Google Penguin Update Refresh & Recovery Provide Hope For Webmasters

    May 30, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

As previously reported, Google announced its first Penguin update since the original over Memorial Day weekend. Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, tweeted about it, saying, “Minor weather report: We pushed 1st Penguin algo data refresh an hour ago. Affects <0.1% of English searches." Have you seen search referrals drop or rise since this update? Let us know in the comments.

The good news, whether you were hit by Penguin the first time or this time, is that you can recover. We’ve now seen that this can happen, and since we know that Google will continue to push data refreshes for Penguin, there should be plenty of chances to do so. Just think about all the Panda refreshes we’ve seen since February 2011.

We recently reported on WPMU, a seemingly quality site with plenty of fans on social media channels, which got hit by the first Penguin update. The site has now made a full recovery.

Here’s what the analytics looked like after Penguin:

WPMU analytics

Here’s what the analytics look like now:

WPMU Analytics

It’s worth noting that Cutts was aware of this site, as James Farmer (the site’s owner) was able to get it brought to his attention, following the initial Penguin update, via an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald. Cutts had provided some examples of the kinds of links that were likely hurting it. This was all discussed in our previous article, but to summarize, WPMU distributes WordPress themes, and a lot of blogs, including spam blogs were using some of them, which included links back to WPMU in the footer.

Ross Hudgens from Full Beaker provided some assistance and advice for Farmer, and blogged about the experience at SEOmoz. He notes that Farmer opted to ask blogs to remove the links, rather than applying nofollow to them, but it was actually an internal change that Farmer was able to make, which ultimately might have had the greatest impact on the recovery. Hudgens writes:

The most perilous piece of WPMU’s link profile came from one site – EDUblogs.org. EDU Blogs is a blogging service for people in the education space, allowing them to easily set up a subdomain blog on EDUblogs for their school-focused site – in a similar fashion to Blogspot, Typepad, or Tumblr, meaning that each subdomain is treated as a unique site in Google’s eyes. Coincidentally, this site is owned by WPMU and Farmer, and every blog on the service leverages WPMU theme packs. Each of these blogs had the “WordPress MU” anchor text in the footer, which meant a high volume of subdomains considered unique by Google all had sitewide “WordPress MU” anchor text. In what might have been a lucky moment for WPMU, this portion of their external link profile was still completely in their control because of WPMU ownership.

In what I believe is the most critical reason why WPMU made a large recovery and also did it faster than almost everyone else, Farmer instantly shut off almost 15,000 ‘iffy’ sitewide, footer LRDs to their profile, dramatically improving their anchor text ratios, sitewide link volume, and more. They were also able to do this early on in the month, quickly after the original update rolled out. A big difference between many people trying to “clean up their profile” and WPMU is time – getting everything down and adjusted properly meant that many people simply did not see recoveries at refresh 1.1 – but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen at all if the effort persists.

Farmer was also able to get one of the blogs that Cutts had initially pointed out the links from, to remove the links. According to Hudgens, he also did some other things, which may have played a role in the recovery, such as: implementing canonical URLs to clean up crawl errors and eliminate unnecessary links, fixed some broken sitemaps and submitted them to Webmaster Tools, fixed some duplicate title tag issues (which Webmaster Tools reported). He also submitted the site to the form Google provides for those who think they’ve wrongfully been impacted by Penguin. Twice.

It’s also possible that the exposure this site has received in the media, and in front of Matt Cutts could have helped. We’ve certainly seen penalties come from such exposure.

Not everyone will be able to get such exposure to make their cases as strong to Google, but Google does look at the submissions to that form, so if you’ve determined that you’re in compliance with Google’s quality guidelines, and you still think you were actually hit by Penguin, that’s a good place to start your recovery efforts, but you’ll probably want to continue to dig as much as you can.

Look at all of Google’s quality guidelines. Are there any areas where Google may think you’re in violation? Make the proper changes. Cutts recently pointed to the following videos as recovery advice:

He also said the following tips from Marc Ensign “looked solid”:

  • Create a blog and consistently build up your site into a wealth of valuable content.
  • Work with a PR firm or read a book and start writing legitimate press releases on a regular basis and post them on your site.
  • Visit blogs within your industry and leave valuable feedback in their comments section.
  • Link out to other valuable resources within your industry that would benefit your visitors.
  • Share everything you are creating on 2 or 3 of your favorite social media sites of choice.
  • Position yourself as an expert.

Virginia Nussey at Bruce Clay put together an interesting step-by-step guide to “link pruning” which might help you clean up your link profile, and ease your way to a recovery. She recommends setting up a spreadsheet with the following headers: Target URL, Source URL, Source Rank, Source Craw Date, Anchor Text, Image Link, ALT Text, Nofollow, Redirect and Frame. Then, she recommends adding the following to the spreadsheet, for webmaster contact info: Owner name, IP Address, Owner Address, Owner Email, Owner Phone Number, Registrar Name, Technical Content, Name Servers, Net Name, Created, Updated, Expires, Data Source (what site/registry was the resource for the contact gathered?).

From there, it’s just about sending removal requests and seeing what happens. Hopefully lawsuits aren’t part of your strategy.

We’ll have more discussion with Farmer to share soon, and perhaps he’ll be able to shed a bit more light on his own Penguin recovery. In the meantime, if you’re been hit, perhaps you can view his story as one of hope and inspiration, before you go starting over with a new site (which Google has also suggested as a possible option).

Penguin will be back again. You can recover. Remember, there are always other non-Penguin signals that you can try to improve upon too. You certainly don’t want to forget about our old pal the Panda.

Google called Penguin a success even before the latest refresh. What are your thoughts about it now that we’ve seen an update to the update? Let us know in the comments.

  • http://www.solar-internet.com PJ

    I have an airport guide which halved traffic when Penguin was rolled out. I was miffed as I wrote all content and created lots of engaging content and useful information. The only reason I could see was that I had some affiliate programs such as car hire, adsense and flights – but this was part of the site and provided useful resources.

    I stripped out everything other than car hire and adsense (although I reduced the units per page). I am back but of course it makes far less money than it used to.

    So I am now in the middle of do I add everything again and see if I am ok or get more visitors but less revenue

  • http://www.apkpedia.com Muhammad Usman Butt

    My Site http://www.apkpedia.com which is a Android application review website got hit by this latest update my site was getting 6000 visitors daily but now getting half. any recommendation for me?

  • Sharon

    Penguin hit me hard, and as far as I could see, unjustly. I filled out the form and sent off to google, did what little cleanup I could find and saw no changes over the past month. Finally today I am seeing numbers climb, so I am guessing I was one of the tiny percentage that 1.1 refresh affected. I am, however, still only cautiously optimistic. Will be watching closely this week.

    • Sharon

      I think, nevermind. Seems that it was a temporary blip. Unusually high numbers during working hours. Perhaps everyone who was camping over the holiday caught up on web browsing at work on Tuesday.

  • patti

    From bad to worse…
    Try a search for “marco island” – a small city in southwest Florida. First penguin update produced 4 results for 2 hotels (Marriott and Hilton) in the first 2 pages of Google results – NOW there are 6 results for those 2 hotels in the first 2 pages of results.

  • http://www.stevegillman.com Steve Gillman

    In their Google worship, many people are ignoring some key issues here. First, if removing links brought that site back, Google is clearly punishing sites for certain links, making the whole criminal industry of negative SEO viable (and profitable). Second, if Google is punishing for some incoming links, they are essentially giving up on providing searchers the best results in favor of providing results of websites that meet criteria other than just quality and relevance. No matter how many spammy sites link to your site, if you have the same content as before your relevance or quality did not change from a visitor’s perspective just because of changes off-site, so a downgrade in rankings hurts not just your site, but searchers.

  • Jimmy

    The first penquin update killed my new site. For 6 months the site was improving and getting more and more traffic each month.Penquin killed it and I saw all my traffic disappear after. All long tails were gone. About a week before the official announcement by Cutts we saw a dramatic increase in the long tails and after the update we are ranking much better again and have been getting traffic. This is of course till the next update…….

    Its a hard year to decide to enter the Affiliate market but we will persevere. I have one comment about MR Cutts. When I was starting out I looked up to him and found his videos pretty interesting. In the last 3 months I find it irritating to watch and listen to him. In fact I can quite safely say I have a great distaste for his “Puritan” stance about Google and outlook in general. At the end of the day all Google cares about is themselves and making more and more money which is fin as we live in a capitalist world but please spare me the BS with the goody two shoes spokesman they have.

    • http://www.imakemoneyeasy.com http://www.imakemoneyeasy.com

      Thank you for that awesome comment! I wouldn’t say I have a distaste for Matt Cutts, I also find his videos interesting. But Google is really hurting some very good useful sites with this whole thing. Punishing anyone for backlinks from other sites is insane.

      I hope your traffic stays up!

  • http://www.lindapaul.com Linda Paul

    My art and backsplash site that I have been building for 15 years got hit hard by Penquin. In the last couple days I have seen a teensy increase in web traffic but no where near where I was before penguin rolled out.

    In the early days of the web, it was good to exchange links with other sites. I had several hundred links to and from other artists, all with good quality high ranking sites. I jsut removed all of those thinking that it may help

    I would appreciate any help from you guys, the experts

  • Craig

    I agree with Steve. This really is just more evidence that negative SEO is alive and well–despite what everyone is saying. The evidence is there. Just look.

  • Michael

    Our web results have been mixed. About 1/5 of pages are way up, 1/3 way down, the rest unchanged. Still sorting to find out why this has happened.

    The major drop has been eBay. This month our products have dropped out of the top 100 Google results for simple manufacturer/model number searches. We used to be in the top 10 across the board. Needless to say, traffic and sales on eBay have been way down for us. Ebay message boards indicate we are not alone. Ebay has been mum.

  • http://highpointseo.com/ HighPoint SEO

    This is good news for anyone that was hit by the Penguin. When Google makes updates like this it can hit webmasters like a ton of bricks, but it’s also good to see that they are offering some suggestions as to how to recover, and that like Panda, the Penguin updates should be able to show you if you’re in compliance or not with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

  • Miles

    The biggest problem is getting site owners to remove links that Google thinks are unnatural, even though you may not have realised that they were suspect to begin with. You may be able to identify the ones that are causing the problems, but getting them removed, unless Google gets there first and deindexes them, is very difficult.

  • http://www.spotlightdisplays.com Robert Perry

    I have been working for over a year to get my site listed in the top 3 spots for certain keywords. A couple days ago I finally made it to number 1. I couldn’t beleive it. I was on cloud 9!!! Now today I search the keyword and I am on the second page??????

    I really don’t know what else to do. I can’t afford to pay a professional to maintain my site. I do not practice any kind of spamming or anything unethical. This is like a kick in the teeth!

    I will probably be forced to close my business soon because of this.

    Semper Fi!

  • http://www.onlinepassportphoto.com Jay

    My site got significantly affected -http://www.onlinepassportphoto.com. Have lost 75% of the traffic. I thought my both domains http://www.onlinepassportphoto.com and http://www.onlinepassportphotoS.com pointed to same content and that hurted me. Duplicate content.
    Now forwarded http://www.onlinepassportphotoS.com with Permanent redirect but but no luck. No luck with this recent update either.
    Any suggestions? Clues?

  • http://www.kitchens-review.co.uk Andrew Owen

    The recent Penguin update is ridiculous and also very dangerous. What is to stop competitors hitting your site with spam links to knock you out the rankings. And also can it not encourage extortion? Just my opinion

  • http://www.lots0cash.com lots0

    How does google expect you remove links that YOU DIDN’T CREATE from spam networks that don’t list contact info and don’t respond to emails or phone contacts???

    The idea that google is not responsible for the damage these ‘bad’ links (Negative SEO) cause to legitimate sites is ridiculous in the extreme.

    Google is responsible and google needs to fix the issue rather than tell people, “too bad those bad guys just killed your site with Negative SEO… you should just start another site…”

    Google is RESPONSIBLE…

  • http://howtoubuntu.org Lewis Goddard

    My website (howtoubuntu.org) has x4 the amount of traffic after the first major update, and x10 after the second. We have no strategy, virtually no backlinks, just natural, unique content.

    The whole “stop trying and just let us judge you for you” thing really seems to hit the nail on the head.

    And by the way, all that traffic has to go somewhere, find out where.

  • http://www.clocksaroundtheworld.com Joanie

    I have had my site up for almost 6 years, first I had to work really hard through this recession then at last 2 years I finally made page one on over 40 keywords and business has been doubling every year. Then ahh here it comes Google or Goog changes again, at first I thought great let the big boys on page one you know Amazon’s Ebay, they didn’t scare me I was still on page one, but this last Google up date, sent me sinking to not sure- some days I can’t even find my store. Traffic has dropped to my 2008 levels and after a really good cry I shifted into high gear and getting back up the pole and in a few keywords number one spot. Not sure what the goog wants from me, even my SEO team is struggling to figure it out. I can say some sites that have seen little or no sales or traffic have come up to page one and I am sure they are very happy. If that is what the Goog was trying to accomplish then they did a good job. There must be some happy Goog people out there somewhere. Just want to note. Thanks Goog, now I have to deal with this again, high gas prices and still in recession, at least your giving your employee’s something to do.

    • http://www.besthealthfoodstore.net Cliff Smith

      Same story here! We used to rank really high for information about our herbal foods company. Now, that same search looks like it did 5 years ago, with jeep covers, hotels and very little about the #1 herbal food company in the world. This Google update is very bad for people searching for quality results.

  • Fred Waters

    What do you do when you someone pointing 1,100 links from their blog to your site in their blog roll. The site is crap, there is no contact info and they have whoisguard to prevent finding contact information for their domain name. These links definitely have to raising a red flag.

  • http://www.marketsharewebdesign.com Kathy

    Lost another site over the weekend to the “latest refresh”. Front page for all terms- now not in the top 50. This has now made 4 sites that just don’t exist anymore in the search engines.

    I’m no longer a fan of google. It makes me sick to watch what they are doing. For those that rank #1 today, enjoy what you have because tomorrow Google may “decide” that you are no longer in business.

  • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone

    What I’ve seen is my Adsense revenue tumble.
    But hey, if it’s tumbling for me then it’s also tumbling for Google … smart move Google!
    (How are those 2nd quarter profits looking? A lot of “puts” being placed on the stock?)

    • Voltara

      Your adsense revenue is falling, but google is stills selling the same number of clicks. They just aren’t sharing any more.

  • http://www.seolatino.com Rafael Montilla

    I have seen more than a few posts like this one over the last fucking while with shit stating they had somehow (miraculously) recovered from the recent Google Penguin algorithm update. There are also a whack more of them talking about HOW to do so.
    1.It is a rolling update and we’ve just had V1.1 last Friday (May 25th). That means unless you wrote about it since then, yer full of shit.
    2.If you wrote about HOW to recover, same goddamned problem as outlined above. How in the hell would you know?

    You get cure before you get sick.

    read this http://seobullshit.com/penguin-recovery-posts-stop/

  • http://www.jenniferregan.com.au Steve Pedvin

    Thanksfor the info ..glad to hear there is a way back from penguin purgatory.

  • http://www.vacuumspot.com.au Alec Nelson

    I have had changes in traffic each time google does their dance but generally after a couple of days our rankings tend to stay mostly the same. I am a small business and spend a part of each day doing SEO and I have got to say I don’t know how much the top players in my segment do but our rise really is a slow one.

  • Sharon

    Seems to be a common theme here – we are all guessing at what made our sites fall with no true direction from google, just a few hints. One of the sites that had 1,317 links to 6 of my pages is spoken highly of by Chris Crum, but the links sure looked spammy to me. So just how on earth do we figure out what to change? Clearly, unless you are one of the big boys like WPMU, have lots of money to pay experts, and have friends in high places, you are not going to get any help. Matt Cutts pointed out specific problems to WPMU and provided suggestions. How about a little help down here Matt?

  • http://trophycentral.com Ben

    After being in business on the Internet for over 10 years with over 100,000 customers and a customer sat rating of 98+, our business is practically destroyed now. I can’t even tell you if it was because Panda or Penguin or both.

    Why Google didn’t flag sites ahead of time and warn companies that there might be an issue is beyond me. There are plenty of legitimate companies out there like ours.

    After being on just about every forum and listening to tons of advice, I still have no idea why we were hit. It is very sad.

  • Baraccuda

    One of our sites, which has had top rankings for years, recently went down in the SERPS, shortly after hundreds of links to our site started appearing on spammish sites. The links were placed (maybe even paid for) by unscrupulous competitors. We even go so far as to block the referals, but it’s useless, they just create more. If Google’s algo penalizes sites for that kind of malicious behaviour, which can not be controled by us, and it appears they do, then the people at Google aren’t really as smart as everybody thinks. Thank God they are not in charge of death penalty decisions. There would be a lot of innocent people dying. lol

  • http://www.napnipnop.web.id bloggerise

    No effect from my blogs http://www.napnipnop.web.id and still buried nowhere into deepest internet land. Lost 100% traffic since May 25 and I don’t know when it will recover.

  • dim


    • http://ducktoes.com Cathie

      What do you mean?

    • http://singlemothergrant.net/ Lee Dawn

      What are you getting at?

    • Sharon

      Assuming you are referring to me – the links were pure garbage, never produced a hit to my site, and were not the kind of links I wanted pointing to my site. Pure spam. And I did NOT submit my site for reconsideration, I used the Penguin form. According to all the forums and gurus the Penguin form would not result in individual site consideration but would build the basis for an update by finding flaws in the algorithm.

  • http://ducktoes.com Cathie

    I do some SEO all white hat, or what I think is white hat. I have a few clients and treat them all the same. What I don’t get is why one of them got hit over the weekend and the rest are fine, still on page one. I really think a competitor sabotaged them.

  • http://www.discoverlebanon.com William MATAR

    Since three days – today is the 3rd day… Am getting really more traffic for my site http://www.discoverlebanon.com traffic are doubled… I had about 1200 unique per day now am on 2400. Amazing really!!

    • http://www.captaincyberzone.com Cap’n Cyberzone

      Seeing what’s going on in Syria you’re probably getting a lot of various gov. traffic seeing if you’re linked to Hezbollah!

  • http://www.hyphenstudio.ca Mike

    I really have to wonder about all of this SEO information that I keep reading trying to keep up to date on all the changes. I read about updates that are supposed affect different websites with certain “poor choice” content decisions.

    I live in a town of just over 90,000 people. We have about 10 website design companies here – there are sites with ‘keyword’ stuffing, sites with very little content that haven’t been changed in months (one of the sites hasn’t had any fresh content in over 2 years) – yet they still rank in the top 3. I do my research on my competition and over the past 6 months a new company has posted to over 300 directories – that’s 300 backlinks with no negative impact.

    I’m really just trying to understand – is Google only worried about websites that have high volume numbers? It doesn’t seem like they really have any impact with these new algorithms when it comes to low competition keywords.

    Anyone have any input / recommendations on this?

    • http://www.replica-sunglasses.co.uk/mens-sunglasses/ Lisa

      hi mike,

      can you tell me your site and the keywords for which your are targeting for. Also list out your competitors, I will manually go through those sites and will come up with recommendations and suggestions.

  • http://www.OnlineSportsCollectibles.com Larry Bricker

    I am letting you know that Google is filling your heads with lies. We have been in business for 10 years. Honest and successful business and sales were $250k a year in sales. When they released the Panda update my sales dropped 50% within one month. They then released the Penguin update and now I have lost 90% of my business. I have followed every google rule and guidelines for every year since google started and they have destroyed us. Not only us but 100’s even 1000’s of small business owners have lost everything because of google and you all sit around and act as if google is doing something good for people. They are destroying what is left of the small business out there and if you don’t believe that then you are a moron. If people like you would quit patting google on the back as if they were helping business then maybe we could all get together and put an end to Google destroying business but people like you are in their pocket. I will tell you this that when my business fails and I lose everything I am coming after google and anyone that has helped them and I am not talking about courts. That is what google has done to me and has turned me into a very angry and hateful person that is about to go over the edge so there you go, that is what google is doing to people so get your sorry ass facts correct and start reporting what is really going on. This is all about big business squeezing out small business by destroying them. That is the facts!

  • http://www.replica-sunglasses.co.uk/mens-sunglasses/ Lisa

    See for the last 1 week i m a getting good traffic for one of my sites. But my other sites have not been recovered which has been affected by Penguin.

    The traffic might have increased becz due to the holiday season. But it doesnt mean that i have recovered for the sites that are affected by penguin. Ranking & TRAFFIC is both a different thing. I can get direct traffic or refferal traffic also. And the example which you are giving has got lot of media attention which is why it has got indirect traffic.

  • http://twitter.com/parveshsareen Parvesh Sareen

    Tips from Marc Ensign referred by Matt Cutts are all impressive.
    It can be easily concluded what google is more concerned about , mix of already existing factors on which we need to lay more emphasis such as content refresh, relevant organic seo ,social presence and some referrals/lines of commendations and applause by some relevant PR firms. Do it often and really Google will be going to love it.

  • Joe M

    My wife and I have stopped using Google since they implemented their recent panda and penguin updates and now exclusively use Yahoo. We are simply recommending that everyone follow suit and use a different search engine. We created this UNSTABLE and DISRESPECTFUL monster by playing their childish game for too long. All we need to do is STOP feeding into it. I’ll leave you with this piece of food-for-thought: The same government that gets its power from the people eventually grows so large that it becomes oppressive to its people. Whether you were hurt by these latest updates or not, enough-is-enough and we need to put a stop to it. GOODBYE GOOGLE! And thank you for making me aware of my need to change search engines.

    • http://in.linkedin.com/in/pradeepchauhanseoexpert Pradeep chauhan

      Hi joe

      Results are better i think Google search are improved !!! you sould thing upon your deciosn. Before searching user Must have Knowledge whet he needs exactly !!!! and then how to searc

      • Joe M

        No Thanks! I’ve learned my lesson.

  • http://in.linkedin.com/in/pradeepchauhanseoexpert Pradeep chauhan

    I have very good and very less bad experiences with the Google Updated. Due to this Panda Update i never faces this problem :( But due to Penguine Update I lost the ranking of the Three of clients. But really that was mazor issue of duplicate content.

    I have suggested to Change the contnet with fresh content and Keywords ??

    I just want to ask that I need to change the on Page Stratgy to get th ranking Again or any simplest way to Get out of this penalization :(

  • http://www.simplyclicks.com David Burdon

    WPMU is a credible business that was unfortunately caught by Penguin. However, many of the complainers have simply been caught red handed buying into large scale link building schemes.

  • http://cox.wedocable.com/internet.aspx Sharon Thomas

    This is a very good article. But I do not know how far the Penguin is going to be effective.

  • http://mytechhelp.com Randy Collins

    There’s got to be another way out, we can’t go on losing like this

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Brick-Marketing-SEO-and-SEM-Firm/14204584980 Nick Stamoulis

    Whenever a major update like this happens and the SERPs get really shook up sites that don’t think they deserve to get penalized take a hit. I have yet to see a site that was 100% white hat get hurt by Penguin. Even if you were 80% of the way there, get rid of the 20% that could get you on the wrong side of the search engines. Links from years ago that weren’t spammy at the time might have been flagged and that caught up with your site.

  • http://www.lowbudgetprosper.com Ksenia

    I was also hit extremely hard by Penguine Update. My lowbudgetprosper.com business blog has 100% unique content and over 2000 absolutely natural links. My 4 basic keywords were in Google’s Top 1, but now they are even out of Top 100. And the funniest thing is that my articles, stolen and posted on other blogs, now appear much higher in the search engine then the originals on my blog. I’m simply furious!

    • http://www.toprockinternet.com Adam

      keyword diversity in your anchor text.

      Even if you have “natural” links and people just happen to link to you with similar anchor text, you are a SPAMMER according to google.

      Even if you asked people to link to your website and they happened to use similar text create that hyperlink, you are no doubt a SPAMMER according to google.

      If you unknowingly had people link to your website from bad spammy websites, you are now a SPAMMER according to google.

      You are being labeled as a spammer for the actions of others and their personal linking choices. You are guilty by association and are now considered a black hat SEO.

      Does this label sound fair to you because, whether you like it or not, this is EXACTLY what google is saying to you right now.

      Google needs to kill Penguin once and for all. I thought Batman already took care of him anyways?

  • http://www.lots0cash.com lots0

    If your site lost ranking… and you really don’t know why…


    Spammy links from fake search engines, spammy links that don’t provide contact info, have hidden domain registration, no contact info…

    If you find a lot of links like that… Your site has been hit with NEGATIVE SEO… One of your competitors is attacking you.

    And Google is letting them.

  • Kate Freer

    They did a update at the end of April, and now this weekend. My traffic has been down this past month since their shifting of things. This just confirms what I was telling you the other day about google……when they do these shifts, some sites end up lower on the rankings, they lose traffic, and get hit when they should not. Kate

  • http://llikeit.com Lavanay

    I think WPMU recovered because of Matt’s intervention. Otherwise getting every blog owner to remove links from footer of themes is impossible. This is especially rue if the blog that is using you theme is an auto blog (Spam Blog)…

    I personally had to stat a fresh website to get rid of penalty coming from links on footer of themes I syndicated..

  • http://www.toprockinternet.com Adam

    The business of negative SEO is going to cripple the penguin update or at least cause some serious algo reconsideration. For the record, there is nothing wrong with creating a link in the footer of free software you distribute to a community that actually provides tangible value to that community. Google is walking on very unstable ground right now and is setting some very bad precedence here.

    All of this said, don’t hate the player, hate the game. The google rules are changing, but the game is not.

  • http://www.evergreencarpetusa.com Adam Atari

    I don`t think links could get you penalized NO CHANCE.Google is not stupid i`ts more thank just links .I highly feel that it`s more of an onsite penalty .If links had such a negative effect on SEO I can truly say that that Google is Done as far as been the best search engine~

    • http://www.toprockinternet.com Adam

      Oh yes, negative SEO exists. Google even changed their terms of service to let you know. Didn’t you read? :-)

      On site penalties? Sure, there have been some over the past month. Duped content is clearly going unrewarded when caught.

      However, most SEO experts agree that the penguin update was specifically about links and how or who is linking to your site.

  • http://www.footreflexologytips.com Reflexology Geek

    Did not notice any carnage first time around but thanks for the headsup on this latest update – we shall be watching it closely

  • http://www.ericdowsett.com Eric

    This is all so new to me and I feel quite stressed by it all. My site did not appear to bomb too much but hoping that this new release will not have any effect either. Thanks for the updates!

  • http://seo-mentoring.ca Reg-NBS-SEO

    I think people are looking at penguin from the wrong angle.

    Instead of looking at traffic drops, look at IBL drops.
    Referring link stats are dropping across the board.
    Even google.com dropped from over 3,000,000 ibl/day to around 100,000.

    It seems that penguin is an “across the board” reduction in links.

  • Jijo

    My site was growing during Panda era but since Penguin it had a drop of over 70% visits. Its domain age is just 18 months & I have exchanged links with less than 40 good sites – out of which only one is recognized by google (when I check using link:domainname) The other result showing is my developing company’s own site.

    Some local directory sites to whom I never contacted used to refer visitors to mine, which were showing thru Analytics. That is also nearly finished since last 2 weeks.

    I am still awaiting clues for recovery.

  • http://www.seoindiacompany.org/ Ash

    Thanks for the information I am also facing this problem for all my cleints. I will try to follow your instruction lets see what happen.

  • http://www.redlinecompany.com Rob

    Good post. Nice to hear that it is possible for some sites to recover from the Penguin update.

    I agree with what others have said in that let’s hope this isn’t only about spammy link profiles as this does mean that people can cause major damage to their competitors using negative SEO practices.

    It would be great if Google could provide users with a little more information though instead of allowing people to remain in the dark, not knowing what has caused it and how they can recover.

    I think this has been a big lesson to many though and once again highlights that age old phrase “build your site for users, not for Google”. It’s important to not become so overly dependent on Google traffic and utilise other sources including social media.

  • http://www.kentuckyspecialfx.com Mike Bisch

    We noticed a immediate sharp drop on our home page http://www.kentuckyspecialfx.com which now may be temporary from what were seeing but a lot of our other pages actually received a step up in regards to our movie prop replicas items which was always a battle for us.
    So far most of the updates Google has done over the past year seems like we kind of get a balance on all the updates in regards to off the wall traffic searches but while we have received a tiny bit of less traffic it seems like some of the traffic may be more focused.
    It’s kind of hard to tell right now because we have been updating our site all week so only time will tell in the long run just how true the effect will be.
    It’s kind of hard to know what effects stuff has on us because we sell seasonal halloween prop and decorations but be also have move and game prop replicas that sell year round and with our site it’s a balancing act.
    We do have the upper hand verses a lot of other fly by night sites since our site has some strong age to it and its easy to follow for the most part.
    I do wish Google would give us a little more credit and ranking in searches since our site has more age and is updated more frequently than others in our field.

  • http://www.zonaide.com ZonaIde

    Google Update Pengun is my charge, let alone have to fight really hard in the SERP. appropriate solution is to maintain quality of the article itusalah best advice

  • max

    its a nightmare to do any business with google this are amateurs who continuously do a abstract fight about the emperors mustache or the storm in the water glass, its a puzzle why they do all this things since search results were much more relevant last year before they started panda. now I see too much mess around and head shaking search results. If this guys are just too hyperactive they should go on vacation and leave the things alone because only changing things because of the sake of changing is ending into nightmares, I think this guys have lost the touch to ground.

  • http://www.procalisxonline.info http://www.procalisxonline.info

    This is good. At least people are discovering the causes of the Penguin slap. After reading a post by Dori Friend, I started to implement certain strategies she pointed to. Although my sites are not yet where they were before Penguin but I have seen them jump.

  • http://www.crendo.com/ Crendo

    Within the last couple of months we’ve completely redone our two main websites, one for web design and one for photography. We went with wordpress as a content management solution for both. Whether or not having a simple way to blog, update descriptions/titles/headers and just plain change things around will get us higher in the search engines after Penguin is yet to be seen, but after 15 years of building sites by scratch and trying to optimize every line of code, I’m loving not having that hanging over my head any more. Now I can focus on finding non-scammy backlinks and writing good posts, which I think was Google’s target all along.

  • http://www.jafaloo.com Jafaloo

    Is there anyone here who has seen better results on Google search after so called penguin updates. I think before these algorithm updates, Google search was giving better results, but now in some cases I am not satisfied with the quality of the search results. Is there anyone who is also feeling so?

  • Carl Rydin

    If Google were serious they would simply remove the value of links. They say content is King, and want to give minor sites a chance. They talk about one thing and do the opposite. Google used to say get links to your site. Google have single handed created the link frenzy which they now are going against.
    Moral of Google is: If you are big they will help you as pointed out in the article. All other small sites get no help, and are left totally in the dark!

    To Google – Get rid of the link bullshit if content is king!

  • http://www.a1-hiddencamera.com Sharon Macdonald

    We spent 3 long years building our small business online and have in fact spent thousands of dollars paying Google for adwords. We have never spammed or paid for links or basically done anything against the guidelines. For all our hard work Google dismisses us after penguin like a piece of trash. How unfair. Down with the monster.

  • http://www.otssolutions.com Hiya

    Hi all,

    Is it possible that penguin can effect the site now. AS in May there was tremendous increase in business leads and traffic and ranking….and now suddenly it is going down,,….is that penguin effect or something else..Please let me know

  • Rohit Singh

    thanks for given us very informative information…..

  • http://penguinrecoveryservice.com Sinbad Konick

    That’s a great post..i will surely try these strategy of yours..hope those will work for me..and will beat penguin

  • http://www.blog2monetize.com/ Jonas

    so basically what we really need to do is to remove all your links on every site which in google’s eyes are spam sites.

  • Sivagopi

    Hi suppose say my site is http://www.example.com. There are around 5000 links that containing the anchor text example.

    And the site is affected by penguin. Do you this this is one of the case for the hit

  • http://tuvidaunreto.com/ Anthony

    No doubt that is true, but the problem I have small websites that do not know where to act. Perhaps this example is clear, but might not have so few examples of recovery. That alone is an indication of something.