Websites often get penalized by Google when a new algorithm update is released and from the moment a client website loses its rank on SERP, the uphill battle of a SEO Company in India begins. Once a site is penalized, it is extremely important to take the necessary steps to recover the previous position. When a site gets penalized, first it loses visibility on Google search, next it loses traffic and eventually the conversion rate drops drastically.
There are many techniques to recover from different SEO algorithm updates such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, but it must be remembered that sometimes it takes weeks, even months to gain the lost rank and conversion rate. It all depends on how badly you have been affected and how tactfully you are dealing with the situation.
While Google releases many SEO updates throughout the year, the most recent one that shook the SEO industry is Penguin 3.0. While Panda is all about content spamming, Penguin focuses on link spamming. “Link spamming” includes too many links with optimized anchor text, poor quality backlinks, text ads that pass PageRank and obviously excessive link exchanges. Let’s take a look at the timeline of Penguin updates before discussing Google Penguin recovery techniques.
# Penguin 1.0: On 24th of April 2012, the first version of Penguin was unleashed and it affected many sites. As many as 3.1% queries were affected by this update.
# Penguin 1.1: It came just a month after the first update and did not cause any trouble to the SEO experts. Only 0.1% queries were affected.
# Penguin 1.2: It was released a few months later and affected 0.3% queries.
# Penguin 2.0: This is another major Penguin update. Released on 22rd May 2013, Penguin 2.3 impacted 2.3% queries.
# Penguin 2.1: This update affected moderately because Google said that it was a data update and not a major change to the algorithm. Penguin 2.1 was released on 4th October 2013.
# Penguin 3.0: The latest version of Penguin was rolled out by Google on 17th October 2014 and affected 1% queries.
Is Penguin 3.0 different from previous versions?
The answer is “no”, because the main target of Penguin 3.0 is nothing other than penalizing sites involved in link spamming. However, if you work in a SEO Company in India, then don’t take this update lightly because Google clearly mentioned that this version brings a major algorithm change; it is not a data refresh like Penguin 2.1. On 20th Oct, John Muller of Google said that the update rollout was complete, but next day Pierre Far; another Google employee revealed that Penguin 3.0 is a slow, global rollout. Hence, webmasters may notice its true impact in the coming weeks.
Penguin 3.0 hit my site! What should I do?
If your site lost its rank because you took part in link spamming scheme to gain black hat SEO benefits, then it is the best time to rectify your mistake. Since Penguin 3.0 already penalized your site, you have to focus on Google Penguin recovery. In the following paragraphs you will learn the technique to regain your reputation and traffic.
Google Penguin recovery tips you must know
Make a list of all the backlinks:
There are several tools available for building the backlinks list. You should get reports from at least 3 tools such as Majestic SEO, Google Webmaster Tools and Open Site Explorer. It is important to get reports from various sources so that you can be sure that you are not missing any links. Use an Excel sheet to create your own list of backlinks, which are identified by the tools you used. Maintaining a list of all the backlinks can also help you in future as well. You can monitor them to avoid penalties.
Analyze the links for quality:
You may have a lot of unnatural links pointing back to your site, but that does not mean all the backlinks you have are bad for your site. You have to figure out which links are coming from spammy sites. Generally, Google inspect the following links more cautiously- links from sites having low PageRank, links from blog networks, links from non-indexed sites, article directories, wrong anchor texts etc. Go through all the links and write down “perfect”, “need to be checked” or “bad” beside the links as per their quality. When you work in an organized manner it prevents you from taking rash decisions for Google Penguin recovery.
Track the Links you want to Remove:
Once you inspect all the backlinks, you have a fair idea about the links that need to be removed. Create a separate Excel sheet for the links you want to remove. In the Excel sheet, next to each link you want to remove, note down the site URL, contact information of webmaster, changes (if any) you have made to the link etc.
Contact the Webmasters and Use Disavow Links Tool:
The next job is most important. You need to remove the links which are the cause behind the Penguin 3.0 penalty. The best way to remove backlinks is to contact the webmasters of those sites and request them to remove the links. As long as you give the webmasters a valid reason, they will pay attention to your request and remove the links. However, some may simply overlook your requests. Once you believe that a particular webmaster will not remove the poor quality backlink, you can take help of Google disavow links tool. With the help of this tool you can get rid of link spam and recover from Penguin penalty.
By following the aforementioned Google Penguin recovery guidelines, you can bring back the customers to your site once again. Once you recover from the penalty, it is important to make sure that your site does not get affected again. Ethical SEO practices may take time to show results, but at least you never get penalized by Google. Therefore, always hire a SEO Company in India that follows the latest SEO trends and applies white hat optimization techniques.
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