Unlike what Neil Patel loudly proclaimed (underneath all of his zillions of popup ads for email opt-in), there has not been a Penguin 3.0.
Not that I’ve seen, anyways.
I know, I know.
The Warrior Forum said it was happening. We all lost rankings.
I lost 40% of the traffic to one of my sites.
And April 24th is forever branded in the mind of every SEO as being synonymous with “Penguin”.
Granted, there was some updates going on at the end of April. And some of them seemed Penguin-related.
But even in the midst of the Penguin drama, I saw a lot of Panda-like activity. I honestly think they were tweaking the Penguin, Panda and PayDay loan algos, all at the same time.
But, unlike Neil Patel who recommends you go out and start deleting links (seriously, the guy ‘s Penguin 3.0 post is so full of nonsense, I can’t believe he’s made it this long in the game. Maybe that’s why he’s creating fake algorithm updates.), let me touch on the action I took to correct my affected site:
This is where we all tend to look, first. Had I lost links? Gained links? Been a victim of negative SEO?
In Ahrefs, I found a few anchor texts that were identical to the title of my pages. Since my titles are typically something like “Top 5 Best Cheap Widgets For Sale Online”, these anchor texts were heavily over-optimized.
I did spend a couple of weeks engaging with other blogs in my niche through commenting. I really should do it more, there is a huge social side to this niche and I really enjoy interacting with the fans.
So, during this time I built about 30 links to the site using the pseudonym of the site author. Hopefully, if nothing else, I got a few new fans out of the deal! 😉
So, I started going through and re-working my titles. I can leave out “top”, include it once in the article, and it does about the same amount of good. New titles looked more like “My Guide To Choosing The 5 Best Widgets At An Affordable Price” . “cheap” “for sale”, etc get’s mentioned somewhere in the content and it does about the same amount of Good.
Also, my Urls were optimized. Some of them, seriously so.
Ideally, they would look more like:
Now, I wasn’t about to give up all of my rankings to restructure my site. That would have been a nightmare.
But it is something I am already implementing on my new sites. (Thanks to Source-Wave for helping me figure that one out)
I did de-optimize some of the on-site anchors for these terms.
A lot of the pages had insanely high ratios of the main keyword. A lot of the times it would be a page about “best cheap widget”, and I would only have that phrase mentioned one time.
But “cheap widget” would be mentioned 20 times.
Not cool. Still working to get the pages de-optimized to the .5-3% range.
I also reduced the number of Amazon links on some pages or increased the amount of content, since Spencer demonstrated back in the day that can be an influencing factor.
Unique Content Penalties
This made me mad. I’m still mad, actually.
During my link analysis, I found three sites that had stolen my content. Sure, they linked back to the pages they had taken it from, but between the exact match anchor text they used — and the duplicate content that was out there — it seemed to affect those 3 pages the most.
And, where one of the pages was the top of my “silo”, it affected the pages under it, too.
I submitted a DMCA removal request from webmaster tools. It took awhile for them to be approved, but they finally went through.
This may have helped dilute my anchor-text profile, too, as these spammy links got de-indexed.
We all know that the Googs loves fresh content. Not only did I update the entire site — promoting new products for 2014, adding more information on current products, fixing broken links to discontinued products — but I helped eliminate any duplicate content out there by re-writing the affected articles.
By mid-may the traffic was up about 30%, and when Panda 4 rolled out, the traffic figures climbed back to pre-algo levels.
I still have one page that is hesitant to rank where it was before, and one that dropped after I “improved” it.
At least I really enjoy fiddling with this stuff.
So, there you have it! How I recovered from Penguin 3.0 and Panda 4.0 !
How were your sites affected? Sound off in the comments!
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