Bouncing back from a Penguin hit is no small feat. The Google algorithm’s effects can be devastating, leaving many businesses wondering how, or if, they will ever recover. Should you scrap the site and engage in a new digital marketing campaign? Or can SEO’s in Scottsdale help save your existing site?

First, the bad news: most sites cannot be salvaged until Google refreshes the Penguin algorithm. The last refresh took place in 2013, and even with it many sites did not recover.

Now, some good news: while there were certainly sites that did not recover from Penguin hits— even after the refresh and after implementing meticulous clean-ups— some bounced back to standings that were comparable or even superior to where they ranked pre-Penguin hit. Here’s how to tell if your site can be saved or if you should just move on, get a new URL, and commit to another round of web development in Scottsdale.

Spotting a Penguin Hit

Examine your analytics data to determine if you are, in fact, being negatively affected by Penguin. Specifically, look at data that separates out organic traffic: if your site gets a lot of referral visits, PPC hits, or direct traffic, a Penguin-related drop is hard to see.

If you use Google Analytics, here’s how you can view organic traffic only:

  • Click on Acquisition > Keywords > Organic.

Next, change the date so you can examine traffic prior to Penguin’s roll-out in April of 2012 (this only works for sites in existence for this long). Then, examine data on the following dates and look for drastic dips— if you see them, it was Penguin:

•       April 24, 2012

•       May 25, 2012

•       October 5, 2012

•       May 22, 2013

•       October 4, 2013

If you do not have Google Analytics, you can still track data and locate dips via ranking reports from your digital marketing company. SEO firms in Scottsdale can also help determine if it is actually Panda affecting your site and implement the proper search engine optimization solutions. In either case, a thorough investigation and clean-up are necessary to save your site and rank high again.

Clean-Up vs. New Domain

If you have the time, money, and resources to commit to a Penguin recovery, then it may be worth the effort. Also consider how closely your branding is tied to the URL and how much you need the good links on your current page— you will have to scrap them if you start over. A professional search engine optimization company can help weigh the pros and cons and either start the recovery process or help your business embark on a new digital marketing campaign.