Google rolled out another algorithm update on 24th April 2012 lovingly known as the Penguin Update. The Penguin Update has been implemented to remove websites from the SERPS that have obtained Google rankings for keywords using spammy, unethical link building techniques or other methods that contravene Google’s quality guidelines.
Unfortunately this in certain cases has been punitive and affected sites where breaches have not strictly been made. From experience of some of my own sites and that of other colleagues’ sites we have had sites penalised for backlinks that are not spam. For example my colleague runs a large travel site which has been around for years has good trust, etc. He recently built a new travel website for a different location and added a link to it on his other site. Because it is a sitewide link it seems Google has ASSUMED it’s a paid link and therefore a slap from the Penguin has been administered.
If you think your website may have suffered from a Penguin penalty I read something interesting no a blog earlier and it seems to work. Try Googling the keyword you used to rank for before the update but add -amazon.com. for example:
my keywords -amazon.com
It would seem that this calls up the pre-panda search results. If your site now appears where it was prior to the Penguin update you know you’ve been hit.
This also seems to work is you add -anything.com or .co.uk for example:
my keywords -blahblah.com
By trying this at least you know if the Penguin Update has hit you and you can do something to resolve the issue. If you need help to get your site ranking again contact us and we can provide you with a service to get you on track again after the Penguin Update.
UPDATE – 30 May 2012
Further to my article above I now see that Google has addressed the glitch and the hack no longer works.