Charles in Fremont, Ohio is wicked bummed. This week there’s more forum chatter about another Penguin update. My contacts suggest it’s not merely a refresh but a full-blown algo update. So let’s get right into the groove of how to protect yourself…

Dear Mr. Gman—

In your opinion is there any weight to the rumors Googles coming out with another Penguin this month? Hope not. How can I protect myself from future updates? Need your best stuff so give it up [please, please, please!!!!!]


Well, here’s the honest truth Charles. You’re doomed if you haven’t already cleaned up the mess you or your spam backlinkers did before April 24, 2012 when Pengy first pissed off everyone online who held rankings.

My best stuff? I’ll give it all up answering your questions so here goes:

  1. Pinpoint every single spam backlink you have attached to your site.
  2. I recommend using MOZ and at least two other link detox softwares.
  3. Checkout Xenu’s Link Sleuth — it’s a beast and will take hours to pull your links
  4. The reason for all 3 in #2 is each product pulls links from different sources.
  5. Go through every stinking link and sort them into a spreadsheet.

Now for the fun part. I actually like to drop all links in an Excel spreadsheet and then review each one. Is it hard work? Nope. It’s more like a nightmare. But you will see root domain patterns pretty quickly which is good because you can disavow entire domains in your text document when you submit it through Google Webmasters.

How? I wish I had the time to walk you through it but really, it’s simple. Here’s Google’s instructions about the process.

Charles, I know what you’re thinking about now. How long will it take to see results from your disavowal request? The honest answer is who knows. Having done many disavowal projects I can only share my best and worst case studies.

My fastest results were in about 3 months. The worst was nearly a year and was for dental keywords in LA (think mongo competitive).  So why did the 3 month gig sprout success so quickly? There was less mess to unravel and fix.

Your question about protecting yourself from now on is a good one. Start with these babies and live by them religiously…

  • Add genuine, relevant content to your site at least three times a week
  • Don’t buy anymore spam backlinks (you dummy!)
  • Forget everything you read about SEO
  • Most of the newsy stuff about search is usually intended to sell you stuff
  • Make sure to update your Google XML sitemap (update was April 2014 for WordPress)
  • Prove to Google your content is trustworthy–(think about producing YouTube videos)
  • Clean up your G+ page with only clean content about your business or niche
  • Make damn sure your Google authorship stuff is 100% correct and working
  • Give up being addicted to cheating–it will come back to bite you hard

Hopefully this gives you some ideas to think about in staying Penguin-proof. How do I know this stuff works? Because I’ve spent eons of time fixing my client partner sites. Need proof? Watch a few of my client video case studies.