This blog post is about identifying by which Google update you got hit and that info actually tells you what you need to do to fix your site and get your rankings back.
All this time I was thinking that I got hit by the Penguin update, I was doing all kinds of stuff: deleting backlinks, trying to get new ones etc. But after trying out this method I realized that I was doing the wrong things. I was actually hit by the Panda updates. At first I couldn’t believe that, because my content is pretty high quality and as you know the Panda update penalized sites with crappy content and then it hit me that the guest posts I was getting might be duplicate content and because of them I got penalized. After going through some of the guest posts, I really did found duplicate ones, will be checking out the rest of the guest posts through the weekend and I hope to regain my rankings soon.
So, identifying the problem is crucial, if you want to get your rankings back. Here’s the method that I used to identify by which update I got hit. I learned it from : http://www.fromideatoempire.com/
Log in to Google Analytics. Choose “All Traffic” from the “Traffic Sources” menu in the sidebar. Also choose a date range during which you experienced your drop in traffic / rank. Click “google/ organic.” The page that loads will ONLY show you the traffic you were receiving from Google’s organic search, so it will make it extremely clear as to when you lost rankings and thus, when you were effected by an algorithm update:
Here are two examples of sites that got hit by Google updates.
Site #1 as you can see was hit two times after the second one it still hasn’t recovered. The first arrow identifies the update date and the second when the traffic dropped to zero. The first drop off happened after an update on April 27th the second one happened after an update on July 24th.
Site #2 got hit by an update on August 20th. The site was much older so the traffic didn’t drop to a complete zero.
When you have identified the date when you got hit go to http://www.seomoz.org/google-algorithm-change and look what update was released that day. For my first site the dates were April 27th and July 24th, that’s Panda 3,6 and Panda 3,9. For my second site the date was August 20th which is Panda 3,9,1.
The whole time I thought I was hi by the Penguin update and that I needed to fix my backlink profile, but actually I got hit by the Panda so my backlinks profile has nothing to do with it, my content does.
Knowing is Half The Battle?
How you approach the fix depends on what was broken in the first place – you’ve got to bring the right tools to the job!
The Penguin effected site would need to look at their backlink profile – see if they’ve relied too heavily on low-quality links and over optimized their anchor texts.
The Panda effected site would need to look at the quality of the content on the site itself. Make people happy with your content, solve a problem.
And I want to add up that, if you got hit by the Panda then you should look for duplicate content on our site as well, I hope this technique will be as much helpful to you as it was for me.