Google Panda and Penguin Penalty Recovery Services

The Google algorithms known as Google Penguin, Google Panda, and Google Hummingbird penalize sites. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to tell if your website has been negatively affected by one or more of these updates or if something else has caused a drop in organic search traffic. If traffic drops coincide with algorithm updates, then your site may have been punished by one of these algorithms.

Google Panda Updates

Google Panda is primarily concerned with the content and user experience of your website. This includes the quality of the content, the layout, and website navigation structure. Panda is an advanced AI algorithm that’s based on the work of actual human quality raters.

Specific dates for Google Panda updates include:

February 23, 2011
April 11, 2011
May 9, 2011
June 21, 2011
June 23, 2011
August 12, 2011
September 28, 2011
October 5, 2011
November 18, 2011

July 24, 2012
August 20, 2012
January 18, 2011
February 27, 2012
March 23, 2012
April 19, 2012
May 27, 2012
June 8, 2012
June 25, 2012

September 18, 2012
November 5, 2012
November 21, 2012
December 21, 2012
January 22, 2013
March14, 2013
May 20, 2014
September 23, 2014
July 17, 2015

It’s important to remember that Google Panda is a complicated algorithm, and that there are zero over-night fixes once your site has been targeted.

Google Panda Penalty Recovery Services

If you have experienced significant declines in your traffic on or near one of these dates, BoomTown’s SEO specialists will perform specific tests and audits of your website that are designed to identify where problem content exists. The results from these tests will be used to design a customized Google Panda penalty recovery plan which are typically not only successful at recovering from Google Panda Penalty, but also help to create even higher quality traffic than before.

Specific steps that we take to mitigate Google Panda include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Identify duplicate content on your website and completely rewrite or remove it.
  • Analyze the internal linking structure of your site and reorganize or remove problematic links
  • Explore and perform a deep analysis of the user experience of your site, this includes overall content and layout, color pallets, and accessibility technologies used. Once poor UI choices have been identified, our SEO experts and programmers can solve them.

Google Penguin Update

Google Penguin is primarily concerned with the reputation of your site, and with the “neighborhood” in which your site exists. This means that sites that are identified as problematic by Penguin or by other Google algorithms can link to your site and you can be penalized for it. The Penguin update was last run October 17, 2014, and many sites are still being penalized by this update.  Google has said that it will begin merging the Penguin update into the main algorithm starting in 2016.

Penguin analyzes what type of websites link to your content, and if it discovers that so called “black hat” techniques have been used then it will further penalize your site. Specific types of black hat linking techniques include:

  • Link Farming is a technique used by many websites to generate inorganic traffic by creating purpose-built websites that contain links to other sites. In many cases, these pages will automatically redirect users to the target site, a technique that is strongly discouraged by Google.
  • Manipulative link profiles and hidden links are methods used by some website owners to generate links by Google’s search bots. Hidden links are links that use CSS or JavaScript to be invisible to users, but that Google’s bots will see when they crawl through website code.
  • Purchased links are links that websites owners pay to have placed on other websites. Google can often tell when websites have little to do with each other in respect to audience and content, and thus the main reason that these links between each other are often flagged by the Penguin algorithm.

Google Penguin Penalty Recovery Services

Boomtown IG has a strong track record of producing positive results and of increasing traffic once a Penguin penalty recovery has occurred. When we identify that Penguin has penalized a website we work diligently to identify the websites that link back to it. Sometimes these links may cause issues by accident, and we work with third party website owners to get these links either removed entirely or adjusted. However, link farm websites or websites that use black-hat techniques may be difficult or impossible to communicate with.

We perform several steps in the link analysis:

  • Identify pages that link to your website to ensure that these pages are linking organically, rather than as part of a link-building scheme. We work to ensure that these pages, and the pages that link to them, make use of Google’s website guidelines when possible.
  • Identify and edit backlink text when possible, because link text is often as important as the links themselves, we often find that the link text could better communicate the link destination.
  • Analyze and edit the individual pages that are being linked to because page content and on-page links may sometimes be edited, moved, or removed entirely. This can dramatically reduce the number of incidents flagged by Penguin.
  • Disavow any links from sites that fail to respond. The disavow process can take up to 5 weeks for Google to adjust rankings. We recommend reviewing all links from Webmaster Tools monthly and updating the disavow file.
  • Request Manual Penalty Removal. Boomtown Internet Group has worked to successfully remove the manual penalty from websites by diligently removing spammy links and improving content.
  • On-page Google Guidelines violations.   We look for any cloaking, hidden text, hidden links, etc., on the home page and top landing pages.
  • Duplicate Content assessment.

Google Hummingbird and RankBrain Updates

Hummingbird is the name for the Google Algorithm.  RankBrain is an AI program that learns and makes decisions within the Hummingbird algorithm. It focuses on complex queries and natural human language, rather than keywords and short strings. RankBrain adds machine learning into the algorithm and was launched in the spring of 2015. Hummingbird is a method for processing natural language queries such as “I’m in the mood for PadThai” that have been brought about by technologies such as Google’s “Now” technology and Apple’s “Siri.”

What This Means for Content Owners

Google Hummingbird makes use of all of Google’s technologies such as PageRank, Panda, Penguin, and Knowledge Graph and performs deep analysis to better understand the meaning of the words in a user’s query. This means that any drops in traffic to a website will not be a result of the content being malformed, but simply that Hummingbird’s algorithms have determined that a competitor’s site is a better, higher quality match for the specific queries.

Boomtown IG will work with content owners to better understand how Hummingbird is affecting their traffic. This will sometimes mean rewriting content or it may mean refocusing other content, but the end result is that content will more closely match the queries used by searchers, and thus more organic traffic will reach the desired pages. This content optimization, along with other forms of SEO and Panda/Penguin mitigation techniques, form the foundations of BoomTown’s SEO toolbox.

What the SEO Penalty Assessment Service Includes

Our Penalty Assessment pinpoints the main reasons for an organic traffic drop, and lists a series of tasks to properly improve organic search engine ranking factors based on best practice guidelines.

  • Identify penalty
  • Create list of tasks for avert penalty
  • Begin fixing the issues
  • Report progress weekly

It is difficult to give an exact timeline for when the penalty will be lifted. Linking websites may be difficult to reach for many reasons, and each project is different, depending on the number spammy backlinks. Even though the next Google algorithm update is out of our control, the clean up of bad backlinks is something that companies need to do because the problem still remains.

Interested in our Google Penguin Penalty Recovery service or Google Penguin Panda Recovery service? Give us a call at 888-454-3330 or contact us today.