Hey, I was blocking my self to post another topic on this bloody update, but i see so many who are opening a topic with what i qualify of misinformation or based on nothing concrete. My purpose is not to convert you to think like me, or to claim that i've cracked the new signals, but after all the beautiful english essay based on very few information, i decided to step in with all i've been reading. First question : "Have I been spanked badly by this update ?" The answer is no, not as bad as many. Most of the website i'm managing are either intact or increased drastically, and most of my customers are quite pleased. However, i got 2 hurt on 2 very competive niche (ahh ?) I'm using the very same linkbuilding / onsite SEO strategy for all websites so how could 2 websites over dozens others could have been hit ? I noticed that high competition niche got hurt badly such as : Gambling,Hosting,weight loss, insurance, make money online, pharma, Loan --> Guys those are the most competitive niche of the web and the 2 websites I managed which dropped are categorized in the 2 first niches i mentionned. What those competitive niche involves ? 1) More backlinks (broader, and more in quantity) 2) More Keywords oriented content 3) More Darky Methods 4) Well at the end more spam, they were the models of a working BH SEO strategy (i believe those websites has served to build a spam selection models based on their signals, the crappy results we see at the moment on those peculiar niches and others tough ones tends to concurr on that matter. It is as they have reset those niches) Here are my questions based of the thousands of posts i've been reading the last couple of days, I've barely sleep the last couple of days in order to be able to work efficiently with this update in spite of most of the websites went fine here. Is Spun Content targetted as Google's Post claimed ? yes and no. I believe it has been a long time since the content relevancy has to match somehow in contextual links, i believe it is it since the Panda update. So yes, the exemple they quoted with the dodgy loans backlinks might be more accurately spotted. What triggered some of you, is how the hell did they publicly claim that the keywords stuffing exemple they mentionned could have been possibly targetted ? I mean does it even make sense, since keywords stuffing like this has been patched for ages. Isn't it a smoke screen ? Back to the content, there is no way that they can detect a crappy spun content with LSI keywords. Google doesn't read words like humans do but it reads concepts and associate the concept together to have a global and broad idea of what it is and thanks to a semantic map of the content. However, the unknown part is how do they process the statistic of almost 20 years of datas indexing, what signals and conclusion can they take into consideration and do they do such things ? Is Link Pyramids still efficient ? What tends to proove my spun content theory above, is that crappy spun Web 2.0 are ranking in the search engines . (that's a straight WTF for me there) Web 2.0 are usually heavily backlinked and served a buffer websites purpose and they increased in ranking (hum interesting) So spunned spammed web 2.0 are still rankings. That lead me to conclude to 4 possibilities : 1) The link juice is now not passing for more than 1 tiers going from the lower. 2) Backlinks have lost a ton of value (going to proove otherwise below) and the SEO juice of those web 2.0 propoties come from the main domain of those web 2.0 3) If the OBL of the web 2.0 are targetting one or a very limited numbers of websites then no value (which is quite relevant a spam signals) 4) A combinaison of the above factors. Is Blog Commenting and Xrumer Campaign Dead ? This is a tought question here, and my answer will be so far a no. I know someone who has been playing with SB massively for a month or 2 now (30k links indexed in that amount of time) and Keywords oriented content, and he has been through the update easily. It is a very disturbing exemple ! He used a load of anchors though and increased his link diversity with many kind of links, but most of them were targetted to his website. I've also used SB and Xrumer staightly on my websites but only on highly selected list (edu / gov / high PR / AA / and very faw high OBL ones) and they remain unhit ! Can Link Velocity Be Responsible ? At first, i strongly had faith on that theory. How easy would it be the following signal for google : If more backlinks get indexed than the number of visitors within a day then it is a Spam website ! I thought it was relevant as you can't get more links in a day than the visitors you received, but it appears that i should be in the spam team of google haha (you would be soooo screwed guys all the pings fans ) Well from the exemple quoted above, the traffic doesn't go beyond his link velocity, and he pinged his links and he is still ranking ... I can quote a few others that i know they are doing this, but i don't have their authorization to talk about them. Are blog networks still working ? I have just run the test and i climbed in rankings on an unaffected website. It happened today, and i've done the post yesterday on a private network. 2 keywords increased. I've done nothing more than this, and the rankings remained stable during the update. I've used one footer link only with 3 different anchors keywords related. Too soon to conclude so far, let's wait for a week or 2. As i'm testing also the anchors diversity at the same time. Did EMD gain in value ? Yes, I believe they did ! The URL gained in a value that's for sure. "python-hosting", "make-money-online.co.uk" are bluffing exemples and so are the web 2.0 properties which has the keywords in URL. The domain authority may have also gained in value as can show error 404 pages from yahoo.answer for exemple. However, i always thought they will loose in relevancy as they tend to attract more spam websites, so i find this a little confusing to be honest. Okay, but what about the negative SEO ? Well, to me it remains to be prooved that it is possible the way we all think about as a direct SB blast or heavy spamming. However, i do think it got easier since the update and once the signals have been accurately identified. I'm going to perform a few tests on some random targets of several kind of websites including mine. But remember one thing, the purpose of Google is to remove Webspam not to allow massive blasts to tweak rankings in your favor, that doesn't make any sense, and they are maybe what you would qualify stupid but actually they are far to be that stupid ! Anchors Diversity This is a plausible factors as more likely the website which dropped wasn't rich enough and may match too much the page's title targetted. THat's a strong signal too ! I mean people who quote your website in a blog post wouldn't necessarily use the very same title as yours ? But, if that's the case how google can define the right keyword for you ? They may have increased the on site SEO metrics to define the keyword and more likely drop the anchors text to give you a semantic juice. That's a plausible theory which could explain why bad websites are ranking that well with a title, or an EMD, and so on... What is left from all these to be responsible of our drops ? 1) Massive Link Pinging 2) Irrelevant Contextual backlinks 3) Link Pyramid Juice Lost 4) On site SEO 5) Backlinks irrelantly organized as article blast first with no social signals which rarely happen on some legit websites. 6) Anchors Diversity. 7) Recurring OBL on some Web 2.0 properties, or Bookmarking Accounts Don't forget that for this update, not only spammed website got hit, and also white hat ones. So what kind of signals can be shared accross the 2 methods beyonds the spam ? (i'm actually asking the question to you guys !) Should i try to fix my website or drop it ? Don't drop it, i saw a thread earlier about dropping your website and this is WRONG ! And this why : There are 3 kinds of drops and just 2 have been reported so far : 1) Deindexation of your whole website or even inner page : Yes there you can put your website away for a massive amount of time, and change the domain (didn't see that happening with the update) 2) Your website is out of the top 1000 : This is an algorythm penalty which can last for 1-3-6 months dealing with the reason you have been penalized. You can fix your website and it will come back eventually 3) You've lost rankings : THIS ISN'T A PENALTY ! The ranking metrics has changed and it is fully fixable once we have cracked the nature of this update ! So don't throw your website away ! What can i do to fix my website ? 1) Add fresh and quality content (this will never hurt you and may rank for new keywords as fresh content may have been valued) 2) On site Optimization such as netlinking, page speed, rich content, sitemap, content relevency. However, pay attention to your inner links titles so far. Go as descriptive as you can and forget the keyword stuffing on this. I'm still reviewing the effect of such netlinking on my website which has been hurt and it is a possibility that it was targetted as i had this keyword which was ranking exclusively thanks to netlinking and it had dropped. I'll come with a results. 3) Manual Backlinking, Manual web 2.0 properties, High PR site as usual as long as they are no return on the efficiency of SEO tools. This is what i would do actually, until i'm 100% positive that we can use them again and we will the question remains on the how. 4) For Penalized sites you can redirect your page to a new one with the same content and no backlinks. The penalty would more likely doesn't go through the 301. I'm testing that method on a dropped page and on a penalized one. Okay, i believe it has been 2 hours since i started this analysis and i'm far to have covered everything i've read, it has helped a lot to construct my opinion and i thank you for this . However, if you could add / destroy theories and method thanks to your experience, please do it ! It is a workshop, and i'm eager to learn more about all this .