Penguin 2.0 Thread

Discussion in 'Digital Marketing' started by tonygreek, May 24, 2013.

  1. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,395

    We talked about pre and post Penguin 2 in this thread, but I thought it might be a good idea to start an "after" thread. A few of us have been having some offline discussions about what we're seeing, so as we all have revelations, I figured we could drop them in here.
     
  2. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,395

    In terms of Penguin losers, one that probably impacts quite a few of you, is that the Lawn Doctor franchise seems to have taken a devastating hit. I say it impacts you because they were likely ranked very high on Page 1 for many of your markets. See if they are now. In every search I've run, they've been pushed 8-12 pages deep. Here in the highly competitive, large market of Columbus, OH they were a top 5 result for lawn care. Now they're on page 12. I used the term "devastating" because that's exactly what it means to their franchisees' lead flow. That faucet has been turned off. The only place I've found them on a Page 1 is their 7 Pack listing for where they're HQ'd.

    Penguin 2's major goal was said to be addressing the spam backlinks issues. After running a report on Lawn Doctor, I'm certain they were slapped for this. The repetitive anchor text and links dropped in to the most ridiculous of forums and blog comments will do that to you. If you're one of those who has used the Fiverr method of link building, you might want to see how your site is doing. If you think you might have an issue, look up "google disavow tool".
     
  3. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    I still can't believe that after JC Penney was publicly slapped down for shady backlinks, big companies (who you would think should have a CMO or CTO who knows better) are still hiring SEOs who do this crap. Idiots.

    I can't say that I've kept meticulous records, but I will say that for some terms I'm doing better than I have any right to. Me gusta the Penguin
     
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,395

    PC, I completely agree. I'm actually surprised they weren't hit last year. Many of the links I saw were from 2010-11. As for their in-house or hired web/seo guys, the sad thing is that they've had since the beginning of Q3 2012 to clean these issues up. Google didn't introduce the Disavow Tool for shi...kicks and grins. Any person who dabbles in continuing SEO education has had the Disavow Tool articles and blog posts repeatedly put in front of their eyes.

    If I were to editorialize a bit, one piece of offending anchor text I am seeing is related to "franchising". "Top Franchises" and "Best Franchise" are examples. The links either go to the main site or their franchise site. So, in order to pump their rankings using spam backlinks, and push new franchise sales, it seems they may have sold out the marketing of their current franchisees. I'm reeeeally curious to see how this shakes out for them. If I'm a franchisee, I'm having serious discussions with my colleagues. I do not yet see an Adwords program in place to prop up their online leads, which I would have thought I'd instantly see. Makes me wonder what they're doing in Holmdel, NJ.
     
  5. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,052

    I read an article yesterday that observed that quality directories seem to have done well. In my market, Portland, both Yelp and Houzz seem to have gotten a boost.

    This shouldn't be surprising. All of us local companies add content to them and then put a badge on our site- maybe even in the footer of page- giving them a great local link.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  6. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    yeeeeaahhhh.... that brings up something else I've been debating. At what point does optimizing my profile for Houzz (including their discussions) hurt my own on-site optimizing efforts?
     
  7. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,052

    Depends- is your Houzz profile ranking higher than your website? If not, I don't see a problem. As Houzz starts to rank highly and consistently (I think they are quickly becoming a juggernaut) I want to show up when someone from my area looks for a contractor there. I am currently the 2nd landscaper they show from my area.
     
  8. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,052

    Papercutter- your Twitter link on your homepage just takes me to your homepage, not Twitter.
     
  9. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    My $%^$^ing contact form doesn't work either. My web designer hasn't dealt with it, and the other web designer I contacted about fixing these ALSO hasn't gotten back to me. WTF. We're all busy but come on.

    Re: the Houzz stuff, I guess I'm just leery of these big sites. We're just digital sharecropping there, nothing to stop them from changing the rules on us mid-game, like FB did.
     
  10. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,395

    I decide on a case by case ranking situation. The biggest issue we run in to is Yelp. Even then, the off-site...sites...only become relevant when an exact search, such as "Papercutter Lawn" is done. For broad, organic searches, it's not an issue. In terms of Yelp, etc as citations to boost your rank in the broad searches, there are plenty of other sources to provide the juice, especially for many of the local markets (read: less competitive markets). So far, Houzz has been great for rank juice, building a larger footprint, and increasing the perceived credibility of the business.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013

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