SEOMaximus and Google Penguin

I had a message from a guy in Canada, it said,

“My client’s site dropped from the 5th page in Google search to nowhere in 1 day.  The site dropped in Google search around Dec 4-6. Google Analytics is not installed. I don’t know what happened and how to find it out. I suspect there is something related to my order of backlinks through SEOmaximus (Warrior Forum). Maybe the site was penalized by Google ? Is it the way to figure it out ? Any help would be appreciated…”

I asked him to send me some of the link reports to see what we were dealing with. It was quite scary that people are still selling this sort of stuff and claiming it is ‘Penguin Friendly’ – it is not! I believe this is a result of Penguin 2.1 which hit in October 2013, but the algorithmic penalty did kick in until the links were built at the beginning of December 2013. This was my reply:

“Hmmm… A year ago I was using something called SEOIT -SEOMaximus apparantly uses the API from SEOIT, but has since been resold several times. I recognized the link pattern in your report straightaway.

The idea with SEOIT was to build links with a constant link velocity (i.e lots every day) and use tiers to try and avoid detection. To further reduce the penguin risk the anchor text was varied between keyphrase, brand, other words (e.g ‘read the blog’). There were supposedly magic ratios that stayed under the radar – at this point various link pyramid, link tiers, link wheels etc. were all being sold as ‘Penguin Friendly’ – Nah!  This worked up until Penguin 2 in May 2013 after that many sites got hit, including 2 of mine. Penguin 2.1 in October pretty much killed everyone doing this.

The links in your report are really, really bad. For example Wikilinks from Uruguay and Poland really are not relevant to a local business in Canada! This unfortunately is the sort of webspam that Penguin 2.1 is targetting and it is very good at doing it. OK, so moving forward…

  1. You will need to put Google Webmaster Tools on this site, you have to otherwise you will not know what you are up against.
  2. If you have a manual penalty you will see a message within a few days – if you do, you have a serious problem – but the steps to recovery are similar to an algorithmic penalty (see below).
  3. If you do not have a manual penalty, you probably have an algorithmic penalty – this is bad, but not as bad as a manual penalty.
  4. You need to identify which links are really bad and remove ordisavow them. The best tool I have found for this is Link Detox Genesis.
  5. If you had a manual penalty, you need to send a reconsideration request.
  6. If your rankings do not improve quickly you will need to ‘push the Googlebot’ to recrawl the links in your disavow file. I don’t know how to do this at the moment, but I believe Link Research Tools have a new tool called ‘Link Detox Boost’ which will do this. The tool is not yet out unfortunately.

How can I help?

I would like to do is do the work for you, give you the report and my suggested disavow file, but hang on a minute do you really need that? You already have a list of your tier 1 links, so you could just disavow all them – but the problem is you could throw the baby out with the bathwater! But having looked at a few of them I would say that none of them are doing you any favours at all.

Meet the Author

Rick Lomas

Rick became 'interested' in Google Penalties when Google Penguin 1.0 almost made him homeless in 2012. Since then he has become an expert in fixing Google Algorithmic Penalties and Manual Actions. Rick has cleared hundreds of Google Manual Actions since 2015. He has saved businesses $millions. He has a 100% success rate in penalty removal.