Home / Articles  / Google Penguin Update Continues Assault on Black Hat SEO
Home / Articles  / Google Penguin Update Continues Assault on Black Hat SEO
  • Avatar
    James McMinn

    I just had a question about if anyone else has experienced this problem. I have 3 separate sites that are all similar in their makeup. Meaning the number of pages, the SEO tactics used on them and they all have unique content. All sites are on different topics, however 2 of them are doing great after the penguin update and 1 has fallen off of the map. Has anyone else seen this happen. I actually wrote a blog about the Penguin Update myself, that is somewhat related to what I’m talking about. Please respond here or go take a look at what I wrote and let me know if you are experiencing anything like this.

    May 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm Reply
  • Avatar

    James – Consider yourself lucky that you were prepared with three websites and only one fell. I would check for duplicate content and/or over-optimized page titles and meta descriptions on that site. If all other on-page optimization is in order just keep building links but build legit links. You’ll see a recovery then.

    May 4, 2012 at 9:41 pm Reply
  • Avatar
    Ruth Wells

    Thank-you for the guidance but I am scared to tear up my site without for sure knowing what I’ve done to drop out of top rankings I’ve had since 1996.

    Please allow me to post my plea to Google here. I have no other way to reach them than through sites like yours. Thank-you.

    Dear Google,

    I feel like my life is ending because I am about to lose my life’s work. All because of you. All because of Penguin. Before my site and I disappear, I want you to know about me and my site (, and to show you the human destruction and damage that your Penguin update is inadvertently causing.

    I am not a spammer. I teach teachers how to work with troubled and abused children. My work can save children’s lives or prevent a school shooting. It has been my life’s work since 1989, but I may soon lose it all because of you. While I still rank highly on Bing and Yahoo, since Penguin, my traffic is off as much as 80%, and sales are off by a staggering 100%. I was in the top few listings for words like “teacher workshop,” “school posters,” and “classroom management articles”, but since Penguin, many spam sites featuring content stolen from my site, rank far higher on many of my keywords than I do. My site keywords have gone from first page to >100.

    Prior to Penguin, my business was thriving. Now, when my family and friends express shock when they hear I am contemplating closing my business. I tell them about Penguin, and they say “Well, just ask Google what you’ve done wrong so you can fix it.” They don’t understand that you control our online lives and livelihoods, and there is no way to ask Google anything. It seems to me, Google, that you are a mean, arrogant bully that gets to decide my fate, and I have no say in it.

    Repeated posts on this forum have yielded dozens and dozens of guesses at what I have done to deserve the Penguin death penalty. I have no idea how or what to fix as there are apparently so many choices. I don’t just want to rip apart a perfectly well-functioning site and then have guessed wrong about what was the problem. Google, I wish you would just tell me exatly what I’ve done wrong, and I would immediately fix it. I can think of no other entity that wields such great power yet isn’t accountable to anyone, and doesn’t even have to explain itself. It’s like the electric company suddenly cutting off my electricity, even though the electric company is the only electricity provider around. Even worse, I can’t get my power restored because the electric company won’t tell me precisely what I did wrong or how to fix it. I’m just cut off– potentially forever. Does that seem right or fair to you?

    I am a just counselor and educator in Oregon. I am not an SEO expert. I built my site almost completely by myself beginning in 1996, and I try to keep up with your guidelines. I never asked low quality sites (like sites on hemorrhoids) to post hundreds of links to my site. I never wanted anyone to steal my content and rank higher than I do for my keywords. I never meant to do anything to break your rules and I fixed every rule violation that is in my power to readily fix, yet you leave me at >100 on all my keywords that my site used to rank on Page 1.

    Google, if you could see me in my little office, you would see a broken woman, a woman fighting back tears at the thought of turning off phones that no longer ring. You’d see a woman close to sobbing at the prospect of closing a website that since Penguin, no one can find to visit. You’d see a frightened, desperate woman who wonders what she will do without her mission, her income, her life’s work. And, I am just one of thousands and thousands of people who are not spammers but people whose life work you are accidently destroying.

    Google, please rescind the Penguin update today before sites like mine cease to exist any longer. At the very least, you must offer webmasters precise specifics on how to immediately correct identifiable (not cross-myfingers-hope-I-guess-right) violations. You have so much power over the lives of people like me. Please use that power properly. You must recind or adjust Penguin. If you fail to make a correction, then you must realize that when resources and sites like mine disappear forever, you are ruining the very fabric of the internet.

    I hope other people from will post here to show you how your automated Penguin update is leaving a trail of ruined human lives and devastating human destruction.

    May 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm Reply
    • Avatar
      Grant Simmons

      Hey Ruth

      Sorry to hear that you were affected by the Penguin update, taking a quick look at your site it seems to offer quality content and information.

      It’s been a few weeks, have you seen your rankings and traffic return?

      If not, please reach out directly to me and I’ll be happy to provide a free review to see what might be the issue.

      There are no guarantees in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but there are often clues as to why Google might see your site as potentially violating their guidelines or providing a less than optimal user experience that Google feels won’t match a users intent and satisfaction to the website content and user engagement.

      You can reach me at grant @ – let’s see if we can get you back on track and helping our teachers teach!!



      May 31, 2012 at 8:46 pm Reply
  • Avatar
    Brandon Moeller

    Ruth: If the Google Penguin smashes all your dreams into smithereens; you need to refine your dreams. Hire someone to help you if you can’t do it yourself. If you’re still doing the same thing you were doing in 1996; I’m going to have to say you’re doing it wrong.

    May 11, 2012 at 7:21 am Reply
Post a Comment

Find out how we can grow your business