Mommylivingthelifeofriley.com is what you would call a powerhouse stay-at-home Mom dynamo. She’s done what even most SEO experts think is impossible building a thriving review site seeing 700-1400 visitors a day. That’s along with her kiddies at her side during the day.
If you have a few weeks, visit her site to read more than 3000 of her product reviews. In all of my years working with great site owners, I have never met someone as tenacious as her.
However, we all get hit sometimes by Google algorithm updates. She was not only hit. She was jumped, tackled and bamboozled. in August 2012, her traffic went from over 1000 daily visits to nearly none.
Check out a screenshot of her analytics:
What We Did First
We reviewed her text content for Google compliancy. This is usually the main reason sites get penalized. If you have too much optimized content without enough quality content, bam! You suffer low relevancy scores for your target keywords. Then we modified her sidebar and footer links. She had too many for her core target keywords. As you’re probably aware, Google now evaluates your site layout design as another factor in organic rankings. If your site looks like a freak show flee market displaying too many AdSense banners, you’ll get crushed.
What We Did Next
Another issue was her spam backlinks. She had too many of them. So we did a Google disavowal submission to have them removed. This is a growing problem with millions of sites. What was normal creating spam backlinks pointing to your site now penalizes your organic rankings. Within about a month she had recovered a bulk of her daily traffic and keeps trending upwards.
There’s no quick fix recovering from Google Penguin. It takes time. I recommend 1-2 months minimum working with a qualified Google Penguin consultant.
Whatever you do, be cautious about buying any spam backlinks ever again. As in don’t do it. Your problem will grow exponentially worse doing so. Many of my clients dominate the first and second page of Google with zero backlinks. Yes, you read that last sentence correctly. None! So how do they rank so well? Simple. Rock-solid Google compliant content for relevancy standards.
In case you missed it, in the summer of 2012, lead Google engineer Matt Cutts stated they see SEO becoming obsolete.
So what do you do with yours? My advice is for you to start developing rich, genuine text and video content for your target keywords. It will make a difference provided your keyword densities are monitored on a daily basis.