This latest Penguin update seems to be a very slow rollout. It’s still working its way through the Internet, at least here in Australia.
It started around October 1, and then more happened around last weekend, around the 8th and 9th. We’ve already gotten word that some sites’ rankings are dropping because of this update, and it appears to be just as I predicted, caused by spammy backlinks.
Just another bit of proof that concentrating on backlinking is bad for your site’s SEO.
Now, if you’ve had an unexpected downturn and you suspect that the Google Penguin 4.0 rollout is to blame, there’s a simple way to check. Look on Google Search Console and check for Search Analytics. Make sure the boxes for “clicks” and “impressions” have been ticked. Check for a drop in the third week of September, on the 20th through the 24th.
If you’ve dropped all across the board on that week, you’ve probably taken a Google hit. Not to worry, there is a fix.
Look under Search Traffic to find a link to ‘Links to your Site’. You’ll find this on the left side of the page. This clickable link will give you a downloadable spreadsheet containing all the sites that link to your website. Look through this list for sites that don’t really belong, spammy sites or those sites that try to piggyback on your domain.
Ask the site owner to remove any of your content they have, and disavow the link. If the content remains, file a DMCA report.
This will cause all but the most disreputable sites to remove your content. Either way, you’ll get rid of the backlinks that are dragging down your Google rankings.
Like I’ve often said, looking for backlinks is bad SEO practice. Engage with others in your industry and build your audience organically for the best SEO results.
For more information, visit the StewArt website.
Jim Stewart is a leading expert in search engine optimisation. His business StewArt Media has worked with clients including Mars, M2 and the City of Melbourne.