The incessant complaining and agonizing over Google’s long delay in updating their Penguin algorithm is a constant embarrassment to the search engine optimization industry. It is also a completely unnecessary exercise because there has always been one quick, surefire way to recover from a Penguin algorithm downgrade. The failure of Web marketing specialists and consultants to make this case to their clients is an indictment against the judgment and sense of all the Penguin recovery specialists who have been promising their clients that Google will eventually fix their problems.
Except in a very small percentage of cases, Google did not make this problem. The Web marketing industry made this problem. And companies that should have learned not to trust the SEO industry’s bad advice continue to follow that advice by sending out pointless link take down notices.
After a year-and-a-half of waiting for Penguin, what have all the complaining and all the take down notices achieved for you?
Every business owner whose Website is hurting from the Penguin algorithm has a really simple business decision to make: to continue waiting for an algorithm update that comes with no guarantee of improved search performance or to start growing their traffic again today, immediately, with relatively little pain and effort and for far less expense than paying some “Penguin specialist” to send out take down notices and run link audits for you.
Recovering from Penguin is a Business Decision
You don’t have to pay anyone to fix your Penguin problem. You don’t have to wait for Google to fix your Penguin problem. You can fix your problem for less than $25 in most cases.
It’s a business decision and, in my opinion, it’s a decision that — as a business owner — I would not hesitate to make. If it meant the difference between continuing to be blacked out in the search results or being found in the search results, I would choose the latter. Why on Earth would any reasonable business owner, especially one with a family and employees and their employees families depending on that decision, choose to wait for Google to do something magical?
When the Penguin algorithm comes, all it will do is change the balance of your negative and positive link credit for you. Some sites will see the long-promised growth in traffic because they have been earning natural links since then (or their link spam has improved). But all of those sites could have been enjoying that traffic over a year ago.
How to Fix a Penguin Penalty Instantly
Move all your content to a new domain name. Redirect nothing from the old domain to the new domain. Your Penguin problem is solved.
The Penguin algorithm is either looking at your spammy on-page keyword stuffing (you should stop doing that) or it is looking at the links you bought, swapped, or illegitimately acquired with spammy SEO tools (or service providers).
You have wasted 18 months of your life, your family’s lives, your employees’ lives by waiting for Google to update Penguin and by sending out completely unnecessary link take down notices. You have been disavowing good Websites with bad Websites. You have done everything wrong from the start.
Now is the time to start doing the right thing.
You don’t need that domain name nearly as much as you need to build your business. If your domain is worth that much good will then Google’s search referral traffic is not your lifeblood.
Get rid of the poisoned domain name and put all the excuses, the bitterness, the anxiety and uncertainty, and all the bad SEO practices behind you.
You Can Keep The Old Domain Name
What’s sad is that you have options. You can register a new domain name and put the old one into mothballs, letting it go unused for a few years. You will be able to return to it one day in the future if you just wait it out. Keep the registration active.
A lot of companies have done exactly this. They moved on. They are not trapped in the Penguin Zone, unable to get out.
You can also move your content to a subdomain on your old domain. Do not redirect anything. Do not stop to think about all the badly written SEO case studies that claim to prove subdomains don’t work as well as subfolders. Those case studies were published or promoted by the same people who got you into the Panda and Penguin mess in the first place. If they didn’t know enough about SEO to avoid these avoidable issues, why would you care about their badly written case studies?
Use a subdomain to keep your brand alive. Nearly every major brand in the world has done this at one time or another. Your business is not too big to make a simple change.
Leave Those Old, Toxic Links Alone
Stop disavowing links. Stop paying people to disavow links. Stop running link research tools to find bad links.
There are no carved-in-stone guidelines for identifying links that the Penguin algorithm has decided to treat as negative-value links. There may be some very good people with very good judgment trying to help you, but you could have regained your lost traffic by now if you had just listened to us and moved everything to a new domain or subdomain.
We have been telling people to do this for years. We have heard every excuse in the book. We don’t believe any of those excuses.
We are business owners with brands to protect.
We have families to support.
We have people depending on us.
We have invested years of our lives in building up the reputations of our Websites.
We would not hesitate to walk away from any of our high-value brand domain names if they were hit by the Penguin algorithm. Of course, that’s easy for us to say because we have never had to deal with Google’s Penguin algorithm. But we have, Randy and I, both dealt with many challenging situations in the past. Both of us have given up domain names that, for whatever reasons, just did not work out.
It’s a business decision.
There is no compelling SEO strategy or reason that calls for you to continue living under this shadow.
Even if you could prove that Google will release a new Penguin algorithm that will fix all your troubles within the next 24 hours, you still made a bad business decision to wait for that fix.
Why We Don’t Take on Clients with Penguin Penalties
We don’t like taking money from people who are easily deceived. We don’t consider you to be simple-minded or stupid. It’s, in fact, embedded in human nature that we cling to false ideas and beliefs tenaciously because we don’t know what else to do.
Randy and I don’t want to argue with clients no matter how wrong they may be. If you honestly believe with all your heart that you absolutely have to keep your 15-year-old domain name and you’ll never be able to do business with any other domain again, we cannot help you. You are so emotionally locked into that business decision that there is no SEO plan or strategy or gimmick that can help you.
Good, smart people have run themselves out of business through their inability to let go of all the years of hard work they invested in a single domain name. We cannot magically fix your problems if you cling to them.
We can help you grow traffic for a new domain. We can teach you how NOT to put yourselves into that position again. We can point out the idiocy and inadequacy of all the of Strategy-of-the-Week SEO experts who embrace and promote bad idea after bad idea.
Every company with a Penguin problem that has approached us for help has gotten the same free advice from us in the initial consulting session (the free call where we assess your problem): Get off that toxic domain name.
A few people thanked us for the free advice and followed it. They appear to be doing well now. It cost them nothing but a few minutes of their time, a new domain name registration, and maybe one soul-searching session about what is more important to them: running a successful business or hoping that the magic will come back.
We are not interested in wasting our time with petty, meaningless link research. We don’t want to send out take down notices. We hate putting together unnecessary and unproductive disavow files.
If you want to pay for all that and get nothing in return, go talk to some other SEO providers.
We’re not trying to take your money. We’re not in that kind of consulting business.
Fix your Penguin algorithm problem now. Please. It’s painful to watch so many people going through this unnecessary suffering.
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