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Panda & Penguin Recoveries - A How To Guide

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#1 clandestino

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 08:35 PM

Panda-Penguin Recovery, Penguin SEO, Penguin Algorithm, Penguin Recovery Tips, Panda Recovery Tips, Recovering from Panda & Penguin

The 20th update of Panda just rolled out a few days ago. Also, Matt Cutts recently said the Penguin is coming again, it will have a big footprint and "SEO's won't like it." Matt also said that he would recommend working on links. Hmmmmm....here comes penguin panda again.

These are exciting times, if you're a glutton for punishment, that is. :kill_spam:

It occurred to me that the best preventative medicine to protect against these updates and the litany of future updates (and it appears they will be coming for quite some time) would be to listen to someone that had successfully recovered from Panda and/or Penguin and see if we can get them to give us exact details. So if you're recovering form Panda or you're recovering from Penguin and you have some ideas that worked, let us know here.

I know I just saw posts from 2 regulars here on Cre8asite and one recovered from Panda and the other recovered from Penguin.

I wonder how? .......step by step.

If you have had success fighting back, please post here with details so that we may all arm ourselves with the right tools! :wavey:

No post of this type allowed - "there's no point in listening to someone else because every site and every niche is different so you have to go it alone and figure it out all by yourself by doing hours and hours of testing just like I did......" -- there's another site, which shall remain nameless, where every piece of advice sounds just like that, bummer. I'm getting depressed just thinking about it, LOL!

You get the point. All input is valuable and helps with the creative process in designing tests for our own sites -- United We Stand!

So, if you would be so kind, please help by posting here! :whitestalltion:

Edited by chuckfinley, 26 January 2013 - 02:42 AM.


#2 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 07:53 AM

Penguin recovery steps:

1. Find and remove (or nofollow) all backlinks that are sitewide footer or sidebar types of links, any link that would appear to be a paid link, and any links on obviously low-quality sites and/or directories.

2. Vary the anchor text of any backlinks left standing after you've purged the above. You should have more brand and url links than keyword links.

3. Check your own site as well. If your links are too anchor-text heavy, vary the anchor text.

4. Wait for the next Penguin update to be run. Nothing you do will make a difference until it's run again, so learn to be very very very patient.

#3 clandestino

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 02:08 PM

Thanks Donna, you're awesome! Here's to Penguin recovery.

Edited by chuckfinley, 09 December 2012 - 02:00 AM.


#4 Ken Fisher

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:22 PM

Donna seems to only be referring to the Penguin, except that #3 could apply to me because I just did a heavy audit of my Pandalized site. Several pages that had previously ranked well before Panda were nowhere to be seen in the first five pages of the SERPS. Yes, I did create some heavy internal linking by way of related page links for those pages. How severe? 20-30 links site wide on a site that had about 370 pages. Keyword variations of those links? 3-4.

Edited by Ken Fisher, 07 October 2012 - 04:23 PM.


#5 clandestino

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 04:28 PM

Donna seems to only be referring to the Penguin, except that #3 could apply to me because I just did a heavy audit of my Pandalized site. Several pages that had previously ranked well before Panda were nowhere to be seen in the first five pages of the SERPS. Yes, I did create some heavy internal linking by way of related page links for those pages. How severe? 20-30 links site wide on a site that had about 370 pages. Keyword variations of those links? 3-4.



Hi Ken,

I've seen your posts and saw you were searching for an answer. The purpose of this thread is figure out how the Panda and Penguin algorithm works and if there's a Penguin update recovery, we want to get the details here.

Can you post your facts so we can get everyone to weigh in?

I'm assuming you haven't had any improvement yet, is that true?

What changes have you made so far?

Edited by chuckfinley, 09 December 2012 - 02:30 AM.


#6 glyn

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 01:32 AM

I really don't have much to add on finding a cure for these woes except to say....

Google likes to tell you they care about quality standards but I've seen three 10 year old domains drop off the planet with their latest EMD business, which were leaders in their industry. Informational searches are going the way of the "never have to leave the first page" snippets from sources, which essentially relegates content sites. And a whole host of other sites where friends have been whiter than Matt Cutts bathroom towels.

Incidentally I've just been reading Matt Cutt's twitter feed and a) the Google short URLS don't even work and b) just how boring is this guy? Talk about a God complex, threatening (or highlighting) companies websites innability to be read by Chrome. Wrap the guy up in a straight jacket and just put him in a room with eveyone agreeing with him I think it is what he needs.

Based on the comments on some of those Gblog threads I do actually wonder whether these people actually use Google search to perform a search and check the results or that they are so busy focusing on monetizing the services associated with making out that Google is the best, that they are out of the loop. How many times do we now find a page of results - AN ENTIRE PAGE - made up of a single provider. After extensive testing based on the niche you are in, you can expect to see a total of between 35 and 75 different domains being served in 100 results. 37 is not surprisingly the financial niche! Thirty seven domains our of 122 million results. Boy they better be Good and boy are those boys PPCing too, and boy do those guys have the ability to distinguish clicks in the source code of a page of G results. Not. Do no evil...


So it is very easy to recover from these Google updates. Just pay for the ADS. This is all you have to do. P A Y FOR I T!! Then all your problems go away. Now some may say, paying is only half, and they'd be right, but I'm not going to open the whole UX, LP conversion funnel stuff here - it's not my speciality. There's more......if you spend more Google likes you more so you will pay less eventually - This is called "history" or as told in ADwords, the necessity for Google to assess just how effective your ad is OVER TIME....OVER TIME.......WHILE YOU PAY :). As for quality score, well aint that a joke. I consistently his 9.

I've spent the last 2 months reading and playing with Adwords. Playing because frankly after you've spent so long maiming the organic algo results for your clients favour, then PPC is a walk in the park by comparison. You just need to do your research first, be sure of your margins and then go after it. I tried to dig out a post I made 3 or four months back where I joked that Google should actually put a guideline in place to say no optimization was the preferred way, let the algo make the results the best they are, and look where we are now somewhere close to that place.

Here are my recovery steps for whichever type of email you get from Google.

1. Michael was right - I stand by your mighty word sir on bended knee - if you get a "you've been naughty" email from Google in WBT you must take action. I have had 4 cases of bouncing back sites and traffic increases by approximately 20% after the comeback, with an equal dip at the time of the slap.
2. I can't tell you the exact steps that you need to take, because I know have my own method and you just can't publish that online - sorry but there does seem to be this thing that it is useful to publish the technical strategies that work, that is like shooting yourself in the foot.
3. Guidelines for getting back: Analyze backlink profile, look for site that are coming up multiple times in backlink profile. Seek to change those or flag those. You can also do this in WMT by downloading the backlinks. Site wide links seemed to be the flavour of this month - frankly anyone doing the kind of webspam that Matt was citing (even in the latest threat) had become trapped in a DeLorean and gone back to 2001. But he knows that, it's just easier to make a overt citation of that then actually tell people how poor the webspam team were at actually coming up with ways to circumvent their own achilees heel.

4. Don't GROVEL! Put yourself in the shoes of a company that has just taken their business back from an SEO agency. Be objective and busineslike.

My strikerate is 100%, but I know that this is all pretty pointless because in the end Google will reward sites that make Google money.

While this might read like a rant, I'm actually pretty positive on the outlook.

As long as there is Technological Determinism all this is going to continue, but one day we'll wake up again. Sounds like something from the Terminator.

Good luck.

G.

#7 Ken Fisher

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 03:00 AM

Chuck:

I’ve only recently made another attempt (finished Friday October 6) at getting out from under Panda, so it’s too early for any results. For more of what I was focusing on, visit the Webmasterworld thread. I agree with glyn, it’s never been about quality, but it sure sounds good doesn’t it? But then their version of quality is big brands. This goes way back to Eric Schmidt’s comments four years ago.

http://news.cnet.com...0063363-80.html

I really think it’s a matter of time before people do realize Google is not providing what the web was intended for or what made it unique in earlier days… information. I also see Bing headed in that direction too. Unfortunately, typical Google users judgment is becoming is become cloudier as time moves on. Most probably do not see a difference because their changes have been so gradual. This is similar to they way their SERPS have evolved. I consider it drastic but the average Joe on the street doesn’t.

It sure would be nice to see a private company take this over by storm, and keep the company private. All one has to do is copy all of Google’s original ideas and put it to use. Why not? They copy others.…and make a good blacklist of all serious content farmers. Is that possible? Tall order indeed when you consider all the other problems on the web.

#8 clandestino

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:13 PM

For more of what I was focusing on, visit the Webmasterworld thread. I agree with glyn, it’s never been about quality, but it sure sounds good doesn’t it? But then their version of quality is big brands. This goes way back to Eric Schmidt’s comments four years ago.

http://news.cnet.com...0063363-80.html



Hi Ken,

Thanks for the comment.

I couldn't agree more on the Brands --> http://www.seobook.com/brands . I think branding -- both marketing and SEO strategies -- are a next level tactic. Once you get there, everything gets a lot easier and you're insulated from Penguin, Panda and any other Wild Animal that google comes up with. Or, as Glyn points out, you could spend a boat load of money on PPC. Panda Penguin recovery would be better.

Let's keep this going. The more of us keeping an eye out for real recovery successes, the better.

Edited by chuckfinley, 26 January 2013 - 02:40 AM.


#9 clandestino

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 06:55 PM

Recovering from Penguin - Panda & Penguin Recoveries - A Profile In FUD's (fear, uncertainty and doubt) google Style

At SMX, here in San Francisco in August, Matt Cutts said the next Penguin update would be "jarring and jolting" for webmasters and SEOs . There was an update on October 5th. It was small affecting just .3% (that's point 3) of queries.

I don't think that matches the "SEO's aren't going to like it" language of Matt Cutts. I believe there's another one coming and it's going to focus primarily on links and it's going to pull the rug out from under SEO's.

This is just a guess, I don't have any anecdotal info to back it up -- I think google has been logging the link profiles of the customers of SEO companies, matching the links that show up repetitively and anyone with a link from that domain is going down. I have no proof, just sayin'.

The way Cutts said that got my attention -- he said that in a tone that suggested "bad intentions". Why would he say it otherwise? So here is what I did to prepare for the update --
  • removed all footer links between sites
  • no-followed all links between related sites
  • removed all SEO articles
  • removed all exact match keyword links on blogs
  • limited blog posts to one link to domain with brand or URL
  • checked all Styles for keyword stuffing
  • checked all Alt Text for keyword stuffing
  • removed all Alt Text
  • checked all pages for spelling and grammar
  • made sure all pages have identical brand signals
  • added local signals to all pages
  • removed links included in WMT with more than 10 links from one domain
Rankings never changed. As a matter of fact, somewhere around the time of the Oct 5th Penguin run, rankings went up. I can't say for sure that the Penguin update did it, though.

I was inclined to believe the usual suspects for spamming carry no weight anymore and I think that's correct. Having said that, if you're in a highly competitive niche and your page is similar to competitors, something as simple as Alt Text could make the difference. I have seen e-commerce pages ranking based on Alt Text many, many times. That assumes that if the keyword is highlighted in the description snippet, that's why google chose the page.

I think it makes sense to beef up the Brand and Local signals. That's where google is heading - don't look where the google is today, look where they're going to be.

I'm busy searching for more real recovery stories .......

Edited by chuckfinley, 26 January 2013 - 02:41 AM.


#10 glyn

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 02:15 AM

It's a good checklist Chuck.

It's called the unoptimized web, and what's classic is that Google doesn't need to fix what's broken but can force change through having the markeshare. In the sameway that Facebook pushed the profile and fan page updates onto everyone shotgun style.

#11 Ken Fisher

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 03:09 AM

Interesting. I have yet to be affected by Penguin and hope I never will. However, I do have some suspicious stuff out there I should look at, particularly a blog that is hosted by Google. Over the last three years I’ve put up articles (100 or so) that link to my main site (maybe 20 or 30 links) but I have mixed things up in the likes of linking to other sources within each article with follow links.

A bit off subject but…imagine that. There are still people out there that don’t use NOFOLLOW links. That’s me, and it’s always been me.

I also have a message board (forum) I’ve discussed here recently. What I haven’t mentioned is the board is also just a backdrop to the main domain, that has even more links to my main site. Some on the order of two and three on each page out of a total of 50 pages.

Blog - Probably delete. It’s never been monetized and gets maybe 30 visits per day
Message Board (default domain content pages) - Probably delete. Ditto on no monetization. Default domain content pages get about 150 visitors each day.

Why haven’t I taken them down previously? I always thought they (too many links, footprints) could be a problem, but thought…“oh no they could be valuable back links,” as the domain/blog names are industry specific.

My thoughts now. Dump ‘em. I received very good traffic to the main site and made a nice living before I created them. Why bother.

Back to the subject:

12- I didn’t realize this was possible. Thanks!

I believe there's another one coming and it's going to focus primarily on links and it's going to pull the rug out from under SEO's.


It will be a massive uproar. Perhaps all these changes over the last few years is a long term method of trying to quell the impending uproar. After all, big brands have been slowly taking over the top slots in search. Actually it’s continuing to spread, albeit slowly by way of crowd authority, or whatever SEO people are calling it today.

Frankly I’m looking forward to the focus on links. After all, the average Joe on the street now knows how to link spam their websites. It’s quite similar to meta tag keyword stuffing. In all walks of life, the general public is always late to the party. Too late to have these tactics work.

#12 Black_Knight

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 06:34 AM

Way back, when Cre8asite Forums first opened, and even before that, back at MarketPositionTalk, and Kim's Yahoo group we often used to quote the line "Who links to you can help you, but never harm you. Who you link to can harm you but never help you".

That changed a long long time ago, but almost all of the change came in the second part. Who you link to can absolutely harm you, or help you. The first part changed much, much less. It is still very difficult to harm any other site by linking to it, no matter how spammy the links or what kind.

If hit by Panda or Penguin, the only part of the links you really need to worry about are the links you control, the links on your own site(s). The big change is not that 'bad' links by others are being penalized. Its that Google got a lot more fussy about how good a trusted the threshold is for a 'good' link to be counted positively. Many of your good and proper backlinks are simply not carrying weight and authority like they used to.

Do not waste time trying to eliminate or change backlinks from others' sites. These links are already being discounted as if they didn't exist apart from a vague effect in the mass estimation methods of spam detection. Spending more time on what already wasn't worth the time in the first place is just robbing yourself twice. Focus on the positive, and most particularly in the Panda part of the equation (your own content), and in building more authoritative inbound links that will meet a higher standard of 'trust' and 'authority'.

#13 Ken Fisher

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 07:37 AM

Do not waste time trying to eliminate or change backlinks from others' sites.


I'm beginning to see that after looking for the first time in webmaster tools for "who does link to me"

76 domains with more than ten links. It’s looks just as time wasting as whacking moles in filing DMCA complaints.

Authority. Yep, it's been on my mind for years. Gaining them is the hardest part, but something worth looking into again. Incidentally, I saw a number of Washington Post links...

(2) linked pages (76) links...No idea what that means

#14 jonbey

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 08:32 AM


Quote


Do not waste time trying to eliminate or change backlinks from others' sites.



But didn't Donna recover a client site by doing exactly this? If removal of the obvious manipulative links was not the reason for the recovery, what was?

#15 Black_Knight

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 10:52 AM

There's a famous old quote attributed to Henry Ford that goes: "I know half of my advertising is working. Now if only I knew which half!"

What I'm seeing a lot in how others are recovering are that they are taking many steps to recover, and sometimes, one or more of those steps are apparently working. If only we know which ones, eh?

But what we are not seeing is tons of sites being bowled out of google by competitors putting up tons of cruddy backlinks to them. You can be darned sure they've tried.


It is not the backlinks, not where Google can't be sure you have been the one manipulating them. Because Google, more than anyone, remember all too well the lessons of Googlebombing, and are aware how groups of evangalists (political, economical, or otherwise) will attempt to manipulate results negatively for others. They have not made it possible for hundreds of linux evangalists to knock Microsoft out of the SERPs.

However, what they have done is realised that there are enough links around that you don't have to count all of them. You don't even have to discount only the bad ones. You can make it so that you are far more selective and make sure that in the main, only the most unimpeachable and trusted links count, even if in doing so you ignore 90% of good but less algorithmically trustworthy links.

Now more than ever, it is about focusing on gaining the few, really high value links from unimpeachable sources, over hundreds of lesser authority links.

Think about how you can leverage good, old-fashioned, PR to gain links from sources like News sites.  Real ones, not those that just cover releases from anyone. Think about how you can get covered in editorials, interviews, etc from sites with proven authority. I've talked a few times in the past about how links are closely related to the 'six degrees of separation' thing. How many degrees of separation between your site and the Washington Post or NY Times? Reduce that and win. This is why brands tend to be doing well. They find it easier to get those kind of links, and easier to get authority sites talking about them.

Also, consider co-citation links as better than many other kinds.

Edited by Black_Knight, 10 October 2012 - 10:56 AM.


#16 cre8pc

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:27 AM

Way back, when Cre8asite Forums first opened, and even before that, back at MarketPositionTalk, and Kim's Yahoo group we often used to quote the line "Who links to you can help you, but never harm you. Who you link to can harm you but never help you".

That changed a long long time ago, but almost all of the change came in the second part. Who you link to can absolutely harm you, or help you. The first part changed much, much less. It is still very difficult to harm any other site by linking to it, no matter how spammy the links or what kind.


Back in the pioneering days of SEO, (aka "website promotion"), every week it seemed as though a new link scheme came out. As a devoted tester of all things SEO, I dove into them, and left screaming. The hours of wasted time never once had any benefit for me or my sites. (Remember Chris Ridings and his math/Google PageRank score stuff?) I became pretty much anti-link until things settled down.

To this day, I don't ask for links. Rather, I focused always on making my own web properties rock so that people might refer them by linking. In turn, when I found something credible, I would link out to it. It's the slow turtle's way but in the long term, has absolutely served me well and kept me out of the Search Engine doghouse.

That, and co-citation links that Ammon mentioned.

#17 cre8pc

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:33 AM

[Just pinned this topic. Great things deserve to be in front of the pile.] :nicethread:

#18 iamlost

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 11:59 AM

For those who don't SEO much beyond the direct backlink a quick co-citation refresher from 2006 courtesy of Jim Boykin Co Citation – understanding how it effects your SEO.

He borrows a sourceforge java class definition of co-citation:

Bibliographic Co-Citation is a popular similarity measure used to establish a subject similarity between two items. If A and B are both cited by C, they may be said to be related to one another, even though they don’t directly reference each other. If A and B are both cited by many other items, they have a stronger relationship. The more items they are cited by, the stronger their relationship is.


And goes on to provide a folk art visual of the process :) and both 'good' and 'bad' - for SEO purposes - examples of co-citation.

What I would - once again - hope (ha!) is that yet another example of the depth and complexity of 'real' SEO would get folks off the serial one trick SEO pony thinking. Sigh, 'tis a good thing that I am grown accustomed to disappointment...

#19 glyn

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:39 PM

Well, i'd just like to say BK it's great to see you posting here again. The stuff I learnt from you serves me to this day. Hope you and the fresh boys are still very much rockingi in the uk!

I think that Donna's own example was more about responding to some kind of trigger, such as a warning from Gooogle. In which case it is less about what you have as part of your link profile and more about demonstrating that you've understood what Google considers to be a bad link. Without going into the reasons why I think this, I think that your point about having no control over links is completely spot on. Because if it really was the case that Google penalized heavily your link profile, then any company that invested in a domain name which had a history would have no way of ever getting a decent listing in Google. That could include aquisitions done by brands, the very ones G wants to bed.

Again, nice to see you back here, I've certainly missed your posts.

G.

#20 Ken Fisher

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:49 PM

I haven't used that related: link command in quite awhile. Reminds me of the SERPS in 2006 in my industry when that Boykin article was written. It looks extremely positive on my end, except two major big brands are missing. I wonder what that's telling me? Keep in mind, the two big brands I'm referring to are not industry specific, but they are beginning to dominate in that crowd whatchamacallit thing. IE: more than one listing on the first page. Even two years ago they were not to be found on the first two pages of the SERPS.

#21 Black_Knight

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 02:10 PM

Thanks a lot, Glyn.

#22 clandestino

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 03:39 AM

Barry Schwartz posted this --

SEOs Discuss The Next Generation Of SEO --> http://www.seroundta...-seo-15787.html

(1) Focus on your visitor/customer experience
a. Understand your analytics package, make it perform to its full capacity.
b. Find the technical means to tap into browser signals for yourself.
c. Invest resources toward REPEAT visitors/customers. Offline marketers know that acquiring new business requires much more resource investment than holding on to those who have already found you.

(2) Avoid heavy handed and merely technical SEO
a. The most obvious place this applies is link building. If a type of link doesn't generate traffic (there goes analytics again) then don't go after it in any way.
b. In on-page and on-site SEO, appreciate that search engines today have many effective means to measure signals like relevance. We no longer need to "shout" at them to get our relevance messages to register.
c. Appreciate that today's algorithms are extremely complex. A simplistic "checklist" approach can create problems, or at least be a big frustration.

A good piece of advice, stay out of the way of google penguin panda.

Edited by chuckfinley, 09 December 2012 - 02:04 AM.


#23 clandestino

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 04:08 AM

New google "Content Guidelines" Covering -- Link Schemes --> http://support.googl...en&answer=66356

This has changed. It would help to know this. Some of the "bad links" identified in the guidelines --
  • Low-quality directory or bookmark site links
  • Links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites, for example:
    Visitors to this page: 1,472
    car insurance
  • Widely distributed links in the footers of various sites
  • Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature, for example:
    Thanks, that’s great info!
    - Paul
    paul’s pizza san diego pizza best pizza san diego


#24 clandestino

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 08:22 PM

Matt Cutts anounced at PUBCON just today that google now has a disavow tool --

http://www.cre8asite...showtopic=90722

#25 jonbey

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:33 PM

OK, if you get a minor drop after Penguin (I lost some traffic after 25th May 2012) and you never bought links, never got a warning, never did any automated or mass directory submissions, what are the possible causes?

I have reviewed links on my other sites and replaced any blogroll links that were keywords with the brand. But other than that, what else is there to look at? Or could that be it, and the drop be caused by lower ranking of linking sites, maybe?

Did not really notice the drop at the time, but looking at weekly google referrals and it is there. May was my best month, but down since.

#26 tam

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 05:44 PM

Have you compared to last year? It could be a natural decline in searches for that topic based on time of year or look at insights (is that the right one?) to see if traffic in general for your topic has an up/downs.

#27 projectphp

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 07:09 PM

> what are the possible causes?

The big thing a few people (such as Jim Boykins) were trumpeting at Pubcon was that (and I just got off a 14 hour flight and feel like I look so this is not entirely accurate) that one of Penguin and Panda (I forget which) was about links, and the other was about user signals like bounce rate.

One interesting comment was about pogosticking - which is where users go SERP -> click listing 1 -> click back to the SERP -> click listing 2 -> SERP -> listing 3 etc etc. When users don't find the answer they want, they keep looking.

The theory was - and no one I have as a client has suffered much so this is pure hearsay - was that if you don't provide users with what they want for a specific query, then you start to drop in position. As a really good example, if the first result for "do blind people dream" (https://www.google.c...nd+people+dream) leads people to come back to Google and click the second ranked page, that's a pretty strong signal that the 1st ranked page isn't solving the user's query.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have no idea what will work, and I truly don't think anyone else does either, so I'd really be cautions about what you do to solve issues. That said, one exercise with minimal possible downside that you can do is check keywords with a high bounce rate in Analytics, and see if the page people get to actually solves that query. If not, look to beef the page up to improve the page's ability to serve the user for that query, e.g. if they get to a page with cheap flowers, make sure you have your CHEAPEST flowers on that page - not try to upsell. That is so very low risk an activity that I have no problem recommending, in fact it is a good idea fullstop. Whether it actually helps solve your black animal issues or not, I truly can't vouch for.

Edited by projectphp, 23 October 2012 - 07:09 PM.


#28 clandestino

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:44 PM

FULL DISCLOSURE: I have no idea what will work, and I truly don't think anyone else does either, so I'd really be cautions about what you do to solve issues. That said, one exercise with minimal possible downside that you can do is check keywords with a high bounce rate in Analytics, and see if the page people get to actually solves that query. If not, look to beef the page up to improve the page's ability to serve the user for that query, e.g. if they get to a page with cheap flowers, make sure you have your CHEAPEST flowers on that page - not try to upsell. That is so very low risk an activity that I have no problem recommending, in fact it is a good idea fullstop. Whether it actually helps solve your black animal issues or not, I truly can't vouch for.


I believe this will help. Even if it's not a signal for google, it will improve conversion so its a win either way. The best way to not have to worry about google penguin recovery, is to be proactive and not let it happen in the first place.

NOTE: If I was a betting man, I'd bet google is tracking this.

Edited by chuckfinley, 09 December 2012 - 02:06 AM.


#29 clandestino

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:13 PM

Thoughts on this?

Matt Cutts has made it clear that google wants you to build sites that provide everything anyone would ever want to know on a subject, i.e., become an authority on the subject. It would make sense that google would try to develop a way to measure that.

What kind of signals would tell google that you're meeting that objective? Certainly time on page, low bounce rate, how many other pages are visited would be metrics that would help define whether a user is finding the information they desire.

With that in mind, I decided to create a "Visitor Engagement" section. In that section, I will create different areas with visuals and content that the visitor will find fun and engaging. Those different areas will provide links to articles that reasearch -- surveys, focus groups, online trends, etc -- tell us the visitor will care about. Now here's the important part -- each article will provide links to 3 to 5 other articles. I'll use a heading of -- Enthusiasts That Were Interested In X,Y,Z Also Read These Articles... The idea is to entice visitors to go deeper. And, of course, the whole time they are reading these articles, I will be subtly building a case for needing/wanting my products and will attempt to coax them into going to a product page. At every level, though, I will pique their interests with things I know they care about.

Another important benefit -- these articles become link bait.

I'm going to add 20 articles this month and each article will link to 3 of the other articles. Rinse, repeat each month.

What do you think the effect will be for Penguin vs Panda ? Do you think this is effective Panda Penguin SEO?

Edited by chuckfinley, 09 December 2012 - 02:19 AM.


#30 Black_Knight

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:28 AM

Engagement has always been critical, it simply more obvious now that non-engagement actually hurts rather than just fails to reward.

Bounce rates have been an issue for many, many years, most particularly when a visitor from a SERP 'bounces' back to search. It may seem odd to some, but actuially an instant bounce (under 20 seconds) is likely to be far less harmful than a bounce that takes over 60 seconds. That's because an instant bounce could either be a misclick, or is a sign that the search result was obviously not what is expected, and thus is a google issue, not an issue with your landing page per se. But where a bounce obviously had some time to engage, but then bounced back, but not enough time to have read something deep and be wanting more ... that's an issue with the receiving site.

You don't hear it talked about as widely as many other SEO issues for a couple of main reasons. First is that there are still SEOs who believe their job ends with the SERP click, and that a high bounce rate is a problem for the content of the site, not them. Second, and more worrying, is that bounce rates generally in SEO are so painfully high that very few SEOs are seeing the results of a very low bounce rate to contrast. Fact is that most SEO campaigns create a bounce rate that is several magnitudes higher than the conversion rate, which is not a great thing if one gives that even a moment of thought.

There are many ways to address this. Yes, encouraging deeper reading is certainly one of them. But also consider micro-conversions and incremental conversion. This is where you actively treat viewing more content, or registering for anything, etc. as conversions in their own right, just ones of a lower value than a big sale. Getting a second page view should certainly be a conversion of a kind.

Don't forget the obvious - enticing extra clicks not just with more articles, but also with apparently important, or beneficial stuff, like T&Cs, Free Gift offers, or Service notices - anything that can make them click to view a second page. ;)

#31 bwelford

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:38 PM

Thanks for that excellent topic, Ammon, which is rarely discussed. I wouldn't want to take anything away from the thrust of what you are saying.

However as a slight consolation for those web pages that are bounced, there is the AIDA principle. Awareness >> Interest >> Desire >> Action. Perhaps visiting a web page may just help to have the brand name be a little more embedded in the synaptic circuits of your gray matter. Obviously not as good as Action immediately. However many a mickle maks a muckle as the Scots man said.

#32 Black_Knight

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:44 AM

I don't think that diverts from my meaning in the least, Barry. I'd even go so far as to say it reinforces it.

Far too many SEOs, and indeed every other job connected with an Internet business, want to jump straight to the action, without any of the steps to get there ... and provide no fallback option for visitors not ready to make the big leap.

One can say that Awareness is seeing the listing in the SERPs, and that clicking it is the Interest stage. But one has to remember that it is only the begining of that Interest, and it may take more than one page view to create Desire. Yet so many sites expect Interest to instantly become Action, and indeed, only the one specific endgame Action of a purchase. In pushing for that one action, many wesites may often push the visitor away.

Some years back, in this forum, I recall a discussion where I spoke of anti-commerce - the fact that many users of the Internet use it to save themselves money by finding free information, services, and the like. Bill Slawski went on to write a blog post putting that idea into context, I believe, with how a store might take the idea of people wanting to build their own shed or other project into repeat visits for helpful plans, and perhaps materials, etc. Content marketing at its finest. The Infomercial.

Think what print-outs, or downloads, or other branded stuff you could give to visitors who are not ready for one of your primary conversions, and you're right on track with introducing those incremental conversions I was talking about in my last post. Think who they may show those things to as well. Accept that not every visitor is a prospective customer ... and then think how to make them a missionary for you instead, or at least, to make them mention something interesting they learned.

One of the prime examples of this failure to consider the necessary steps, of the problems with leaping ahead, is often seen in B2B marketing. The person who visits your site to look at your product for a B2B need is usually not the person able to buy it. Often in B2B purchasing, some junior is sent off to look at possible solutions, and then he has to present those in a meeting to people who will shortlist those options and make decisions. Obviously, every B2B site should therefore be presenting helpful materials for taking to that meeting right? Technical sheets for the technical aspects, and so on. Supporting this junior who is now your primary salesman.

How many B2B sites do you think do that? How many just try to sell to the visitor, without a single thought of how any medium or large company tends to buy things? :)

Think about ways to prolong the Interest of those unmoved to Desire. There's a lot of opportunity in that thinking.

#33 clandestino

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:54 AM

Far too many SEOs, and indeed every other job connected with an Internet business, want to jump straight to the action, without any of the steps to get there ... and provide no fallback option for visitors not ready to make the big leap.

Think what print-outs, or downloads, or other branded stuff you could give to visitors who are not ready for one of your primary conversions, and you're right on track with introducing those incremental conversions I was talking about in my last post. Think who they may show those things to as well. Accept that not every visitor is a prospective customer ... and then think how to make them a missionary for you instead, or at least, to make them mention something interesting they learned.

Think about ways to prolong the Interest of those unmoved to Desire. There's a lot of opportunity in that thinking.


Hi Ammon,

Absolutely excellent ideas! Most SEO's aren't marketers is the problem but they need to recognize that's the most important part.

Your line of thinking can be extended to promoting competitive, top level keywords that bring in a broad array of visitors, many of whom will really be looking for something else. The trick would be to find a way to engage them and begin the 7 contacts your going to need to make before they make a buying decision.

It takes some serious thought, an understanding of the demographic, maybe a survey of prospects to determine the range of interests among the kinds of visitors that show up on that keyword. These kinds of visitors will produce a higher bounce rate, but they will give you a high volume of people to talk to that can ultimately buy your product, a real opportunity. In this case, bounce rate might not be as important.

Does that make sense?

#34 clandestino

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 06:05 PM

Here's the 100% Google Cure --> The 100% method to recover from any Google penalty (penguin, panda, and all to come)



#35 Ken Fisher

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:38 AM

Excuse me for being a non believer...



#36 clandestino

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 12:58 PM

Excuse me for being a non believer...

 

It's a long-term solution, no quick fixes here.  There are no quick fixes.  Glyn wrote that article, it's worth reading.  It's more about philosophy of how to conduct business in the brave new world of Panda, Penguin and "Not Provided" Keyword Data. 

 

I recommend it.



#37 jonbey

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:39 PM

All great ideas. But a cure for penguin? 

 

Would love to see a report showing how sites were recovered from penguin using this method alone, i.e. not bothering with disavow or removing dodgy links.

 

Not sure I have seen a real penguin recovery yet. Heard on the grapevine about them, but never seen. Read lots of reports which analyse sites that suffered, but the recovery stories seem harder to find.



#38 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:29 PM

Well, in my mind, it's a cure for Penguin, Panda, etc. in the same way that cutting off a leg is a cure for a broken bone.

 

If you don't care about ranking well in Google, ignoring it essentially, then it doesn't matter if Penguin penalizes your site. If you only focus on receiving traffic from sources other than Google, essentially cutting off the Google leg, then it doesn't matter if you get no traffic from Google, or if the leg is broken.

 

Diversity is great. Reality matters too.



#39 test-ok

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 07:27 PM

All great ideas. But a cure for penguin? 

It's a cure for a brand new site.



#40 clandestino

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 09:58 PM

Well, in my mind, it's a cure for Penguin, Panda, etc. in the same way that cutting off a leg is a cure for a broken bone.

 

If you don't care about ranking well in Google, ignoring it essentially, then it doesn't matter if Penguin penalizes your site. If you only focus on receiving traffic from sources other than Google, essentially cutting off the Google leg, then it doesn't matter if you get no traffic from Google, or if the leg is broken.

 

Diversity is great. Reality matters too.

 

I agree with "Reality matters."  It would be wise to make all the channels work for you, to include SEO.

 

I don't think Glyn disagrees with that.

 

He just points out that the sum total of all wisdom from the SEO Intelligentsia on Post Panda & Penguin SEO is non-sense.  We need to get to real solutions instead of making ourselves feel "safe" by relying on strategies that are doomed to fail and very likely will have long-term negative effects.

 

What's Next?


Edited by chuckfinley, 15 October 2013 - 10:21 PM.




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