Saturday, June 28, 2014

Why a Site punch by Google Penguin Won't pick up

When Google launched the Penguin algorithm April 24, 2012, a lot of sites who had relied strongly on low-quality link building were severely affected. I frequently hear stories from business owners who were hit hard over two years ago and haven't been able to pick up.

In many cases the stories are terrible ones of small business owners who hired an SEO firm or consultant to help them get better their rankings, not knowing that the work that was being done was going against Google's excellence guidelines. And now, many of these small businesses are having to cut staff and losing a lot of money because they can't find a way to get well their Google presence.

Reason 1: You Haven't Done a methodical Enough Link Cleanup

If you were adversely precious by Penguin, it's because you have unnatural links pointing to your site. We know that there can be factors other than links that can contribute to a Penguin hit, but bad links are by far the most significant cause.

In this Webmaster Central Hangout with Google's John Mueller, when asked whether disavowing was equivalent to removing links in the eyes of Penguin, he responded:
"From a theoretical point of view, using the disavow tool is enough...from a practical point of view it 

In most cases, if you paid for the link or made the link yourself, it's unnatural and it needs to go! There can be some exceptions such as locally relevant directories. But, the vast majority of the time, a self-made link is an unnatural link.

Reason 2: shocking Disavowing    

In almost every case, if you're going to disavow a link, disavow it on the domain level.
It used to be that you could run into problems by uploading the wrong type of file for your disavow that it wouldn't work but now you will get an error message if you upload an shocking file type. For example, if you tried to upload a .csv instead of a .txt file you'll get something like this:

Pay close concentration to errors that display once you have uploaded your file such as the one below: This type of thing can happen when you try to convert a non-UTF8 file to UTF8. The access would be accepted by the disavow file, but most likely Google wouldn't disavow properly.Here is more information on some important things you should know about the disavow tool.

Reason 3: You Need to Wait for a Penguin restore

This seems to be a hard concept for many people to grasp. You won't see the profit of your hard work until a Penguin refresh happens.

As the last refresh was October 4 , there are many people who are waiting anxiously for this to happen. I can't tell you how often I get an email from someone who wants to give up on their Penguin hit site because they have done everything they can think of doing and have not seen recovery. Again, recovery isn't going to happen until Google refreshes the algorithm and decides whether your link profile is once again trustworthy.

And here is some hard news to swallow: Some sites will need to see two Penguin refreshes before recovery happens. The reason for this is that in some cases, it can take up to six months for your disavow file to be completely processed.

Reason 4: Your Site Doesn't Have Enough Good Links to Rank Well
In many cases the only reason why a site was ranking well in the past was because of the power of links that Google is now able to recognize as unnatural. If this is the case, then removing and disavowing all of your bad links is not going to be enough to see you make a dramatic recovery.

Google is working harder and harder to get to the point where the only links that count toward a site are ones that truly are earned votes for that site.

Reason 5: Other Factors Are Holding Your Site Back

Penguin may not be the only thing that is holding your site back from ranking well. I've seen numerous sites that were dealing with both Penguin and Panda problems.

Panda is a filter of trust similar to Penguin, but deals primarily with on-page quality rather than links. If the Panda algorithm is affecting your site then you're going to have to deal with your on-page issues in order to recover. Here's more information on the Panda algorithm.


It is possible to recover from Penguin, but it isn't easy. You need to do an extremely thorough cleanup of your links, your disavow file needs to be fully processed, you need to wait for Penguin to refresh, and you need to have a site that is worthy of ranking well even without the power of unnatural links.

Here's an example of a site that saw not only a complete recovery with Penguin, but once Google started trusting their links again they were able to see the benefit of the new good links that they had obtained while they were under Penguin's thumb.

You might also like: Tips to Recover From Penguin

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