Recovering From Panda & Penguin

There’s been a lot of fuss over zoo animals lately. It’s not without warrant either. Google’s most recent updates have wreaked havoc on SEOs and webmasters alike.

Let’s take a look at what these updates were all about and what you can do to recover from them.

panda

PANDA – What it Was (Roll Out Date April 19th)

Unlike Penguin which targeted spam techniques, Panda was designed to target content that was low quality.

Panda Recovery Suggestions

  • Create unique meta titles and descriptions for every page
  • Remove low quality or duplicate content from your site
  • Reduce your ad to content ratio
  • Increase quality of content (Edit grammar, increase research, include sources)
  • Fix broken links within your site
  • Reduce bounce rate
  • Increase stick rate
  • Decrease site load time

PENGUIN – What It Was (Roll Out Date April 24th)

This was an algorithmic change, as opposed to a human reviewer picking your site out. This update was designed to fight off common spam techniques that game the search engines.

Penguin Focused On The Following:

  • Aggressive exact-match anchor text
  • Overuse of exact-match domains
  • Low-quality article marketing & blog spam
  • Keyword stuffing in internal/outbound links

Penguin Recovery Suggestions

  • Rebuild spammy links with legitimate link sources
  • Repurpose de-ranked site’s content onto a new domain and start over
  • Submit a request to this form for reconsideration (if you think you were incorrectly penalized) – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEVxdmdRWFJRTjRoLWZVTHZkaTBQbkE6MQ
  • Increase quality links pointing to all pages of your site
  • Increase anchor text variation (over linking using the same anchor text was a big factor in this update)
  • Reduce internal link building (reduce does not mean to stop)

These updates shook up the SERPs in a big way. If you were part of the fall out, I’m sorry, I feel your pain. It’s unfortunate but this is part of SEO. This doesn’t mean that SEO is dead. This simply means we have a new set of rules to play by.

Here are general Do’s and Don’ts in the new SEO climate:

DON’T

  • Use spun content on your money site (duh!)
  • Keyword stuff content
  • Over link using the same anchor text
  • Delete Your Links (unless they are on a de-indexed blog network)
  • Fill footers with overly optimized content OR links
  • Buy exact match domains
  • Use doorway pages

DO

  • Use all unique content on money site
  • Create content with large word counts 600+
  • Use a wide variety of anchor text in backlinking to the same page
  • Optimize pages for more than one keyword phrase
  • Use naked links in link building activities (no anchor text)
  • Use aged domains
  • Remove low quality content from your site (spun, low word count, swiped)

Sources:
http://searchengineland.com/penguin-update-peck-your-site-by-mistake-googles-got-a-form-for-that-119698
http://www.hmtweb.com/marketing-blog/google-over-optimization-penalty-exact-match-domains/
http://searchengineland.com/penguin-update-recovery-tips-advice-119650
http://www.seomoz.org/blog/penguins-pandas-and-panic-at-the-zoo
http://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-to-recover-from-google-panda-effect.html

Were you hit by one of these updates? Give us a shout in the comments!

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16 Responses to “Recovering From Panda & Penguin”

  1. winston says:

    Thanks for these most valuable tips.

  2. sam says:

    Good brief overview about the recent updates. But what do you mean by rebuilding the spammy links? Do you mean searching for all the spammy links and restructure them again? Is it really possible doing that especially if those are from blog comments or other types of links.

  3. johnpea says:

    At last! A proper, considered, explicit what to do/not to do list! I’ve been looking for one of these ever since the P & P updates.
    I’ve already printed it out and stuck it on my wall.
    All I need now is to see the results!

    Johnpea

  4. Hey Dustin,

    Great post! I am happy to say that I have not been affected by the recent google changes. In fact my rankings have actually gone up and I believe it is because of how I write my posts.

    As you mentioned above,”Use a wide variety of anchor text in backlinking to the same page” and “Optimize pages for more than one keyword phrase”.

    These are things I have practiced since the beginning of my blog and they have served me well.

    I also believe that proper internal linking is key. Every post I write has at least one link within it to another post on my blog, with proper alt text of course.

    One other thing I would like to mention is using Title tags for links. Many people do not do it, either because they don’t know how or why to use them. They may not help with SEO per say, but I think when someone hovers over a link, seeing a title tag popup may help them make their decision whether or not to click it. And if google is truly looking at usability of a website, then title tags are very important for that.

    Thanks for sharing Dustin and have a good one.

    Ian Belanger from IM Graphic Designs

  5. Dan says:

    Does this mean automated article spinning blog networks for building inbound links is not advised? Shall I delete all 10,000+ links to my site?

  6. Dustin says:

    What I mean by rebuilding links is to completely replace the old spammy links with new legit links for different sources. You have to replace the links that got you to your prior rank to get you back there. Just make sure they’re good links.

  7. Dustin says:

    Awesome! Let us know how you do

  8. Dustin says:

    Great tip on the link title tag! Thanks for sharing

  9. Dustin says:

    Blog networks specifically have been targeted by Google. Using them for links is risky business these days.

  10. Lorraine says:

    Is Unique Article Wizard a blog network? Do you know if this has been targeted by the Google Updates?

  11. Dustin says:

    They say it’s not, but it’s pretty close in my opinion. I don’t know if it has been targeted specifically.

  12. Getting Ads says:

    Thanks for sharing. Great post with great tips for Penguin Recovery Suggestions!

  13. @Lorraine

    I don’t think Unique Article Wizard is greatly affected by this penguin update. UAW have been in the article marketing industry for more than 5 years i guess, and i think they handled the Panda update last year pretty well. SO i think they can also handle this penguin update this year just fine. Just sharing my opinion.

    ^_^

  14. K. McClendon says:

    I am a subscriber of UAW and lately I’ve been receiving trackbacks from deindexed domains. I don’t how much percentage of their entire list of domains they are publishing are affected, although, some of the trackbacks are still good and indexed.

    They’ve been very strict lately as well. Before, submitting an article with somewhat unrelated bio box can still get accepted. Lately, it is not the case anymore.

  15. Rogelio says:

    Panda didn’t affected any of my sites, but Penguin did. I’m still working to recover my rankings. Although I was thinking in starting all over again on another domain, a few keywords (3, to be exact), still are in the first page, while most of the others had gone to 400, 500 (according to SEO Elite).

    After checking, “money” anchor text links and “overoptimization” (whatever that means to Mr G) are the most likely culprits.

    Not a nice surprise, since I don’t do any of the things they allegedly targeted by, as you said, that’s SEO for you.

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