Google Algorithm Chaos: Panda, Penguin, and Other Google Updates

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Frustrated at the world of algorithm updates? Has a Google penalty wiped you out? Do you have an algo-proofed website? Can your online marketing platform sustain the test of time? Obtain answers to …

Frustrated at the world of algorithm updates? Has a Google penalty wiped you out? Do you have an algo-proofed website? Can your online marketing platform sustain the test of time? Obtain answers to these questions as well as solutions for long-term SEO success from this session.<p>The second part of "algo choas" is to be proactive and stop penalties and algo problems before they happen. Don’t waste time trying to fix Google penalties chasing unauthorized content usage with Google Alerts, Copyscape, GWTs, disavowing junk links and other services. Better yet, avoid the hassle of using DMCAs making it your last resort, not the first.

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  • 1. Pubcon NOLA 2014 Algo Chaos
  • 2. Algo Chaos - Overview About Me • Senior SEO Strategist, Globe Runner • Brand Ambassador, Majestic SEO • Personal Blog: www.BillHartzer.com • Based in Dallas, Texas area
  • 3. Algo Chaos - Overview Overview • Recent Major Google Updates - Panda, Penguin, EMD, Page Layout, EMD, Authorship • Google Knowledge Graph • Manual Actions • Sample Manual Actions - Revoked • Future Google Algo Updates
  • 4. Algo Chaos – Google Panda What is Google Panda? • Ranking factor added to the Google algorithm • Filter designed to identify ‘low quality pages’. • Provides better rankings for high-quality sites • Panda is integrated into algorithm, after two years • Named after Google engineer Navneet Panda
  • 5. Algo Chaos – Google Panda How Google Panda Was Developed • Google Engineer came up with questions, sent questions to human quality testers • Testers rated based on quality, design, trustworthiness, speed, whether they would return to site • Google came up with definition of “low quality” • Launched Personal Chrome Site Blocker extension earlier. • Allowed us to specify sites we want blocked from SERPs • Compared data from both sources (Raters and Chrome Blocker), and had 84 percent overlap, indicating on right track • Came up with Classifier to indicate Low Quality vs. High Quality Sites, to be used mathematically in Google Panda.
  • 6. Algo Chaos – Google Panda Google Panda History • Rolled Out to US sites on February 24, 2011 http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html • Rolled out Globally to English language users on April 11, 2011 • Also began to roll out data from sites that users block • Latest update Panda #25 — March 14, 2013 - Panda updates now on rolling update schedule • Panda Dance, Panda Recovery, June and July 2013
  • 7. Algo Chaos – Google Panda Google Panda Update History • Panda/Farmer — February 23, 2011 • Panda 2.0 — April 11, 2011 • Panda 2.1 — May 9, 2011 • Panda 2.2 — June 21, 2011 • Panda 2.3 — July 23, 2011 • Panda Goes Global (2.4) — August 12, 2011 • Panda 2.5 — September 28, 2011 • Panda "Flux" — October 5, 2011 • Panda 3.1 — November 18, 2011 • Panda 3.2 — January 18, 2012 • Panda 3.3 — February 27, 2012 • Panda 3.4 — March 23, 2012 • Panda 3.5 — April 19, 2012 • Panda 3.6 — April 27, 2012 • Panda 3.7 — June 8, 2012 • Panda 3.8 — June 25, 2012 • Panda 3.9 — July 24, 2012 • Panda 3.9.1 — August 20, 2012 • Panda 3.9.2 — September 18, 2012 • Panda #20 — September 27, 2012 • Panda #21 — November 5, 2012 • Panda #22 — November 21, 2012 • Panda #23 — December 21, 2012 • Panda #24 — January 23, 2013 • Panda #24 — March 14, 2013 • Panda Dance — June 11, 2013 • Panda Recovery — July 18, 2013 See the Google Algorithm Change History: http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change
  • 8. Algo Chaos – Google Panda Were You Hit by Panda? • Look at your web analytics • Sites affected had traffic loss starting in February, 2011. • Google Analytics for your site (Web Trends, Omniture, etc.) • SEM Rush for most sites (SEMRush.com) • How many sites recover? http://www.screamingfrog.co.uk/google-panda/
  • 9. Algo Chaos– Google Panda Recovering from Google Panda • Make sure all content on site is “high quality” • Review Google’s List: 23 Questions to assess quality http://bit.ly/1gHZzQb • Identify and remove least-visited pages • Take out the trash, so to speak. • Prevent Pogosticking from SERPs. • Wait until next Panda update to see recovery (about a month)
  • 10. Algo Chaos – Google Panda vs. Penguin Panda vs. Penguin • Panda focuses on sites providing a bad user experience - Sites with low quality content • Penguin focuses on spamdexing and link bombing.
  • 11. Algo Chaos – Google Penguin What is Google Penguin? Google: “algorithm change targeted at webspam.” http://insidesearch.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/another-step-to-reward-high-quality.html Goal is to “decrease rankings for sites that violate Google’s Quality Guidelines”. http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769#3 Examples: • Keyword Stuffing, Over Optimization • Unusual linking patterns (outgoing links)
  • 12. Algo Chaos – Google Penguin Google Penguin Update History • First reported April 24, 2012 • Penguin #2 — May 25, 2012 • Penguin #3 — October 5, 2012 (0.3 percent of queries) • Penguin 2.0 (#4) — May 22, 2013 • Penguin 2.1 (#5) — October 4, 2013
  • 13. Algo Chaos – Google Penguin Were You Hit by Google Penguin? • Look at Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, review dates of Google Updates.
  • 14. Algo Chaos – Google Penguin Recovering from Google Penguin • Perform a full SEO Audit of web site - Identify and fix problem areas on site that violate Google guidelines (keyword stuffing, over optimization, etc.) • Review Google Webmaster Tools for messages, suggestions • Perform full link analysis of site - Download links from Majestic SEO, Moz Open Site Explorer, a hrefs, etc. - Review anchor text, clean up links to site - LinkResearchTools.com for further cleanup • Disavow Links to Site, Ping, force crawls of disavowed links • Link Research Tools’ Link Detox Boost claims quick recovery • Work on Authority, trust of site • Wait until next Penguin update to see recovery
  • 15. Google Algo Chaos – Exact Match Domain Update EMD Update • Exact-Match Domain (EMD) Update — September 27, 2012 Should be called the “Commercial Phrase” Update. But for PR purposes, I realize why Google calls it the “EMD” update. • Google targeted “commercial phrases” with this update. • AdWords CPC Cost + # Searches Per Month = Commercial Phrase Example: $5.00 CPC + 20,000 Searches Per Month = Commercial Phrase • Valuable Domain Names include Keywords (commercial phrases) • Not all keyword rich domains affected • Sites without keyword rich domains were affected • Recover by cleaning up your link profile, especially anchor text • Link Profiles should have 70 percent or more “brand” anchor text, company name, URL as anchor text.
  • 16. Algo Chaos – Page Layout Update Google Page Layout Update • Page Layout #2 — October 9, 2012 • Targets pages with too many ads “above the fold” • Algo proof: content above fold, minimal ads above fold. • Page Layout #3 — February 6, 2014 http://selnd.com/1qNV6DE
  • 17. Algo Chaos – Knowledge Graph Update Knowledge Graph Update • Knowledge Graph Expansion — December 4, 2012 • Added KG functionality to non-English queries • Get your site, business into the Knowledge Graph. • TIP: get listed in Freebase.com, part of KG.
  • 18. Algo Chaos – Google Manual Actions Manual Actions in Webmaster Tools • Partial Match – affects certain pages • Full Match – affects whole site • Unnatural links – both require link cleanup, review
  • 19. Algo Chaos – Manual Actions Manual Actions – Unrelated to Penguin • Unnatural link warnings are not related to Google Penguin • Sites affected by Penguin should clean up links • Manual actions more severe, require reconsideration request
  • 20. Algo Chaos – Manual Actions Getting Manual Actions Revoked Unnatural Links? Clean up links, document everything. • Identify all links to site • Combine GWT, Majestic SEO, Ahrefs, OSE links • Manually review links (Link Research Tools can help) • Identify links to remove • Contact site owners, document emails, contact dates, etc. • 3 attempts to contact site owners • Disavow links not removed Request Review: include letter, spreadsheet with data proof
  • 21. Algo Chaos – Manual Actions Sample Manual Action Revoked • 52,252 Total Links to Site • 217 referring root domains • 693 Healthy Links • 709 Inorganic Links • 569 “live” inorganic links to get removed (including nofollow links). After three attempts over 3 weeks to contact site owners via email: • 296 site owners responded • 12 sites refused to remove the links • 257 links were successfully removed based on our email requests • 27 links – site owners requested payment to remove the links • 2 links – we were unable to contact site owners • 274 links – site owners were completely unresponsive after 3 contacts • 256 links were removed as a result of our link removal efforts
  • 22. Algo Chaos – Manual Actions Sample Manual Action Revoked • Kept track of all URLs, Status of URL, Dates, and emails • Added all data into spreadsheet • Uploaded spreadsheet to Google Docs • Wrote letter explaining process, linked to Google Docs spreadsheet
  • 23. Algo Chaos – Google Authorship Update Google Authorship Shakeup • Technically, not a Google algorithm update, but verified by G. • Authorship Shake-up — December 19, 2013 • Authorship results in search are being intentionally reduced Authorshippocalypse http://bit.ly/1fUQ2Jk Authorship Photos in SERPs Reduced http://bit.ly/1d8TfGe
  • 24. Algo Chaos – Google Future Updates Google Future Updates • Google Panda Update coming – softer on small businesses • Panda Updates are monthly • Penguin Updates are 6 months between roll-outs • Manual Actions - Severity of infraction can affect length of time a site will be penalized • Manual Actions – Average site is looking at 6-12 months to recover from a penalty even after cleaning it up • If you get hit by Panda or Penguin you HAVE to wait to for data refresh of that filter
  • 25. Algo Chaos – Thank You THANK YOU Contact Me Bill Hartzer Senior SEO Strategist Globe Runner SEO Email: Bill@GlobeRunnerSEO.com Mobile: (214) 236-4378 Office: (972) 538-0260 Ext. 7076 Direct: (469) 645-1231 Web: http://www.globerunner.com Blog: http://www.billhartzer.com Twitter: @bhartzer