Web Marketing After Google Panda & Penguin - SPECIAL REPORT
Compiled and Written by Titus Hoskins
My name is Titus Hoskins
and I am an artist, writer
and webmaster. I am also a
former art teacher who has
been a full-time search engine
marketer for the last 8 years.
Bizwaremagic.com is my main website, but I have
many more. You can follow me on Twitter, Linkedin
Google Finally releases its Disavow Link Tool - find out more about the
process here. Use with Caution!
Find the Disavow Link Tool here - you will of course need a
Google Webmaster Tools Account:
Google Disavow Tool
Google Refreshes The Penguin Update For The Third Time - find
out more - Click Here.
Batten The Hatches - Major Penguin Updates Coming Says Cutts
Aug. 17, 2012. At the recent SES conferences in San Francisco, Google's
Matt Cutts stated in response to some questioning - major Penguin
Updates are coming soon. And these are not just data refresh updates
but incorporating different signals... webmasters should take note
and keep fixing their link profiles. It all comes down to those links
folks and how good they are. Read more here...
New Penguin Updates ComingFriday, July 27, 2012Latest Update - Recently, Google sent out an additional message
to Webmasters in GWT about inbound links which directly concerns
Penguin and your link building. Google is now saying in certain cases
(emails were sent to some 20,000 lucky webmasters) they're now judging
only those "unnatural" links when it comes to ranking your content. Your
WHOLE site is NOT being penalized because Google trusts it - but just
doesn't trust those "inorganic" coming to your site. Might sound a bit
confusing but Matt Cutts explains it further in a blog post on Google
Matt Cutts Tweets May 26 - Minor weather report: We pushed
1st Penguin algo data refresh an hour ago. Affects <0.1% of
English searches. Find out more here.
Please Note - The material below is only for guidance and
to offer some strategies for web marketing in the wake of
Panda and Penguin. Use at your own risk. Keep in mind,
since Penguin hit on April 24, no one has recovered from it
because Google has stated Penguin has not YET been refreshed
(May 15, 2012) but webmasters can expect further updates
and fine-tuning in the future. Both Panda and Penguin are
complex algorithmic filters which your site is being judged against,
throw up enough wrong signals and your organic search traffic
from Google disappears.
The following special report looks at some of these (supposed)
signals or triggers and how to fix them. It also examines the
broader issue of marketing on the web in the aftermath of both
Panda and Penguin.
Here are some Penguin Recovery Tips put forth by SEOs via Search Engine Roundtable:
Most SEO experts say - Panda was a site-wide penalty
for having low quality content, Penguin targets specific
keywords and the linking structure of your external &
Both updates or changes are still ongoing, and are mostly
aimed at those sites and webmasters who have tried to
"game" or "manipulate" Google's rankings. These updates
are supposed to bring forth a "level playing field" where
high quality sites rise to the top in Google's SERPs.
Whether Google can reach this noble goal remains to
be seen, but webmasters simply have to adjust their
sites and SEO to the new rules if they want to recover
(or keep) their rankings.
Google Query Hack
- Check To See If You Have Hit By Penguin -
Latest news is reporting that you can use a Query Hack
to search in Google and it will bring up your rankings
Pre-Penguin. As reported here, WebmasterWorld users found
if you do a search for your previously ranking keywords
and add a negative like " -amazon.com" it will bring up
the old rankings before Penguin. This works in some
cases but not all, so if you think you have been hit
by Penguin... just do a negative search in google...
"blue widgets -amazon.com" or you can also use
something like -ebay.
Your Internal and External Links Must Be Right
Given that the main goal of Penguin is to combat webspam,
your links must be given special consideration, if your
site is drawing a penalty. Pay special attention to where
your links are originating and if these links may appear
"unnatural" in the eyes of Google.
Here's an example of a site unfairly hit by Penguin?
Paid links are obviously out unless they have the "nofollow"
tag. Sitewide links from an outside source may draw the
wrong kind of attention. Links from low level directories
and article sites may be a serious problem if your articles
are of low quality or cover the same content repeatedly.
Blogroll links and blog networks are another issue, since
Google has de-indexed many of these networks.
Pay Special Attention To Your Anchor Text
There was some very interesting research done by
Micrositemasters, they do SERP site tracking
for their business. After Penguin, they examined data from
1000s of sites and discovered those sites which had
over 60% inbound "paying keywords" in the anchor text
were penalized in some way by Penguin.
However, those sites which had less than 50% of these
money keyword links, weren't affected by Penguin.
So it seems that you need to keep your percentage
of these paying backlinks below 50% and it's best to
use many neutral or more natural anchor text, such as
click here, go here, check out this link... and many sites
are now including 4 or 5 words in their anchor text links.
Likewise, you have to have a diversity of link sources,
other websites, blogs, social sites, twitter... one or
more quality links from an .edu or .gov can prove very
beneficial. Having all your links coming from one source
can draw a red flag and appear unnatural.
Perhaps, one of the most discussed issues with Penguin, has to
be the whole notion of Negative SEO and whether or not
your competitor can disrupt your linking profile so that your site
draws a penalty or downgrade. If certain "low quality" inbound links
do affect your rankings in Google, these can be easily manipulated
to give your site the thumbs-down.
Almost everyone has heard of Google Bombing, using 1000's
of anchor text links to send someone to an inappropriate page.
They may not of heard of Google Bowling, using countless
low-quality links to bring down your competition.
Can Negative SEO Harm Your Site?
Google says this is very hard to do, but the jury is still out on
this one, especially in very compeitive niches. Let's just hope
Google gets this one right - or it's open season for all concerned.
You can check your site's Link Profile including Citation Flow
and Trust Flow metrics at this free service offered by
See who is linking to your site and the quality of those links.
Another major problem for many webmasters, many have been told
to always optimized their content for the search engines...
making sure your keywords were in the URL, title of the page
and in the headlines on that page. If over done, this can all
now result in a lowering of your rankings in Google. Especially,
if your whole site is made up ONLY of these keyword pages
- all geared to gaining valuable targeted traffic from Google.
While everyone knows they should always write content for
their visitors first, most have also kept the search engines
in mind and this now can result in a delicate dance of keeping
the right keyword ratio when it comes to Google. Put in too
many keywords and/or keyword links... and you could end up in the
"keyword stuffing" penalty box.
If your site has been affected by Penguin or Panda, this is one
area you must take a serious look at when fixing any problems.
You might have to simply "delete" or "fix" any shallow content
pages, remove any duplicate pages or pages with too similar
content that they might be considered spam.
Both Panda and Penguin are algorithmic in nature, which
means your site and links are run against set standards or
criteria - trigger enough negatives and your site/links receive
a penality. Good news, fix these triggers and when these Updates
are refreshed, your site will bounce back in the rankings.
Here's what Matt Cutts said about bouncing back from Panda:
"It is possible to recover a hundred percent from PandaÖ. So,
it is possible to recover from Panda in the following ways. Remember,
Panda is a hundred percent algorithmic. Thereís nothing manual involved
in that. And we havenít made any manual exceptions. And the Panda algorithm,
we tend to run it every so often. Itís not like it runs every day. Itís
one of these things where you might run it once a month or something like
that. Typically, youíre gonna refresh the data for it. And at the same time,
you might pull in new signals. And those signals might be able to say,
'Ah, this is a higher-quality site.' "
Simple Tool For Checking Duplicate Content
Try to keep as much original quality content as you can throughout
your site, but you must also remember the SEO game has fundamentally
Your whole site must now be perfect or clean of any issues.
Offering great quality content is no longer good enough, you
must make sure you're playing by ALL of Google's rules, if you
want that content to still rank in Google.
Practice Smarter SEO
Penguin Whipped- Google Says Build a New Site!
One of the most disheartening and downright scary statements comes
directly from Google via Matt Cutts:
"If some of your site is deemed Penguin-like, all of it may suffer.
Again, recovery means cleaning up the spam. If you've cleaned and
still don't recover, ultimately, you might need to start all over
with a fresh site, Cutts said."
If you have an older site, how many Penguin Refreshes (none have
been done yet as of May 15) do you endure, before you throw in
the towel? Regardless, here are a few videos on cleaning up your sites:
Or if you think your site was wrongly hit by Penguin, you can use this form below:
Google Penguin Feedback Form - Google It!
In my opinion, we all have to practice less SEO in the future
or rather be much smarter in how you optimize your backlinks and
how you optimize your sites. Versify your anchor text backlinks
and don't "over" keyword optimize any site or content.
Besides not putting all your eggs into the one basket, the main
benefit of having 10 or 15 sites - you get to compare what works
and what doesn't in the new Google changes as your sites are
applied to them. As expected, the sites which I haven't "overly"
promoted or optimized have fared the best.
The backlinks on these sites grew naturally and slowly. I use
all the social bookmark buttons so visitors can easily bookmark
or link back to the content. YouTube videos have helped spread
the word. I also do the occasional Press Release which helps
with link building.
Smaller Sites Can Do Better
Smaller sites (5 - 20 pages) also seems to have weathered the storm
much better than larger sites (100 - 2000 pages) with the Panda
and Penguin updates. Perhaps this is simple logic, with smaller sites
with fewer pages, you have a much lower chance of messing
up the SEO and triggering one of Google's rules or penalties.
Newer Sites May Be The Better Option
My newer sites are doing much better than my older sites. Even sites
created a few months ago are doing better in the rankings than my
10 year old site. Again, older sites may have much more complicated
link profiles on the web and also have much more dated content. In
addition, older sites were created in an era where optimization
was seen as the proper way to proceed.
For me, using an Exact Match Domain (EMD) or the exact keyword in
the domain, has worked well. However, most experts expect Google
to keep downgrading this ranking factor as it can be seen as over
optimizing or trying to manipulate Google's rankings. Maybe in my
case, other ranking factors have come into play to over-ride
the EMD issue.
Google Loves Amazon
My sites which are mainly monetized with Amazon or Amazon links
have done much better than sites which use other affiliate links
such as Clickbank, Commission Junction, Linkshare... and so on.
Keep in mind, Amazon is one of the top 10 sites on the web, linking
out to top ranked sites will give your own site a boost.
Sites with YouTube videos also fared much better with all the
recent changes in Google. It's no secret that Google does promote
its own products and interests, so having YouTube videos helps.
Remember, on-page ranking factors could be coming into play
here... page load times, bounce rates and time spent on site is
the major one, if your visitors watch videos, they will obviously
spend more time on your site, which can equal better rankings.
Web marketing after Google or without traditional Google search
traffic is extremely difficult, but it can be done. Now I say
"traditional" search engine traffic because there are other ways
to get your content and links into Google.
Try Other Ways To Utilize Google
Besides Adwords, what has really worked for me is Google
News and YouTube videos. In those sites which have lost
organic search traffic, I can still get my links on the first
page of Google via Google News, Google Places, Google
Images and YouTube videos.
Press Releases are good for this, but these links will only
last a few days so it can be time-consuming to constantly put
out material. I try to time these releases around peak shopping
periods, since I am also monetizing/marketing through these
releases or items on Google News.
YouTube Videos Rank High In Google
YouTube videos are much more long-term and can draw good
targeted visitors to your site. You must treat your videos
as "pre-sell" tools, warming up your potential customers
since they will be sent to your YouTube channel first.
After Panda and Penguin, going the YouTube route to by-pass
Google's ever-demanding SEO rules, can be a viable option.
Another way to get your content into Google is through images,
so try to create a few with all your articles and posts. In the
next few years, Pinterest will become much more of a major player
and it already drives more traffic than Google+, YouTube and
Linkedin - COMBINED.
As Time and Newsweek have recently reminded us, having
controversial images, is one way of gaining media attention
and buzz for your content. The same applies to marketing
on the web.
Don't Forget Google+
Another option, make sure you're using Google+ to promote
your links and site. I have found using Google+ will get your
content indexed in Google extremely fast. In addition, since
Google is now listing these posts and profiles in search if
someone is logged into their G-account, it can be another way
to get traffic from Google.
You must also have the Google Plus Authorship Markup enabled
if you want to fully take advantage of Google+ in your web
marketing. This is easy to do but if you need help, just try
In addition, Rich Snippets will become a much more important
factor in the future, so make sure you are now creating your
web pages with these in mind.
Look Beyond Google
Until you fix any issues, both Panda and Penguin, can be major
problems for anyone marketing on the web. You have to seek
out other sources of traffic but this will take some time,
especially in the social networks, but it can be done.
Don't forget to optimize for other search engines like Bing
and Yahoo. The traffic numbers are much smaller, but this
is still targeted search engine traffic where the searcher
is in the right mindset to buy a product or service.
Remember, even if your site and content were not hit by Panda and
Penguin, Google is constantly making changes and you may not be
so lucky in the future. So it is simply smart marketing to find other
sources of traffic outside of Google, or at the very least, try to
use some of the methods mentioned above to keep your site
in Google without depending solely upon traditional search
rankings and SEO methods.
Latest Update on this issue indicates that sites CAN recover from Penguin ONCE
they have fixed their link problems. WPMU.org is a well known site which was hit by
Penguin and was able to recover. Mostly by fixing linking issues coming into
its site... read this Webpronews article for further details on how they did it.
Related Resources worth checking out:
Webpronews Article on WPMU.org Penguin PenaltyFixing Google's Penguin PenaltyGoogle Penguin Recovery Tips17 Ways Businesses Can Survive PenguinThe Five Pillars Of Google Search - Do You Know Them?Content Is Not King, Google Is King
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