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Penguin, SEO and the Apocalypse

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Learn the difference between Penguin and other link penalties, how to recover and factors around which links get caught. Also, learn the day Portent got a manual penalty, and why I laughed.

Published in: Marketing
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Penguin, SEO and the Apocalypse

  1. The day we got banned And other stories Ian Lurie ian@portent.com Life after the Penguin-opalyse
  2. no penguin pictures there will be
  3. @portentint ask me questions
  4. portent.co/playpenguin find the links
  5. My relationship w/ Penguin
  6. Got it wrong? Do it again. ianomgomgwearedoomedsc rewedhammeredupshitcreek sanspaddleohgod
  7. Got it wrong? Do it again.hahahahahahah ahaahahahahaahahaha hahahahahahahaha snorthahahahahaha snifflehaha
  8. Some rules (They’re more guidelines, really)
  9. Beware declining spam tolerance
  10. When link building, weigh risk v. consequences
  11. When resolving a penalty, weigh time v. conservation
  12. Always ignore what’s happening around you
  13. It’s not a conspiracy
  14. With that out of the way…
  15. The Portentopalypse aka: Google’s revenge mwahahahaha
  16. Penguin, links and the horror of it all Part 1
  17. What the hell do we do about Penguin?!!!!!!!
  18. 1. Understand it
  19. There are actually two kinds of link ‘penalties’
  20. Penguin is an algorithmic penalty applied to sites, sometimes based on specific keywords, sometimes across the board.
  21. Google’s saying
  22. We’ve dumped you for a few keywords. Good luck.
  23. There are also manual penalties.
  24. They feel worse.
  25. I prefer manual penalties
  26. I know what you’re thinking. Ian, you are high.
  27. 0 6 12 Penguin Manual Recovery times aka, Ian Is Sober
  28. 0% 50% 100% Penguin Manual % traffic recovered
  29. WTF?!!!!
  30. Penguin Track down penalized phrases & pages
  31. Penguin Clean up links
  32. Pray until the next update
  33. Got it wrong?
  34. Manual penalty Strip suspicious links
  35. Manual penalty Disavow
  36. Manual penalty Submit request
  37. how could you penalize this face?
  38. Repeat as necessary
  39. Penguin recovery: Cleaning out the litter box of the world’s pickiest cat.
  40. Manual penalty recovery: Flush, and you’re done
  41. Diagnosing penalties Part 2
  42. Which penalty?
  43. SEMRush Traffic Report
  44. Manual penalty: Traffic
  45. Penguin penalty: Traffic
  46. SEMRush Positions Report
  47. 2 million lost positions (60%), partial recovery: Penguin (probably)
  48. 75% of positions lost: Which one?
  49. Manual!
  50. 99% of traffic lost? Good recovery? Manual
  51. Look at organic traffic, too: 92% lost
  52. Penguin + Manual! Incomplete recovery
  53. Easiest diagnostic tool
  54. Got it wrong? Do it again.
  55. Set up Google Webmaster Tools Right the hell now
  56. Combatting feral penguins Part 3
  57. “What kind of links cause penalties?”
  58. When it comes to links, crap is crap.
  59. So, you’ve been hit by a penalty ianomgomgwearedoomedsc rewedhammeredupshitcreek sanspaddleohgod
  60. (or you’re trying to avoid it) ianomgomgwearedoomedsc rewedhammeredupshitcreek sanspaddleohgod
  61. You’ll need a list of links. A big list.
  62. The database: Google Webmaster Tools
  63. Link analysis tools: Moz.com Majesticseo.com ahrefs.com
  64. 1. Pull GWT links
  65. 2. Pull links from toolset
  66. 3. Merge the lists, run the numbers
  67. 3. Merge the lists, run the numbers
  68. 3. Merge the lists, run the numbers
  69. Best way to fix it is to look at every linking site.
  70. For some reason, no one wants to hand-check 100,000 links Your eyes after checking the first 75,000
  71. Your eyes after checking the first 75,000
  72. We need a filter
  73. Signals that can hurt linking sites and yours
  74. A bit about the data
  75. I was a history major
  76. Used: Links we disavowed and/ or Google pointed at and said “these are bad.”
  77. Trained: Based on domains that were clear disavows
  78. Trained: Based on links Google pointed out
  79. Total: 250,000 domains
  80. Then: Hand-review results (random, 1,000 links)
  81. Here are a few rules of thumb for detecting bad links. These are not causal They are correlations
  82. All this fancy #@$! must mean science!!!!
  83. These are not causal They are correlations
  84. That link is probably spammy if…
  85. 1.36 3.59 FALSE TRUE Citationflow vs. Trustflow, disavowed domains
  86. 0.116 0.032 FALSE TRUE Domains vs. Links disavowed domains
  87. Citationflow:Trustflow > 1.5 Ian’s confidence
  88. Linking domains:Incoming links < .09 Ian’s confidence
  89. If both Ian’s confidence
  90. High Citationflow Low Trustflow Lots of crappy links +
  91. Lots of links Few domains Site wides +
  92. Linking site is on .ru domain  Ian’s confidence
  93. Linking site has ‘link,’ ‘backlink,’ ‘directory’ or ‘SEO’ in the domain name. Ian’s confidence
  94. backlinkcommando.com
  95. seobacklinks.com
  96. zoophilialinks.com I didn’t read it before I clicked. Trust me. Don’t go there.
  97. Really, this rule is stupid. LinkedIn has ‘link’ in the domain. And yet it works 99% of the time.
  98. Be careful. This site is legit, but got caught by these rules.
  99. How I verify: Skim the list three times.
  100. Signals that can hurt your site
  101. Any anomalies can trigger a review
  102. Sudden growth
  103. Site relaunch/301s
  104. Weird patterns
  105. Obvious buying
  106. Nofollow links can still hurt
  107. .edu can still kick your ass
  108. Keyword stuffing
  109. Your link profile is probably spammy if… 0 40000 80000 The Link Profile From Hell men's and women's tungsten bands, palladium wedding rings
  110. 0 35000 70000 The Link Profile from… Purgatory? Your link profile is probably spammy if… seo seattle seattle seo
  111. Links from irrelevant sites
  112. Relevance: This is a travel/ volunteer site
  113. And yet they still rank. If you want to get mad at Google, get mad about that.
  114. Always ignore what’s happening around you
  115. When it comes to links, crap is crap.
  116. What happened to Portent?
  117. KW spammy guest posts <2% of link profile
  118. Exploding website
  119. Beware declining spam tolerance
  120. In April 2012, you needed a truckload of crappy links
  121. In March 2014, less so
  122. Most important: Common sense
  123. “I paid good money for those links!!!” NO
  124. “Wasn’t this clever?” NO
  125. “Google won’t figure it out, will they?” NO
  126. “My competitors did it!” NO
  127. Always ignore what’s happening around you
  128. When it comes to links, crap is crap.
  129. Strategies Part 4
  130. Many times, the site owners have no idea their SEOs misbehaved.
  131. Tough poo
  132. When resolving a penalty, weigh time v. conservation
  133. If you want fast
  134. If you want to conserve
  135. 14 3 - 8 16 Conserve! Torch it Manual penalty recovery (weeks)
  136. % traffic recovered?
  137. sorry, i got nuthin'
  138. You have been warned
  139. Penguin recovery time?
  140. sorry, i got nuthin'
  141. Always ignore what’s happening around you
  142. Some takeaways Part 5
  143. This isn’t about ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ It’s about risk management.
  144. Avoiding penalties
  145. Do regular checkups
  146. When link building, weigh risk v. consequences
  147. Risk
  148. Consequences
  149. Beware declining spam tolerance
  150. If penguins attack
  151. When resolving a penalty, weigh time v. conservation
  152. Avoiding eye strain
  153. Domains:Incoming links < .09 Citationflow:Trustflow > 1.5 Just my numbers, not yours!
  154. High Citationflow Low Trustflow Lots of crappy links +
  155. Lots of links Few domains Site wides +
  156. 0 40000 80000 And, watch for anomalies
  157. When it comes to links, crap is crap.
  158. Always ignore what’s happening around you
  159. RIP Leonard Nimoy You rock
  160. @portentint portent.co/playpenguin That’s it

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