The Web has been abuzz with the Google news and their newest algorithmic applications – Panda and Penguin. Panda’s been around a while, and some sites overcame overwhelming obstacles to regain their rankings. Look at HubPages.com, for example, that moved all of its pages into sub-domains for each of its users. But sites like Digg, Gather, and AboutUs.org got a big bite in the ass and still haven’t recovered completely.
In late April, both Panda Update 3.5 and the new Penguin update ran and grabbed sites for unusual linking, paid linking, blog networks, and other infractions. This blog has lost about half its Google traffic since then, and I’m livid.
I’m guessing it’s because there are thousands of links pointing to this site from UpDowner.com and Matters.com. I had NOTHING to do with gathering links from either of those sites, but it’s the only thing I can wonder about. This is total bullshit.
To make matters worse, you can’t even ask for re-consideration unless you get an “unusual links” message from Google in Webmaster Tools, which I haven’t. At the time of this writing, I have a potential fix in place, but at the same time, I’m in limbo. It’s NOT at all fair.
I can’t for the life of me discover what else it could be. I’m not involved in any blog networks, haven’t been buying or selling links, or using any kind of automation on my website to gain SEO advantage. The only thing I do is provide content on a very regular basis, and still, I’m gob smacked. WTF?
Lots of people are feeling this way and at the recent SMX Advanced conference, Matt Cutts made some statements that I find interesting. I found these in a June 8th article by Navneet Kaushal at SearchNewz.com entitled, “Matt Cutts On Penguin Update, Negative SEO, Rejecting Links.”
Here are the items Cutts covered:
- There are no humans involved in either the Panda or the Penguin updates. They’re both algorithmic (automatic). Panda is meant to get rid of what Google considers to be “Web spam,” and we’re talking garbage pages, squeeze pages, and yes, even most sales letters. The purpose of Penguin is to attack stuff that’s not outright spam, but that it decides is doing something spammy. Cutts said that the adjustments coming out of these applications are algorithm changes, NOT a penalty. Sure feels like a penalty to me. Lose half your Google traffic and see how it feels to you.
- Cutts also said that you can only submit a reconsideration request after you’ve received a warning. No warning, don’t bother. So, I’m screwed. I never got a warning.
- Cutts said that although negative SEO is difficult, that Google may be coming up with a way to disavow links. I hope they hurry up because that might be very helpful. The chances of being unlinked by a big site are slim, though you need to try.
- Google knows if you buy or sell links pretty easily. Just don’t do it. It’s like the really, really hated, hated thing that Google really, really hates. If you’ve done this or plan to do it, think again. The spiders can smell paid linking, I swear.
- Good news, SEOs! Cutts also says that it’s going to be harder for us in the future. Why? Why is that? I mean, Google puts out its own SEO guide. If you’re doing those things, and not doing things that Google doesn’t approve of, why would they continue to make it harder to make things easier for spiders, which is the real purpose of SEO in the first place? I mean, I can see why Google and the other search engines hate blackhat stuff, but why would they want to make it harder for us to make things easier for spiders? It’s kind of like a real Catch-22. Makes little sense.
- And then, Cutts gave the standard mantra, “Google doesn’t hate SEO.” Sure feels like it lately, pal. Just keep pushing that company mantra and somebody might believe it.
I write about Google a lot in this blog, as you know if you’re a regular reader. As things stand, they’re still the big dog in the room and figure they can do anything they want to do. I have always had a deep respect for the company, but this last bullshit change that’s hurting innocent webmasters sure feels like the Big Dog only wants to play with the Big Companies. How does that improve the Web?
I mean, think about it. If you’re a law firm that wants to get organic traffic, you’re probably local and will have to rely on local search. If you have an investment firm or a medical facility, same thing. You can be pulling down millions per year, but if you’re not Pepsi, Target, or Starbucks, oh well. You aren’t spending enough on AdWords, and so well… f-you.
Be careful Google. Piss too many people off and you won’t be the Big Dog anymore. Remember Alta Vista? Remember how important Yahoo used to be?
The Internet changes. Nothing online is too Big or too important. Piss enough of us off and you’ll find yourself part of Internet history, too.