I haven’t been blogging a whole lot or posting any new SEO insights, but after checking my Google Webmaster Tools account for this site this week, I noticed that I had sharply declined in overall site impressions. I thought I’d share why I believe that Google’s Penguin 4 update on May 22nd impacted me.

Google Penguin 4 Update - Impact on SEO Visibility (Impressions)

Google Penguin 4 Update – Impact on SEO Visibility (Impressions)

The only types of links I have built to this site are:

  • Commenting on other marketing/SEO blogs (real comments, not spam).
  • Links from my various social profiles (Google+, Twitter, Facebook, etc.).
  • Sitewide links in the sidebar of one of my other properties.

Here’s a brief snapshot of the keywords I lost visibility for:

Google Penguin 4 Update Impact - Keyword Impressions

Google Penguin 4 Update Impact – Keyword Impressions

It looks like most are closely related to the sitewide link that I had on my other (unrelated topic) website. The anchor text I had used was “phoenix seo consultant” btw. Nearly every keyword phrase that included “seo”, “search engine optimization”, “consultant” and “phoenix” were impacted.

I went ahead and nofollowed those sitewide links today and will monitor the impact going forward; hopefully the Penguin 4 penalty I appear to have been hit with will be cleared & I’ll get some rankings back.

For those that think I was spamming, etc., I certainly was not… I use this site mostly for reputation management & to test SEO strategies. If the test works out, it looks like I can help show evidence that sitewide/blogroll links can impact your SEO visibility via related keyword rankings.

Update 8/5/13: I saw a slight improvement in visibility shortly after modifying the sitewide links to nofollow, but have not recovered to the extent I had hoped. I’m not totally convinced that Google has recognized all the nofollowed links at this point, but I’m going to try modifying one other element that may be impacting me. In this site’s footer, I used a target anchor text pointing to my resume page – I’ve now updated that anchor to simply be “view resume”. Another update will be posted in a few weeks so stay tuned.

Post Comments