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[Method] How to Find if a Google Update Hit Your Site? (Free - no costly SEO tools required)

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by fasttrak, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. fasttrak

    fasttrak Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    The most common question I get asked when posting my 'Methods' and 'Hacks' is,

    "I can't afford SEO tools, how can I do this for free?"

    Fair question, so I thought that I would show you a 100% free way to make your IM journey a little easier.

    If you missed any of my previous guides over the last few weeks, you can follow the links below to catch up.

    Does My Site Have a Penalty Hack

    How many times have you asked if there is a new Google update as your traffic has either just tanked (usual :eek:) or jumped nicely (thank you Google, finally some recognition :cool:)?

    [​IMG]

    Well, you don't have to wonder any longer as I am going to show you, and it is not going to cost you a single penny!

    [​IMG]


    Some of you may have come across the Panguin tool from Barracuda previously, some of you may have forgotten it existed, and this might be new to a bunch of you.

    I have been using the Panguin tool for a few years now, it is really easy to use, has a great interface which shows you clearly if you have been hit or not by an 'announced' Google update, and most importantly is FREE to use.

    1. Go to https://barracuda.digital/panguin-seo-tool/ and click on to the Use For Free button

    [​IMG]

    You will be prompted to connect your Google Analytics site to the tool.

    2. Click to login with your Google account which is connected to your domains Google Analytics and click on the Allow button to grant access to the Panguin tool.

    [​IMG]

    3. Select the domain you wish to check, and then choose All Web Site Data

    [​IMG]

    You should now be looking at a map of your traffic and the exact moment a Google Update went live.

    Cool huh.

    [​IMG]

    You can play around with the filters at the top, so you can zoom in on 1 week, a year or however long you like. You can also choose to view only Desktop, Tablet or Mobile traffic for extra clarity.

    [​IMG]
    Lastly, you can toggle the Dashboard Icons, allowing you to switch on and off the different possible causes for your drop in traffic, and filter out a lot of the more confusing data.

    [​IMG]

    You can also click on the individual updates to get more information as to what exactly this update was targeting, so you can then fix the issue and start ranking again!

    [​IMG]


    Bonus Tip

    Now, I know what you are thinking, "Hasn't there been additional updates which are not shown?"

    Yes, you are absolutely correct, there have been what we think were updates, but they were not acknowledged by Google, so unofficial, and not tracked by Panguin.

    Basically Google makes changes all the time, they simply do not tell us about them, but man do we feel them!

    [​IMG]

    But there is more than one way to skin a cat, so this is what I do.

    1. Open a new tab and head over to https://www.rankranger.com/google-algorithm-updates

    [​IMG]

    Rank Ranger is a superb site which graphs out each of the 'announced' and 'unannounced' updates as you can see from the above image.

    Whats even better is that it also tells you what Google is suspected to have targeted in each of the updates, with links to relevant articles, tweets and information.

    [​IMG]

    2. Simply flick between your browser tab with the Panguin site showing your Google Analytics data and the Rank Ranger tab with the 'unofficial' updates.

    You should be able to easily spot where your traffic drops or increases and suspected Google updates + you have all the information you need to get started repairing your rank!

    [​IMG]


    Conclusion

    The key to succeeding in IM is having the ability to recover from whatever Google throws at us. Using tools like Barrcuda's Panguin and Rank Ranger, this has never been easier.

    Hopefully this will help you firstly determine if you have been hit, and secondly, and most importantly, how to recover your rankings.

    Let me know what you think and if this is something you want more of? If so, I will show you a few other methods which will help.

    :):):)

    ↓↓ This guide has been brought to you by ↓↓
     
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  2. seDONK

    seDONK Newbie

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    According to the Panguin tool my ranks started to drop right after the SERP Clustering update on Jan 22, 2020. UPDATE - I just went over it again and didn't go far enough back. It appears I was hit by BERT. That is when my ranks started to fade. It's been a slow bleed since Oct. It has only gotten worse


    I have a fairly white hat site. I've always held decent ranks, not AMAZING by any stretch but most keywords dropped at least 1-2 spots, while others were way more extreme. They've been dropping every other day to a few days. I still hold position 0 for a certain keyword but I lost some of those as well.

    In early Feb I launched a new theme which is lighting fast on both gtmetrix and google speed test. I've added a ton of great content and received some links.

    As of today, I'm still fading in the SERPS.

    Do I let things keep falling and do what I've always done or do you have a suggestion to stop the bleeding?

    Thanks.
     
  3. Roger Marquez

    Roger Marquez Elite Member

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    GOLDEN!

    Thanks a lot for taking the time to write this, very informative and valuable!
     
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  4. LordChap

    LordChap Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Very thorough - thank you!
     
  5. astro2014

    astro2014 Regular Member

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    Same here.
     
  6. Headlox

    Headlox Newbie

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    Bookmarked. I didn't know about either of these tools to be honest but I'm sure I'm going to be paranoid and check them if I see organic traffic decreasing.
     
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  7. Mr Positive

    Mr Positive Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I would have given you a Nobel price for this if I could fantastic share
     
  8. Digirulz

    Digirulz Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This one is extremely good share. Bookmarked.
     
  9. wolf3000

    wolf3000 Newbie

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    Same as me, the bert update was when I started to see drops, then I recovered but then january came and I got hit twice, once with the broad core update and now that serp cluster featured snippet update. I don't know what to do anymore. I'm thinking getting some guest posts might help.
     
  10. liquardo

    liquardo Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks for the site, it was pretty interesting to analyze the changes in traffic. In my case most updates lowered traffic for a little while and then always went back to normal in a week or two. Kind of odd to be honest, not sure what to make of it.
     
  11. fasttrak

    fasttrak Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Going to tackle this answer first, as it is the most complex, but should not get lost in the crowd.
    • Firstly, all anyone can and should do is talk from their personal experience. I.e. what happened to me, and what did I do to fix it.
    • Secondly, please remember that every web site is different, design, content, onsite SEO, backlink profile etc. So what works and has not worked for me could well be different for you.
    With that disclaimer, lets proceed.

    A few of my sites also got hit by Bert in October and I could not work out for the life of me why. The sites content was high quality hand written content which I wrote my self. Far better than my competitors with decent FAQ's, lots of REAL questions being answered and users helped in the comments etc. Surely I should be rewarded by Bert, not penalised.

    I have had this before, where I thought my site was simply collateral damage in a Google update. It did not match what everyone said Google was targeting and I could see my competitors sites with the same link profile still ranking. Previously when this has been the case, I have simply left the site as is, not made any changes and hoped that Google would fix its mistake in the next update. And several times it has.

    However, timing sucked with Bert, as it was right before BlackFriday and the run up to Xmas, the best times of the year for my affiliate sites :mad:. So I left it for a month, hoping it would recover. Unfortunately it only got worse, rankings continued to drop and my earnings continued to decrease.

    What did I do?

    Diagnosis

    So, I went back to panguin and rankranger and had another look. This time going further back and I spotted another update which actually led to an earlier decline, very slowly, nothing drastic, but something over a few months. I also took a look at my competitors link and anchor profile to see if they had made any changes, and sure enough they had dropped a few paid links which I had replicated and their anchor link profile had become pretty non existent for their main KW's. Generic and brand only.

    Action

    So, I replicated. I removed the paid links and got some diversity links from the BHW marketplace.

    Result

    Rankings started to bounce back within a week and returned to normal with 3 weeks. I tested this with several sites which had all been hit and had the exact same results.

    Conclusion

    Sometimes waiting is the best thing you can do. Updates happen and it is ALWAYS best to wait a couple of weeks to see if you have just been grazed but then bounce back.

    Depending on your site, sometimes you can afford for Google to correct itself and bring it back to life in a future update. However, other times, there are real reasons as to why you have been hit, you just simply have not worked them out yet.

    So my advice to you is to go back and have a deeper look at rankranger and panguin, go further back and then have a look at your competitors sites and see how they are different to yours. Have they made any changes etc? Assuming your content and onsite is really good, it is going to be your link and anchor profile and potentially YMYL elements which need addressing.

    Google is an arse

    [​IMG]

    Or because Google is a complete arse at times, it is simply collateral damage, and nothing you do will make a difference and you will need to wait for a future correction/update to bring your site back to life.

    Again, please remember that every site is different, as is every niche, so it is not a one size fits all strategy, but hopefully these tools will give you at least a fighting chance.

    HTH
    :)
     
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  12. RebeccaThomas

    RebeccaThomas Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Lovely writeup - didn't realise those tools existed.

    I would say one thing, if you really are stuck it's worth employing or asking a friend who is very experienced in SEO to take a look. Sometimes, what looks crazy to a newbie SEO might make lots of sense to a seasoned veteran.

    Sometimes a bit of experience can diagnose many SEO issues.
     
  13. fasttrak

    fasttrak Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Thanks. It ended up being a bit longer than I planned, but including Rankranger was worth it. Great tool.

    Your welcome, I hope it helps.

    Always better to know and fix than simply wonder why your traffic is going down. It is not always your competitors getting better links that pushes you down the serps.

    Nobel prize for SEO, maybe one day :D It is an applied science after all!

    Cheers guys and gals, appreciate your comments.

    Definitely not smart, but I try my best.

    Thank you to both of you. It would be nice if we never had to use it, but always better to have in our back pockets to use when the inevitable happens.

    Take a look at my 1st reply, it might help a bit.

    That is the 'grazed' effect I was talking about. It is a good sign if you wobbled but did not fall down. Means you are doing the right thing.

    No problem, glad it helped.
     
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  14. fasttrak

    fasttrak Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Your welcome, if I get time I will write a few other things that will help with big G's updates.

    ;)
     
  15. seDONK

    seDONK Newbie

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    Thank you so much for your response. I'm pretty sure a lot of us that were hit around this time are feeling the same thing. Of course, you never know why this may be happening but it has.

    I went back further in history and my ranks have all stayed the same with some slight ups and downs during all the minor/major updates until BERT.

    I've never paid for links but I do get a ton of spammy type links pointing to my site. Especially blogspots and coupon sites. Not by me.

    Speaking of paid you said, "got some diversity links from the BHW marketplace". Which type did you get? Can you share or send me a message.

    Thanks again for your follow up and I'm glad you recovered.
     
  16. fasttrak

    fasttrak Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    @Meddie provided the link diversity package, but there are other good ones on BHW too.
     
  17. fasttrak

    fasttrak Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Cheers. Out of interest, had you come across either of these tools previously? I am trying to gauge if I should write up a few other tools that maybe folk had missed, simply because they have only been in the game 4-5 years.

    ?
     
  18. seDONK

    seDONK Newbie

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    I've never seen these tools.
     
  19. rafark

    rafark Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Is this some kind of subliminal advertising? :p

    Great tips as usual :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
  20. coolsheet

    coolsheet Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is pure gold. Also helps organize the "whys" when explaining to clients why their site dropped and makes a road map to correcting it much clearer. Phenomenal share dude!