restore its pre April 24th 2012 rankings?
    The problem is you don't need to remove anything (unless you find the links embarrassing)... dead links are dead they no longer have any impact positive or negative.

    But that does not mean you can go right back to developing inorganic links.

    If you got devalued for Search Engine Optimization Services... getting more links using that term or variations of that term have been flagged already as being inorganic to the page in question so you have to avoid being inorganic.

    Most sites have not recovered because:

    • 1. they stopped link development or
      2. they continued with inorganic link development


    Here's your real problem. Let's say you lost 80% of your traffic and we assume you lost 80% of your ranks and thereby 80% of your links were inorganic links (these are purely assumptions for illustrations)... inorganic links are extremely powerful links as they are generally an exact match to the phrase you wish to rank for regardless of Google's quality control guidelines.

    Organic links on the other hand are not meant to rank you. They are meant for the patronage of other domains. Thus results are very slow occurring due to the fact that organic links only indirectly provide ranks.

    Therefore if you lost 80% of your links (100% inorganic links) and you have to replace them with new organic ones you probably need 800% more links now to produce the same results which is why you don't recover quickly.

    If you understand this post now you can see why Matt Cutts said: "Another Step To Reward High-Quality Sites"

    Comments on this post

    • giggity agrees : Thanks Rod.
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    Wow 53, you have incredibly successful then in reversing the effects of Penguin.

    Let me get this right.

    Site A has done the following:
    Bought 8 links for 'your keyword'
    and
    Received 2 natural links

    The site passes through a Penguin update and is ranking #7 for 'your keyword', but not number 1, so they then buy 10 more links with 'your keyword'.

    Google penguin then kills the ranking for all 'your keyword' related search terms. They have essentially reset the power of the 18 bought links to 0 - but have not changed the power of the two natural links (it is NOT a penalty, according to what you've written in other posts).

    So in order to recover, you are basically starting from the position whereby you have 2 natural links and 18 unnatural that are accounting for nothing.

    So now my question...

    Is there a difference between starting off with a Penguinised site (18 discounted and 2 natural), or a new site that has the same 2 natural links?

    One Google knows that you have tried to manipulate, so does it take this into account? (You say the links are dead so is it your opinion that they don't)

    I think what I'm asking is clear, but probably not.

    Thanks
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    I think this is an interesting (and relevant) reply from Google too:

    http://i.imgur.com/iT4fgpr.png

    Though this is a manual penalty, they state that they focus only on the inorganic links. They aim to discount inorganic links whilst keeping organic ones (so I assume this is what Penguin aim to do algorithmically).

    Also, I think "It is not currently affecting new links to your site, so going forward, organic links may be seen as a positive signal for your site in ranking.

    citation: Gary Viray | SEO, Inbound Marketer.
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  19. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by giggity
    Wow 53, you have incredibly successful then in reversing the effects of Penguin.

    Let me get this right.

    Site A has done the following:
    Bought 8 links for 'your keyword'
    and
    Received 2 natural links
    You probably can't get that granular (unlikely PENGUIN will detect but 8 inorganic links)

    The site passes through a Penguin update and is ranking #7 for 'your keyword', but not number 1, so they then buy 10 more links with 'your keyword'.
    You probably still can't get this granular (unlikely PENGUIN will detect but 18 inorganic links)

    Google penguin then kills the ranking for all 'your keyword' related search terms. They have essentially reset the power of the 18 bought links to 0 - but have not changed the power of the two natural links (it is NOT a penalty, according to what you've written in other posts).
    ABSOLUTELY! Course your organic links don't have much power, in and of themselves, so you think you lost their value as well... BUT YOU DIDN'T!

    So in order to recover, you are basically starting from the position whereby you have 2 natural links and 18 unnatural that are accounting for nothing.

    So now my question...
    Right so far.

    Is there a difference between starting off with a Penguinised site (18 discounted and 2 natural), or a new site that has the same 2 natural links?
    Not really, other than the PENGUINized domain has a two organic link head start.

    You could with a new domain do inorganic linking and just stop short of PENGUIN detection... but in my experience people get complacent over time and end up walking over the edge because they believe they will never get caught... so avoiding the temptation is always best.

    Once Google knows that you have tried to manipulate, so does it take this into account? (You say the links are dead so is it your opinion that they don't)

    I think what I'm asking is clear, but probably not.

    Thanks
    I'm not positive about Google's ability to automatically monitor your domain after the fact... That requires getting PENGUINized, recovering and then seeing if you can get away with it again... which is hard to replicate in short order and certainly not possibly with commercial domains.
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  21. rod@missionop.com
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    Originally Posted by giggity
    I think this is an interesting (and relevant) reply from Google too:

    http://i.imgur.com/iT4fgpr.png

    Though this is a manual penalty, they state that they focus only on the inorganic links. They aim to discount inorganic links whilst keeping organic ones (so I assume this is what Penguin aim to do algorithmically).

    Also, I think "It is not currently affecting new links to your site, so going forward, organic links may be seen as a positive signal for your site in ranking.

    citation: Gary Viray | SEO, Inbound Marketer.
    I'll only make one caution here.

    Avoid comparing Manual Actions and PENGUIN issues ... what you must do to revoke a Manual Action is not the same as recovering from PENGUIN.
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    Originally Posted by fathom
    I'll only make one caution here.

    Avoid comparing Manual Actions and PENGUIN issues ... what you must do to revoke a Manual Action is not the same as recovering from PENGUIN.
    Thanks for the reply, looks like I'm slowly getting to grips with it.

    I think their reply does give some indication on the penalty process all the same.
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    Thanks for your input Fathom and Giggity.

    So Fathom, if i have a site that has been hit by penguin do i now concentrate on building links for my brand, the most natural link one would think? So rather than remove (where possible) keyword rich links, i should build more natural links, is that right? If so and from the experience you've had with 53 sites, what does it take to get back? If 75% of my links are keyword, 15% click here type links and just 10% branded links, do you have an idea of what sort of ratio i now need to recover? Is it simply a case of upping the branded links so that it's a case of 60% brand, 25% click here type links and 15% keyword? Also, once i've hit the optimum ratio (if there is one) how quickly does Google recognise this and return my rankings? Can you give me example time scales from your experience, i understand that every situation is slightly different.

    Ahh i just read your "800%" comment. If this is the case would it not be easier to start off with a fresh site with a fresh, more natural linking approach? I could spend 6 months (for example) recovering a site yet could spend 3 months starting a new one and getting it ranked as well as my initial site, pre-penguin?
    Last edited by markhincks; Feb 11th, 2013 at 05:41 PM.
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    Originally Posted by markhincks
    Thanks for your input Fathom and Giggity.

    So Fathom, if i have a site that has been hit by penguin do i now concentrate on building links for my brand, the most natural link one would think? So rather than remove (where possible) keyword rich links, i should build more natural links, is that right? If so and from the experience you've had with 53 sites, what does it take to get back? If 75% of my links are keyword, 15% click here type links and just 10% branded links, do you have an idea of what sort of ratio i now need to recover? Is it simply a case of upping the branded links so that it's a case of 60% brand, 25% click here type links and 15% keyword? Also, once i've hit the optimum ratio (if there is one) how quickly does Google recognise this and return my rankings? Can you give me example time scales from your experience, i understand that every situation is slightly different.

    Ahh i just read your "800%" comment. If this is the case would it not be easier to start off with a fresh site with a fresh, more natural linking approach? I could spend 6 months (for example) recovering a site yet could spend 3 months starting a new one and getting it ranked as well as my initial site, pre-penguin?
    If your going to ask a question stop leaving out important information.

    Avoid comparing Manual Actions and PENGUIN issues ... what you must do to revoke a Manual Action is not the same as recovering from PENGUIN.
    How do you know you've been hit by penguin mark?
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    Apologies.

    Well my rankings dropped on April 24th 2012 and i haven't received any notice of a manual penalty. Plus my back link profile is 75% keyword heavy, it just seems to all add up unless it could be something else?
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