It is a pretty bad morning when you wake up to find that your site rankings have dropped…not just a few spots but pages, or worse, off the search results entirely. What might be even worse is that helpless feeling – you just don’t know what to do or who to call or turn to. Not many people in Chicago, or the country for that matter, are experts at site recovery. Most agencies you call won’t have a clue because they mostly outsource their SEO work. But they will “help” you by giving you a quote to fix the problem and then having one of their account assistants find someone to outsource the issue to.
The first task is to determine what penalty caused your problem. Is it a Panda penalty, maybe a Penguin penalty, or is it something else (such as the mobile friendly update we’ve been warning about)? Each of these penalties is initiated by something different and you need an expert to be able to determine exactly which one is causing the issue. There are also manual penalties for things like web spam that can enter into play. Again, the first step is diagnosis.
Once we know what the problem is, we can begin to fix it, that is unless your site is so far gone that it would just be better to start from scratch. Usually, this is not a surprise as there have been warnings from the search engines that something is wrong somewhere… whereas penalties usually present themselves quickly as when a search engine has an algorithm update.
We performed a Google penalty recovery a few months ago that illustrates this point. We had a suspicion that something was going on for months, but since this was a new client of ours, we didn’t have the benefit of a history of what their previous SEO agency had done to their site. But we knew something was wrong because we could push rankings only to a certain point. Then an algorithm update hit, and their rankings dropped by pages. At that point, they remembered that they had used an automated service to get links to their site – and these foreign links were depressing their rankings. We performed an extensive analysis, found the culprits, and eliminated them from their Google index of links and the rankings not only bounced back within days, but actually surpassed the level we achieved before.
Penalty recovery is not for amateurs. But if your site is experiencing a penalty, then there are steps we can take to restore your traffic and revenues.
OK, so today is Wednesday and it’s the middle of the week and as we sit here waiting for the next Penguin or Panda update from Google the following video just popped up in our YouTube feed. Now, we know that this isn’t the type of Penguin we usually deal with (those Penguins are usually full of problems for our potential clients; our clients needn’t worry about any Penguins at all), but this struck us as pretty funny. It reminds us of the days when Penguins were funny birds that lived in the colder climates and not algorithm changes that wreak havoc all over the Web. Enjoy!
Over this past weekend, Google rolled out a Penguin update…the first major update in over a year. Rumors to the contrary, the sky is not falling. However, if your site has been playing fast and loose with Google’s guidelines, then your rankings are definitely falling.
We belong to a pretty tightly knit guru group and the first indications of this update came from the other side of the International Date Line, Australia to be exact. As we all compared notes over the weekend, a few things stood out as targets of this particular update.
As with all Penguin updates, this one concerns itself with links. Sites that got hit badly (none of ours or our clients’ I might add) had low quality links. These links came from blog spam, blog profiles and any other source where one can get a lot of links fast and easily. In general, the more low quality links a site has, the greater the chance that achieved rankings would be lost. In many cases, rankings disappeared altogether below the 50th page. In other words, quality rules the day once again in Big G’s eyes.
Secondly, let’s talk about sense, as in what makes sense to Google. Does it make sense that a site that gets no traffic has 500 links coming into it? Absolutely not. Somehow, this metric has found its way into the Google algorithm and sites that have no traffic, or for searches with very little demand, Google is slapping links that just don’t make sense. Everything in proportion as proportion is a metric that is easily quantified.
So here’s our shameless plug. If you are tired of riding the roller coaster of animal updates from Google because you have had bad SEO done to your site in the past or are just looking to stay out of trouble, you can always give us a call. We’re here to steer you in the right, and most profitable, direction.
Sometimes the answer to a drop in website traffic is an algorithm change. You’ve probably heard of the Penguin and Panda updates from the past few years. Most sites were affected by one of these changes. And then there is the Hummingbird algorithm from August of 2013. It was a big change and one that caught many website owners by surprise.
Leave it to Google to use black and white animal metaphors to address black hat and white hat SEO practices. Very clever…almost worthy of a Google doodle. But that’s precisely what these algorithm changes targeted: spammy link building, worthless content, thin content.
Hummingbird, a bird of many colors, is a bit of a different animal. Hummingbird addresses a long term goal: to provide the very best answers when someone types in a search query. That’s,after all, Google’s mission. No matter how a question is asked (it can be typed, it can be abbreviated, it can be spoken to Siri), Google wants to be able to intuit what the person really wants to know and provide the optimal solution. It has a lot to do with semantics, the way information is organized and related to the topic of the question.
We provide penalty recovery services for your website should it need it. Most websites have been affected by one of these updates. Check out our video below or give us a call to discuss your needs in this regard. We can help.
Penalty Recovery Video
More information on the Hummingbird update can be found here.