Sunday, May 27, 2012

How To Recover From the Penguin

If you are a victim of the Penguin - that is, if Google's Penguin algorithm ruined your site's rankings - then stay tuned to this blog because I am researching various ways to at least TRY to recover from a severe penguin slap.

I have not seen any definitive answers as of yet. I have seen recommendations and theories but I am looking for and hoping to find an actionable method for recovery from the penguin slap.

So stay tuned here because as soon as I get what I consider to be a workable solution - or at least a possible solution that won't make things worse - I will publish it here.

In the mean time I can tell you that some of the theories I have heard are the following:
(Note: I am NOT as of yet recommending these, but they are some ideas that I am looking further into. Use these ideas at your own risk.)

  • Add content to your site; add a blog or just add new content on your pages
  • Reduce internal site links, especially if they don't read well or if you have too many. What is too many? I don't know but I've heard people say "no more than 2-3%" internal links. 2-3% of what? I'm not sure, but if you went in and added more links to try to get google juice you may want to kill the "extra" links you added
  • Change your page titles and metatags and descriptions (Again I am not saying you should do this. Stay tuned for the results of my research in which I WILL make some suggestions. But of course those too are not guaranteed and you should take anyone's suggestions - including mine - with a grain of salt, after doing your own research and thinking on the subject
  • Create videos and post those to your site. Videos can be created free and don't have to include you talking nor your face. You can use screen shots, you can hire someone on fiverr or etc... to create videos... I do know that the Penguin seems to like youtube videos (why wouldn't it? Google owns them!) and it can be very easy to rank high for long tail keywords on Youtube which then transfers to high ranking on google. Even though my site was Penguin slapped I have a youtube video in the #5 spot for my main keyword!
  • Create Wordpress and Blospot blogs like this one and point them to your site. Do not over-do the links, make them INFORMATIVE and only put one or two links in them
For now that's all I have and again these are just theories; I haven't seen any proof that any of this works.

But I will continue to research this and I will post what I learn as soon as I get something that seems worthwhile.

Thanks for reading my blog, and please subscribe to get the results of my research in the near future!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Google's Penguin Update: Rewards Spammy Sites With Little Or Poor Content

(Image Borrowed From

I have a problem with Google's whole approach to "cleaning up the net" with their "spam-eating Penguin".

First of all, the Penguin update clearly does not work very well in spite of Matt Putz saying that it was a success. It clearly was not a success. Anyone who does much research using Google's search engine knows that the first page results are now inferior to what they were before the Penguin arrived.

Yesterday I was looking at laptops and the results on Google's first page are absolutely DOMINATED by some very spammy apparently Asian-made Amazon affiliate sites with NO content at all - just the most basic of info taken right from the manufacturers and reviews that seemed to be stolen from amazon. The first 5 results were created by the same amazon affiliate with different sites and were absolute crap in terms of design and in terms of content. As to SEO I didn't have time to investigate but from what I've seen Google has discounted a lot of SEO so my guess is these guys were just lucky.
In my own niche it's the same thing: ALL of the results on page one are worse than my own site which got severely Penguin-slapped back to page ten or so. Some of the results on p. 1 are absolutely content-free, just pure advertisements, "click here to buy".
Bear with me a minute while I back up and point out that Google has always pretended that they hold that "content is king".

If you do some looking around - especially at search engine discussion sites - or just do a search for "how Penguin screwed up the search engine rankings", "problems with the Penguin update" and so on, you will find plenty of proof that what I am saying is true.

Now, were these sites punished because of "unnatural backlinks"? I'd say most were, but many were not. Maybe as many as 30% were Penguin-slapped for some unknown reason, apparently just caught in the crossfire of the Penguin algorithm's shotgun approach to cleaning up "spammy sites".
Regardless of WHAT GOOGLE HAS ALWAYS *SAID* IT WANTED (great content), the fact is that it valued backlinks more! I don't think most people will argue this point. While good content may have played a part in google's algorithms for SERP, what really made the difference for most sites was backlinks, with quantity mattering more than quality.

This being the case, how does Google have the right to just suddenly start punishing people for giving Google what Google apparently WANTED?
I know that I improved my rankings by doing link exchanges and building links like my competitors did. But I still could not get to page 1 EVEN THOUGH MY CONTENT WAS WAY BETTER than any of the pages on the first page.
So I happened to discover an SEO company which claimed to be white hat and which claimed to get first page rankings, guaranteed. I hired them. They got me to page 1 within 2 months for 5 keywords. If Google did not want this, why had they been rewarding it for over a year??

I found out soon enough that this SEO by this company I hired was NOT white hat, but was being done by spammy articles on a spammy blog network. But... it was too late... the damage was done... and besides that it was working! I was finally on page one where - with all due modesty - I DESERVED to be because my site had a lot of really good expert written original content (I know because I wrote it! ;-D )
So.... Google slapped me hard. My site was put WAY FURTHER BACK in the rankings than it ever was before Penguin! So this appears to have been more a punishment than just a de-valuing of the article network links.
Here's my problem with this:

If Google wanted to get rid of spammy backlinking why didn't they just issue a PRESS RELEASE stating exactly what they did not want and WARNING that these type of backlinks would lead to punishment?

This all they really would have had to have done: just make clear to everyone what they don't like. Then everyone could have gone about their business without losing income. I went from making $1000/month to zero a month on my main site. In this economy people cannot afford to lose this kind of money based on Google's whims, or poorly conceived algorithm changes, or misdirected vindictiveness.
While some sites may have fared well or better under the Penguin's update, you don't have to look very far to see TONS OF SITES that are now on page one that are NOT deserving of it AND see that tons of sites were punished which had great content.
Seems to me that Google is more interested in punishing backlinkers - who may not have been trying to "game" Google as much as just give Google what was apparent that It wanted -  than it is in providing good search results. Otherwise why not just have released a clear warning as to exactly what they were going to base rankings on and what they were going to de-rank?

And clearly the search results were not just a litle but much better before the Penguin came to town.

What does this all mean?
I think it means the people at Google are:

a) nuts

b) a-holes

c) cutting off their nose to spite their face

d) screwing up their own search results so they can punish gray- or black-hatters

e) all of the above

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Google Penguin Update SUCKS


Google, if you have a heart at all, if you want to keep your image positive in the eyes of the public... YOU MUST KILL THE PENGUIN UPDATE now!

As you may have noticed according to the search engine results (IF you can even tell now that the Penguin has totally made them less relevant and more spammy and stupid) your image has been severely hurt by this update.

Why? Because it makes you look not only stupid (it doesn't work, for one thing) but it also makes you look inhumane, arrogant, and completely lacking compassion as it destroys the rankings and thus the profits of thousands of small businesses who are struggling to make a buck in this ailing economy! That's right: the ones who are most hurt by the Penguin are little mom-and-pop businesses that rely on web traffic to make some extra money or even their main income after they lost their jobs and no one would hire them so they turned to the web to be an internet entrepreneur.

Supposedly this Penguin update was supposed to weed out spammy sites. Yet what it has actually done is to weed out good sites and promote spammy sites to the top of page 1! (See my other post on the Penguin update re evidence of this!)

Granted some who were hurt by the Penguin may have been using some grey hat SEO techniques. But ask yourself: Why?

Most of  them saw what their main competitors were doing and simply copied them in order to compete. Their competitors were using link farms, so they used link farms too. Their competitors were using articles  spun and distributed to blog networks, okay then they did that too, to compete...

You see when you are a small businessman you often have to compete in your niche with people who have quite a bit of money and who have a paid SEO firm working for them who know all the best techniques to get rankings... Clearly great content was NOT getting anyone ranked high. So they did what their  competitors did thinking "if Google is rewarding them (and they were - that's a key point in all this!) then surely they'll reward us as well."

So then they start competing, doing well in the rankings, and BAM! The Penguin pulls the rug out from under them!

Why? Why, if Google wanted people to quit doing this or that, why wouldn't they just tell us, issue a press release:

"WARNING: [This or that practice of linking, on site SEO or whatever] is no longer acceptable! Change your sites now according to the following standards and practices, or you will be penalized on April 24th!"

Then they could have listed what was acceptable or not acceptable and let us fix our sites according to their wishes, and stop using whatever link schemes or other SEO they don't like, and most people would have OBEYED and that's it: no more problem.

But noooooooo! Google would rather just SLAP you down, punish you for something you didn't even know was wrong or at least didn't know was on their radar... and then let you just dangle in the wind as your money site(s) lose all rank and traffic and you can't pay your rent or your car payment or whatever.


Google has zero regard for people. (Are they run by robots? Or just jerks who have no human compassion?)

So what do we do now?

Some are saying to just wait and see. Maybe Google will show some compassion and reverse the severity of the Penguin...


WHAT DOES GOOGLE WANT? What do they want from us as webmasters? 

And tell us the TRUTH! Don't give us this b.s. about how you LOVE CONTENT! 
The results of Penguin prove that you do NOT love content because many sites with great content have been slapped while sites with ZERO content have been put up on page one.

IF Google loved content my site would have been #1 as soon as I built it, and I'd have never had to go searching for info on SEO, how to get my site to rank, how to use x% keywords, how to have just the right Page Titles, how to use keywords for images, how to get backlinks, how to get social bookmarks, etc. etc. etc....

So until Google comes clean and tells us the TRUTH about what Penguin really is filtering and why, and what we need to do to be liked by the Penguin and the Panda, I see that we really can only do 2 things:

1) WAIT AND SEE what Google wants or if they have enough sense to reverse or minimize some of the filtering and our rich content sites will come back up the page rankings; and 

2) BOYCOTT GOOGLE! At least until they repair the damage they've done, and hey maybe even issue an apology! 

LOL! Yeah, right! Google issuing an apology about their stupidity will not be forthcoming! I think that's one thing you can count on.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're Google!"

Saturday, April 28, 2012

So Google rolled out a new algorithm called Penguin, intended to minimize web spam (basically lousy sites with little or no real content, and sites that are for backlinks only and so on) and it really made a mess of the search results!

Now we have tons of really bad, poor-content, spammy sites sitting at the top of Google's search results while sites with good content have now been banished to page  5, 15 or 30!

In some cases the sites that were negatively affected by Google's new algorithm were really great sites with excellent content that were deservedly ranked on Google's first page.

Google writes on its page about "Link Schemes":
"The best way to get other sites to create relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community. The more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it. Before making any single decision, you should ask yourself the question: Is this going to be beneficial for my page's visitors?

It is not only the number of links you have pointing to your site that matters, but also the quality and relevance of those links. Creating good content pays off..."
[emphases by this author]
Really, Google? Good content pays off? REALLY???

Maybe the distinguished engineers and high and mighty Management Team at Google should ask themselves:
"Is this going to be beneficial for my page's visitors?"

Clearly the latest Google update is no good for Google's visitors, nor the web's millions of  webmasters whose sites provide Google's reason for existence!

Look at this example of a Google search for bread machine reviews:



If you copy and paste the sites above into your address bar you will see that they all use "spun" content that is barely readable and several of them feature a youtube video that is blank. Their content value is near zero, in other words.

Way to go, Google! Way to give us great search results! Way to reward great content! You banish great sites with useful well written content to the back pages and put sites like these on Page One! Has Google stepped into the Bizarro World?

This is just one set of thousands of examples! Do a search for "bad results of google's new penguin update" and you will see many,  many examples of how completely ridiculous this latest Google update is, how it's hurting many legitimate sites and businesses while helping sites like the above.

If you do some google searching now you will find tons of examples of very bad sites on page 1 and you will read many stories of legitimate businesses with NO spam, NO spun content and in fact GOOD informative interesting content that have gone from page one to page 10, 20 or 30!

Frankly, Google, I don't care how someone gets to page 1,  just as long as their site has great content! Isn't that the goal of search engines? To rank the best sites at the top of the listings? (Well after the all-important Adwords clients, of course!)

Here's some info from Google's own web site about the update:

Tim Carter's web site (and business) has been hurt very badly by Google's recent update and addresses this comment to Matt Cutts, a "distinguished Google engineer" who seems to be Google's mouthpiece:

You guys jumped the shark with Panda 1.0. Go read this blog post if you want to see where many of us on the other side of the fence see this going:

Read closely the text from the Google blog that I quote. Panda was supposed to "reward creators of original content." BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

If that's the intention of Panda, why have I lost 80% of my traffic at You can't get any more original content than what I have.

It's SO GOOD that has cited it on over 13,000 of their pages. It's so good it's copied all the time by the webspam sites that constantly outrank me on page one of your results.

How is it you can't tell the difference from my original content and what the thieves regurgitate? Are you serious?

For goodness sake, has been able to spot plagiarism for YEARS. Why can't your highly educated engineers do it? ..."
READ MORE OF THIS comment BY CLICKING HERE (Tim's post is towards the bottom of the page).
"Content is king," my ass!

I just checked my own rankings again. 3 days ago and for months previous, I was on Google's page one for 5 main keywords.

Much like Tim Carter's above, my content-heavy site was banished from the rankings with this Google update. Even though my site is FULL of hand-written expert and useful information and commentary by an expert in the field (me), Google slapped it down to as low as page 30 with this update.Why? Clearly Google does not care that much about content!

So what has Google done with this new algorithm? I have no clue what the intent really is but I have made these observations regarding my competitors' rankings:

Google has put half a dozen of my competitors' sites on page one. These sites are pre-made template pages bought from the manufacturer, are almost all EXACTLY THE SAME as each other, just very slight differences, and they have zero content; they just point to the manufacturer's main web site with the affiliate's link.

In what way, distinguished Google engineers and corporate heads, does that make for a better search experience?

Furthermore, suddenly my youtube video about the product is ranking in position #8 for some of the same keywords that my site pages used to rank in the Top 10 for. Huh?!
It's just an affiliate video made by the manufacturer that all the affiliates can and do use so I simply uploaded it to youtube with all the others (duplicate content) and put my link below it. So THAT is now suddenly ranking 32 pages above my content filled site pages!?

So the message I am getting is this:

"If you want to be on page one, put NO effort into your site, use pre-built template sites that have no content, use stock videos from the manufacturer, and The All Powerful Google, Supreme God of Search Engines will reward you!"

Oh, and one more thing:

One of my highest ranking pages from my main site, now, after this "Penguin" algorithm change,  is an inner page link that is #80 on Google now. My great content heavy pages were on Page #1 and now my highest ranking is a page at #80!

What is that page? My main page full of facts and figures and commentary? A secondary page full of content?

No, it's a page provided by the manufacturer, a .pdf about Warranty information!

Google has gone nucking FUTZ!

So what do we do now? What does Google want?

I'm not sure what they want but since they have shown and continue to show no regard for their visitors nor the webmasters their business is based on, and they are arrogant beyond belief as they destroy people's businesses that they have put their heart and soul and work into for years... here's my advice:
  • Stop using Google's search engine for any purpose, except maybe for a good laugh at their ridiculous and useless search results!
  • Remove Google Analytics from your site
  • Do not use Google Webmaster Tools
  • Do not use AdWords
  • Use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Manta, etc. for marketing
  • Do anything you can do to help your sales, that is NOT related to Google in a direct way
 You see, I really don't like Google's business practices. 

Who do they think they are - the phone company?! 

If you're old enough to remember the above bit from the early days of SNL then you know that the joke was that the phone company's motto was "We don't care. We don't have to! We're the Phone Company!"

Guess what? The joke was on them! Their arrogance and disregard for their customers (sound familiar, Google?) led to their demise!
You see, when you stick it to your customers, your customers will eventually stick it to you!

Search THIS, Google!

(Google, I dare you to have the integrity to rank this on page one!)