How to Recover from Penguin in 3 days



  • Tom Jenkins On March 18, 2014 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Wow! great share. I have been looking all over for a quick penguin recover method. Perfect!

  • J On May 10, 2014 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    After searching numerous article, I somehow stumbled across this page. My website rankings have gone down from page 1 to 10 and not quite sure why. As a newbie, can you possibly advise on where to start.
    your advice would be very much appreciated.
    Thank you

    • DesignSmart On May 10, 2014 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      The first thing to do would be to identify whether this is a natural flux in rankings or a penalty. Look at your website analytics and identify the exact date when your rankings hit the dirt. Then compare this date to the known dates of Google penalties which you can find here:
      If you can find a match then you know for sure you have been penalised, in which case you should follow the advice in the above article to see if it helps. If there is no match then there is a possibility that you have been hit instead by a manual penalty (issued by a worker in Google’s link spam team ). If this is the case you will usually receive some kind of notice in your webmaster tools. If this is the case then go ahead and try the above remedy.
      If however, non of the above apply, then it may be nothing and you simply need to build more links. If your website’s homepage is ranking for branded search phrases like in my case; ‘Design Smart’ then you’re probably okay. If your home page has lost its rankings for such branded terms then it sounds like you’re in trouble. Beyond that, I cant really say without looking at your case more specifically. I really hope you get your rankings back.

  • Agent Blackhat On May 16, 2014 at 10:41 am - Reply

    It is great to see people not taking what Matt Cutts says as fact and instead thinking for themselves. He is the deceiver, he doesn’t want you to see the flaws in the algorithm, the current state of Google is one that Blackhats have never found easier to game and whitehat, people who rely on their online business are finding extremely difficult.

  • On October 2, 2014 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    We did the same experiment this year on January 1, changed our domain from to and all of our pages reappeared in Google almost instantly, but instead of being #1 for every search term, we were on page 5 or worse. We then switched it back to the .com and immediately our traffic ceased, even though the content was 100% identical.

    • Design Smart On October 3, 2014 at 6:11 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment. That’s a very good question. It has nothing to do with content. You need to understand that Penguin does 2 separate things:

      • It devalues ‘bad’ links
      • It penalizes websites

      The method that I have shown you will remove the penalty but it will not give all the bad links their value back.

      Previously, your site had number 1 rankings thanks to lots of spam links and maybe some good links too because Google thought all these links were good. When Google realised that many of your links were unnatural it took away all their power and also penalised your website for cheating.

      Thanks to the the 301 method, you successfully removed the penalty from your site. But you did not make Google think that all the spammy links it discovered were good again. Google still thinks they are bad, so they pass your site no value anymore. The page 5 ranking you now have is your natural ranking – what you would have had if you never built any spammy links.

      The good news is; now you can spend some time building good links and recover your rankings 100% on your .net domain. But I suggest you don’t build any more spammy links or you will get tanked again on the next Penguin update! So focus on good links only.

      The reason you lost all your rankings when you reversed the 301 redirect is quite simply because you reinstated the penalty.
      The penalty will stay with the .com site forever, unless all the spammy links are removed. If you are not planning on removing them, then it would be wiser for you to just keep the .com redirected to the .net.

      The key benefit of the 301 redirect method is that by you removing the penalty, you are able to keep all the value from any good links, without you needing to remove any bad links.

      When a site is still under a penalty, no feasible amount of good links can help it increase in rankings. The penalty stops this from happening. Therefor always remove the penalty first, and then do some good clean link building straight afterwards.

      Good luck.

  • Mike On October 18, 2014 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Also, can you explain in further detail what you mean by “migrating” the old site and database over to the new one?

    Do you have a link that explains how to do this?

    I think I was just hit by Panda and want to give this a try.


    • Design Smart On October 19, 2014 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your comment Mike. If you think you were hit by Panda you should first check your analytics to see if the drop in traffic corresponds to one of the known dates when panda struck. Assuming you have already done this, and you are dealing with a Panda Penalty, then it’s quite possible that the 301 method would work to fix your problem. But it will only work until Panda comes around again so my advise would be to use your time to fix your content.
      So to answer your question, ‘migrating a site’ within the context simply means changing the web address of the site. To do this you need to have another domain name. Then you move your old site over onto this other domain. These days most sites (including Ecommerce sites, wordpress sites, Joomla sites, Drupal sites) are database driven sites – If you can log into your site, then its most likely database driven. The database contains all the content that appears on your website while the files that you can access via FTP contain the physical architecture of the site and the programming that makes it work with the database.
      The difficulty with migrating a database driven website is you need to replace all references to your old domain name with your new domain name. This needs to be done across both the database and the files. If you own a WordPress based website like this one, then simply Google ‘How to migrate WordPress website’ and you’ll find the specifics of what you’re looking to do. Alternatively, you can find a cheap developer to migrate your site for you over on

      • Mike On October 20, 2014 at 1:09 am - Reply


        Sorry, I meant to say Penguin. I was definitely crushed this weekend.

        So here’s my plan for the 301 redirect. Luckily, this was a simple Amazon review niche site, so I only had 4 pages that were really ranking. There wasn’t much to “migrate”.

        So I bought a brand new domain today. I installed the WordPress plugin “Redirection” on the old domain. First, I redirected the homepage — I don’t aim to rank the homepage for anything; it’s just a landing page with not many links at all.

        Then, I redirected one of the money pages. But this page ranked #1 with no link building at all; just based on the power of my domain.

        Over the course of this week, I will start to redirect the other 3 money pages — these are the pages I built links to, and which likely caused the penalty.

        So all in all, I will end up redirecting 4 money pages and the homepage.

        Then, if I understand correctly — if all goes well, I will start to regain my old rankings. This happens rather quickly?

        Then, the penalty will likely follow over to my new domain. Do we know about how long until this happens?

        Then, once the penalty is back, I disconnect the 301, at which point my new site will likely fall in the SERPS a little bit.

        Question — when I disconnect the 301, what do I do with the content on the old site? Do I deindex or delete it to avoid duplicate content issues?

        So that’s my plan. Would love to know your thoughts!

  • James On October 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    I recovered from pinguin 2.0 using your technique. I’ve just redirected the affected site to a new domain on march 2014 within the same host. It was just an experiment. Since april 2014 my rankings raised up to top 5. Pinguin 3.0 totally distroyed my new rankings, so i have to start from the beginning. I’ve decided to disconnect my old url from the current one to see what will happen. I’ve bought some PBNs, web 2.0 etc during that 6 months period i was top ranked. So i’m not really sure that my second domain is innocent in some way. It’s possible that now i have 2 affected domains now.

    I could try to redirect my old site to a new one like i did it before, but i’m pretty sure that the penalty will not dissapear. But it is possible that sites can recover from pinguin penalties if they create disavow file and remove bad links

Leave a Response