Penguin 2.1- Fight Back

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According to Mutt Cutts Penguin 2.1 effected only 1% of search queries. But if I go by the data, I have in my serpbook , I see it has effected at least 10% of search queries.

As I wrote in my last post ( read here ) , Its hard to conclude that whats working now and whats not, with just few case studies. So today I decided to start off a new post about recovery from penguin 2.1. Lets see how it comes out.




Some Brief about the Site:

  • Domain Creation Date:  2013-07-28
  • Main Keyword: 65863  Exact Match ( Quite a popular Niche)
  • Other Keywords( total 6):  From 2749 to 9456 Exact Match ( Avg. 4339.8 Exact match per query)
  • It was a  xEMD.COM

I put 100% original content ( informative as well) on the home page and made other pages contact us/Testimonial etc etc. The site was ready for promotion in 2 day. On a rough estimate, It was ready for the blast on 31st July.

What Type of back links I did:

I did some direct links including web 2.0 ( 2 original articles for 20 web 2.0 submissions + Spinning)
Some direct article links ( manual + automated)
Some profiles Links
SB Wire Press Release
50 top site Bookmarks
10 Yahoo Answers
40 Press Release links

Every thing was spread out for drip feed. So it took me 30 days to completed all these stuff. I wanted Google to give at least 15 days to grasp those links.

Results and $$$ Period:

I did not expect the results to come out so fast. In fact It look  like this before penguin 2.1

Ranking before penguin 2.1-1

And the Link profile look like this:

test site


Penguin 2.1: The Impact:

  • The main keyword Jumped from #1 to #60.
  • Other Keywords from First page to 3rd Page.


Penguin 2.1: The Fight Back:

Before planning for the fight back. I searched my main keyword on google and got the back links from ahref for each of them. Here is goes:


Site #1:

site at 1



Site #2:

site at 2



Site #3:

site at 3



Site #4:


site at 4



Site #5:

site at 5


Domain Age:


Site#1: Creation date: 2012.07.23

Site#2: Creation Date:   2012-08-09

Site#3: Creation Date:   2013-07-25

Site#4: Creation Date: 2000-03-14

Site#5: Creation Date: 2012-12-07


 Summing It Up:

RankingTotal Back LinksReferring Domainstotal Social SignalsDomain Age(Months)
Site #110828062.5
Site #2111980014
Site #3270057622.5
Site #4220001500444162
Site #549142710

 Important Points:

Apart from above mentioned points, I also had a look at “Anchor Text” Profiles of the above 5 sites. Here are some points worth mentioning.

  1.  First Two sites are ranking only though Social Signals. They dont have any single Excat or Partial match keyword.
  2. Third site has 85% of anchor text as Excat Anchor. I think this one wont held the position for a long time. So I skip it.
  3. Forth site has the advantage of being oldest site in the group. And one of its “Internal Page” is ranking. The anchor text diversity is something I would call “Awesome”. It has a great combination of “Exact”, “Partial” matching keywords along with Non relevant texts like “Click here”.
  4. I am still not sure what this 5th site has got in it. Almost 0 Social signals and very few back links and ranking at #5.


 Action Plan: Target Recovery Time: 4-6 Weeks


  1. Based on the above mentioned points, the site ( the test site) falls into a site which is very new. And as we can see, the #1 site which is totally new, has got 2k+ Social Signals. So Social signals would be the first step as the recovery process.
  2. The second step would definitely go to Deleting Bad Links. As We can see the #1 AND #2 site dont need a lots of back links to rank for this term.
  3. The Third step would be Disavowing certain links which could not be deleted.


1st Week : 15th to 22nd Oct:

Okay as per the recovery plan, I am planning to drip feed social signals including G+, Facebook Share, Twitter etc etc.

Here are the ranking for today 15th Oct:


15th Oct


Lets see how it goes 🙂


2nd Week : 23rd to 30th Oct:

So the first week ended in creating some social signals for the test site. Here’s the screenshot of the back links as seen by Ahrefs.

first week


As you can see the social count has increased to 722 from 6. Still its way less than the sites ranking at #1 and #2. So I would opt for around 1k-1.5k to More social signals to get near the #1 and #2 sites.

Apart from social signals, I will filter out the bad back links ( Yes I know its hard work to filter them) and try to get them deleted ( Not disavowed).

Here are the ranking improvement so far after 1st week work (scrapbook changed the sequence of  the keywords so dont compare it to the last screen shot)


ranking after 1st week


There’s a slight improvement in the ranking.  Stay tuned for next week.


3rd Week : 8th Nov to 15th Nov:

It was a festival season here in India so I could not Update the post. I should have worked from 1st to 8th Nov as third week but It did not happen.

So here are the updates as of now:

1. I did filter out all the bad links and deleted them as many as possible.

2. I was supposed to get some social signals but I could not.

Here is the back link profile as of Today:

Second Week


Important Point:

As you can see the back link count has decreased from 1.3k to 1.2k and so as the referring domain. I have seen some positive movement in the ranking ( Good Sign 🙂  ) Here’s the movement this week:

ranking after 2nd week


Here’s the plan for the coming week:

  • Disavow all the bad links which I could not delete.
  • Get some social signals preferably Twitter and FB Shares.
  • Send Google a reconsideration request.

as I can see the ranking is improving after deleting links. But I cant control all the links so I have to go with “Disavow” thing. Lets see how it goes.


4th Week : 16th Nov to 23rd Nov:

This is what I did in the week:

  • I disavowed all the back links which I could not delete in last week.
  • Sent a reconsideration request though Google Webmaster Tools
  • Built some more Social signals for FB And Twitter


I waited for the reply from Google side but It did not come. There was no improvement in Ranking as well.  I have no plan to wait for yet another week before I do something about it.


5th Week : 24th Nov to 1st Dec Nov:


I got a reply from Google web master team. Which Read this:



I had no option to disavow those two links and submit a reconsideration request to Google again. I did that in best manner. I did not plan any link building or social activity for the next week. Just Wait…


6th Week : 2nd Dec  to 9th Dec Nov:

As I would expect, it was the time for hard work to pay off. I checked the message from Google Webmaster tool which Read like this on 8th Dec:




so Guys, I think I did it. I recovered a site from Penguin 2.1 ( + GMT Spam action). As you know things at Google are not so easy and fast and it took me 6 weeks to recover the site. Fruit was on its way as normally It takes 2 weeks in seeing the Impact of Google Webmaster tools message. So I decided to wait for another two weeks from now…Before I can put those $$$ Screenshot from that PPD site.




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