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Search Marketing Issues: No Penguin Recovery

Dear Jill,

Our site has been affected by Google’s Penguin update. Our website traffic and search queries are down almost 80%.

We have reviewed our website and removed all the bad links that might affect our site. For the past 3 months we started getting high-authority links. We updated content for all the pages, and even changed our hosting server. However, we have not seen any improvement in ranking and traffic.

Your advice is highly appreciated by us to give us proper direction for the improvement.

Thank you,


Jill’s Response

Hi Tapan,

Of course, it’s impossible to say what might be the problem without doing a thorough review of your website. But here are a few questions and ideas that might help you.

First, an 80% drop in traffic is huge, which makes me think you were doing some pretty spammy stuff. If so, Google doesn’t forgive and forget that very quickly. If you received an unnatural links warning via your Google Webmaster Tools account, then read my article about what to do here. It’s not just a matter of cleaning up the links, but you also have to submit a reinclusion request. If you couldn’t get all of the links removed, you’ll also want to use Google’s newish “Link Disavowal Tool” (must be logged into Webmaster Tools to see). If you never received a warning, then your links may not have ever been the problem, nor should you need to file for reinclusion.

You mentioned that you started getting high authority links, but I can’t help but wonder what you mean by that. Most sites can’t get links from high-authority sites just because they want to. So you may want to review what you’ve done in that respect as well. If you’ve purchased those links, you’ll continue to be in Penguin Hell because that’s a big no-no.

Updating your content may have been a good idea, but only if it really needed to be updated. If it was keyword stuffed, then having a professional copywriter rewrite it should certainly help. But if you just freshened up bad content, then it’s unlikely to make much difference. Also, if the content was the main problem and you completely rewrote it, you’d probably be seeing a traffic improvement by now. I’d suggest taking another look at your content and making sure it’s truly useful to your target audience. Be sure that it thoroughly provides information that relates to the search queries for which you’d like to be found.

From the little you told me, that’s about all the advice I can provide. I know that losing so much of your organic search traffic can be painful to a business’s bottom line. So if you’re not already doing so, you may want to look into setting up some Google AdWords campaigns to help gain some of that lost traffic back while you work on making your site even better than it was before.

Good luck!


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