Google rolled out their latest version of the Google Penguin update (since May 22nd) last Friday and it seems that once again they have turned up the heat on the battle against site owners with questionable backlink profiles as they look to clean up their organic search results.
As with almost all Google updates, the prospect of being thought to have violated Google's guidelines in a manner that is deemed enough to warrant even an algorithmic penalisation sends shudders through the spine of site owners and this release offered nothing other.
After monitoring the industry across a number of niches, we were able to see that one particular site had been offered a cruel blow to his working month, having been notified that manual actions taken against his site were being revoked, only to find that following the release of Penguin 2.1 last Friday, he had once again been placed through the mill and onto the penalised list!
Speaking with the site owner, we established that the site had been targeted with a full force negative SEO campaign, flooding misleading and inaccurate terms into his backlink profile on a wide scale, wide enough to have triggered alarm bells at Google for a manual review, in which action was taken against the site.
Looking at the reconsideration process that the site had taken, over 95% of the links that were pointing into the site were either removed completely or placed into a Google disavow list and uploaded through webmaster tools, scaling back their profile to little more than a few brand mentions here and there.
Clearly the joy of having manual actions revoked followed by the news that their site had been once again pushed out of the rankings almost completely is crushing the site, a well-established business that has done very little optimisation to their website, let alone link building.
A look at SearchMetrics shows that following the revoke of action against the site from the manual penalisation, there was a slight uplift before the crushing blow of Penguin 2.1 dragged them back into the darkest corner of organic search:
Questions now have to be asked as to whether the crawl and action rate of the Google disavow file is working fast enough for website owners as there is a possibility that the Penguin hit is based on links that are still to be seen to be within the site's list and processed accordingly.
Although we have mentioned this singular example above, we know of another site that also suffered that same fate, having a manual action revoked in time to find themselves yet another of the Google Penguin victims…
How did you fare with the update?