Thursday, 2 October 2014

4 Ways to Recover Completely from Google Penguin Update

The Google Penguin update was launched in April and it significantly affected websites that relied too much on low-quality inbound links. We are starting to hear that some online businesses were hit quite hard and are still unable to recover.  There are tragic stories of SEO consultants and professionals who saw their work results smashed to bits due to Google’s newest quality guidelines. In fact, many of these online establishments lost a lot of money and even cut staff because they couldn’t recover from consequences of Google’s new policy. A near-complete recovery from Penguin update is possible, although it is difficult. Here are things website owners should do:
  1. Perform thorough link cleanups: Websites with unnatural links that point to their websites are more likely to be affected by Google Penguin update. However, bad links could have even more serious consequences. The Penguin update catches websites that try to cheat their way to Google’s top ranking. Google puts lower amount of trust in our website if it has a high proportion of unnatural links. It is possible to recover by cleaning up unnatural links thoroughly. Although it’s debatable whether removing these links are enough, it is probably the only way to recover. Unnatural links include those we made ourselves and those we paid for. Links from directories are probably legit, but other self-made links are typically unnatural. There are reports of websites that see slight recovery in ranking after they did extremely thorough cleanups.
  2. Be prepared for the next Penguin refresh: People who are adversely affected by a major algorithm update should wait anxiously for the next update. Without making proper preparation, it is unlikely for affected websites to recover. Google may or may not launch a Penguin refresh, but if it does; this should be an opportunity to show that our link profile is trustworthy. However, things may not be so simple because some websites may require a couple of refreshes before they could get proper recovery.
  3. Attract good links: Removing unnatural and bad links isn’t enough to regain our original position. Google is refining its algorithm to define good links that website can really earn. After the Penguin update, many websites could find that they have very few quality links and too many unnatural ones. Even if we successfully perform a link cleanup, there’s probably not much left to guarantee a good ranking position. SEO professionals could encourage quality links mostly through publishing quality content that people would love to share.
  4. Check for other factors: There could be various factors that hold back our website. Numerous websites are actually affected by both Panda and Penguin updates. Google Panda is an earlier algorithm update, but it prioritized more on on-page quality, instead of external, inbound links. Websites that fail to recover from Penguin update may need to check their on-page issues. Websites affected by Panda updates typically have malware issues, improper robots.txt entries and accidental no-indexing of webpages.

Although not easy, it is perfectly possible to make a complete recovery from Penguin update. We need to perform thorough cleanups, be prepared for the next refresh, attract quality links naturally and check for lingering Panda-related issues. We shouldn’t despair and work hard to recover from the Penguin algorithm. The next refresh update or refresh will be launched and hopefully, Google will reward our hard work.