Domain Manage

Penguin update synopsis

Discussion in 'SEO Search Engine Optimisation' started by dougs, Apr 29, 2012.

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  1. dougs United Kingdom

    dougs Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    I am going to create a seperate thread for this, please only add if you can addd more info that helps the analysis:

    We have lots of sites and lots of tools so here goes. This is data we are analysing for pages/sites that went up and down, plus we massively compare against our competitors.

    March 2012 - link warnings went out and offered link reinclusion
    April 17th - loads of sites hit for certain pages ( google said this was a parked page problem...but not what we believe)
    April 19th - another Panda update
    April 25th - Penguin hit, no reinclusion

    So what happened with the link warning and reinclusion? My personal view this was a bit of a mess internally within Google with miscommunication. Eventually they decide the story is Penguin only. Or did Google just wanted everyone to tell them what they had been doing that was dirty so they confirmed the dirty link networks.

    So Penguin:

    several penalties going on at once?:

    this is a page penalty only and not a site wide penalty...unless you been really nasty with those links

    keyword density has definitely been tuned down massively ( use seobook tool - http://tools.seobook.com/general/keyword-density/ )
    if more than 3% on page for ANY 2 or 3 word term that is not a keyword in your url you get a penalty for that page ( this is for ALL content on page inc links)
    Solution - Adjust content ( maybe change anchor text links as seen below)

    Internal anchor text links massive bashing especially for anchor text overdoing
    we do not yet have any decent numbers on this to see
    Solution - Reduce internal linking ( good video here http://www.seomoz.org/blog/6-change...r-optimization-penalty-hits-whiteboard-friday)

    External linking MORE AND MORE WE ARE THINKING THIS
    Initially we could not believe so many pages on so many sites could be hit, so thought it must be on page.....we are now more and more thinking there is a big external link penalty
    Assuming you have a profile that is similar to how it should be...we use Tesco's and see what mix is and try to come as close as possible to them....then we are are seeing no issues. I just cant see anything to convince me it's external links as I am tracking pages with almost identical link profiles on different competitor sites, A and B, and A is thriving and B is dead. Then I look at other pages on same sites and site B wins and site A is dead. UPDATED We have now found pages on sites that are very clean on site and have been whacked..........this we believe is completely dirty links. UPDATED2 Seeing best page on a site that has dirty links is now gone, secondary page on the same site is now ranking in top 10

    Solution - get rid of all the dirty links you can and hope you come back....ask then for a reinclusion of no joy

    Country Location base searches....more weight being given to local country domains


    The above things seem to all apply if a page has been downgraded, but to add to the confusion their are pages out their that have all of these and still ranking....our initial thought is these pages have some sort of get out of jail card, maybe due to domain power.

    Passing juice internal - I am am also thinking that maybe once a page is hit it becomes incapable of passing link juice, thus reducing the effectiveness of the rest of the site. I know people who on one day lost some pages and then watched their site slowly die.

    Quick fix look at who has become the dominate player in the space and try to do a test on part of your site and match their keyword density plus internal linking structure. Watch for movements just on those pages...if it works replicate across more of the site. As a page comes back live it may be able to pass more juice to other pages.

    We have started doing adjustments and are waiting to see. I believe that once you fix the content and internal linking issues you will see the real damage, if any.


    IDEAS

    if a page is dead then recreate it with a new name and see if the new page ranks
    301 old page to new page



    This is an over optimisation penalty and everyone is doing dirty link building and ranking, so I don't see how it can be off page unless you are being really bad stuff, but there are examples of negative seo that do work, but they seem to take some grunt and you need to be targeted..

    Hope that helps. Please note this is only our guessing from what we have analysed so far.

    Anyones else's thoughts please

    Doug


    AMMENDED 1-5-2012

    We have seen so much stuff hit on loads of sites that we thought it had to be an on page penalty, but our thoughts are changing.
    We are now thinking:

    its a page penalty but only for the ones that have been over anchor text hit
    mostly driven by external dirty links
    the warning emails were to confirm that google had found all the dirty networks
    they nuked all link selling sites
    they nuked all pages that had dirty links from these sites......but what was the ratio of good/bad?

    we are still seeing some pages that had dirty links living, so this is either due to domain power or there is a link ratio that dictates the penalty.

    SOLUTIONS
    As mentioned above we still believe you should amend your site to make the keyword density lower and the internal anchor text not as aggressive.
    Remove every external dirty link you can find
    Change the anchor text of good links or get more good links with different anchor text .... do this after removing bad ones


    MAYBE'S
    Create new pages for the pages that have been hit......but if you had lots of good links into the old page then you have an issue.... issue on the front page obviously.
    Try to 301 the old page to a new page
    Push a pile of quality links into dead pages, see if you can change the ratios
    301 a good page that does not rank and was not hit into a dead page to see if you can change the ratio's.....but you may pass on the dirty penalty

    I will keep updating as we learn more.

    Doug
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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  3. admin Spain

    admin Administrator Staff Member

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    That's a great post Dougs, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I went through the links at SEOmoz and everyone should watch their latest videos on the Google changes, very insightful.

    This one is good:
    http://www.seomoz.org/blog/6-change...r-optimization-penalty-hits-whiteboard-friday

    Forum signature may now be considered as spammy or low-quality so this is good to reduce my anti-spam efforts required but maybe take a look at your sigs here against their recommendations.

    Admin
     
  4. vizzo United Kingdom

    vizzo Active Member

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    I'm referring to one particular site, my biggest. It had a slight wobble at the time of Panda 2.1 (this time last year) but recovered quite soon. After that I resolved to do as little as possible to this site as I didn't want to upset anything. Well April 24/25/26 saw a big downturn - one search term down to bottom of page 2. Many search terms I've disappeared completely. For one or two search terms I'm still on page one (mainly inner pages)

    I've spent many hours over the last few days analyzing. I have very little idea what to do.

    Backlinks - I found over 40 .pl domains which have just scraped a snippet from my site and placed a link to me.
    A whole load of links are from a forum I belong to where in the control panel I've entered the site as "my website". Not a signature link. I've now removed this.

    I have done very little link building to this site in the last year. Most links are from forums where people are linking to my site as a reference to the topic under discussion.

    Inner Linking
    I have a navigation bar that's on all pages with links to about 20 pages, not delibrately optimised. Nearly all links back to the homepage have anchor text in the nav bar "home" - hardly overoptimised and an html sitemap
    In addition to the nav bar links there is moderate interlinking between pages. Done for the user not SEO purposes.

    If I look at my sector in search what do i find?
    More newspaper sites, more images, more videos.
    Some completely irrelevant sites where the word searched is used just once on the whoile page and the site is aboutr something else all together.
    Other than these, the sites that are similar to mine seem to have a backlink profile that looks more like spam than mine

    Comparing to the site that is dominating my search terms, in general my keyword density is lower.

    What am I doing? - reducing keyword density in descriptions etc ( not that i think it's excessive anyway but I've got to do something). Getting more content above the fold on some pages (a different issue i know), reducing even further my in-site interlinking and letting people navigate mainly by the navigation bar.

    I have little real faith that what I'm doing will make a difference as i don't see much wrong in the first place!
     
  5. Sussexite

    Sussexite Active Member

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    I remember when Panda hit last year I had a big site hit a bit. I then spent ages trying to recraft my site to follow "best advice" on what experts thought you should do.

    Net effect - nil. Just lots of boring work. The experts guessed wrong.

    Carried on developing the site normally 6 months later and back to terrific rankings on lots of domain + keyword terms.

    Penguin
    Not been effected by it.

    But based on Panda, for those that have, suggest that the best course of action is to do nothing right now.

    Perhaps the only thing worth doing is building greater variety of anchor text in internal links. This is beneficial to users anyway and may improve things from a Penguin point of view.
     
  6. chippyb United Kingdom

    chippyb Active Member

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    Well I dont think the internal linking pages in google has much effect, as you take laterooms for example, look at there footer?! like 50 likes in the footer,
     
  7. boxfish United Kingdom

    boxfish Active Member

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    It will vary based on size. Laterooms have nearly 3 million indexed pages. Having 50 links to very specific, targeted pages (not sitewides) will help a lot with navigation, whereas having the same footer on a 100 page site would look spammy.

    Also Google always tend to focus on the overview, so, if you have great titles and mediocre internal linking you may be ok, whereas poor titles and mediocre linking may get you a penalty so it's not as easy as saying 'this site is number 1 and they have paid links/spammy titles/loads of internal linking' as it's never as clear-cut.
     
  8. crazihos United Kingdom

    crazihos Active Member

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    One of my sites is hit quite hard (1st place to 8th pre penguin and now on page 4). The hit pre-pengin was 100% down to me getting too many anchors (not paid links just poor anchor choice).

    My keyword density is around 4% - the sites now in the top 3 have density levels of 12% + so I cant put it down to that.

    The main difference that I can see between my site and ones that now rank are links - theirs are nearly all brand links while mine has fewer brand signals by comparison. One site now on page 1 only has 17 links and not great content which is the most annoying thing to see - but his links are 90% brand anchors.

    One problem I can see with my links straight away is that some high pagerank sites I have links on were de-valued in the update. They are ok sites but they went from ranking top of page 1 to bottom page 4 so some of my link equity has gone down the toilet - or worse google is hitting me for having links on them in the first place. I think this will be a problem for loads of people and is the reason we are seeing reports that some internal pages ranking fine while others have died.

    To fix the problem -

    I've employed a top notch writer to re-do the whole site from scratch to make the site the most informative in the niche. He is not a web writer so he will have no idea about keyword density - he is writing for users so hopefully the result will be an improved user experience.

    I have removed 2 sitewide links that were pointing to my site - these were possibly helping as I have slipped to page 4 since removing them but I'd rather work back from page 4 than see a WMT link warning so i'm not worried about that at the moment

    I'm also now trying to get some new quality links using my brand anchor and variations of it and am contacting old links to remove any suspect ones and am changing some anchors to water down my link ratios.

    I have no idea if the above will work but thats my plan (and that was my plan pre-penguin as I had things that needed fixing), although I also agree with Sussexite - doing nothing for 3 months could actually be the best option.

    Russ
     
  9. boxfish United Kingdom

    boxfish Active Member

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  10. chippyb United Kingdom

    chippyb Active Member

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    Yea I suppose, but still its 3 million pages on dupe content, as they use the same descriptions as they give out to there affiliates
     
  11. boxfish United Kingdom

    boxfish Active Member

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    It's only duplicate content when it's been indexed before. So it's unique for laterooms (they had it first and ranked off it) but dupe for the affiliates.
     
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