Looks like penguin 3.0/3.1 has finally refreshed


We’ve blogged about it already this week and after seeing the jumping frog craziness of  this week it looks like at 10.30pm December 4th 2014 Google has finally rolled out its latest penguin refresh.

We are seeing massive positive surges in rankings for sites previously affected and even sites that weren’t, are improving.

Was this the full penguin 3.0  update we all expected to see way back in October? Or is this just a continued roll out? Who knows right now but you heard it here first folks.

We’ve decided to rename this update

Jumping Frog.













Is Google Penguin 3.1 here?


Overall we didn’t notice many positive or negative changes in Penguin 3.0 update on the 17th October, for a major update we’d all been waiting for I couldn’t help think is that it?Like many SEO’s we do a lot of link auditing for clients that come to us with penalties already, as long as there is SEO there will be the need to help correct poor quality work too.

Google sure do love to give during the holidays

Easter & Thanks Giving have both been times when Google have cared enough to share a cuddly creature for us all (ain’t that nice?) But when I heard via Bartosz on his blog (nice chap by the way I called him today and had a bit of a chat) that he thought Penguin 3.1 was rolling out or so he believed , I wasn’t all that surprised. I checked all our sites and client sites but sadly nothing….or so it seemed.

Why did we expect a Penguin refresh so soon after 3.0?

The reason I was expected to see an update around this time was because of the Easter bank holiday update, yes a nice chocolate egg laid by Google that hurt so many users sites out there and because of John Muller ‘s comments on ‘more regular updates’ could be expected. Great for those who’ve been hit and work hard to recover.

I’ll be honest I was disappointed to see no changes it sites we’ve been trying to correct and get on the right path but then I reminded myself, the UK saw Penguin 3.0 roll out first so maybe the it was our Stateside friends turn to receive first. After all it was thanksgiving.

Monday 1st December Penguin 3.1 hits the UK

Early Monday morning on December 1st 2014 I couldn’t resist and started to check sites, immediately saw BIG things happening and sites showing up in the top 5 positions for the majority of their searches. GREAT!

I am sure i am not the only one who does this but i was immediately obsessed with checking positions and although a few fluctuations probably more likely down to which server was been accessed to pull results, all was looking good.

One health site in particular which we had been working on for a good 9 months if not more hadn’t seen any positive or negative changes when Penguin 3.0 rolled out but as if by magic it’s #1 for it’s most important search term.

Fluctuations in rankings after Penguin roll out

The only time i noticed something a little odd was when I was out of the office and I searched again and saw something completely different, almost every time I searched the same thing i was presented with different results. I cleared my cache, changed browsers, everything you can do even change location of my position. I put it down to server location again and waited till i was back home. Bingo! Search results still presenting as they did on Monday morning across all devices.

After going back to the office and repeating the same thing across Monday and Tuesday all looked well, apart from the occasional search where something random appeared or something I wasn’t quite expecting.

Data correlation in search results

From what I can see there are 3 ways of the results showing currently over the last 3 days after the 3.1 Penguin roll out.

  1. Pre 3.1 update
  2. Post 3.1 update
  3. Mix bag of frogs (only happens when i choose certain cities or locations to search or access data from and not conclusive.)

Mixed bag of frogs refresh

I think it’s worth mentioning my mobile device is not longer showing the mix bag of frogs results as it was Monday. So if we go off the same assumption that this mixed bag of frogs result is probably just some missing data or incomplete data for the algo update that hasn’t gone through yet. Or at least i am hoping that.

That’s all for now but we’d love to hear your findings and how you’re seeing data

Google+ vs Facebook Likes and Twitter Tweets


Although that title just sounds like a really bad YouTube video for social media nerds it’s actually a question that needs asking.

If you read my recent post abouthow does Google+ help SEO and have been following our updates,
then the next obvious question is how does Facebook ‘likes’ and Twitter ‘tweets’ factor in our organic rankings?

Is Google+ automatically going to have a better result on our SEO over the other obvious social media outlets?

You would imagine so but without hard evidence it’s too early to comment.

I certainly don’t believe in making any bold outrageous claims without seeing it first so that’s what I am going to do.
I am going to create 3 similar posts and run them against each other.

1st post pushing Google+1s
2nd post pushing Facebook ‘likes’
3rd post pushing ‘Tweets’

Should be very interesting

Does Google+ help SEO?

Does Google+ help SEO?


The aim of this post is to see how much of a difference to the SEO of a page ranking with Google+ posts and shares make a difference.

Where to begin with your Google+ post?

How much impact does Google+ have on our SEO?

How much impact does Google+ have on our SEO?

I have started out by using a reliable keyword tool such as www.jaaxy.com and finding a reasonable search phrase that gets at least some decent traffic. I am not looking for thousands of searches per month to begin with just a relevant long tail phrase we can target our on and off page optimization techniques with.

I decided to go for ‘Does Google+ help SEO?’ which I used as the page title and URL. As wordpress does not allow syntax in the URL I opted for ‘plus’ instead of ‘+’

this should also help cover both ways of searching too.

We are also using a reliable social share plugin to allow users to easily share or in this case ‘+1′ our dedicated blog post on related to Google+ and SEO rankings.

Next up we write some useful non-spammy content relating to the subject in question (which you are reading right now) – no i am not going to try and get in the title again, that would be a little tacky ;-) hmmmm but it might help….no i will resist.

Ranking Results from Google+ shares

I avoid the obvious SEO forums like the plague, it’s not for me to be honest. But I am interested on how Google Plus and more importantly Google+ shares can help a website rank better. I have heard a lot of SEO’s talking about this but I am yet to see conclusive data that it in fact plays such a major role in our organic rankings.

Google product + Google+ = Improved Rankings?

So let’s see if this all works then. The post is live we are going to encourage fellow Google+ users to share this and we will report back with hard data which will either show a positive increase in rankings or not.

My first thoughts are that yes of course it will help our organic rankings, after all Social is only going to prove to be more and more important in SEO but what I want to really find out is, at this moment in time having more +1’s to a page or post on your website will it improve the rankings significantly, and are Google +1’s more effective than traditional link building?

I don’t believe they are right now and I will be doing more tests on this soon.

Let’s see what happens…but in the meantime i’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

Ranking Update Friday 14th February 14:32

As of 14:32 GMT this post is ranking page 5 position 6 with 10 Google+1 shares and no back links (as yet)

google+ ranking shares update

How many back links before you hurt your site?


The one thing being discussed in the SEO world it seems continually is back links and the best ways to use them without getting any penalties.

So let’s ask the obvious question

How many links to add each month?

How many back links is the right number before positive increases in rankings becomes a negative result? Well we are currently testing this theory as we believe there isn’t an actual number but in fact it varies for each site.

How many back links have been added per month, check out ahrefs.com and see how many inbound back links have been added over any given time. Too many could flag potential issues.

We’ll have some more data on this very soon…..

Google Penguin Reconsideration Success


Google Penguin Reconsideration Recovery Success

I love it when a plan comes together……

We were approached by a company last May who’d been hit by the Google Penguin update after their SEO expert had done some questionable link building.

Well after almost 10 months of applying to each offending site to remove the back links and cleaning up the on page content and 4 reconsideration requests today we received an email from Google with the good news.

I didn’t think responses happened as our last reconsideration request was submitted at the beginning of December.

But here it is:

Reconsideration request for http://www.********.com/: Manual spam action revoked

Dear site owner or webmaster of http://www.******.com/,

We received a request from a site owner to reconsider http://www.******.com/ for compliance with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Previously the webspam team had taken manual action on your site because we believed it violated our quality guidelines. After reviewing your reconsideration request, we have revoked this manual action. It may take some time before our indexing and ranking systems are updated to reflect the new status of your site.

Of course, there may be other issues with your site that could affect its ranking without a manual action by the webspam team. Google’s computers determine the order of our search results using a series of formulas known as algorithms. We make hundreds of changes to our search algorithms each year, and we employ more than 200 different signals when ranking pages. As our algorithms change and as the web (including your site) changes, some fluctuation in ranking can happen as we make updates to present the best results to our users. If your site continues to have trouble in our search results, please see this article for help with diagnosing the issue.

Thank you for helping us to maintain the quality of our search results.


Google Search Quality Team