Published on May 21st, 2012 | by Rav5
Google Penguin Recovery – Quick Solution
Mr Penguin has come and gone, leaving behind him, a large number of weeping webmasters, all desperately seeking ways to recover their rankings. We have since seen thousands of posts circulating the web, advising on the best methods to recover from the penguin update. Having read a majority of these posts, I can conclude they all have pretty much one piece of advice in common “clean up your link profile”. Hardly ground breaking advice but I guess it makes sense.
It seems the penguin update has primarily targeted over optimised websites. By “overly optimised”, I am referring to websites which are over using exact match anchor text. From our research, we have found, websites that have a higher ratio of exact match anchor links, in comparison to the to the brand/URL links, have all suffered in rankings.
The obviously solution would be to reduce the amount of exact anchor text links that point to our website, diluting these out with clean URL/Brand links. But as many of us have experienced, this is all easy in theory, but removing spammy links in practice is another story. A majority of low grade websites are often impossible to contact.
How Did I recover?
I’d like to tell you this was down to me thinking of a great way of cleaning up by back link profile, but the truth is, I discovered this one by accident!
Like many SEO’s out there, I do have access to a lot of websites, which exist for the soul purpose of generating quick revenue. Burn and churn websites, I believe is the term. As much as I hate these websites, I got bills to pay! The really ironic part is, without these sites, how else am I going to ever pay for white hat SEO!
Moving on…one of our cash cow websites had recently suffered a huge drop in rankings, we quickly concluded it was down to the penguins update. The backlink profile was a bit of a mess, and the anchor text ratio was equally horrendous. It ultimately fell victim to the Penguin. Given the number of links pointing to this website, and the number of hours it would take to clean up the back links, we agreed to simply let the site die. The cash cow had lived a long time and served well.
This sites link profile consisted of thousands of low PR blog links, mixed with 5-10 high PR links. The following week started removing the high PR links from the site (approx. 7) and left the site to rot.
1 week later, to my amazement, Google Analytics showed a surge in traffic to the website and our rankings had recovered! Delighted with our discovery, we decided to test this on a further 2 sites, all of which recovered rankings once we removed a few high PR spam links.
Many websites fall victim to competitors spamming them or bad SEO agency work. A majority of optimised websites on the web will have a large number of low level links pointing to them. Given this fact, surely Google cannot penalise every website which has a high volume of low quality links pointing to it? Let’s face it, if this was the case, SERPS would be a mess overnight!
I would perhaps suggest, the penguin update is more about penalising websites, which are using low quality high PR back links to support their link building campaigns.
If this is true, it means we don’t need to sit and spend thousands of hours removing every junk link out there. Removing a few of the bad offenders seem to be enough?