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Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
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Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties

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In the past few years, there have been several Google organic search algorithm updates. Manual actions, also referred to as manual penalties, from Google, can have a devastating effect on your site’s …

In the past few years, there have been several Google organic search algorithm updates. Manual actions, also referred to as manual penalties, from Google, can have a devastating effect on your site’s traffic and revenue. If your site has a manual action because of unnatural links to your website, filing a reconsideration request with Google isn’t just a matter of filling out a form: you must prove to them that you’ve removed the links, cleaned up your act, and disavowed the links you couldn’t get removed.

In this meeting, Bill Hartzer, co-founder of DFWSEM, and Senior SEO Strategist at Globerunner SEO, will discuss the differences between Google Panda and Google Penguin. We’ll review each of these algorithm and figure out if your site has been penalized or not. Then, we’ll go through specific steps in order to recover traffic and rankings due to a Panda or Penguin algorithmic penalty. We’ll discuss the process of getting a Google manual penalty revoked, and even timelines for recovery of the lost traffic and sales.

Takeaways:

-- Understand the differences between Google Panda and Google Penguin algorithm updates.
-- Tell whether or not your website has been hit by Google Panda or Google Penguin updates.
-- Understand Google Manual Actions and what you need to do in order to get a manual action or penalty revoked by Google.

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  1. DFWSEM – July 2014 Google Algorithm Update: Pandas, Penguins, and Recovering from Penalties
  2. 2014 DFWSEM – Google Algorithm Update About Me • Senior SEO Strategist, Globe Runner • Brand Ambassador, Majestic SEO • Personal Blog: www.BillHartzer.com • Practicing Organic/Natural SEO since 1996
  3. 2014 DFWSEM – Google Algorithm Update - Overview Overview • Google Panda • Google Penguin • Algorithmic vs. Manual Penalties • Recovering From Panda, Penguin • Recovering from Manual Penalties • Link Cleanups • Typical Questions and Answers
  4. 2014 DFWSEM – 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. 2014 DFWSEM – 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 • Panda 4.0 — May 19, 2014
  6. 2014 DFWSEM – 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 • Panda 4.0 — May 19, 2014 See the Google Algorithm Change History: http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change
  7. 2014 DFWSEM – 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/
  8. 2014 DFWSEM – 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)
  9. 2014 DFWSEM – Google Panda vs. Google 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.
  10. 2014 DFWSEM – 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)
  11. 2014 DFWSEM – 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
  12. 2014 DFWSEM– Google Penguin Were You Hit by Google Penguin? • Look at Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, review dates of Google Updates.
  13. 2014 DFWSEM– Google Penguin Were You Hit by Google Penguin? • Using Google Analytics, look at organic traffic only. • Click on Acquisition > Keywords > Organic • Exclude brand keywords • Include dates prior to April 2012 (when Penguin rolled out) • Look for traffic drops on: Apr 24, 2012, May 25, 2012, Oct 5, 2012, May 22, 2013, Oct 4, 2013
  14. 2014 DFWSEM – 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, and CLEAN UP BAD LINKS - Download links from Majestic SEO, OSE, ahrefs - Review anchor text, clean up links to site - LinkResearchTools.com for further cleanup
  15. 2014 DFWSEM – Google Penguin Recovering from Google Penguin • Disavow Links to Site (upload text file of URLs) domain:badlink.com or http://www.this-domain.com/has-a-bad-link.html • Link Research Tools’ Link Detox Boost claims quick recovery • Work on Authority, Trust of site and get new earned links • Wait until next Penguin update to see recovery, sometimes two Penguin updates
  16. 2014 DFWSEM– Google Penguin 5 Reasons Sites Hit by Google Penguin Won't Recover 1. You Haven't Done a Thorough Enough Link Cleanup 2. Improper Disavow 3. Wait for a Penguin Refresh 4. Site Doesn't Have Enough Good Links to Rank Well 5. Other Factors Are Holding Site Back
  17. 2014 DFWSEM – 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.
  18. 2014 DFWSEM – 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
  19. 2014 DFWSEM – Knowledge Graph Update Knowledge Graph Update • Knowledge Graph Expansion — December 4, 2012 • Added KG functionality to non-English queries • Get your site, org, business into Knowledge Graph. • DFWSEM.org https://www.freebase.com/m/0l2fnxr
  20. 2014 DFWSEM – 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
  21. 2014 DFWSEM – 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
  22. 2014 DFWSEM – 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
  23. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Link Cleanups Finding/Combining All Links to Site Find every link to your website possible, even old links. • Google Webmaster Tools • Majestic SEO • Ahrefs.com • Open Site Explorer • Download all links, put into MS Excel Spreadsheet • Remove Duplicates
  24. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Link Cleanups Upload Links to Link Research Tools Take combined links, put into list in .csv file, upload to Link Detox. • LRT’s Link Detox evaluates every links to site • Assigns level of risk for each link
  25. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Link Cleanups Identify Links to Remove in LRT Remove Toxic links, Review Suspicious Links to site. • Every link assigned a reason why it’s toxic, suspicious, etc.
  26. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Link Cleanups Identify Links to Remove in Majestic SEO Majestic SEO can help you identify low quality links, as well. • Use Topic, Trust Flow, and Citation Flow to Identify Links
  27. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Link Cleanups Contact Site Owners Email contact is best option, phone call works very well too. • Use whois data for most accurate email address http://whois.icann.org Sending Emails: 1st Contact - short, concise email. Few words, but personalized. 2nd Contact - longer, still concise. More descriptive, still personalized. 3rd Contact - “action required” phrase in subject. Descriptive, yet personalized. 4th Contact - Very stern, “action required”. Personalized. Our Link Removal Requests come from ClientName@RemoveOurLink.com
  28. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Link Cleanups Emails to Site Owners Sample email, first contact: Subject: Question About Autism-Articles.com Hi autism-articles.com, Recently when we reviewed all of the links to clientdomain.com, we noticed that your website is linking to clientdomain.com on this page here: http://mail.autism-articles.com/index.php?c=99&p=55 I'm wondering if you would remove this link on your website to clientdomain.com? Thank you, Bill (on behalf of clientdomain.com)
  29. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Link Cleanups Disavow Links After at least 3 contact attempts, disavow certain links (domains). • We assign every link a status in our spreadsheet - Link Removal Sent, 2nd Request, 3rd Request, 4th Request - Unable to Contact, Refused to Remove, Requested Payment - No longer Links Back, Successfully Removed • Spreadsheet also includes all emails and contact with site owner. • List URLs and Domains of Unable to Contact, No Response, Refused to Remove, and Requested Payment • Prepare Disavow File, upload text file to Google, Bing
  30. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Reconsideration Requests Filing a Reconsideration Request Google wants to know that you suffered in order to clean up links. • Prove to Google that you went above and beyond • Provide spreadsheet with status of every link, and emails
  31. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Reconsideration Requests Example of a Reconsideration Request
  32. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Reconsideration Requests 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 remove 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
  33. 2014 DFWSEM – Manual Actions and Reconsideration Requests 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
  34. 2014 DFWSEM – Additional Comments Two Schools of Thought on NoFollow • NoFollow links are not “followed” and therefore don’t carry any risk or value at all • NoFollow links might technically not pass page rank. However, other aspects can transfer, like trust or indicators for link spam. Therefore, Google may issue penalties if nofollow is overdone. Google Tries to Identify Spammers • NoFollow links can still hurt rankings & result in manual penalties. I recommend removing NoFollow links during link cleanups.
  35. 2014 DFWSEM – Additional Comments Link Schemes • Google hasn’t caught all link schemes. Get those links removed. • Link Scheme: “Resource pages” on sites:
  36. 2014 DFWSEM – Additional Comments Link Schemes • Links to “resource pages” are only linked from copyright notice.
  37. 2014 DFWSEM – Additional Comments WordPress Sites Hacked for Links • Unknowing sites are getting hacked, links inserted into pages. • Google search query: site:ragingcupcakes.com/wp-content/uploads/
  38. 2014 DFWSEM – Additional Comments Links Point to Home Page • If the majority of a site’s links are pointing to the home page, that’s a problem. • Google has specifically said that most spam sites have links only to their home page.
  39. 2014 DFWSEM – Additional Comments Anchor Text Distribution Natural: Unnatural: :
  40. Social Search and Beyond – 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

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