What I've found so far about the PENGUIN update and how to fix it

by Fking
50 replies
  • SEO
  • |
As i was personally affected I did quite some reading and testing the last several days.
I'll share everything I've found so far, hopefully it will help someone and others might correct or extend it.

The biggest factor so far seems to be exact match/random anchors ratio.
If you do fast check of the top 10 sites for most keywords you will find that (even pre-penguin) for most of them the % of exact match anchors is single digit, often as low as 1-2%.
We've known that the anchor must be varied for a while now, but even then the most of us use mostly exact match, then some partial match and very little if any common anchors like "click here, read more, see more, find out more, domain.com, http://domain.com"
Fact is that when linking naturally people don't care about your money keyword, they link any way that's convenient for them and flows ok with the context.
So, even if you were doing like 30% exact match, and thinking i'm doing ok....well you were doing 15 times more than the average. It was working but isn't anymore. Google became super strict about that overnight....

If your onpage content is relevant to the query, even if you don't get many links with relevant anchors but you are link popular chances are you will rank ok.


Other important thing seems to be domain authority. Quality content, link building to all internal pages not just the homepage, even distribution of the links, logic internal linking bla bla...We all know that but it's not enough anymore. Important but not enough.
After you've got your quality content you have to become authority by getting really strong links.
Yeah easy to say, hard to do, especially when now we are limited about using exact match anchor and it sucks to put hard work into getting great link and make it "click here" anchor....

A way around that is to make regular links super links. Get 50-100 links from article syndication or whatever you do. Then generate lots of links to each of those links and if you have the resource (and nerves) make 3rd tier of links to the second tier. Because the 3rd big factor in my eyes is

DEAD END links
The web is inter connected and google knows that. Isn't it suspicious if 99% of the pages linking to your money sites have no links to them? Natural links from real pages all have links to them. Generated links are very often dead end links.
You can allow yourself to make good portion of those super links exact and partial match, and generate lots of other with common anchors, which you may or may not tier as well.
How much exactly? It's different for every niche and keyword, just calculate the average for top 10 results for your keyword as a raw direction. But even that won't be precise because each of your competitor's links carries different weight and respectively different anchor relevancy.

So to put it together the 3 big factors are
  • exact match/common anchors ratio
  • domain authority
  • dead end links

the 3rd factor is the missing link for me, as there are many sites with good ratio and authority but still got down, if that's your case check if the most of your links aren't dead end


and when you go out to generate new links following that, remember BuildMyRank. If google deindexed 1 network, common sense predicts that many will follow. They are up to that game and as history shows it's only matter of time before they crack it down completely.
Even if a network is build so it doesn't have a footprint, they are open and public and every google employee can join it generate tons of links, collect the URLs and deindex....
I don't think they are into this kind of approach but they definitely have the resource to do it if they fail with their automated means.

So either invent other method of building links, start your own network or look for small under the radar private ones. Add some social marketing not only for more natural link profile but to diversify your traffic sources.
Completely whitehat and viral is great but tends not to work so well for the most commerce sites....nobody links on their own to a hair dryer because they like the color. Unless you have some conceptually new product chances are you will have to put a lot of effort in SEO.

I'll be glad to turn that into discussion and narrow it down even more or even disregard some of my theories.

p.s.
and here is another research confirming this if you feel like reading even more
http://www.micrositemasters.com/blog...ways-to-do-so/
#fix #found #penguin #update
  • Profile picture of the author keyon
    Originally Posted by Fking View Post

    So either invent other method of building links, start your own network or look for small under the radar private ones.
    Nice post, Fking. I especially like your suggestion (above) about finding new ways to create IBLs. Even for people who want (need) to continue their more aggressive link building campaigns, I would think they should have at least a few of their websites built on a more "natural" model.
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    • Profile picture of the author richblogs
      In my opinion, Penguin, Panda, whatever updates are all driving to one thing: quality content.

      Strategies to artificially rank, build back links, or whatever SEO methods are becoming depreciated. Fixes may work in the short-term, but the future is simple: to have a popular website you're going to need to produce naturally popular content.
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      • Profile picture of the author dwaynecasey
        On some sites I think it may be harder to generate real quality content. Ecommerce for example. What types of content can you create for "X widget" thats really interesting or linkable.? Maybe How to's? Well I suppose this is the next SEO challenge. Our firm has been considering this for awhile and I guess we are now going to address it. It may actually make the content builders jobs more interesting.
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        • Profile picture of the author Fking
          Originally Posted by dwaynecasey View Post

          On some sites I think it may be harder to generate real quality content. Ecommerce for example. What types of content can you create for "X widget" thats really interesting or linkable.? Maybe How to's? Well I suppose this is the next SEO challenge. Our firm has been considering this for awhile and I guess we are now going to address it. It may actually make the content builders jobs more interesting.
          That's why I think that SEO the way google sees can't be done for lots of niches. Not all content can be great and not all content can go viral. Even if it's great you still need links to make it discovarable so it can go viral
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      • Profile picture of the author joetheseo
        Saying stuff like this makes you look like a rookie. been watching one
        too many Matt Cutts videos lately I'm afraid.

        Originally Posted by richblogs View Post

        In my opinion, Penguin, Panda, whatever updates are all driving to one thing: quality content.

        Strategies to artificially rank, build back links, or whatever SEO methods are becoming depreciated. Fixes may work in the short-term, but the future is simple: to have a popular website you're going to need to produce naturally popular content.
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      • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
        Originally Posted by richblogs View Post

        In my opinion, Penguin, Panda, whatever updates are all driving to one thing: quality content.

        Strategies to artificially rank, build back links, or whatever SEO methods are becoming depreciated. Fixes may work in the short-term, but the future is simple: to have a popular website you're going to need to produce naturally popular content.

        The porn business it is then
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  • Profile picture of the author Fking
    completely agree, quality content is a must but often is not enough
    especially in competitive markets or commerce where no one tends to link to just another dish washer.
    Also in order for people to see you and start linking naturally, they have to find you. And they won't if your content even if amazing is on page 10. Here social marketing can help of course.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kal Sallam
      Originally Posted by Fking View Post

      is not enough
      especially in competitive markets or commerce where no one tends to link to just another dish washer.
      What's wrong with dishwashers I link to them all the time, they're cool to share:p
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      • Profile picture of the author nik0
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Kal Sallam View Post

        What's wrong with dishwashers I link to them all the time, they're cool to share:p
        I just got my "maytag dishwasher parts" site completely deindexed in Google LOL. Those 500 retweets just killed it!
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  • Profile picture of the author BetaMaster
    Thanks for your great post fking. One of my site got slapped by Google. Weird, my abandoned EMD site now rank to page one. I never build backlink to my site and that site has thin content.
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  • Profile picture of the author OldLodgeSkins
    Good info, I was thinking of building some new backlinks (for a series of pages that only have a few for now), this will come in handy. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author jacksonlin
    Yup. If you're a local plumber, even if you have the BEST service in the world, it's not like your plumbing services are going to go viral. It's not like Oprah is going to rave about you and get millions of people to go to your site.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheProgrammer
      Originally Posted by jacksonlin View Post

      Yup. If you're a local plumber, even if you have the BEST service in the world, it's not like your plumbing services are going to go viral. It's not like Oprah is going to rave about you and get millions of people to go to your site.
      Yes it is true.
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    • Profile picture of the author scottmacair
      Originally Posted by jacksonlin View Post

      Yup. If you're a local plumber, even if you have the BEST service in the world, it's not like your plumbing services are going to go viral. It's not like Oprah is going to rave about you and get millions of people to go to your site.
      Yes it's true but its importand to understand that within a specific niche it's a level playing field. Sure, not many people will link to a plumbing site but the same is true of any other plumbing business. You don't need many links to rank, you just need to have a better quality back link profile than the competition. If your competitor has 10 good links then you need 12 good links or 3 great links etc.

      People need to get out of the mindset that they need to create lots of links to rank. It's all relative to the competition you're up against.

      20% of searches have never been queried before. Less focus on big money keywords and more focus on good content that captures long tail queries will help.
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  • Profile picture of the author developerholic
    Ive been trying to figure out Panda and now there's Penguin update! Thank you for the info. I can't seem quite get Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author celente
    look guys I agree, its quality content.

    Compare google to impressing a girl

    Do you a) not, shower, not shave, fart hard and find something slimey in the back of your pants as you go and ask that lady out on a date (this is spinning, and giving google jibberish)

    OR.....

    Do you b) borrow some old spice, pamper yourself, go to the gym and workout and become all hunky! and give the lady all the more reason to find you HOT! = QUALITY CONTENT!

    Verdict, B.... give google what she wants, and turn her on!!! Make her weak at the knees and she will...ummmm..... reward you.
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    • Profile picture of the author xxxJamesxxx
      Originally Posted by celente View Post

      look guys I agree, its quality content.

      Compare google to impressing a girl

      Do you a) not, shower, not shave, fart hard and find something slimey in the back of your pants as you go and ask that lady out on a date (this is spinning, and giving google jibberish)

      OR.....

      Do you b) borrow some old spice, pamper yourself, go to the gym and workout and become all hunky! and give the lady all the more reason to find you HOT! = QUALITY CONTENT!

      Verdict, B.... give google what she wants, and turn her on!!! Make her weak at the knees and she will...ummmm..... reward you.
      Haha... That's one way looking at it.

      James Scholes
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  • Profile picture of the author momo3
    Great post..

    I think one point the OP forgot was the importance of links from within your niche.

    Nothing shows more authenticity to google than this.

    I think this is the granddaddy link of them all.

    But I am no genius here, just kinda throwin' that out there. Just my two cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author faysal969
    Thanks for your nice and useful thread. But, I think if any webmaster use good quality content then he/she should not be worry about panda or penguin. Every thing will work perfect.
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  • Profile picture of the author lexilexi
    FYI: Google can't detect quality content. I'm like a voice in the wilderness on this one but it's true!! I still see the same scraped nonsense pages at #1 that have been there for the last 5 years, but only for outdated serps, i.e. terms that once got a lot of searches but absolutely no-one searches for any more (and therefore no one blows the whistle on). Think about that.

    I'm in agreement with the OP. The only sites of mine that took a dive were those that used too much blog comment link building with the same anchor. Others held up.
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    • Profile picture of the author dollar_bill
      Google can't detect quality content. I'm like a voice in the wilderness on this one but it's true!! I still see the same scraped nonsense pages at #1 that have been there for the last 5 years, but only for outdated serps, i.e. terms that once got a lot of searches but absolutely no-one searches for any more (and therefore no one blows the whistle on). Think about that.
      Thanks for bringing this up. I have to agree. I have been working on a site for 3 months now and I was sitting at #5 for a few weeks. I have used all original articles for the site and the submitted articles to other authority sites all original. All content checked at 95% or more originality. This were all new articles, not spun.

      My site disappeared from searches and has been replaced with low quality sites.

      The biggest factor so far seems to be exact match/random anchors ratio.
      Sorry, but this statement is not true for my competitors. I have been following this rule for 3 months now. I researched two sites on the first page after this update, and one might as well be a link farm. The home page is just an index of a list of random sites (no content). The back links to this site? 2/3's of them come from just one site and all of these have the same stuffed key phrase. So that's 66% anchor text the same.

      The other site sitting at #4 is the same way. Over half the links come from one site and over half are the same key phrase. So maybe it's going back to the old way where more matched key phrases get you ranked higher.

      I thought I had this all worked out, but now I'm back to this forum looking for answers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ndot India
    According to be Google is giving more importance to quality content. Whatever update Google looks for only quality content. So try to avoid duplicate contents in your website and achieve good ranking in Google.
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    I've got 30 sites. The only site that's really been hit hard is that which has a lot of links from HubPages, which itself has been spanked in this update.

    So I don't know if my site was penalised, or I'm just seeing less link juice passing from HubPages.

    Actually what I'm doing now is building a membership site - MFA is a dead business as far as I'm concerned.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fking
    well as long as you adapt no business is really death
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  • Profile picture of the author Oracle_320th
    There are also some good data here, they claim to get these data from tens of thousands of sites so this article should be useful for you:

    Backlink Banzai : Google Penguin - An Examination & Conclusions
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  • Profile picture of the author boxoun
    True, vary anchor text as a general practice to stay under radar but if you have relevant themed links, I'm seeing sites in first page with no anchor variety. Varying anchors is a band aide on cancer. The cure is really where the links are coming from.
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  • Profile picture of the author wilsonm
    How about a scrapebox blast to "50-100 links from article syndication or whatever you do"?

    Originally Posted by Fking View Post

    A way around that is to make regular links super links. Get 50-100 links from article syndication or whatever you do. Then generate lots of links to each of those links and if you have the resource (and nerves) make 3rd tier of links to the second tier. Because the 3rd big factor in my eyes is

    DEAD END links
    The web is inter connected and google knows that. Isn't it suspicious if 99% of the pages linking to your money sites have no links to them? Natural links from real pages all have links to them. Generated links are very often dead end links.
    You can allow yourself to make good portion of those super links exact and partial match, and generate lots of other with common anchors, which you may or may not tier as well.
    How much exactly? It's different for every niche and keyword, just calculate the average for top 10 results for your keyword as a raw direction. But even that won't be precise because each of your competitor's links carries different weight and respectively different anchor relevancy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fking
    yes there really are exceptions to the rule, so it's not the only factor. Often domain authority ranks domains even when the other factors are messed up.
    Also there are definitely sites that are up there for no reason and is prolly an algo flaw that still waits to be fixed.
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  • Profile picture of the author Just Evan
    For what it's worth...

    I own a local flooring company and I am now being
    beat by other companies with ...get this...

    Almost 1/10 of the links I have.
    All of their links have anchor text of their company name (over 80%)...

    Meaning all their anchor text is not optimized for the keyword
    I'm after at all....I was #2, first page...now I'm on second page mostly.



    Please excuse me while I scratch the hell out of
    the back of my head right now....
    :rolleyes:
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    • Profile picture of the author Fking
      Originally Posted by Just Evan View Post

      For what it's worth...

      I own a local flooring company and I am now being
      beat by other companies with ...get this...

      Almost 1/10 of the links I have.
      All of their links have anchor text of their company name (over 80%)...

      Meaning all their anchor text is not optimized for the keyword
      I'm after at all....I was #2, first page...now I'm on second page mostly.



      Please excuse me while I scratch the hell out of
      the back of my head right now....
      :rolleyes:
      exactly, company name seems to be ok now, as it's not exact keyword match
      it seems more natural to google than keyword rich anchors
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  • Profile picture of the author knish
    All this penguin and panda updating stuff has me swimming around in my head. One day I will hopefully understand all of this at a time when I need this info.
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  • Profile picture of the author Just Evan
    Originally Posted by Fking View Post

    p.s.
    and here is another research confirming this if you feel like reading even more
    Penguin Analysis: SEO Isn't Dead, But You Need to Act Smarter | Microsite Masters

    This post was a great read that really shed some light
    on things for me...I now have a plan of "Attack".

    I wish I could thank you,
    but I don't seem to have this privilege as yet.
    Sorry...
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  • Profile picture of the author gearmonkey
    #1 point that can't be said enough is the 'ol cliche "content is king". That is more important than ever!

    #2 key factor, one PR7 is worth more than 78,000 PR0s. Go for high PR backlinks and forget about linking PR0s, PR1s to your money page. Use those for your Squidoo, Blogspot, Ezinearticles page....

    It's not that difficult, really.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
      I think Google's updates have been beneficial so far. The goal is to create a higher quality web. This will, in the end, actually make it easier for marketers to make sales as the web will have more credibility and users will trust it more.

      If Penguin helps stop spam then I'm definitely all for it. If you rely on spam for backlinking or traffic and your site has been hit then I don't really feel bad for you. I hate spam.
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  • Profile picture of the author OneManSEO
    I wonder if that's why none of our rankings got hammered, since we typically build backlinks to backlinks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fking
    Is anyone doing case studies on his own? Any early results?
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  • Profile picture of the author plugins
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Fking
      Originally Posted by plugins View Post

      Very nice and informative thread , i agreed with your points. Now after google penguin update the most important factor on which i am focusing is on including good unique quality content for my sites and tried to get quality backlinks for that sites that are relevant to site theme.
      quality content and quality links, the cures for both Panda and Penguin
      slowly the web is getting better after all
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  • Profile picture of the author Rockerpreneur
    Thank you for this thread..very helpful for me!
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  • Profile picture of the author Fking
    yes web 2.0 properties would help a lot since they are usually on authority domains and those benefit a lot right now.
    especially if you make your own network of web 2.0 properties in the same niche with good content.
    Combining those with links from high quality private networks will rank you even better.
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  • Profile picture of the author cooler1
    Fking, In your opinion is it worth the time to change the anchor text of existing backlinks for a site which has been negetively affected by Penguin or will those backlinks have been discounted now so it won't result in any ranking improvement.

    Im wondering because i've heard contrasting opinions on this so far and it would be time consuming to do.
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    • Profile picture of the author Fking
      Originally Posted by cooler1 View Post

      Fking, In your opinion is it worth the time to change the anchor text of existing backlinks for a site which has been negetively affected by Penguin or will those backlinks have been discounted now so it won't result in any ranking improvement.

      Im wondering because i've heard contrasting opinions on this so far and it would be time consuming to do.
      Well we don't know yet, but anyway in my eyes is much better to put that same effort into building new links according to the new rules for two reasons.
      1. You turn the ratio in your favor
      2. You gain even more link power

      often changing a old link that you don't control is harder than making a new one
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  • Profile picture of the author kimoftheworld
    There's a related thread here, check it out people.
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  • Profile picture of the author JaviB
    Interesting analysis. Two of my main sites have been affected by penguin and now I'm creating backlinks with generic and diverse anchor texts.

    I hope it helps to recover the lost spots.
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  • Profile picture of the author quercus5
    Thanks for the post. Variation in anchor text seemed to be a major problem for one of my sites. I had one specific keyword phrase for about 95% of my anchor texts. Google slammed that.
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  • Profile picture of the author discuss4u
    Thanks for the post. In fact, I am now trying to clean my link profiles for some of my sites.

    And at the same time, I also move some sites to new domains, without 301 redirect, to see how they will go
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  • Profile picture of the author tylerjaysen
    hey very cool post man thanks. Yeah the EMD is a big one..at least that's what I've discovered from my own domains. I put up a site around plasma tvs with a domain matching the product. I created some unique content and had the site on page 1 in 24 hours for me keyword phrase.

    I made some quick amazon sales fast and got traffic fast. I thought that was really cool. Then blam penguin hit and overnight..no traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fking
    anyone found anything new?
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  • Profile picture of the author handybizman
    Hello,

    I have a question for anyone that knows about google indexing. I have a autoblog and want to start over with my own content and do it the right way. I have many of the pages and post already indexed but not ranked.

    What do you suggest the best way to handle this? Can I delete the whole blog and leave it dormant for about a month and Google will deindex all these pages and post to start fresh?

    I had this domain for years and don't want to get rid of it, just start fresh and establish myself the right way with content I create.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author Fking
    Not that your question is in any way related to the thread but...

    Just delete the old pages and start fresh.
    Soon google will see they don't exist anymore and deindex them.
    Many sites change owners every day and that's what happen to them as well, the new owner is usually able to carry on without negative effects. (unless the old domain has been penalised for some reason)
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