Recent Google Changes – Were You Affected?

In our attempt to stay focused we have been avoiding hanging out at forums, blogs and the like because it is so easy to get sidetracked. However, it can mean that we might miss things and one of these was the recent Google changes. We had no idea it even happened until someone emailed us about it. As it is it didn’t affect us – we haven’t noticed any decrease in traffic and our rankings seem to be in place….that assumes that Google is finished with their little dance of course.

The whole point of this change according to Google was:

“designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on”.

Matt Cutt’s (Google Engineer) has gone on to add that:

“The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content.”

I would love to see the end of scraper sites but my concern here is how does Google know who wrote the original piece of work? I know that in some cases we can write a blog post and within minutes of publishing it another blogger has the entire article posted on their blog word for word.

It’s a shame really that Google has become as big as it has and that we rely on it so much in this industry. When Google makes a change like this to their search engine algorithm big things can happen and it can affect a lot of people and businesses.  In this case, it has hit a lot of the big boys really hard – sites like EzineArticles for instance were one of the hardest hit. And as most of us know, EzineArticles is a site that is relied on heavily by many internet marketers for traffic. So hitting EzineArticles also hits a lot of the smaller guys who are just trying to make a buck.

The flow on effect can be devastating resulting in businesses crashing, people out of work and families struggling to make ends meet. And it might sound like I am over-exaggerating things just a little here but you only have to look at EzineArticles who have lost over 130,000 rankings (according to some sources) to see the massive loss of income that would result from that. Lost income means they may have to cut back and I can’t speak for EzineArticles but generally one of the first things to go in any cutback is staff.

On a personal level, I can see why Google has done this. I know that when I go searching for anything in Google I will ignore sites like EzineArticles, eHow, About.com and Suite101 and similar because I know that it will be rare to find a good quality article from any of those sites. More often than not,  my search results come back with short poorly written articles or articles that really only provide the absolute basics so I don’t even bother clicking on those sites anymore.

Sometimes these sorts of shake-ups can be a good thing, despite the impact it can have. In this case, I think it has been a positive move because it is forcing site owners to clean up their act. There are too many poorly created sites with little valuable content…hey we still have a few of those ourselves but we realized sometime back that they don’t work and we are working to revamp those sites so that they have more value and quality content.

In these sorts of situations, survival of the fittest comes into play. Those who have been hit the hardest will be making the big decisions now whether they need to adjust to meet the changes or whether it is all too hard and give up. EzineArticles has already gone into overdrive by making changes to their submission guidelines .  I can only think that it may take some time for them to bounce back.

What Can We Learn from This?

I think the main thing to take from all of this is that Google is trying to focus on providing high quality search results. That  means that as website owners we have a responsibility to our readers and we need to focus on providing high quality content.

This is something we have been harping on about for months now. We keep trying to instill the importance of providing quality and value to your readers and with these Google changes now in place it is now more important than ever.

It also reinforces why you shouldn’t focus on just one source for backlinks. For those that relied only on EzineArticles for traffic they may be suffering right now. This is why guest blogging is one of the best forms of backlinking. You are not relying on only one website – your links are spread out over many different websites and blogs. Just throw in some commenting, social bookmarking/networking, a press release here and there and you have a nice varied mix of backlinks that Google would be happy with.

Were You Affected by the Google Changes?

Were you affected by the latest Google changes? Please let us know in the comments below.

  • I have an amazon review site and found that I actually jumped up a page after the changes. I also noted that my ezine articles pointing to the site dropped a few in most cases.

    I know the changes caused a big stir in the IM world but it can really only be a good thing to punish unoriginal, low quality content, regardless of the site it’s hosted on.

    It can be very disheartening to see poorly written and or spun content above you in the google rankings. Therefore, I welcome the changes.

    • Paula says:

      I think it was a change that needed to happen.

      I’ve noticed that a few sites that had copied our content have been moved off the front page of Google so yes I welcome the changes too.

  • Missy says:

    Hi, Paula:

    I read somewhere that sites that have been putting out original good quality content, will be rewarded accordingly. And so far, all mine are still where they were before the change and one has moved up a few notches. Yay!

    The only thing I dont get is why Ezine Articles is being accused of copied content. I thought one could only submit original articles there? Am I wrong in this.

    • Articles submitted to Ezine Articles have to be original to you, but not unique to Ezine Articles, so there can be a lot of duplicate content there. Whether that’s the precise problem, we’ll have to wait and see.

      I haven’t had any real change in traffic one way or the other. I guess I’m doing things well enough for now, although a jump up in rankings is always welcome.

  • Both my sites are, fortunately, doing well – I never had a drop in traffic. But lots of legit niche site owners who work very hard on creating quality, evergreen content have been penalized and they’re in a bit of a panic mode.

    Google’s bound to have casualties in this new change and there should be ways for the little guy to be able to get his or her site re-ranked if they got caught up in a mistake. That’s the big thing that worries me as a fellow “little guy”.

    On a side note, I too am relieved that most my links are from guest blog posts, blog comments, forum discussions and other inbound links rather than from article directories. I don’t look to those sites for any value either. I do have some Squidoo lenses, but haven’t checked their rankings lately. They’ve got good content on them too.

    • Paula says:

      I don’t think Squidoo got hit this time. They went through a bit of a clean out sometime back so perhaps that saved them.

  • I have two personal blogs that have down well through this storm. However my other, more “professional” site http://buyproductsfromfrance.com has been pretty much dropped on the searches, so I’m really not happy. Especially since it’s all original content, very relevant and interesting to my audience. I’m really upset about this because I’ve been working very hard to build up SEO traffic and now it’s all gone and I have no idea how it will ever come back. I may as well kill the site…

  • Ian Anderson says:

    Re the original content. I read somewhere that there is a ‘time stamp’ in the code that google can use to determine who provided the content first.

    The ‘farmer’ shakeup seemed to bypass eHow though, and I recon that they were the worst. Certainly if you are looking for an DIY advice, the articles are often just plain wrong! But then what would you expect when these DIY articles are written by paid writers/journalists etc!

    Nothing changed on my stuff, although I notice that my page rank for my blog as gone up to 4! *Chuffed*

    • Paula says:

      A few people around the net have mentioned that eHow should have been hit.

      It would be interesting to see exactly what criteria Google have used to de-rank these sites but as always with Google we probably will never know.

    • Isobel says:

      @Ian, why would you think that paid writers would provide less accurate information that someone writing purely to get a backlink? I would have thought the opposite would be true!

      The most recent eHow articles are copy-edited by professional editors and fact-checked and reference and resources are provided. There are still older articles, written for revenue share, on the site and many of those are inaccurate, I agree, although no more so than articles on EZA. Don’t blame the paid writers for them. eHow does more than Squidoo, for example, to ensure they provide accurate information. They also pay more than any IMers for articles – up to $30 in some cases. I should know – I write for them! :)

      • Ian Anderson says:

        Because it should be about ‘original content’ written by people who are living and breathing that particular topic.

        Not stuff that has been ‘researched’, ie collated from info that is already out there.

        Judging by the eHow articles on plastering for example, the copy editors did a pretty poor job.

        So called ‘content farms’ were deliberately providing shallow overviews of topics that were then cleverly SEO’d to death in order to rank. I just can’t see who benefits from that (apart for the sites owners and writers).

        Obviously I have only seen a minuscule number of eHow pages and I concede that I was unfair to judge all by the same standards. I am sure that your articles are marvelous Isobel :-)

        The experience does make me wary though….

  • Joel says:

    I like to believe Google changes are for good and not just to showoff their authority in the IM world. It won’t be fair to see poor quality sites raking better than high quality sites because they use non-ethical means. If anyone’s site is affected by the latest changes, its time to improvise your site!

    • Paula says:

      That’s right although there are a few people that have been caught up in this change that don’t believe they should. Unfortunately that seems to happen a lot with Google changes.

  • alam says:

    My traffic seem to be stable, my friend who use spun content don’t tell me the effect of new google changes but I guess he is, he start to write original content since 3 days ago :-)

    • Paula says:

      Looks like he was probably hit by the change. I am hoping that this Google change will have this reaction for most people with poor quality sites.

  • Dave says:

    In case you haven’t kept up with the recent goings on, here’s a quick summary of what has taken place in the past couple of weeks:

    1. The internet police (aka Google) announce they have just changed the ‘law’ in order to punish the bad guys (low quality sites) and that their new algorithm (law) has been very successful at improving search results.

    2. The vast majority of onlookers (including the major media) take Google’s pronouncements at face value.

    3. Many of the larger bad guys (content mills like suite101, associatedcontent, articlesbase) take a well-deserved hit – some suffering over 90% reduction in search visibility.

    4. Curiously, eHow (the poster boy for content mills) is not punished – they even enjoy a small rise in traffic and rankings.

    5. An unnervingly large number of good guys are caught in the dragnet as ‘false-positives’. Check out the thread (10 pages long at last check) in Google Webmaster Help Forum: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Webmasters/thread?tid=76830633df82fd8e&hl=en Hundreds of top quality sites report 30 to 90% loss of traffic. Many of these sites claim their webpages are now outranked by pages that have scraped/plagiarised their content.

    Will Google do the right thing and restore justice to the wrongfully accused? Well, it helps to have friends in high places :)

    • Paula says:

      We have one site that has a lot of spun and duplicate content on it. It was one of those donor type sites we used for those backlinking blogging network sites that we tried out some time back.

      First we were amazed that it even got a pagerank although it is only a 1 but I just checked the stats on that site and the traffic volume hasn’t changed since the update. It is still receiving just over 100 visits a day. So I just wonder how Google has worked out this update.

  • Steven says:

    “On a personal level, I can see why Google has done this. I know that when I go searching for anything in Google I will ignore sites like EzineArticles, eHow, About.com and Suite101 and similar because I know that it will be rare to find a good quality article from any of those sites. ”

    So true. I too do the same now that I go back and think of it when I do a search for something. When I see Ezinearticles on a search I’ll consider it general information that lacks in detail even before I even read because I know Ezinearticles was created by people using poor recycled content. Not all but a majority. I wouldn’t consider it a credible source.

  • Dawn says:

    I didn’t notice any change in the first few days after this latest shakeup but about a week down the track experienced increased traffic. Whether that is because of those recent changes or whether it was coincidental -I can’t be sure.

    But whatever the reason, I’m happy. However, I think the writing is on the wall and am going over older pages to be sure the information is current and improving if I can.

    Google wants good content and that is what we must continually strive to give people.

    • Paula says:

      I think you are right when you say ‘the writing is on the wall’. I can only imagine that Google has more up their sleeve .

  • Jan says:

    The changes that are taking place at EZA are rather interesting. They have gone right back to 2006! Mind you, when I look at 2 of the articles I posted way back then, I’m rather glad to get a chance to delete them. I don’t know how far they have gone back after that because that’s back to where I started.

    • Paula says:

      When you say they have gone right back to 2006 what do you mean? Are they actually reassessing old articles to determine whether they should stay or not?

  • Alexis says:

    It’s good you’ve written a blog post about that topic.I did a post in my blog yesterday about it as well. My blog has been a winner in that Google update. I had been struggling to get my pages indexed but after the change most of the pages are now indexed.I’m having traffic from google searches now.
    My personnal point of view is personnal blogs could gain greatly if the content is original.

    • Paula says:

      I agree Alexis, writing original content is so important but not only that, it is important to ensure that the quality is there as well.

  • Ellen says:

    Here is what I can’t help wondering:

    In their zeal for unique content, Google has punished sites such as article directories that have loads of duplicate content. Ok, that is understandable.

    However, when I post a unique article on my site, which may have taken three hours for me to research and write, and seconds later (due to RSS feeds or automated software) that article is now live on dozens of other sites — how on earth can Google figure out which site wrote the article first? They only crawl my site once per day, and they don’t crawl through all of my old pages at each crawl!

    • Paula says:

      Someone mentioned in the comments above that Google can use the timestamp in WordPress to determine who has put a post up first. However, that would be easy to get around. Any scraper site would only need to change the timestamp on scraped content to an earlier date and time and they would win.

  • Chris says:

    I haven’t been able to get traffic to my sites before the change, and after the change, still no traffic. So I can report that I certainly wasn’t affected by the change. :)

    • Paula says:

      LOL – well you had nothing to lose Chris. But seriously traffic is the key to making this work so if you can make that your primary focus for the next few months you will notice amazing changes. I would love to see you make it – you have a nice site there and you’ve got some good reviews up. Just focus on the traffic and nothing else.

  • Mark says:

    Google uses many factors in ranking of pages. And it’s important to note that it’s pages (and so far) not entire domains that were dropped.

    And thus it’s very hard to know how much sites were really hurt and/or helped.

    Ultimately I think good quality wins almost regardless of where it’s posted.

    In terms of IM – there just isn’t any magic fairy dust – it takes hard work and some strategy.

    For example – I think that probably a twist on Amazonian Profit Plan would be to think:
    Guest Post to draw traffic to your site with the goal of not only having people reading the reviews but also joining the mailing list.
    Put together a few articles to use as content for a mailing list
    Use mailing list software to send the content as auto-responder – I don’t have any affiliation with any of them – but MailChimp is now supporting around 2000 subscribers for free. Though you could use AdWeber, ConstantContact as well.
    In the articles in header and footer put links to your review site.

    This has the benefit of not only reducing your dependency upon SEO but also you have a growing list of people who have expressed interest in what you have to say (and thus implicitly sell).

    • Paula says:

      I agree a mailing list is very important. It works well for this site but we have yet to implement it in any big way on our product review sites. We should I know but we know that if we do it is one more task we need to do on a regular basis.

      • Brian says:

        I too have heard the chant – have a mailing list, but like Paula says it is another job or task that needs to be taken care of.

        Mailing lists are popular in the IM world, but I still have a hard time understanding how they would be very useful for some product types. There are some niches that would work ok.

        Now say you have a site for Amazon products, promoting sandals for the beach. Now why would someone really want to join a mailing list when there are just there to buy something once? I’m sure the argument can be made that they may like a coupon or notice of an upcoming sale. Not having tried this with this type of site I real don’t know how well the response who be.

        If you plan to send a coupon or notice of sale then that needs to be entered into the auto responder at the right time. Now you are tied up with a time specific task that may keep you away from trip to the beach yourself.

        For me at this time I don’t plan to use an email list on any Amazon review sites. I would be interested if anyone has used this approach successfully though.

        Have a great day.

        • Paula says:

          My thoughts exactly Brian. I am yet to see how it could work with a product based site like our Amazon sites.

          And I too would definitely be interested in knowing if someone has actually made it work for them.

    • Kelly says:

      I’m going to respectfully disagree with you on your first statement, Mark, regarding individual pages vs. entire sites.

      Besides having a personal blog (linked) and a bunch of IM sites, I write for Associated Content. Up until this month I was a featured travel contributor. I live in Lima, Peru, and wrote original articles based on my experiences here. Every word original. (Yahoo ended the Featured Contributor program as of this month)

      I have seen a drop in traffic of about 75%. Sucks when I’m making money based on my page views.

      I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I find it odd, considering AC was recently purchased by Google competitor Yahoo. Combine that with Google’s recent (accidental?) confession to whitelisting some sites…

  • TJ says:

    My website only has about 10% un-original content. I just hope that that small number of articles won’t make an issue with google. If the search algorithm is just by page, then it should be fine. So far I’ve seen no change in traffic…

    • Paula says:

      I would hope that Google is working this out by page and not by site. Many sites have legitimate duplicate content on a number of pages and it wouldn’t seem fair to penalize the whole site because of it.

  • Excellent post! I agree that overall this is good for marketers that are producing quality content and weed out the spammy, thin content sites. I’m also happy to see Ezine Articles making changes making it a bit harder to publish articles. The harder the entry the less spammy. If you continue producing quality and relevant content for your target market, the traffic will take care of itself.

    Janette Stoll

  • Fran says:

    I was not affected by the Google changes. I’ll be honest and say that Guest Blogging as an option terrfies me. I am an okay writer but writing articles takes me hours and sometimes days until I think everything is in order. Especially if its a topic I have little knowledge in and have to do heavy research. I don’t use a spinner but until now considered it, but not now or ever. I’ve got to find a way to speed things up. But I don’t have enough income yet to pay anyone. It looks like I may not have a choice.
    You girls are great and a valuable source for me. I just started to work the Amazonian Profit Plan and am excited to begin.
    Sorry if I went off topic.

    • Great post, as usual, ladies
      I’m happy to say I’m getting more traffic since the change. It’s still not nearly as high as I’d like, but better and better every day. (Good news because one bone-head move on my part got my site completely dropped out of the rankings during the Christmas season!!)

      Thanks for keeping us up-to-date

      • Paula says:

        That’s excellent that you are getting more traffic Julie but a shame about being knocked out of the Christmas shopping rush. Still you have plenty of time to get ready for the next one. Would you believe we are already in March? Not long and it will be Christmas again.

    • Paula says:

      Guest blogging can be a little scary at the start but it does get easier. Even writing the articles gets easier and easier over time.

  • Rose says:

    My main sites stayed steady – but some of my hubpages dropped. The ones that dropped had no backlinks and were relying on hubpages’ domain strength and internal links to rank.

    My take is that G has reduced the weight it gives internal links on sites it deems as content farms – in other words, they are saying to the farmers, prove that your stuff is of value by showing us your external links. I’m sure lots of the stuff that dropped on Ezine had no external backlinks either.

    • Paula says:

      You could be right there Rose.

      It’s so hard to know what Google is really up to. I would love to be a fly on the wall at Google meetings.

  • JamestheJust says:

    I got hit in my Amazon pocket book – reason being that my wife and I are using HubPages as a testing ground before we build her (and my) site to sell products.

    Much of my $230 from Amazon in January is gone – this last month it was around $50 or so. That’s fine, though – my websites are all in place this time around – and just shows me where I need to concentrate my efforts…

    Um…sorta read that in Amazonian Profit Plan… :)

    Guest posting and Google-proofing are really the best way around it, but until now I’ve relied on article marketing in a big way, blog networks and the like. Will have to see how my next backlinking campaign goes.

    Thanks for letting me post the guest post, by the way – you guys are a pair of real-world heroes, truly inspiring!

    • Paula says:

      We should be thanking you James – it was a great post – I keep reading it again and again and I know many of our readers got a lot out of it as well.

  • Bruce says:

    Was I affected? Kind of, but in a positive way I think.

    I have my fair share of crappy sites, auto blog attempts etc, and all are pretty well dead. They were croaking before the change, so it’s no big deal.

    I do have one rudimentary, but unique content, review site that has the odd sale now & then, except in March already it has more sales than February. Coincidence?

    Maybe the most positive move was to kick start me into doing something with your APP, as it seems all the teachings you have there are pretty much inline with what G wants.

    I was quite surprised at how easy it was to get a site up. It’s amazing what happens when you actually DO something!

    • Paula says:

      It is a good feeling to know that what we have been saying for a while now has been backed up by Google. Quality, value and unique content are more important than ever now.

  • Barefoot Pilgrim says:

    Paula (or maybe it’s Wanda who wrote this — why don’t you guys use a byline?)…

    You wrote “It’s a shame really that Google has become as big as it has and that we rely on it so much in this industry….”

    Your whole paragraph (and the attitude this article communicates) is WAY off base.

    It is NOT a shame that Google has become as big as it is. The shame lies with the lazy web marketers who think they can post worthless content and still get hight rankings. Google’s latest update filters out such junk and duplicate content to make each search more valuable to the searcher. After all, that’s the purpose of a search engine: to uncover VALUABLE web sites/pages with relevant, VALUABLE information.

    The whole point of Google’s update is about filtering for sites with quality content: those sites go to the top of the search results list. Junk content sites (like ezinearticles) get slotted at or near the bottom — or banned altogether.

    Those folks who are using sites like ezinearticles for their site content Sites with high quality content will never be adversely affected by any of Google’s machinations.

    In the end it all comes down to what James Martell, Ken Evoy and a very few others have always maintained: good, HIGH QUALITY content will always win the search engines over.

    As for the folks who’ve been trying to take the” easy way” by scraping content, or duplicating stuff from ezinearticles and the like: they deserve to be penalized. I have absolutely no sympathy for them or their “devastated” businesses and you shouldn’t either.

    If they really want to succeed, then let them work at it like the rest of us by creating valuable, high quality, unique content that a human searcher will find worth reading.

    • Paula says:

      I still stand by the thoughts I made in the post above.

    • Sorry, had to poke fun at the name (because I’m ever so mature)…Uh…hm.

      I agree with the sentiment when you mentioned how people online should be writing quality content, Paula and Wanda are all about it – as am I.

      But – it still IS a shame that Google is as big as Google is. Google is a monopoly, effectively. They don’t own the internet, but in the English speaking world (because China has Baidu, for instance, they’re HUGE), Google just about does – that’s dangerous.

      The internet is NOT Google – we just play by their rules because in essence they own so much of the traffic online that it’s…well…

      A SHAME. It’s good that a business like Google is successful – I love American companies and ingenuity (and I live in Idaho)…but it’s not good when that one entity becomes so powerful that if they sneeze, they then cause earthquakes in their industry – even shaking up plenty of people that played by THEIR rules (AskTheBuilder.com for one).

      Google has a vested interest in making SEO unstable – it forces people to buy their ads – but make no mistake about it, Pilgrim – monopolies aren’t a good thing (for a reason).

      They have too much power in an industry, it’s monolithic power, and it’s not a good thing – it makes a well-paid tyrant who gets to make all the rules for the world. That’s just…ugly.

      Having said that, I’m with you in total agreement regarding the scrapers – they do need to get shaken up (but sadly, they DIDN’T). I guess it depends where you get the news (Warrior Forum is full of happy scrapers right now, all Google did was eliminate their competition).

  • Barefoot Pilgrim says:


    The 6th paragraph of my previous post should have read…

    Those folks who are using sites like ezinearticles for their site content deserve to be penalized. Sites with high quality content will never be adversely affected by any of Google’s machinations.

    … sorry for the omission!

    — Bob

  • Kelly says:

    My personal blog and my IM sites are all fine – no changes that I can see, even on my 5 dozen squidoo lenses.

    However, my articles that I write for Associated Content (all original material on travel) have taken a huge hit, as has everyone else who writes for the site. Whatever the algorithm is, it definitely affected the site across the board, original content or not. I am 100% behind the reasons for Google’s changes, but find it is punishing a lot of the wrong people.

    • Paula says:

      It seems that this Google update has hit a lot of sites that it shouldn’t. I would hope that they are working on refining what they did but who knows with Google.

  • Larry says:

    I’m only at the beginning of this journey so I only have one site. The impact was massive. I was getting more traffic for each review I added. It certainly wasn’t huge but I enjoyed weekly increases for 8 straight weeks. After the change, I went down to 0.

    Interestingly, one day last week all of my rankings returned…for 18 hours. It’s back to 0 now. Strange.

    Since the Google change I’ve made a lot of positive site changes and I have several more ideas. In the end, I’ll have a better site.

    It’s great to see some affiliate sites which weren’t impacted. It means there is light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks everyone.

    • Paula says:

      That’s not good Larry. It could be that you just experienced what most people do when they build new sites. Usually what happens is that you rank nicely for a while and then suddenly your rankings disappear for a while. So it may just be coincidence that it happened at the same time.

      • Larry says:

        It’s certainly possible this is the ‘honeymoon period’ people talk about. The drop in traffic was actually 1-2 days before they announced the algo change.

        I guess time will tell. The only thing I can do is make the site better and be patient. Of course…that will only last so long. ;)

  • Ken says:

    Hello Paula and Wanda,

    Up until about a week ago my product reviews were ranking #1 or first page on Google. I noticed my Amazon sales dropping off, and when I checked google on 3/24 I noticed that most of my articles and product reviews have dropped off. Interestingly, when I ranked well in Google for keywords or review titles, they didn’t rank as well in Yahoo. Now, my articles (which are 100% unique content) are not ranking so well, due to the Google changeI think, they are #1 or first page on Yahoo.

    I am also doing guest blogging on a couple health sites, with high page rank and my articles received several comments.

    Since my articles are still highly visible on the Internet via Yahoo and guest blogging sites should I be worried. Also, how do I petition google to re-rank my site and articles?

    Thanks for all your help and advice.


    • Paula says:

      I get the feeling that it isn’t part of the recent Google changes since they occurred in late February. You would have noticed ranking changes then, unless of course Google are still pushing those changes through.

      How old is your site Ken? If it is relatively new (ie anywhere up to 3 to 6 months old) then this is a common occurence with Google. Your site will be ranking fine and then suddenly drop in the rankings. Most times the rankings return – this can sometimes take a few weeks.

    • Paula says:

      Also if you want to petition Google to get your site reinstated you can do it here:


  • Ken says:

    Hi Paula, Thanks for the reply. My site, http://www.menshealthcures.com has been up for a year. I had no issues in Feb, and actually doubled my Amazon income from Jan. I checked Google Aanalytics, and the sudden drop happened on 3/18. This same thing happened about 9 months ago or so, where I totally dropped off the radar and then about 3 weeks later reappeared. This time I didn’t drop off the radar, but my product reviews dropped from page 1 of Google to 3 or 4. I will watch for a month (as Pro Blogger suggests per one of his posts on the issue) and see if the reviews return before taking more action, such a requesting a review.

    One other quick question. I don’t keyword stuff my articles, but some have 10 or more post tags in WP. Can I be penalized for this by Google, and should I reduce the number of tags? Some say no more than 6-8 tags, while others say as many as you want. What is your take on the proper number of post tags?

    Thanks, Ken

    • Paula says:

      It’s so hard to answer that question confidently Ken because nobody really knows how Google runs their search engine. I wouldn’t think they would penalize based on tags but who knows.

      We generally limit our tags to between 2 and 8. Very rarely do we use more than that.

  • Since my contents are mostly original I think I’m still following Google’s rules. Hopefully I will not affected by site scrapers who copies contents and they are the ones who goes up in the SERP. I was wondering how will Google know if I own the original content but the scrapers have high PR and have more authority than mine?

  • Ashish says:

    Well I would not lie but first blog of mine had poor quality content and even some copy content by but chance that wasnt affected by first panda update but another blogs of mine which did not have copy content were affected but to my badluck my first blog was hit this year by panda update and I had to begin everything from scratch again…

  • Arun says:

    It was a really nice post. Till now with google it was possible to mislead the bot by just keyword stuffing, which I found while searching for SEO. I think its gonna change.

  • shane watson says:

    Thanks for sharing a helpful post about google algorithm changes as the news inflow there is a major change of penguin this month Hope all positions stay well for everyone

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