Penguin 2.0 Penalty: The Basics
There’s been a lot of talk about Penguin 2.0 penalties and bad backlinks. As a business owner with a website, you’re probably wondering if your site has or will be hit with a Penguin penalty. Since you’re here, there may be cause for concern. Let’s help you find out.
Drop in Traffic and Rankings
A drop in traffic and rankings around the end of May is a sign your site may have been penalized. This is when Penguin 2.0 hit the Google index. The rankings affected were most likely your target keywords.
Cheap SEO Happens
Maybe your advertising budget is low and your competition is fierce. You’ve heard of that SEO thing and knew you needed to do it, so you resorted to a cheap SEO service. This happens all the time.
Cheap SEO services are just like cheap repairs, they don’t last long. And similarly, it may have gotten you by for a while but it leaves you worse-off in the end. There’s a reason it’s cheap.
Cheap search engine optimization is a yummy sardine in the eyes of Penguin.
Your Backlink Profile
You may be a little more sophisticated and had your contractor or agency report on backlinks built. That will give you a better idea if your website was penalized by Penguin 2.0. When you’re pouring over your spreadsheets, there’s a few things you should look for:
- Amount of various directories
- Amount of exact match anchor text
- Amount of sites that are no longer indexed
If you see anything that looks unnatural, it probably is and your website was likely hit by Penguin.
Negative SEO is a Possibility
It used to be the case that suspicious backlinks weren’t counted by Google. Your competitors may have thought they could build bad links to your site and rank for your keywords. That wasn’t entirely possible until the first Penguin update in April of 2012.
Now your competitors can build bad backlinks to your site. This is a very bad thing. I don’t like it, you don’t like it but it’s the harsh reality. Negative SEO is possible.
Your Own Website: UGC Spam
If you allow your site users to comment or otherwise post on your site, there’s a possibility you have some user generated spam. Google is fairly clear on this point. So if you notice a lot of “Hey awresum blog. I shall endevour to read its.” with a link to Carpet Cleaning Decatur, that’s a part of the problem.
It’s Disavow Time
If one or more of the above is true, it’s probably time for a Disavow. This is a tool that Google has given website owners so they can possibly rank again. The problem is it’s incredibly time consuming.
A Disavow requires that you look at each link. Then you have to contact the webmaster or webmasters and ask them to remove the link. All the while this must be meticulously catalogued. This is a time consuming process.
We will be more than happy to help you if your website was hit by Penguin 2.0.