As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Google just recently did another big update to their search results. This one “Penguin” is a little more tricky, a little less “cut and dry” and I would assume the FAVORITE of all Google updates to the BOD at Bing, considering the results it produced are similar to the results Google produced 10 years ago.
The effect it had on some of my own sites are an excellent example of just how bad this update was in regards to actually improving their results.
My Germany Tourism site EverythingAboutGermany.com which has been ranking in the top 3 for several years… is nearly 8 years old and has alot of natural, authoritative backlinks, to include DMOZ listings and ORGANIC Yahoo Directory links (most links in yahoo directory are paid, my listings are NOT.) That site is now ranking #6 from my location in Google for “germany tourism,” a drop of 3 spots. That site has all original content written by me, after living in Germany for 5 years and my wife who IS German… born and raised. A good majority of the backlinks are natural and many of them are from VERY authoritative websites. Would you say that is the type of site that SHOULD be at the top of google? I would! Smelly Penguin didn’t think so.
BUT nearly ALL of my adsense sites, which target various niches that I know nothing about, acheived their rankings with web directories, social bookmarks, forum profile linkes etc. continue to enjoy top 10 rankings, some even have BETTER rankings! One good example is my split toe shoes site, splittoeshoes.org which still holds the #2 position in google. That is one of many, many examples. So Smelly Penguin says these sites are higher quality
So why did this happen? Maybe a Bing representative infiltrated Google and sabotaged it. I doubt it, but if that were to happen, the result couldn’t be any worse than the result of smelly penguin, that’s for sure.
My partner with Keyword Canine (See this video, announcing a HUGE update we just released!) and one of the most highly respected IMers out there, Jonathan Leger, explained it quite nicely here: “Ranking in Google After Penguin”
He explains it very nicely there, but what it all comes down to (if you even WANT to try to keep up with Google’s madness) is analytics… good competition analysis… seeing what is working for those in the top 10 and what isn’t working for them.
As always, I’ll continue to do what I’m doing until it no longer works. So far it all continues to work! Yes, my Germany site got hit a little, but all sites go up and down from time to time. I’m not too worried about it and I will not be doing anything drastically different. I will vary the anchor text in my backlinks a little more and continue to diversify my backlink strategy, but beyond that the same things that always have worked, continue to work. If anything, lower quality and irrelevant sites now rank higher than ever. Bravo Google and congrats to Bing.