I don’t know if you’ve ever watched either of the “Happy Feet” movies about a hapless dancing penguin, but it seems Google’s taking a leaf from the popular film franchise, doing a ‘Penguin dance’ all over website rankings this week, confirming their algorithm update on Monday.
Bad News for Software Product Owners relying on download sites as a significant part of their link profile.
Erm… That’ll be me then.
We all know the balance Google has to strike – between ‘good and evil’ the shades of ‘light and dark’ etc., etc. – ensuring that sites with ‘genuine signals’ as to their popularity and theme win out over those simply trying to game the system, but for a whole bunch of software sites (mine included) for whom software download sites figure significantly in their link profile, things just got a little hairy.
And not in a cool, Clooney-chin-stubble kind of way.
Call it collateral damage in the good fight, but early analysis shows the volume of search traffic (following the Penguin update) for my software product sites has dropped by a staggering TWO THIRDS. That’s right – 66% or so less traffic. Overnight. Thank you so much.
Simply put this is likely down to three things:
Thing #1: Google has seemingly ‘significantly devalued’ the links from software download sites pointing back to my site.
Thing #2: These links were possibly too keyword rich (dare I say, ‘too relevant’).
Thing #3: I don’t have enough backlinks outside this penalised set to maintain my ranking (which was a healthy #4 for my target keyword”).
Build Out Your Link Profile. Start Now. Seriously.
And if you don’t have time to do that, get someone to do it for you.
The long and short of it (without getting into the rights and wrongs of my having been penalised, even though the hundreds of links I had, supporting my site’s theme and popularity, were 100% genuine… grrrrrrr) is that I have been thumped by Google’s ‘happy feet’ Penguin dance. And if I want to re-establish my rightful position in the rankings I’m going to have to work doubly hard.
Ironically, yes, this will mean using a whole bunch of tactics to get me back there as quickly as possible.
Hopefully this short lesson will serve to motivate you to check out your own link profile and take preventative measures before you too see traffic dropping off.
And let’s hope Google’s ‘happy feet’ algo updates don’t get any uglier than they already are – Happy Feet I can probably cope with… I would hate if Google went ‘Hulk’ on my ass.