Hopefully, if you’re reading this, you haven’t been affected by the recent Google algorithm updates. Unfortuately, my site did fall victim to the recent updates. In May, I was hit by Penguin 2.0. In mid-June, I was hit by the spam query update and in late June, I was hit again by the massive update that was rolled out June 25th. I’m currently waiting for a response from the Google Webspam team regarding my Google Penalty Reconsideration Request. Meanwhile, what can you do to prevent this from happening to you?
Have You Lost Traffic Due to Google Updates?
I first noticed a significant drop in my organic search traffic from Google in June. By early July, my website traffic had dropped by 45%. (I know, I should have picked it up earlier but I’d been lax in paying attention to my Google Analytics.) To get a clearer picture of what was going on, I went to Fruition.net and signed up to use their free Google Penalty Checker. Sure enough, it confirmed that I had been affected.
My concern was that over the years, I had links to sites that are what Google now deems “low quality” content or the links were creating 404 errors. Another concern was that sites that I did not want to be associated with had linked to mine.
Part of the process of cleaning up my site included addressing all of the 404 errors that had popped up over the years. The tool that I used to identify them was the Online Broken Link Checker. I also used the Bad Neighborhood Text Link Checker Tool to scan the links on my website. Thirdly, I used Google Webmaster Tools to identify sites that had linked to me.
Should There be a Google Webmaster Tool to Identify Bad Links?
Recently, Matt Cutts answered the question “How can I get examples of bad links to my site?” Actually, he addressed the question relative to webmasters who have received unnatural link warnings from Google.
Bottom line, Cutts says that Google will work on getting more information in the messages that go out. However, not everyone who is affected by the algorithm changes gets notified. (I have not received any official messages from Google and may have well wasted my time even submitting a reconsideration request but time will tell.)
Over to You:
Has your website been affected by the recent Google updates? Do you know anyone else who has been affected? Do you think Google should offer webmasters more tools to help them resolve the issues that we’re encountering? Please feel free to share your thoughts suggestions and recommendations with the rest of us. I’ll be keeping everyone posted as time goes on. (Special thanks to everyone who has contacted me with their support.)