Mike Huber answers: “How can we tell if we have been affected by the Google updates and what can we do about it?”
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Many sites have been affected by the recent Google updates, both Panda and Penguin. And were often asked two questions about that. One: “How can we tell if we have been affected by the Google updates?” And the second question is: “What can we do about the Google updates?”
Well it’s easy to tell if you have been affected if your traffic has dropped anytime since the first of April until today. Chances are you have had some impact from either one of the updates. The second way is to actually look at your rankings. If you still have rankings, but they dropped a bit, you’ve been affected by the updates but you haven’t been penalized and that’s a good thing.
The second question were asked is: What can I do to recover?” Well the first thing you should do is a backlink audit. And that’s what I want to talk about here for the next couple of minutes.
So what is a backlink audit? Actually it is a look at your whole backlink portfolio. What sites are linking to you. What are the anchor texts of those sites. And then actually getting down and looking at a granular level about those websites and more about those. So for example; you want to know what the Page Rank is and you want to know what the page and domain authority is of those sites linking back to you. So if you look in the aggregate and you have a lot of really good and high PR sites pointing to you. That’s a really good thing. But what we have discovered is that people have a mix in their portfolio, they have some of these, and they have some sites that really have low page and domain authority. And those are really the ones you want to look at.
In addition to those factors, you’re going to want to look at the number of cached pages that each one of those websites has. So if it has a low page and domain authority, chances are they are either zero pages indexed or they have a low number of pages indexed. If the number is zero in terms of cache pages, don’t worry about those because Google has already de-indexed those. If they have a few pages indexed, those are the kind of sites you want to look at. You want to look and take a visual inspection and see if they look like a commercially viable site. You also want to look at the site to see if it’s just a spun content site. If that’s the case you want to contact those webmasters and asked for your links to be removed.
So this is really the start of getting back on track and recovering from the panda update. Start with a backlink audit.