Consistently poor or deteriorating search engine performance can point to more than just badly performing SEO. If you’ve seen dwindling search performance whilst SEO’ing as hard as ever then it may be that you’re suffering from a search engine penalty. Indeed, depending on the type of SEO you’re carrying out you may actually be compounding the problem.
Google’s penalty system is multifaceted with both manually applied penalties (for which you will receive notification in Webmaster Tools) as well as automated penalties (for which you won’t).
Automated penalties are most likely to have come from Google’s Penguin and Panda code especially if you're still using SEO techniques that were in vogue a few years ago. A good way to check whether you’ve been hit by Penguin or Panda is by comparing your search performance history with the dates of Google algorithm changes.
If you believe you might have incurred a penalty from Google then it’s important that you’re seen to be taking decisive action very quickly. Penalties from Panda are relatively easy to correct and the recovery is relatively fast. Unfortunately, Penguin is a different beast and regaining lost credibility can be a long and tedious job.
Web Incite have the tools to help you gain an understanding of why your website search performance is poor and we can provide advice and practical help in sorting out problems. Contact us for a discussion on how we might be able to help.
Links into your site from low quality pages can be a problem but it's likely that Penguin takes a greater interest in the overall profile of the links into your site. It actually expects a few links from low quality sites but it also expects to see a larger number of links from higher quality sites with content similar to your own. It's the overall balance that's important.
Obviously the quality and originality of the site content itself but Panda also takes notice of general site quality information such as sitemaps, hidden text, doorway pages, pages not found (404 errors), temporary redirects (302’s) which aren’t temporary etc.
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