Heralded as ‘even bigger than Penguin 1.0’, this new algorithm update had webmasters around the world quaking in their boots. Google’s Matt Cutts added fuel to the flames in videos discussing the imminent new update.
Penguin has always been targeted at spammy/low quality backlinks – low quality and low relevance blog commenting, article spinning on crappy SEO article sites, low quality SEO directory submissions etc.
Basically ‘SEO by Fiverr’…
It dropped in mid-May 2013 and now that the dust has settled, what have we noticed?
The Effects of Penguin 2.0
Initial reaction in the SEO world was “is that it?” It certainly wasn’t the carnage we saw after Penguin 1.0, with desperate website owners frantic that their sites had completely disappeared from the SERPs.
Perhaps this is because the world’s Webmasters now understand that bad links result in penalties and don’t help ranking?
Nevertheless, we did see an increase in the number of site owners contacting us for help. The sites we have seen penalised have been ones that have previously engaged in Spam SEO. All sites engaging in good quality, organic, white hat SEO (of the type us Ninjas do) are totally unscathed – some are seeing ranking improvements, in fact, as a result of their competitors losing rankings.
A few of our clients have reluctantly come forward to tell us about dodgy SEO they have bought in the past as a result of the last week’s events. It can be really frustrating when clients aren’t always upfront about the SEO they’ve used in the past, because as the team responsible for their SEO results, this sort of thing can really have a negative effect on a site’s ranking and unless we know about their past sins we can’t correct them. We always ask new clients what – if any – SEO they have had done in the past, because sometimes the best thing we can do for them is get to work removing old links before building new ones.
Is Spam SEO dead?
So what does this mean for SEO by Fiverr and cheap untrained outsourcers (or out-of-date training)?
In my opinion, it ends here. With each Penguin update Google is getting better and better at penalising sites with crappy backlinks, and 90% exact match anchor text on 10,000 forum profiles smells worse than the Penguin enclosure at the zoo. If you’re using Fiverr for your SEO and don’t track the work done, whether the slap comes now or in 6 months, one day it will come.
What to do if you’ve been hit by Penguin 2.0?
We have a Penguin recovery service which is designed to help site owners who have seen ranking drops as a result of algorithmic Google penalties, in addition to our service helping sites hit by manual penalties. This work involves:
- Identifying existing backlinks likely to be responsible for contributing to a penalty
- Working to remove these links and contacting Webmasters directly, where appropriate, to have the links taken down.
- Submitting reconsideration requests through Google Webmaster Tools when relevant
- Use of the Disavow tool (only after link removal work has taken place)
Please contact us for more information. Whatever you do, don’t panic!