Saturday, May 26, 2012

What happened to my page rank? Google Penguin

The Google Penguin Algorithm swallowed up
the page ranks of several websites

If your website has lost a significant number of page views and dropped in page rank over the last week, then the Google Panda and Penguin algorithm updates are the culprits.  Google changed their algorithm once again and turned the SEO world upside down.   My page hits from Google on my Hubpages blog dried up completely and my page rank is now irrelevant.  I was at 200 views a day on my P90X story, but now I am down to about 20 views a day on my entire blog.  I am lucky to get 5 of my views from Google searches.   It seems that the whole Hubpages community has been pushed way down the page rankings by this Google algorithm update. 

No one knows exactly why Google decided to hammer the page ranking of certain websites, but there is plenty of speculation regarding the way that Google has “leveled the playing field”.  Some Google owned sites may or may not benefit from the penguin update.   I did a few Google searches and I don’t see any reason to believe that Google is punishing their completion.  Yahoo, one of Google’s main competitors, was even on the first page for one of my Google searches.   The Penguin algorithm update was designed to punish spammy websites and promote high quality, high content based websites.  Let’s face it, blogging sites are kind of spammy.  If I want a source for information, I can’t rely on a blogger.  I want a news source.  I’m not saying that bloggers pump out false information (even though some do), because I know that most bloggers value their readers and their reputations as writers.  What I am saying is that when I am searching Google, I want to be 100% sure that the information that I am getting is correct.  Sites like the Mayo Clinic should not be ranked below Granny’s medical advice just because Granny knows how to stuff keywords.     It is a shame that good content provided by bloggers is being punished due to this correction, but as an internet user I value quality internet searches as much as the next guy.  It seems that blog hosting sites like Hubpages need to clean up their act in order to gain favor with the Google algorithm again. 

The Google Monopoly can pick winners
and losers through page rankings
Blogger doesn’t appear to be negatively affected from the Google Penguin update… yet.   My Google page rankings do not seem to be falling on my Blogspot account at all.  Maybe I shouldn’t rock the boat, but I am just stating the facts here.  My blogger account is not controlled by a company that is dedicated to increasing page views or Google page ranks like some of the other blog hosting sites out there.  Maybe that is why there hasn’t been a negative impact on my Blogspot rankings while my Hubpages rankings are nonexistent.  I will be extra careful with any search engine optimization in the future now that the consequences of over optimization are clear.  This Google correction is hard on a lot of people that have focused on SEO for their businesses and livelihood only to be smacked down the page rankings by the monopoly that is Google.   I know there are search engines like Bing, Yahoo and Ask that are competitors to Google.  But really they are not competition.  Google controls 90% of the world market and 66% of the US market for search engines.  Google is the undisputed king of the internet.  What Google says goes.  If you want your information to be seen, then you had better know how Google is ranking pages and what you need to do to maximize your exposure.  It is cute that Bing came out with tips to diversify your SEO by focusing on them, but we are still at Google’s mercy when it comes to page views and page rank.

If you lost page views or page rank from the Penguin or Panda Google algorithm updates then here is what you need to focus on according to Google:
1. Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
2. Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.
3. Don’t send automated queries to Google.
4. Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.
5. Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
6. Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.
7. Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
8. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.

I don’t remember doing any of these things with my Hubpages account, but maybe the developers of Hubpages did something that Google did not like.  My Hubpages shut down could be a correction of some of Hubpages high Google rankings in the past.  Or, it could just be an oversight by the algorithm that will be corrected soon.  I am hoping for the later, or that the Hubpages developers will get things sorted out for its users.  My blog is not that well known, but some people have years of work and their living wrapped up in their blogs.  If they can not get Google views they will suffer immeasurably.  We will have to wait and see how everything works out.    The best tips that I have heard to succeed on the internet is to produce quality content and write on a .com, .org .net etc. website that is not a subdomain of a larger company.  Good luck with the Google Panda and Penguin king makers, may they grant you plenty of page views and high page rank in the future.