What to do when your high-quality content site is hit by Google update?

One of our client sites got hit by the most recent Panda/Payday update. The site is full of high-quality content, yet search traffic dropped to half of what we normally see. Anyone have experience with this? Since our focus with this site really is high-quality content, we've covered most of our bases in terms of best practices, which is why I'm stumped. Perhaps we've got bad links somewhere or something along those lines we aren't aware of? Thanks for any insight! @alexisgrant


I was just talking to one of our team members about this, since some SEO practitioners in our market had clients that ended up wiped off of Google in last December's update. He helped to go in a do a complete audit of backlinks in order to help repair some of the damage done by the other guys.
You should do a thorough sweep of the backlinks and see if any of them were torpedoed by the latest Google update. If so, that might had hobbled your traffic and reputation somewhat. I'd also check your analytics of top referring sites now vs. a time of peak traffic, that might be able to lead you in the right directions as well.
If I can help you more with this, just give me a call.

Answered 10 years ago

The first thing to do is wait a little while. Sometimes ranking losses from G Updates are not permanent. So before changing anything, give it some time to settle (a week or two is sufficient).

The typical SEO strategy is to first identify what the G Update was for (if possible), then examine the site's backlink profile and take action accordingly.

In addition, you'll want to examine the backlink structure of the sites that link to your site.

If those actions do not work, and you must be ranking in G, then this is really troublesome. I'd recommend you contact a SEO professional immediately for an evaluation of the site.

Cheers --


Answered 10 years ago

Hi Alex,

Sorry to hear your client got hit. Unfortunately its impossible to diagnose without taking a deeper look at the site. However a few things to look for:

- Technical Onsite issues - is the site large? In which case it could be being dragged down by onsite issues.
- Advertising - Is the site heavy on advertising?
- "Bad" Links - as you have already mentioned this can be a factor
- You mention the payday update. Is your site in a niche with particularly spammy terms?

In what way was the site hit? Did you see a drop in rankings across the board? Did traffic drop off a cliff? Or was it a more gradual demise?

In some cases we have seen sites "hit by panda/penguin" actually lose visibility due to other sites that linking to them being devalued.

If you are able to share the domain I would be delighted to take a further look for you.

Answered 10 years ago

Thanks for all of these ideas!

A quick update: Our SEO expert seems to think it's because of duplicate content. Ironically and interestingly, it's our syndication partners that are republishing our content -- big outlets like AOLJobs, Business Insider, Chicago Tribune, etc. -- but it looks like Google thinks we're the republisher rather than the content creator because those outlets are bigger. We're now taking steps to move away from allowing big outlets to republish our content!

Answered 10 years ago

If the content is of high quality, there can be only 2 possible reasons on high level - #1. duplicate content or multiple thin pages within site and #2. Bad link profile. As you have pointed out, there are other sites republishing your content - but that's not termed as duplication (it's a case of syndication, which is perfectly normal). There are few things you should take care of while doing syndication - like using nofollow backlinks, referring to source etc. I have been helping clients successfully recover their sites for quiet a long time now and have never seen syndication as an issue. So if you want me to take a look, feel free to schedule a call and I'll take a look.

Answered 10 years ago

My advice is that you should relax. If your site has been affected by Google updates, it's possible your site may recover within the first five days of an announced algorithm update.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 4 years ago

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