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Negative SEO, Google Penguin, Fighting WebSpam, Speedlink 17:2012

by DiTesco on April 28, 2012

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Hello everyone! Hope you all had a great week, considering all the changes that has been happening lately on Google’s search results. Undoubtedly, it has been a crazy week(s), for search, which as you may have noticed has been on center stage recently. This is an important issue, specially if you are doing business online, and most importantly, if you have been relying on organic traffic.

News about negative SEO, Google’s continuing steps to reward quality sites, messages being received by webmasters on Google’s webmaster tools, things you should and should not do, have been flooding the web. There are forums that have been discussing whether the results of all these changes have been for the better. As you would expect, some think that it did, and some goes as far as saying that there is something bigger behind all these (disturbing). Anyway, from what I have seen, the general sentiment appears that Google may have to update its algo’s yet again, soon.

How about you, do you think that the results are better, or sort of weird?

Anyway, and as you would imagine, this weeks Speedlink will primarily focus on some great articles that I found relating to this subject. If you are one of those that “feel” have been hit by Google Penguin, or whatever, my advice is not to panic and analyze your data first, before doing some major changes. I don’t know about you, but I just have this gut feeling that doing to much changes in a short period of time, may just be generating the wrong signals. Prioritize and take it easy. Follow the topic and be updated (subscribing to my RSS or signing up for my newsletter will help you with that, lol). If you have done nothing wrong, hopefully, everything will fall back into its previous state.

As for negative SEO, it is sad to say that apparently, it can work. Negative SEO, in essence, is when someone does deliberately “bad stuff” to hurt your site. In the following video, Rand of SEOMoz goes over the “techniques” of how someone can hurt your site, deliberately. The more educated you are about this subject, the better you can defend yourself.

As usual, in no particular order:

SEO

Content/Online Business Bites

Social Web/Other Cool Stuff

Around the Web [more roundups]

How does Google search work?

One of Matt’s most recent videos, answering how search works. “Tell me everything about Google”…

That’s it! Enjoy and have a great week ahead.

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+DiTesco is a Business and Inbound Marketing Consultant, and founder of iBlogzone.com. iBlogzone's main objective is to help startups and small business owners achieve success in their online ventures. | More About Me and my Consulting Services.

Francisco has written 700 articles at iBlogzone.com

1 (@KeepUpWeb) (@KeepUpWeb) April 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Negative SEO, Google Penguin, Fighting WebSpam, Speedlink 17:2012 http://t.co/GGgUAX4F via @DiTesco

2 (@puxee) (@puxee) April 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Negative SEO, Google Penguin, Fighting WebSpam, Speedlink 17:2012 http://t.co/wZj5hWFc via @ditesco

3 (@GrowOnlineBiz) (@GrowOnlineBiz) April 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Negative SEO, Google Penguin, Fighting WebSpam, Speedlink 17:2012 http://t.co/QeLCYBOF

4 (@ProblogSuccess) (@ProblogSuccess) April 28, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Negative SEO, Google Penguin, Fighting WebSpam, Speedlink 17:2012 http://t.co/QlBMi8b0 @ditesco

5 Harsh Agrawal April 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Thanks for a great resource DiTesco and Google penguin seems like a fail update with lots of error. I believe, Google will be rolling out a quick change and people in forum already started reporting traffic change ……Lets see how Google is going to deal with negative SEO…I hope it doesn’t mean birth of new type of black hat SEO to kick out competitor…

6 DiTesco April 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Hi Harsh. I am of the same opinion as you. I think that another update should be rolling out soon, to rectify some of these weird results popping up. We’ll see… Thanks for stopping by. All the best

7

John

April 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm

I saw something happen in the early morning hours, maybe around midnight to 1AM at Google HQ on the west coast. It still looked like Penguin, but there was a good bit of shake-up. Those SERPs lasted about an hour and then settled back down to what I’ve seen since Wednesday.

I think they’re already testing the first fix patch. Or at least that is what I’m telling myself, because this Penguin thing is just awful. While my total search traffic hasn’t changed, the relevancy of queries driving clicks is … not very good. So even with solid traffic, bounce rates and conversions seem to be negatively effected.

8 DiTesco April 29, 2012 at 10:50 am

Hi John. As it so seems, there are many people, and not only those that were affected, are seeing some pretty weird results across the board. Just recently, I have been tracking some keyphrases that are quite competitive, and three of the results on the first page were all torrent sites. Can’t argue that “quality” there is far from being real. And I agree with you, a “patch” should be coming soon. Hopefully it will be a change in the “algorithm” and not manual patches. We’ll see…

9 Grant Brookes May 1, 2012 at 8:59 am

I think this has been the only update that has made me suffer. I have never used out of the box spamming techniques or bots to build links or any other automated software for getting the backlinks. Yes I had few backlink packs that I was using. That too I use to build 5-6 links daily (5 days a week). In the mean time I was continuing with fresh and unique content posting my blog too.. My ranks just crashed.. Dont know what to do now.. Any suggestions??

10 DiTesco May 1, 2012 at 10:48 am

Hi Grant. So sorry to hear that you got affected with this recent update. I just saw your site and it has a great design and very clean. Out of the box, I do see some things that perhaps you can “improve”, but as it so seems, the reasons why you got hit is due to “external” factors. Maybe I can help. Shoot me an email and we’ll take it from there.

11

John

May 28, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Well, I guess the refresh is finally here… but I’m not sure anything is improved. Still seeing compromised sites and one-page EMDs ranking in big $$$ searches. There’s been a small increase for my site positions since Friday’s 1.1 update, but I’m still having a hard time finding relevant content when I search for very specific information.

I’ll have to keep Google as my default search engine just because they have so much relative power when it comes to doing online business… but I’ve had much better luck with DuckDuckGo for technical searches (like working on auto repair this weekend!)

12 (@Alltop_SEO) (@Alltop_SEO) April 28, 2012 at 3:47 pm

Negative SEO, Google Penguin, Fighting WebSpam, Speedlink 17:2012 http://t.co/ZCn7CprG

13 Gera@Sweets Foods Blog April 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Hi Francisco,

Very interesting compilation this week, read them but not always have time to comment ;)

The theme about Google is endless, appeared results in the MMO keyword pointing to an empty site in blogspot (now apparently solved) – this like the stock exchange, ups downs in minutes and sometimes with incoherent reasons (bugs in the new algos)
Now penguin, before panda, what is next? Elephants, birds updates LOL :)

Keep up posting good material and good weekend!

Cheers,

Gera

14 DiTesco April 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm

Hi Gera. Thanks for leaving your thoughts about this subject. The MMO site you were referring to was indeed one of the weird things that showing up in the SERPs. While it appears to be fixed, I suspect that this was done manually and goes to show you that the last update may have some flaws. Anyway, and like you said, who knows, the “kangaroo”, may be the next one that will bounce things up and down, once more :)

15 Amrik Virdi April 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I think these new updates are blessing in disquise for new bloggers.

It gives us a chance to compete with those bloggers who have been there in the Industry for long. Dont see the fall that you’ve experienced – see the fall that your competitor may also have experienced.

Had such updates not been there – we would have never been able to rank a blog on Google as all the top results would have been already occupied by those bloggers who have been blogging for the past so many years and would have built millions of backlinks…

Always remember that with all these updates: Somebody’s Loss is Somebody’s Gain

PS: My Blog has not experienced any change with this update

16 DiTesco April 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Hi Amrik. In part, I agree with you that everyone has to have some chance in ranking better on search engines. The fact that most of the time, you see the “authority” blogs up there is because they have been proven time and time again to be valuable and that it what Google wants, quality results. Problem is that with too many changes, it is bound to happen that some will loose. Like you said, when someone looses, someone always wins. That’s the “ying-yang” of things.

17 (@sweetsfoods) (@sweetsfoods) April 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Negative SEO, Google Penguin, Fighting WebSpam, Speedlink 17:2012 http://t.co/XK7PgfMs @ditesco

18 Rizwan Sultan April 29, 2012 at 8:54 am

Hey DieTesco

Indeed I agree after Google Panda it’s hard time to face Penguin attack :P I hardly lost my 50% sites in ranking indeed I didn’t know what can I do to save it Google say almost all stradegy to webspam indeed I didn’t think what think are helpful for Good SERP muz totally guided for content indeed content is king but where I justified to make good ranking with off page SEO.

19 DiTesco April 29, 2012 at 10:52 am

Hi Rizwan. At this point, there seems to be nothing much one can do, aside from perhaps doing a quick audit of their sites and see if there are some improvements that can be made. Things like these can be bad for business, specially those that have been doing too well SEO, the white hat way… Let’s see how this will play out

20 Becca April 29, 2012 at 9:41 am

In my opinion, it pays off all the hard work of sites doing organic Seo. But for sure many are affected of this update.

21 Ray April 30, 2012 at 9:22 am

There are quite a few threads on the recent Google update. I am not sure what to make of it yet. It seems like there are a lot more negative comments and replies than there are positive ones. Maybe it is just the threads I have been following I don’t know, but show me one that has mostly positive because I can’t find it.

22 DiTesco April 30, 2012 at 10:17 am

Hi Ray. That’s the whole point. From authority blogs/sites to forums, to social channels, it just seems that there is really no positive feeling about what happened. It just raised more concerns actually and perhaps opened the doors for the so called negative SEO. I know that this has been a practice for a long time, but it was something that was depreciated because Google said time and time again that on one can hurt your rankings due to bad links. We’ll just have to wait on it and see what will happen next..

23 Shubham April 30, 2012 at 9:50 am

My website traffic just got decreased after the Google Penguin update. Earlier it was around 2.5k but now its only 900 visits a day. A big change in my traffic. I am really confused that how should I recover from it or ill have to start from the beginning again?

24 Kimberly Castleberry April 30, 2012 at 10:05 am

Don’t you just love the whole Google Zoo over there? Pandas and Pinguins and Pidgeons oh my! Hehehe…

Definitely feeling that people need to “sit tight” on this one if they feel they were unjustly hit. Of course if they were hit for intended reasons, that’s their own fault. However, lots of good blogs felt the sting and I wager we’re going to see some rebalancing of this calculation (as has happened infinite times before).

Thanks for sharing my link as well!
Kim

25 DiTesco April 30, 2012 at 10:23 am

haha Kim. Well said, it is like a zoo indeed and in a certain way, it makes us feel that we are in the wild, trying to figure out what to do next. I agree with you, that probably the best course of action is taking no action. Sitting tight and continuing to do what we are doing. Obviously, and like you said, if you feel “guilty” about something, then there’s no one to blame :) Thanks for stopping by and all the best

26 Robert Jordan April 30, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Whenever google introduce some tools and services they come with some names those are really funny… For example Google Panda…:) And Now Google Penguin for fighting with Web Spam… That’s cool…:)

27 Mohsin Ali April 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm

My blog is also badly hit by Google Pengiun update as i never been involved in any black hat SEO technique. The keywords for which my blog was ranked number one now shows low quality blogspot blogs with very little content. I have report Google about it lets see what happens.

28 Ron April 30, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I think, this update is not yet finished. I mean, this new PENGUIN update, for sure another one will roll out soon to further refine the result pages. With GOOGLE collecting submissions from their “penguin reconsideration forms” for sure, some of them will be included at the top results sooner or later, so expect another google shake soon.

Thanks for the resources and linkages Di! Time to read ‘em now.

29 Jack Sander May 1, 2012 at 6:52 am

From my point of view, these updates don’t affect only the spam sites but also some sites with quality content. Theoretically, Panda and Penguin should have penalized spam sites, but if you make several searches you can still find one page sites with spun content ranking pretty well and established sites with unique content on page 2 or 3. I just hope Google will solve this issue eventually.

30 Adeline May 2, 2012 at 12:00 pm

All good stuff DiTesco. Rand from SEOMoz is a genius. You always take away some really top stuff when you watch his Whiteboards. As always he’s super excited to talk talk talk.. he’s just missing a costume(lol).
Negative SEO is really scary… i wasn’t aware of it until now. It’s just such a shame that there are people who spend time in destructive activities, and these negative activities seems to be exploding now.

31 Stephen August 12, 2012 at 2:42 am

Back when this came out, I actually saw an improvement on my site. Since then I’ve had more of the same, and have seen small gains from what I’d have to guess was my small link building campaign.

I also use microdata, and I wonder if that creates any sort of immunity to it, like maybe Google sees that as something that corrects any misleading information created by links.

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