April Google SEO update – Well this is Fun

Well this month’s update was quite a system shock, I’m not too sure what it targeted specifically on my sites because I use mostly the same methods and some sites are doing terrible while others have not changed at all! One of my older “authority” sites got destroyed in terms of domain/inner page rankings (luckily it still gets traffic from Bing :P). However some of my newer sites are doing even better. It compensates somewhat, but revenue from adsense is definitely down by like 50%.

Figuring it all out

questioning-face what's happening googleSome people call it the over optimization penalty but honestly I never really followed keyword density guidelines. At most I have my keyword in the title/url/image alt tag/1-4 times in the text. Maybe it’s the fact that this is true for most of the pages on my website? But why do I lose rankings for keywords that I target on a specific page and that I am not specifically targeting in the title/url/image alt tag? I often target 2-6 keywords per page. So maybe Google would see that I’m targeting this one keyword per page a lot, but it should leave the others alone…

Social signals helping?

I see a lot of high quality sites getting trashed with this update. Some of my older sites (the authority one I mentioned) had a lot of natural likes and “pins” form pinterest. A few +1′s and retweets but no page with more than 10 of those while I had some pages with 100-300 likes (ya, 300+ natural likes!). I also had bought some likes/tweets/+1′s on some of my other pages and that does not seem to be directly the reason why they would of maintained/lost rankings.

Backlink Anchor Text Over Optimization

I think what this update did is target over optimized backlinks. For example, not enough anchor text variation leading to your site and more specifically, if you have a lot of articles (think AMR, or blog networks like AR) that link 3 times to your website with spun content it’s kinda of a signal of manipulation to Google when a large majority of your backlinks are in this group/type. I’m not saying these do not work, I’m saying randomness in linking profiles such as some articles having 1-2-3 links towards different URL’s of your website MIGHT be a better idea (and a bit harder/annoying to do). I’ll be testing this out…

Is Do follow/No follow important?

The other thing I would mention that I would think makes a good do follow/no follow portfolio but a site of mine that is still ranking really well (and making quite a bit of my current income now) barely has any no follow… Mostly (90%+) links from ezarticle links to certain pages … All do follow.

Negative SEO, seems to be real and super easy now

Basically, it’s really easy to make people lose rankings for certain keywords by sending them a lot of shitty links with the same anchor text they are ranking for. I saw a lot of people mention this and I tried it out of curiosity and yup, made one of my competitors for a #1 spot (he was there for at least a week now, before the April 25 update) go to #5 since. Some of my own websites that I don’t use for rankings but just as backlinks for a test network I was doing last year also lost a lot of rankings when I was applying this. Some of these “network sites” were actually ranking on the first page near my money site and boom, gone. Definitely does not make me want to reveal more of my domains…

Anyway, you can’t be 100% sure about anything in SEO, but for me I’ll have to clearly find out why some of my sites are still doing great/ok while others got demolished. I see a lot of weird things in the search results so we’ll see what Google does to this, first update that actually affected me a lot. I remember last year the first Panda update was brutal to some people but they eventually recovered…

For me it’s…

seo post april 2012

 

How are your websites performing since the update? Any websites that you feel should of not been penalized? Any websites that are still ranking well that might of had a different backlink portfolio than the other ones? Any comments would be good to help us all figure this out :)