How to Identify What Algorithmic Update or Penalty Your Website Has Been Hit By

The Head of Search James Owen talks through how the Click Intelligence SEO Team can identify what algorithmic update or penalty your website has been hit by.


Additional Resources:

Moz Algorithm History

Search Metrics



Hi everyone and welcome to the first ever edition of Click Intelligence Notebook. This week, I want to talk about how to identify what algorithmic update or penalty your website's been hit by and the steps to identify a root cause. Now, we get quite a few emails and phone calls on a weekly basis from business and website owners coming to us for advice and help, as they've seen a loss in either rankings, traffic or leads. They want guidance to help them in terms of fixing there issue. As we get so many phone calls on a weekly basis I think it's about time we do a video-- a very quick video on how we go through to identify what sort of penalty or update the site's been hit by.

So to start with, we use a site called "searchmetrics" which is there. And what we do is we type in the URL and then we select what local is-- it could be .net, .com, .au, .fr, .it-- whatever it might be and then go-- and then click on go. We go and give them this amount of information. I sort of-- I should click on SOV and it let's you bring this nice organic search visibility. And what's most interesting is based on the SEO visibility score, which is here. This one is climbed four; it was actually this website here was twenty-five thousand. After they were hit by a update they went down to like five thousand.

So search metrics, what they do is they go in crawl web in terms of Google. They produce millions of keywords, identify what websites I should rank for each keyword now then I can know what the general impression share is for that keyword and for that certain position and times that by multiply that by the amount of traffic available for that keyword and then you get generally your SEO visibility score. That's a very basic sort of mathematical equation.

Now, it’s not about the SEO visibility score but more about actually graphing and the trend. We see here up and down and down. And it shows up and straight way down after that. Now, this is a typical scenario where a site has been hit by what is called a Google Penguin Update. Now Google Penguin is evaluating you backlink profile. The Google Penguin update is looking for patterns in the backlink profile such as sitewide links and exact anchor text and other spammy link building techniques

And on the fifth of ninth twenty first seen you and I've not seen by twenty six it had dwindled down. Now I know for a fact on the twenty-second of May, 2013, there was an update on Google Penguin. I know this because I use a site called "moz" they actually create a page on their website called Google Algorithm change history. And you just scroll down to May and just to -- there you go-- Penguin 2.0 version 4, okay?

We've got of a few of our links there to our industry website with the information resource. Again, this webpage is really helpful: it gives you all the updates. It should be very helpful for anyone who been hit by a Google update can work out exactly what it is and give you bit more information in terms of how you might want to fix it, you can start your research from there.

Now, we know that the site is has been hit by a Google Penguin Update. For that reason, we go and have a look at the backlinks. Let’s go and take a look at the backlinks using Aherfs, we're looking at exact match anchor text and sitewide links which hallmarks of a back profile which could be hit by Google Penguin. The exact match looks pretty branded, looks pretty normal which is helpful. So the other things I'll look at is if it's got any links from, larger portion of links from off Russian sites, Asian domain TLD’s which would make sense. Well it's .com and that's pretty natural, that's fine.

Then we take a look at the number of no follow links. That actual whole backlink profile they get one hundred and ninety six thousand links and only two thousand or so two thousand and thirty four are actually no follow. So, that's fine if it is like between ten/ fifteen maybe twenty thousand links then I'd be more concerned if I should be going out there and actually building no follow links. We'll build links that way that we're aware of that's pretty most of the comment spam. Fortunately, it's on a small number of sites which looks okay. Next thing we're going to look at is sitewide, something big going on there, you know the whole thing is a hundred and ninety four thousand-- actually about hundred and sixty four thousand are sitewide links only thirty one thousand are actually proper links that are not sitewide.

So, that sort of links sends alarm bells here. So we just click on that and see what's going on. Again one of who I might also look at is actually a sort of link maybe seven fifteen links per domain-- that would be okay. We might be able to work on that. What we don't want is have lots of links from handful domains of such huge number hundred and sixty four thousand. For that anything really over a hundred is pointing to scam and needs a decent clean up. Let's have a quick look. Let's see if it's over a hundred unique linking domains, It's not as easy so that could potentially be problematic potentially. We'd have look into that in more detail. Then we would as a team internally we'll take a look at the sites, what sort of sites they are looking for again any sort of Russian domains be okay which Japanese could be completely natural; it looks okay to me. Again, we're looking behind text; what page it's sort of linking to. It looks like a mixture in there yeah sort of a mix bag potentially it could be important to our links that's-- it could be a very easy fix in terms of finding what the solution is. Let's have a quick look at top pages. So we got some freer ones down there. Interesting, okay.

So, yeah as a team we'll look down here anything looks real weird, basic rule of thumb is make sure your homepage is still getting the most links. Post your internal pages. If you-- that's why my old strategy back in the day was always make sure you build all your site links to your homepage and not to your internal pages because you have no control over site links. You buy it from blogs, you have a hundred pages. Next month you might have two hundred pages and you've got a hundred links to your internal pages. So, but it seems here that you haven't done that, which is fine, Obviously next stage after this is actually single them out and actually work out what pages or site links is she going to as you saw before there was a few term pages. The rest is interesting.

Okay, do you follow? That's fine actually, that's completely cool. So it seems sensible. Of course you can click on this and see if you are getting value from that site? All you can see is that it was backlink in there is just wordpress link. So after this as a team we'll then suggest to a client that we do a full backlink analysis. I will be shooting another video to explain this process.

So, I'm going to leave it there. I'm going to give you lots of links to our resource I've got for a moment and please comment on this video and I hope to catch you guys next week and in a few weeks time. Take care.