FFS ladies and gentlemen. Penguin has come and gone, and the arguments and anger on here is up again. Getting fecked by Google is one thing, but arguing with each other is a feck-nuts game. The disagreements I'm seeing are based on some pretty common assumptions many are making. ALL OUR SITES, NICHES, COMPETITION AND EXPECTATIONS ARE DIFFERENT. Ahh, that's better. Getting a churn and burn site hammered by P? Fine - build another. Got a site you've sweated blood over for 12 months hammered the same way - then you might want to try and recover it Generic advice is not advice at all. "This works" or "this doesn't" without context is just blowing hot air. No wonder people are getting pissed. Yeah - I got 2 sites wiped out. One because I had over promoted, one because I was neg SEO attacked (again - same niche as last year - knew it was going to happen, already created another site and will have it ranking inside 6 weeks) Someone's site isn't " shitty piece of crap" (as a fellow hatter says on more than one thread here) because it's small and quick to build and replace - on the contrary - if it ranks and banks it's fine. Churn and burn is a thing as well. It works. Playing churn and burn and enjoying the churn and getting all pissy when the burn comes is not playing the game. You knew what you were doing going in. Making a decent site in this way takes a day if you're crap at it and have to write all the content yourself. Dust off, roll the dice again. I know that's exactly what I'm doing. Some sites operate in very small niches and therefore have very little scope for ever becoming authorities. A particular brand of a particular product. "Black and Decker Patio Heaters" for example. A few articles, a guide to installation and that's the site. Because its scope is small, its requirement for content is small and the need for updates once built is none existent doesn't make it "shitty". It makes it what it is. If it fails to P3, then feck it, build it again. However.... If you blog on your passion, pour your heart into a site in a broader niche, add content regularly, get involved in the surrounding community and that site goes "tits up" you are going to have a very different attitude and the advice you take should be different as well. It's likely that the recovery route is right for you. (BTW - a simple disavow after a slap doesn't work - you need to show Google you are reformed, jump through a few hoops, but there are great online services that can help here for a few hundred bucks do most of the work for you) So I got slapped? Here's what happened. Penguin 3 Destroys 2 Of My Sites ? pretty much as expected, and not something I?m particularly concerned about Regular readers will know the niches I operate in. 4 main niches, 8 main sites. I have about 12 other sites that bob up and down. These other sites I promote (very) hard for a product or service and take the flak when Google slaps them (if it slaps them) that?s all part of the game. But my 8 main sites I treat very differently. Other than to cross post content to connected social networks, I don?t promote them very hard at all. My SEO site is the newest of those 8 and, as you might have guessed, is one of the hardest to rank. I have several other sites in the SEO niche but only one other that I treat carefully and consider a budding authority site So how did they all do after Penguin? What can be learned by the update over the weekend of 18th-20th October 2014? Let?s take a look. Authority Sites Across the board my larger sites rocked it. I mean really rocked it. The niches are SEO, car hire, golf holidays and motorbikes. It might be helpful to list what the common factors are for these. They are all built using 100% unique content. Not a Penguin issue for sure, but worth mentioning just in case. They are all added to frequently. The golf holiday sites now attract perhaps 2000 words a day written solely by visitors to the sites that just needs moderating. The motorbike sites also get by with a lot of user generated content (comments, posts, people who ask to submit a review or whatever) I add the odd article now and then. The car hire sites are updated at least once a month, and the SEO sites are updated at least twice a week. The sites are at least 2 years old. The oldest sites are now almost 18 years old, the newest, (this one) will soon have its third birthday. Volume of written content wise, the car hire sites have the least, but still have over 200 articles or posts and an overall site word count of well over 100,000 This site has a word count of close to half a million , the golf holiday sites, thanks to the huge amount of user generated content, have between 2 and 3 million words on them. They all get traffic for a very wide range of keywords and phrases. No one word or sub niche on any of these sites attracts more than 5% of the total site traffic. demondemon for instance gets traffic from perhaps 500 words and phrases in Google during any particular month ranging in quantity from 1 visit to 5,000 per term, the modal quantity is about 70. The bigger sites all get at least a few user comments added weekly, they get money spent on them in Facebook or Adsense advertising where appropriate and often get shares from places like Linkedin, Google+ etc. This clearly works, here are the figures in graph form. . Across the board rises. The golf sites get a lot more traffic than the rest, though it is also the poorest converting in terms of sales of the main affiliate deals on them. Very profitable when someone does book a holiday, golf coaching lessons or an expensive set of clubs, but most visitors are there to chat and talk shop rather than spend. That?s fine with me. The car hire ones have very low visitor levels, it?s a very rare day indeed where one gets 1000 visitors, however they convert like crazy. The only people who go to a car hire site are there to look at spending money hiring a car.. That said, overall the effect has been fantastic. That?s one side of the coin, now let?s take a look at the downside. Sites Hammered By Penguin 3 About a year ago this site was hit with a negative SEO attack which means Google will no longer rank it for a couple of very profitable SEO products. I built other sites to promote them, got them ranked pretty quickly (inside 6 weeks) and they have happily been turning a profit for 10 months. Until last weekend when they were both hit and de-indexed. Common Factors Of These Churn And Burn Sites It would be easy to list them,. It pretty much the opposite of the list above for authority sites, but in short. New sites Rarely if ever updated Little content (5000 words average?) Much more heavily promoted with links They did however all have unique content, and were sometimes promoted through Adsense or Facebook (Google will take your money ? then ban you quite happily) One I over promoted as it was struggling to rank for a few weeks and I just hit it with a ton of links. Fair cop. It made me a tidy sum over the months, far more than it cost to build, so that?s a win It?s not de-indexed, but it?s dropped pages down the ranking. The other was hit by a negative SEO attack a few months back. a six figure number of links of all types created over a 12 week period. Some really tasty neg SEO tactics used in there, but the quantity was the give away. Of the other 11 sites in this ?churn and burn? category, one other was wiped out in the gambling/poker niche, again, I over promoted. Fair cop. Churn and burn.works this way. The rest either stayed static or went down . Sure, a couple of the sites are slightly up compared with 5 days before the hit, however, I believe that is just natural variation. Overall they remain pretty much unchanged in terms of SERP position and traffic levels taken as an average over time. Against that 2 sites wiped out and 2 more severely hit. Initial Conclusions Google prefer authority sites. Something that was pretty clear all along, and I mentioned this in last weeks post predicting Penguin 3.0 Regularly updated, lots of content and good evidence of social interaction. It?s hard not to come to this conclusion but? Churn and burn is still very profitable. Yes I lost 2 out of 12 C&B sites and 2 more were hit, but you know what? In the last 12 months those sites have made me a ton of cash. Balance that loss against the fact that 2/3rds of them are still up, ranking and banking. Also just how cheap, quick and easy ranking churn and burn is. A site a day with maybe an hour a month of upkeep is all they need. I?ve already spent a few hundred bucks on new hosting and by the end of October the 4 downed sites will be replaced, by the end of November the replacement sites will likely be ranking. If they get hit in March next year they will have recouped around 40x more than the time and money spent on them cost me. If they last longer than that, the margin just keeps getting bigger. So What Are You Saying? Same old same old I?m afraid. I wish I could add something new here. Google?s major periodically run algorithms are iterative. Every run they refine and they evolve. They don?t revolutionise to any great degree. They are a great clean up and scare tactic for Google. The fear they generate works a treat. If my experience is typical (and if anything, losing 1/3rd of heavily link promoted sites actually seems to be a little higher than the norm if my readings on Warrior, BHW and Traffic Planet are any thing to go by) then so what? Spread Your Risk Seriously. If you are an affiliate marketer (rather than a product creator or business owner) and you have one site, or several site in just one niche you are taking a hell of a risk. I?m not saying you need to spread thin, but one site? Once you know what you are doing you can build a site up with 4 or 5 good articles in a day. That includes buying the hosting, installing the CMS and theme and optimising the onsite factors. One day. Penguin hits once a year (though I suspect once every 6 months from now on) what are you doing for the other 364 days a year? If you are building authority sites, add content, if you are building churn and burn, build more sites ? maybe have a mixed strategy of C&B and authority. But don?t put all of your eggs in one basket. Here?s another way to look at it. How many people do you know who have had 2 sites wiped out in the last week, yet are making more money this week are relatively unconcerned about it? [Hand shoots up] Yup, me for one.