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/webmasters/community?hl=en
9/1/14
Original Poster
Google user

Has Google ever definitively stated that it is possible to recover from Penguin?

I've read the FAQs and searched the help center. 
My URL is: goldenservices.com

I see a lot of conflicting information about Penguin. Can a site really recover without Google doing another Penguin update?  Is there a definitive answer?

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Alex Reichmann
9/2/14
Alex Reichmann
I'd like to know this too. Ranking well on Google can be big boost for business! So for someone to say don't rely on Google is understandable but is not a fair thing to say considering Google is the most popular search engine now.
 
Also I can say easily some sites that don't update often and don't look interesting rank higher than me since being Penguin hit and the site hasn't recovered yet. A lot of sites seem to be in this situation also.
Alex Reichmann
9/2/14
Alex Reichmann
Also there has been a lot of specualtion that a Google Penguin update could be coming very soon. In Google Hangouts - John Mullerfrom Google said a Penguin update is being worked on so hopefully that means it will be refreshed soon and recoveries can happen to quality sites that were hit by Penguin penalties.
9/2/14
Expert - Gold
StevieD_Web
>I see a lot of conflicting information about Penguin. 

You would be correct.


>Can a site really recover without Google doing another Penguin update?

Some have speculated about such recovery.  There have even been some public claims backed up by analytics to support their recovery.  Of course recovery from "what" is never proven.


> Is there a definitive answer?

Nope.


9/2/14
Expert - Gold
StevieD_Web
> In Google Hangouts - John Mullerfrom Google said a Penguin update is being worked on so hopefully that means it will be refreshed soon

You need to realize that Google is ALWAYS working on their algorithms.  Even working on algorithms that may never be.  Or algorithms that might become reality some 1/2/5 years from now.  So Google is always working on the Penguin algorithm.   As to the timing of the release of the next update, soon is a relative word.  In Googleland, soon might not mean the next hour/day/week but rather the next month or (gasp) year.

OK, maybe not year.  But I don't think a real time table was established by John's comment and everybody is hoping for the shorter term "soon" rather the longer term "soon".

(Does this mean I have some special knowledge?  No.  Just that I read tea leaves and bloody entrails and based upon past experience soon = 1 hour to 3 months)


> and recoveries can happen to quality sites that were hit by Penguin penalties.

You are assuming recovery is going to happen.  Every update has generated winners and losers.   And quality is a relative term that might not be part of the Penguin algorithm in the least.  In other words your "quality" website might rank even worse following the next Penguin update.  (Same thing happened with Panda updates, some who thought they were going to recovery did NOT).

Why would a site rank worse?  For starters the site failed to properly identify and fix the troublesome links.   Secondly, Google might TIGHTEN DOWN the algorithm so that links previously borderline in badness factors are suddenly even stinkier.  



Alex Reichmann
9/4/14
Alex Reichmann
Well I guess a question to ask is what if a site did do a thorough check on all their links and has arguably top content in their niche, in other words users would be happy to see their website rather than a generic product page or something.

Also a few reasons it seems that a Penguin update would be fair is that there is the topic of negative seo going on now so technically the disavow tool seems like the way to combat that. There were some articles that have came out in the news talking about it.  It's messed up but if someone wants to spam someones site now they can hire so called negative seo services.

If Google ditched Penguin algorithm then arguably a lot of penalized sites that have top quality content and user experiences, and didn't intentionally do black hat seo, in other words sites that cleaned their act after being aware of the Penguin updates, would have a chance at recovery.

If it takes a month or three with an update that would be fair, if sites that were hit can get a fair shot.  Especially when they really are putting out what could be some of the most relevant material and best user experience to their niche.   On Bing and Yahoo my site ranks on top and it did on Google till their penalties hit us, and since then we have disavowed everything questionable and deleted whatever bad links possible, and we also have some fair natural links as well.
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Jon Wade
9/13/14
Jon Wade
Negative SEO - I was not affected by the first Penguins, but was hit by Penguin 2.0 in April 2013. Shortly after the first one, in May 2012, somebody kindly created hundreds (I got to about 600 before giving up) of keyword anchor links on a series of spam networks. If you have seen "Launch Press Release" or "Last Chance Money" sites you know the ones (an example). 600(ish) identical articles with the same text link in the first sentence. Most "Published by Jacqueline Fields on 2012-05-12" (some name variations), just a couple of weeks after the first Penguin. 

Could be coincidence of course, I did submit my site to lots of directories way back when, so might be my own doing. But still, suspicious - somebody created those links and as much as you might want to believe it was me, it certainly was not - I actually blogged about the Penguin update on 27th April 2012, even I am not that stupid!

Although it cannot be proved, I think that there is a good chance that negative SEO is affecting some people in some competitive markets - I did rank very well for a long time and no doubt annoyed a lot of other website owners. Penguin gave them a chance to do something about it. 

A lot of people are quick to dismiss it because when the backlinks are reviewed there is always a whole heap of other crap to wade through too (like the directories and forum links and comments on blogs etc). I have run many reports and always the "suspicious" and "deadly" links are links created by scrapers and spammers etc. and never anything actually done by myself or an SEO. Maybe my problem is my own doing, but then, why was I not at all affected until after all the "Launch Press Release" were created?

The problem I have is that I still have no idea if I have removed / disavowed the right stuff. I have removed everything I could that I placed, requested removal of directory links and disavowed everything. A refresh might reveal that I have more work to do (or not, if I totally give up).

Ho hum.

On the bright side, at least we know that there will be a refresh. There is still hope.
 
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