The Dreaded Google Penalty – Part 3

Graphic of no penalties and a red line through it

Over the last few weeks we wrote about how our site got caught up with a recent Google algorithm update and the resultant manual action that was taken, in particular that the site suffered from thin content. We mentioned some of the changes we have made, including adding comments to the end of articles and adding more solutions to common Keurig problems.

The good news is that on December 6, 2014 this penalty was lifted by Google after our fifth reconsideration request – and we must say their review only took about 3 days, most impressed. In addition to all of the additional work we have been adding to the site we provided Google with information about the Private Blog Network (PBN) that we had been taking part in. This type of technique to win favor with search engine ranking results has been very common over the last number of years and often made a big difference in where a website appeared in the results, ie it could make the different between appearing on page one rather than page two. We see firms on the net are still selling this service as part of a sites overall SEO. However from our experience and those of others that we follow on the net, we strongly recommend keeping well away from these types of grey hat techniques.

However, the point of these structures was of course to artificially inflate a site’s performance and this is something that Google started to crack down on – and we agree, this is something Google and the other search engine providers should weed out of its search results. Starting from around October this year, being about the time that we felt the force of Google’s penalty action, we set out to Google which sites we used, registered them all with Google Webmaster Tools and ensured all links between the offending sites were removed.

Despite the process taking some time we have learnt a great deal from it and our site is better for it. The only thing we wished that Google had done was made it more clear as to why the penalty had been applied. The thin content notice, and as we have read else where on the net, is often used in these types of offenses. When in actual fact what Google mentions about thin content in it’s help section mentions nothing about PBN type structures but everything about content quality and quantity. And so of no real help for those wanting to correct their mistakes and get their site back on track.

Still, their train set and we are just pleased to now have it resolved. We look forward to continuing to grow this site and improving its quality.

As a side note, the survey results are trickling in each day. We must be approaching around 100 entries so far. There are some excellent comments and we really appreciate people taking the time.