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Post Penguin 2.1 - Is there anything left we can do???

Discussion in 'Link Development' started by jasonvan, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. #1
    So one of my sites was hit really hard on October 4th. I'm guessing it was this so called Penguin 2.1 update (otherwise known as Penguin 5). Now I'm left to wonder if there is anything I can do (other than update my site regularly with great content).

    I've searched the web trying to find out what still works. All I get is long lists of what we are not supposed to do. If I see another list of "Links Google Doesn't Like" I will go crazy. Apparently Google no longer likes anything a webmaster can do for his/her site. Everything has to be 100% organic. Well, that leaves absolutely nothing for me to do except "write great content" which alone doesn't seem like enough to bring in the links. I'm sorry Google, but sometimes updating your site regularly with great content isn't enough to get you to the first page for anything, let alone for keywords actually worth something.

    So Google now hates and will punish you for:

    a. Articles with links
    b. Blog Posts with links
    c. Blog comments with links
    d. Forum Signatures with links
    e. Press Releases with links
    f. Blog Roll links
    g. Footer links
    h. Paid links
    i. Link exchanges
    j. Paid advertisements with links
    k. Sponsored Links
    l. And anything else that looks unnatural, etc, etc, etc

    OMG!!! I just made my own list. I've definitely gone crazy. Nevertheless, all this begs the question:

    Besides just sitting back and hoping, hoping, and hoping to get links...

    What kinds of links can I still get that Google doesn't hate?

    And please don't just say: "Organic ones that come from updating your site regularly with great content." I don't want to be an old man by the time my site hits the first page!

    I really, really hope somebody here knows what he/she is doing, and can respond intelligently to this question. I really want to know what's left for me to do. I really need to get my site back to page one, and I don't want to do anything that will piss off the big G anymore!!!
    jasonvan, Oct 14, 2013 IP
  2. Shole93

    Shole93 Active Member

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    #2
    I am sure forum signatures still work good as most of my traffic comes from them.
    Shole93, Oct 15, 2013 IP
  3. nickywalker

    nickywalker Greenhorn

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    #3
    The thing I struggle with most with Google's philosophy of "write great content and thy links will come" is this: that's great if you're focussing on a really interesting subject, it's fairly easy to write great content BUT what if you are a small business selling fairly boring widgets? There's only so much you can rabbit on about your products before you start to talk garbage and frankly, why would anyone be linking back to your small businesses website?
    Unfortunately, not everyone in business has a really interesting product that requires pages and pages of content just to please google in the mild hope that someone, somewhere will link back.
    nickywalker, Oct 15, 2013 IP
  4. vince wicks

    vince wicks Greenhorn

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    #4
    Anybody knows if there's a chance that some private blog networks survived? If you know about such, please let me know.
    vince wicks, Oct 15, 2013 IP
  5. Jen 101

    Jen 101 Active Member

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    #5
    You might find something helpful in this new thread here: https://forums.digitalpoint.com/threads/build-your-backlinks-effectively.2686493/
    Jen 101, Oct 15, 2013 IP
  6. lesterj

    lesterj Active Member

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    #6
    I've looked into this, too and have come to the conclusion it really is just about creating content and engaging people at this point. I'm sure there are still ways the truly committed black-hatters will come up with to game the system, but at this point you really have to be committed to it and you have to realize that there's a good chance the site will get penalized eventually. So, we're pretty much left with creating good content and building an audience.

    Nick, I have the same issue with some of my clients, trying to find interesting things to write about. I've found it helpful to do some research to see what people are asking about related to what the client does and then do a lot of topic bridging, writing about things tangent-ally related to what the client does. For example, if they sell Christmas trees, writing about the trees themselves will get old fast, but writing about fun Christmas family stories, or tips on buying gifts, etc. is somewhat related and gives you a lot to write about.

    Vince, I'd recommend staying away from any blog network at this point. Even if you can find one Google hasn't gone after, you can be sure they will get busted eventually and you'll be back to square one or much worse.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
    lesterj, Oct 15, 2013 IP
  7. jasonvan

    jasonvan Member

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    #7
    Well, here is what I've decided.


    What I'm still going to do:

    a. I'm going to keep writing great content on my site.
    b. I'm going to keep writing articles on my topic with a link that sends visitors to my site. I do this because these articles send me traffic so I really don't think I should get spanked for these links.
    c. I'm going to keep posting on high quality blog sites that are relevant to my site. I also do this for the traffic these blog posts send me.
    d. I'm going to keep uploading Youtube videos related to my site. I will include a link in the description box because this "may" one day send me traffic as well.
    e. I am going to keep trying to contact webmasters of related sites and see if they will post something about my site (with or without a link). **

    **From my experience, however, this is usually a waste of time because nobody want to do anything without getting something in return.

    What I'm no longer going to do:

    a. Hire cheap SEO companies to build me links.
    b. Exchange links with other sites.
    c. Comment on blogs in the hope it will boost me in the SERPS.
    d. Request or accept footer links, blogroll links, or site wide links.
    e. Link from my own unrelated sites (I always knew it wasn't a good idea).


    As for Press Releases, I'm still on the fence about them.

    Are there any other ideas for what we can still do in this Post-Penguin 2.1 Era? Please help, because I really need more things I can do that won't potentially hurt my rankings.
    jasonvan, Oct 15, 2013 IP
  8. jasonvan

    jasonvan Member

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    #8
    I'm guessing that's because you are promoting an SEO site and a Hosting site in a forum where everybody is interested in those topics. I sell body wraps :-( I don't think there are too many people here who are interested in buying body wraps. However, maybe if I was posting in a health forum...
    jasonvan, Oct 15, 2013 IP
  9. vince wicks

    vince wicks Greenhorn

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    #9
    Thanks for your insightful replies, guys! :)
    vince wicks, Oct 16, 2013 IP
  10. Jen 101

    Jen 101 Active Member

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    #10
    Jasonvan, I think you're on the right track with your list of what you plan to still do.
    Do you publish these articles in article directories? If so, which directories do you use and how often do you publish there?
    Jen 101, Oct 16, 2013 IP
  11. Ekrazx

    Ekrazx Peon

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    #11
    how 100% organic look like?
    Ekrazx, Oct 16, 2013 IP
  12. WebDev Solutions

    WebDev Solutions Well-Known Member

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    #12
    OF COURSE THEY DID. "Private" being the key word here.

    Many have now built their own, "mini" private networks, and they are still working extremely well when built effectively.

    WebDev
    WebDev Solutions, Oct 16, 2013 IP
  13. jasonvan

    jasonvan Member

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    #13
    I would love to hear if anybody else on dp has any ideas on:

    What can we still do?
    jasonvan, Oct 18, 2013 IP
  14. himanuzo

    himanuzo Well-Known Member

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    #14
    There are few backlining methods that still works at Penguin 2.1 era:
    Youtube (yes, nofollow)
    Press release - PRWeb, SB Wire,
    Social media: Linkedin, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter
    Yahoo Answers
    Web 2.0 - Tumblr, Squidoo
    himanuzo, Oct 21, 2013 IP
  15. broalex

    broalex Well-Known Member

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    #15
    There is just so much to do and no you won't get penalized for everything you have listed.

    SEO is not that complicated if you think "organic" take for example a site like www.webmd.com and to a basic analysis of their SEO tactics - they have 35M links in totat according to ahrefs.com, out of these 25M are not sitewide (basically they're incontent links, I bet the majority are incontent links from forums posts and articles on other websites/blogs).

    The rest of the links are footer or blogroll links (sitewide).

    https://ahrefs.com/site-explorer/overview/subdomains/www.webmd.com

    The only downside to SEO is that if you're not on a budget to get high quality links (high domain authority, high page authority, low OBL AND high page rank, then getting this type of links is very hard, meaning that you have to building your own niche blogs and post links with the content to your main site, start creating accounts on forums and posting on related forums + include links to your main site etc etc.

    It's tedious labor work that can take months or years to accomplish .By the way back a few years ago, www.webmd.com bought a link from one of my weight loss sites (A PR4 in-content link I think it was). Google loves in content links more than anything else, the more you have of these from a large number of domains the better, the hard part comes when you're trying to promote a site that has 2000+ pages or more, you have to variate your keywords.

    Just think outside the box and analyze the big players and what they're doing.

    Of course 10.000 spammy comment links won't get you anywhere..
    broalex, Oct 21, 2013 IP
  16. jasonvan

    jasonvan Member

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    #16
    Well, I have a new site (7 months old) that rose to #2-3 for all of the keywords I was aiming for in just 3 months. I built at least 50 high quality and relevant links in just a short time and it appeared I was on a roll and Google was loving me. All of a sudden **BANG!!** I completely disappeared from the SERPS...went from having about 1,000 unique vistors a day to about 100. :-(

    I check my site out and suddenly it has thousands of spammy links pointing to it. Obviously I have been a victim of a Negative SEO campaign from one of my competitors. The reality is there are sites on the net where you can buy thousands of nasty links for just a few dollars.

    So did all these crap links completely undermine all the good links that Google was obviously liking??? It appears that way!

    Here is my main concern: Google is now "suggesting" that sites are going to get punished for having "bad backlinks". That's why some of the big SEO companies are now also selling "link removal" packages and not just "link building" packages. Google is doing this because it realizes that the web has been completed overwhelmed by useless spam. It is now trying to scare webmasters into a. not doing this and b. getting rid of everything they have already done

    But now the problem becomes: If the the majority of webmasters on the net now truly believe that bad links will hurt a site, many of them will now use it to hurt their compepetition. Now, instead of less spam, we have just as much if not more.

    I predict that there may be a day in the very near future where a great deal of webmasters will be spamming the net to hurt their competition rather than build their own reputation.

    Does anybody see the IRONY here??? The final result is not less SPAM...it is the same or even more!!!
    jasonvan, Oct 21, 2013 IP
  17. Corestratagems

    Corestratagems Active Member

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    #17
    I've been seeing the irony for the last few years with Google. I won't go on a rant, there are plenty of those around if you search. I'm still seeing good success with links on high metric sites within relevant content on private networks. You either need a niche and awesome content that allows you to build a following without Google, or you should build your own private networks for link building and possibly take on a churn and burn mentality because Google will probably penalize you just for making money when they want the bigger names to be in those top positions. Either you bypass Google or you have to move faster than them.
    Corestratagems, Oct 21, 2013 IP
  18. Cool Blogger

    Cool Blogger Banned

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    #18
    "I check my site out and suddenly it has thousands of spammy links pointing to it. Obviously I have been a victim of a Negative SEO campaign from one of my competitors. The reality is there are sites on the net where you can buy thousands of nasty links for just a few dollars. "


    - Yes you right, some company use negative SEO now. They don't think how to increase their SERP only, but how to drop their competitors rank.

    I am thinking the endpoint is we use google adwords, it doesn't effect with backlinks. No negative SEO also.

    We just pay to google and let they do the rest.
    Cool Blogger, Oct 21, 2013 IP
  19. jasonvan

    jasonvan Member

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    #19
    I'm guessing that in order to use adwords effectively you need to have a very good conversion rate.

    For example, the site I was referring to was getting about 1,000 unique visitors a day organically.

    When I tried to supplement this with ppc adwords I was paying .40 cents a click (tried it for 2 months).

    This would mean I would have to pay $400 a day using adwords to get the same 1,000 visitors.

    However, I was only making about $200 a day from these 1,000 visitors. So it would be costing me more than I was making.

    Nevertheless, I might be interested in starting another site that had better conversion rates. For example, I hear a lot of webmasters make a ton of money advertising their SEO sites on adwords. Anybody here got any ideas in this area???
    jasonvan, Oct 22, 2013 IP
  20. r3dt@rget

    r3dt@rget Well-Known Member

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    #20
    Guys, take a moment and look at the situation through Google's eyes. There are millions of so-called web developers out there, trying to make a quick buck by setting up websites with ads, and then using Google search services as the main marketing device. Using previously accepted techniques someone could rank high with lousy content. This damages the Google search experience for Google's users. Worst of all, these webmasters could gain Google traffic for free.

    Google is making the effort to weed out sites with no reputation that simply want to leech off Google's success in the search business. SEO techniques (yes all of them) are being punished by Google for good reason. If you artificially create a reputation for your website by link building, you will eventually be punished. The truly useful websites are those created for the purpose of serving users, not making money off Google traffic. If you make a website for AdSense and not for users, you are wasting time and not looking toward the future.

    Now what can we do to naturally create reputation for our websites, so Google ranks them higher? You should focus on the website itself, not the web around you. Offer something unique and useful to visitors. If you create a blog about dog medications, what makes it better than the thousands of other websites sharing the same topic? You've just have to accept the fact that you won't always be able to rank well for some keywords and topics. For ideas on how to create a reputation for your website, look at physical businesses. This model still works. Create a product or website that people want to use. Market the product (Adwords, buy ads, etc.) and convert visitors into customers that will come back and tell their friends.

    It's a hard pill to swallow. There are no easy ways to rank well in Google anymore. You can't simply write a blog, build links, and watch people come on in. You've got to offer something people want, and then promote it the good ol' fashioned way. Whether that is word of mouth or paid advertisements, is up to you. It's a lot of effort or a lot of money.

    Another thing to consider is that Google is greedy. They would rather you pay for ads on AdWords to get traffic than use SEO to rank well in organic search and get the same traffic for free.
    r3dt@rget, Oct 23, 2013 IP