I read a wonderful study on SEO Nitro by Dori Friend entitled Panda/Penguin Case Study Analysis.
She began by saying, “I have been asked a lot about what I think about the state of SEO, what others are saying about it, and if I think blog networks have a future.
“And of course I do! Now more than ever. Google proved that by the massive de-indexing they did to the public ones. And, I am not alone on that thought.”
She went on to share who else agrees with her and what they have to say on the matter.
“Blog networks still work just like they did before. Google would not have gone to all that trouble to find and de-index them if they were not still effective. My suggestion is to use smaller private networks but if you want to use the larger public ones then pointing them to your tier one sites is probably a good idea.”
“But Private Blog Networks are still alive and they work like a charm, all you need to do is build one for yourself and use it properly.”
“Being in contact with a few people who own small private blog networks, that is, they are the sole proprietor of the network and only they use it, all of them have reported that none of their blogs have been de-indexed and the link juice is still passing along to their sites. It leads me to think that perhaps Google isn’t that clever at spotting blog networks after all.”
The next question Dori posed was, “What do we do now?”
Well in all reality, Penguin and Panda hit us very recently so it is very difficult to determine what we do now. No one really knows. There are guesses, speculations and experiments, but the truth is, we simply don’t know…
Dori shared a story from a little over a year ago that involved JCPenny. You may recall that JCPenny was in many #1 spots in the search rankings. This brought them to the attention of New York Times and to Google’s radar. This is when Google put a focus on duplicate content and created an algorithm to better ensure quality content on sites. Dori wrote a post describing all of this last year and summarized after saying, “And of course that was the Panda 1.0 update and the Article Networks were hit HARD! The SEO community divided on the use of posting articles as a SEO benefit.”
Dori said, “One year later, the SEO community is taking another beating almost to the day! This time it is blog networks taking the brunt of the hit as everyone turn themselves in when Google sent out those dreaded “Un-naturally Linking” emails into webmasters inboxes. We need to remember that THIS is the nature of SEO and not to panic, blame or react until the dust settles.”
Here is the rundown of the updates Google has applied this year.
Jan-Feb, 2012 Unnatural Linking Emails from Google
Jan 19th New Layout Improvement Update
Feb 29th Panda 3.3 Refresh! WOW!
March 10th Notice more sites getting de-indexed
March 15th Matt Cutts confirms on twitter that blog networks are on the radar
March 20th BuildMyRank closes its doors calling it a good run
March 23th Panda 3.4 Refresh
April 18th Negative SEO Case Study Revealed on Traffic Planet
April 19th Panda 3.5 Refresh
April 24th Penguin
April-Present The aftermath- Outrage, reviews, analysis and gossip
Dori shares with us 5 lessons we can learn from this Google change. Remember, the dust hasn’t settled so don’t react prematurely.
Lesson #1 Déjà vu right?
Lesson #2 Don’t Panic!
Lesson #3 Low Value Sites Make Up the Majority of the Internet
Lesson #4 Market/Keyword Sensitivity
Lesson #5 Link Brand it!
According to Dori the over-all lesson learned is that Google is going to make their changes, but we just need to do our best to adjust as the punches come.