After 12 long months of waiting for the next Penguin update, it finally arrived on October 20th. A full list of Penguin updates can be found here
Here are dates of all Penguin releases:
- Penguin 1.0 on April 24, 2012 (impacting ~3.1% of queries)
- Penguin 1.1 on May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
- Penguin 1.2 on October 5, 2012 (impacting ~0.3% of queries)
- Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
- Penguin 2.1 on Oct. 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
- Penguin 3.0 on October 17, 2014 (impacting around 1% of queries)
**Source : Search Engine Land
If you’ve been affected by this penalty, you are likely in one of two camps:
1. A business that previously employed a SEO firm who used ill advised practices of building backlinks through any number of ways: link wheels, blog networks, heavy usage of keyword rich anchors, mass directory submissions, etc.
2. A business that has been hacked or attacked by a negative SEO campaigns.
At Downtown eCommerce we’ve been helping clients in both camps. Over the last 18 months we’ve brought on 3 different clients in camp one that were hammered by Pengiun 2.0 and 2.1 as result of a previous SEO firms efforts.
Recently, we brought on another client who’s rankings, and thus traffic, were decimated by their WordPress site getting hacked. How exactly did we identify the issue? Combing through their back link profile we found a laundry list of backlinks that had absolutely no correlation to their business. A complete list is below:
It’s safe to say our client wasn’t in the multi facet business of selling NFL jerseys, Uggs boots, and Louie Vuitton bags.
For the better part of last year our team spent endless hours cleaning up the backlink profiles for these clients. A detailed explanation of that process, and our results, will be the next blog post from our resident link building manager Corey.
In the interim, if you feel you’ve been hit by this recent update. We’d recommend you do the following:
1. Check your keyword rankings and look for the following:
>>Have a large number of keywords dropped off page 1 of Google?
>>Are those same keywords still ranking in Bing but not in Google?
2. Check your organic search traffic in Google Analytics and do the following comparisons:
>>Month over month comparison…is there a major dip in traffic for October vs. September
>>YTD year over year comparison…is there a major dip in traffic for October 2014 vs. October 2013
3. Check out your backlink profile in Ahrefs or Open Site Explorer and look for the following:
>>Look for unusual anchor text in your top links. I.E. The glaring example above should help illustrate what we’re talking about.
>>Look at the types of referring domains linking to your site. Are there a large amount of domains linking to your site that are completely irrelevant to your business?
If you can answer yes to a few of these items, it’s likely you have a big problem. We can help, please give us a call or drop us an email for a free consultation.