One Year Later, Only 9% Claim Google Penguin Recovery

May 15, 2013 • 8:41 am | comments (24) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google PageRank & Algorithm Updates

Penguins around laptopA few weeks ago was the one year anniversary of the Google Penguin update. As you know, we have not had a Penguin update in well over six months, but we are bracing ourselves for the next big Penguin update coming in the next few weeks.

That being said, in our anniversary post, we asked our readers if they recovered or not. We had just under 500 responses to the poll and I wanted to share the results. Before I do so, in October we did this poll and saw that 94% said they did not recover.

So how about now? Well, it isn't much better. If you remove those who said they were not impacted, only 10% claim they recovered, whereas 90% said in our 2013 poll that they did not recover. Here is the poll results:

Google Penguin 2013 Poll

As you can see, 61% said they did not recover, 18% said they partially recovered and 9% said they fully recovered. 12% said they were not affected anyway.

Again, the next Penguin update may either cause more issues for webmasters and/or may result in some Penguin causalities to start to do better. Time will tell.

Forum discussion continued at Google Webmaster Help.

Disclaimer: Please see my poll disclaimer post before coming to any conclusions on these results.

This story was scheduled to be posted today and was not written today, as I am offline today.

Previous story: Google: More Sophisticated Link Analysis & Link Devaluing In Works


Sam Dogen

05/15/2013 01:20 pm

Good luck to everyone for this update!

Justin Clark

05/15/2013 01:25 pm

Who care.! It is just creating drama for webmasters

Jawad Latif

05/15/2013 01:31 pm

those who lost their business and still trying to find a way out!


05/15/2013 02:36 pm

Considering this next update will factor in the 'Disavow' Tool hopefully we will see more recovery for sites. We will also find our if Google has a heart and allows those that have worked hard to recover or if they were just blowing smoke in the air.... Good Luck To All!


05/15/2013 03:20 pm

Definitely wish good luck to all. This has been a tough last year.

Kevin Gerding

05/15/2013 03:23 pm

The market for negative SEO is growing with many reports of people losing their ranks and finding out that their sites have been blasted with many thousands of links. Some have even lost their hosting because of spam complaints from bloggers. Fake link removal requests are being sent out in bulk too, from what I've read in different forums. I see no good coming out of Penguin as it compels people to harm other websites in an effort to rank their own. And this is what is happening now, which leaves many innocent victims behind.


05/15/2013 09:57 pm

Not only losing rankings! Also losing jobs!!!


05/16/2013 12:09 am

I'm troubled by 9% of supposedly recovered. No way so many can get out of this nasty trap. Maybe they confuse Penguin with the artificial links manual penalty ?


05/16/2013 03:15 am

Sad that it is such a low number but I agree with LaurentB it is probably an over-inflated stat anyway.


05/16/2013 07:07 am

In our agency we had ten clients that came to us after they were penalized with their websites and said "Help us." We could help all of them. It's really a tough job to get those sites out of the penguin filter but its definitely possible. Theres actually no reason for giving up or throwing away burnt sites.

Arun Jaiswal

05/16/2013 11:09 am

those who CLAIM, they get RECOVER from PENGUINE, than They never get HURT from Penguin UPDATE: even once all link get DISALLOW, than All the SERP factor would remove, through which SERP Gained before Penguin update. SO After removal of link and expend time and Money, SERP never Come Back after google Re-consideration request. And it Quite natural Google team do not reposed the Reconsideration request. SO, best Process, Go for NEW Domain, and get copy call the Content from Old domain, and start NEW SEO campaign from SCRATCH, through this Process Best would be visible much Earlier.

Arun Jaiswal

05/16/2013 11:21 am

Very TRUE..FULLY agree... :-)


05/16/2013 12:37 pm


Nicholas Chimonas

05/16/2013 04:10 pm

Interpretation by a sober person: Those claiming to have experienced a recovery from penguin were never hurt by a penguin update to begin with. Once negative links have been disavowed, their former positive influence in the SERPS would be removed. Once these negative links have been removed, your former rank will not return, because you do not have enough positive links to back up your former SERP position. It is quite natural for the Google team to not respond to a Reconsideration request. So here is the best process moving forwards: Register a new domain, copy the content from the old domain, and start a new SEO campaign from scratch. Through this process you will rank more quickly... For a potentially drunken person, you're right on point. Rather than wasting the time/money cleaning up a bad backlink profile, just start from scratch and go all white hat in the future.

Miguel Angel Ramos

05/16/2013 05:38 pm

I think that as long as you create quality content specifically for the benefit of your target audience and not the search engines, you'll be fine. Also don't mess with the bull by practicing bad SEO or you'll eventually get the horns.


05/16/2013 07:42 pm

Sadly, not true. I write only for my readers, don't really even do SEO to speak of. Don't go after links but had accumulated a few thousand without any participation from me. There were definitely some "bad" links to me that I had removed but still no recovery. Prior to Penguin my traffic had been roughly doubling every year with several keywords ranked 1,2 or 3, then google search dropped 80%. I still have no idea why or what to do other than keep writing good content. If I have libraries, school districts, homework help groups, etc linking to my content shouldn't that be good enough for google? If you take same subject/keyword and compare my page to the "big boy's" page, I have complete and concise content, the big boy has literally a blank template!

Aritra Ganguly

05/16/2013 07:47 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, I'm just sharing what I've experienced. Penguin Hit for relatively big Websites: Long partial-recovery time (hoping you've executed all operations correctly). Sometimes situation may be even worse. Disavow tool DOES HELP. It took completely 8+ months for one of our website to show some signs of recovery after the hit. Penguin Hit for Small/ Medium Websites: Slightly less than big website.

Miguel Angel Ramos

05/17/2013 12:39 am

Well that's very unfortunate Sharon, but I still strongly believe you can rank well by writing solely for your readers. Of course there are many other factors that come to play in search engine optimization- some of which your site is clearly not doing so well at. How are you ranking in Bing, btw?-- prior and post Penguin.

Swayam Das

05/17/2013 05:41 pm

Hey Barry, I have a query :-) For the ones that recovered from the Penguin Blow, what are the things they did right? and for the ones that didn't recover what are the things that they did wrong?? ;-) Hoping to see a post describing their attempts :-)


05/24/2013 11:53 am

Hi Barry, I am new to Penguin things. I am trying to work out the nature of of Penguin. If a site sees a more or less equal drop in traffic to all pages (as opposed to a few pages suffering much worse than the rest) is this standard Penguin fare, or is this an indication that my only problem is that some old directory links etc are now no longer doing me any good. ie. not a penalty, just a downgrade of PageRank for the whole site? Basically, do I need to hunt down bad links and disavow, or just carry on building the site and winning good links? Or is it impossible to say?


05/25/2013 08:12 am

Then I'd definitely need your help!

Arun Jaiswal

05/31/2013 05:32 am

I think you have already burnt your Finger by DROPING rank position .. NOW agin you are going to lost your HARD earn Money..,, IF you believe the CLAIM of "ALEX"... these type intiity, who claim as SEO expert of company Can NEVER do any thing... NOW a days google is updating ther Rank System in such a way SO no Any SEO expert or Company could Earn a single Money form google Ststem


06/06/2013 07:03 pm

I want to know what percentage recovered of those who actively TRIED to recover? That is a useful statistic. I bet most of the 91% that didn't fully recover never took any action and/or didn't know what to do!

Dave Davis

07/08/2013 11:36 pm

I'm still hunting for an actual case study of someone in the supposed 9%.

blog comments powered by Disqus