Welcome back, Rankers. We’re in December. It’s Christmas. Put the Christmas tree up. Put the lights up. All that great Christmas stuff you can do. As it happens, Google’s got a Christmas present for you as well. You might like it, and then again you might not. Some of you are going to love this Christmas present. Others, it’ll be like a lump of coal.
Basically, a Penguin update’s coming. Seven days ago Gary Illyes announced…I’ve been practicing saying his name. Hopefully, I’ll get it right this time. He announced, let me just bring that over onto the right screen, right here, there it is, that it will be an update to the algorithm. The new iteration will be real time, which is a huge change, a huge change. He’s talking about Google Penguin there.
Google Penguin was something that was brought out in 2012. ANZAC Day, the exact date’s 25th of April 2012, from memory. That’s when it hit here anyway. Basically, it’s a part of Google that they put this over the top, if you like, of their algorithm. It’s not running real time. It’s something that they oh we better throw the Penguin switch again. Flush out all the spammers. Okay, switch it off. That’s what they do basically.
This new change is going to be real time. The problem that you can have if you’ve been hit by Penguin is that you might have to wait. Even when you clean up all the spammy backlinks, you might have to wait six months to a year until Google pulls the lever again and it sees that you’ve gotten rid of all those backlinks. Come on in, you can have your rankings back now if you’re still in business.
Google has a habit of doing these algorithm changes around Christmas. I don’t know why. They’ve said that this one, this huge change, is going to happen some time in 2015. We’ve got four weeks left. One, I think it was a Panda update, was done sort of Christmas Eve. We saw one happen. We saw a lot of businesses get hit hard at the time of year when it’s most important for them not to get hit hard, especially for e-commerce sites.
What should you do? Because it’s going real time, that’s actually a good thing. If you’ve been doing any spammy back linking over the last year, you’re going to get smashed by this Penguin. You’re going to lose rankings right around the time when you most need them. What should you do? You should basically go and find out all your spammy backlinks and get a disavow file up there as soon as you possibly can.
The other part of the good news is because it’s real time when it hits, if you get smashed you can still go and do this. But you’re going to have a period of time when you’re going to be losing traffic until Google realizes that you’ve gotten rid of the spammy backlinks. The thing is we don’t know right now how real time this is going to be. Is it 24 hours? Is it a week? Is it an hour? If I do it today, if I do a disavow, will that get it? We don’t know. What you should do is get the disavow completed now. Our main back linking activity is cleaning up other SEO’s spammy backlinks. This is what we do.
A couple of ways you can find out your spammy backlinks. First of all, I would go into Google Search Console, formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools. Can I stop saying that yet? I’d like to stop saying that. Can we just call it Google Search Console now? Is that okay? Everyone knows now, right? Cool. Google Search Console, I can’t even say it anymore.
If you go into search traffic links to your site, you’ll see a couple of different areas there. You will see who links the most, your most linked content. These are the domains that are linking the most. These are the pages that are getting linked to the most. This is how is your data linked. This is like the anchor text, if you like.
I would normally go into here, into who links the most so you can get the actual domains. Then, you can see this is a site that we sponsor, Yellow Pages, YouTube, Google, a few sites, a few forums I belong to, SmartCompany, a great Australian news site. Anyway, a whole bunch. I don’t even know what seomarketing.tv is. I might have to check out that one. That’s new. I don’t know what that is. Hopefully, it’s just someone scraping the videos and they’re linking back to the site. Awesome, I am on that, unless it’s a horrible, horrible site that I don’t want backlinks from, then I’ll disavow.
You can also then just go and download the latest links as a CSV. That will give you the date that Google found the link. You can then go and have a look at all those and decide whether you want to keep those links or not. If you think there’s a bunch in there that are spammy and you know that they’re spammy and they’ve been set up for that reason, go and do a disavow. You’ll need that spreadsheet that you just downloaded from Google.
Just Google ‘disavow backlinks’, if you could spell it right. It doesn’t matter because Google knows what you meant. You get the disavow tool. It’s part of the Google Search Console that is under the directory of Webmaster Tools. Don’t you love consistency? Okay, I want to disavow some links. I’ll click on that button there. It takes me into the Search Console. Warning, warning, warning, but I still want to do it. Then, I can upload a file. I’ve got it formatted the right way. It’s a pretty easy format to do it. I’ll put that in the blog post, how you format that, at stewartmedia.com.au.
Get that done. Typically, we do this on a regular basis. We’re constantly monitoring new backlinks that are getting picked up. You can use another tool like Majestic. It’s a paid tool, though. The Google Search Console one is a free one, but this is a paid tool. You can use this. It will give you a different set of links. It might give you some links that Google isn’t reporting on yet, but it may in the future. You might want to use a tool like that as well to create that file and get the disavow done.
Typically, it can take, well, until the next time Google does a Penguin update is how long it will take to get any joy, I guess, or love from submitting that disavow and saying, “Oh I’ve confessed, I’ve recanted, please Google,” and lay yourself at the mercy of Google. You’ve got four weeks now, probably less. Gary Illyes is on holidays until January 3rd. He’s not part of the Penguin team anyway. He’s, like, the guy who’s talking about web search spam. He’s saying it’s going to happen before Christmas. Knowing Google, it’ll probably be released at the most inappropriate time. So I’m thinking Christmas Eve maybe.
Get it done now, because if you don’t get it done now…I know you’re busy with your business right now. I get that. I get it’s the busy season. But take five minutes. Do this, because if this release comes out and you don’t find out that for 48 hours because you’re focused on other things within your business, it’s potentially 48 hours worth of sales you’re going to lose.
Hopefully, that’s helpful. We’ll see you next week. Thanks very much. Bye.