On April 24 , 2012 ; Google launched an update to take down all the websites from results who are using same anchor text in all the back links and getting low quality back links from low quality web pages. Google send out around 25,000 messages to webmasters to solve their bad anchor text links before this update and this penalty is known as Google penguin update.
Okay lets start story that how i get this project to resolve the websites from Google penguin penalty, One of my client had done a lot of SEO from some Indian companies and they had build the links using Article submission , Link wheel , Blog posting , Profile links, Directory submission , three way link exchange , Paul and Angela links , Forum profiles , Forum posting and Social Bookmarking. I was analyzing their method that what they have done bad so Google has caught all the websites, So i started to have a look on all the back links which they have made and I came to know that they make one unique Article on Each week and submit that Article to around 20 Article submission sites, 20 blog posting and many small blog posting. They have created a single account on all those websites and they were publishing one piece of content to all those Article sites an just charging to client. Can you imagine that Indian company have worked on this pattern around 2 years??? :O
I was like OMG, there were around 10,000 links in front of me which i have to edit. I accepted the project as challenge because ony WMPU has been recovered from this update yet so i want to check how we can get the websites back. Everyone on SEOmoz were writing posts about this new update and how to get websites back but no one have wrote the real case study of this update. They have written just steps to get website back but no one has really tested those methods. so lets see how i get websites back in track !
Analysis of websites
Well, the first step i did was analysis of websites so that i can make sure that it is penguin penalty. I did not have Google webmaster tools and Google analytic access at that so i look couple of things to make sure that it penguin penalty.
- Paste the exact title of Main page on Google and if the website came on top then it is not effected from penguin update. In my case, It did come in top 100 pages.
- Checked back links using Open site explorer Paid account and came to know that all the back links are made with some variation but all the anchor text looks nearly same.
- Checked the stats using Semrush and Majestic SEO.
In the Mean while, I got the access of Google webmaster tools and Google analytic, so when I checked Google webmaster tools, There was no message from Google. so I clicked on next tab and open Google analytic to check when the traffic got dropped because it was the only tool which can confirm me that it is Penguin penalty. Google Analytic give me proof that it is penguin penalty, Here is the snapshot of that website in the month of April. you can clearly see the decrease in traffic on april 24th.
Started Removing links
Fortunately, Client had all the Back links reports and most of the login details were correctly posted in that Sheet (Thanks to Indian company). I accepted the challenge and start removing back links. I did removed all the low quality back inks and some of the back links where good so i just change the keyword to brand name.
There are nearly 20 Blog comments which are done spammy pages or Link farms. I have no option to remove them so i contacted all the web owners to remove those links. I got reply of only 2 webmasters and they removed links from web pages but what about remaining websites? I got an idea and I send one more message to them Via contact form that I will give them $10 to remove that link from their website and can you imagine that i got reply of 15 web masters very next day !
“When you cannot remove any link that you think is suspected and might be the cause for penalization.”
It takes me around 1 month to remove all those links. So now i was quite satisfied that all the links are removed and website should come back in search results. I thought to wait for a week and may be website come back but nothing happened and website traffic was going lower and lower. I was really worried about the websites.
New content and Inner linking
When checked the blog of website, there were many blog posts which are just written in simple method, No doubt it has good quality but no heading and no picture in them and even no Inner linking of website so I started working on Inner linking of website and link to inner pages as much as i can.
Changing Complete On page
Well, This was my own thought that previous Meta tags were in Google crawler so i Changed the complete On page and Meta tags of each post. I have given each page new Title and Description and then i wait around 1 week so that Google index new Meta tags and I was hoping that I will get websites back when Google index the new Meta tags. But i was wrong and after indexing new Meta tags, there were decrease in traffic.
Google Reconsideration request !
So the time has come to tell Google that we have made changes in the Back links and Complete website so kindly put us back in results. I was thinking that they will reply to me and will tell to me that Good work Saif.
I Email to Google that “ We have hired an Indian company before SEO of this website and they made a crappy links and that cause my website to get hit by Google update. I did effort to remove all the low quality back links, but there was no reply from webmaster. There is no alternative to remove those back links. We have removed back links as much as we can and have done precautionary measures to do every thing according to your standards.”
But It was y bad luck that I did not get any reply from them. So i was really disappoint for next few days. Traffic was getting lower and lower each day.I thought they will never take websites back and i loss all the hopes.
Started work on SMM and SMO
As the traffic was going down, I have a lot of pressure of my client so I started SMM and SMO of all the blog posts and Main posts to give some traffic to website. Increase Facebook likes , shares , Google plus , Google plus shares, Twitter retweets , Digg, Tagza votes , Delicious and Stumbleupon likes. It gives some good amount of traffic but no sales because the traffic was just bouncing back. I have lost all the hopes to get websites back.
Google Panda Update
When i had a look on WMPU so i came to know that they got back in results after next penguin update. So this was my last hope to wait and see the next Google penguin update but they did Google panda update 3.9 few days back. When I checked the website stats using Google analytics then i was shocked to see a great Increase in traffic from search engines. I searched those keywords and i found the websites back in position. here is the Analytics which is taken right now.
I was really happy to see some traffic back on websites as i had a lot of pressure from my client.
So i have learned two things that you can get your websites back and penguin website will come back after next Google algo update. I hope you will share this real story with your friends.