Penguin 1.1 gives us record referrals, causes mushiness, inspires desire to present

One of these days I’m gonna put together a presentation on this.

On what it feels like to have the traffic you’ve worked hard on for years (without tricks!) almost completely disappear.

On what a significant challenge it is to then get attention for that.*

And to then sit tight for weeks seeing nothing change.

Only to rock up to work on Monday and, well, do a happy dance.

And last, but not least, to rock up at the end of the week, check your stats, and note the largest day of Google referrals ever to this very site.

Yeh, there’s definitely a presentation in there somewhere :)


*I literarily cannot put into words how grateful I am for the advice and assistance of all the folk who helped draw attention to our situation and advise us on how we should proceed

6 Responses

  • Awesome James, WPMU Dev really deserves it. Best WP community Ive seen anyway. How much off this do you think is down to media exposure though? Im kinda oncerned that Google have seen it and gone wooooops, lets just boost WPMU dev up a bit. Or do you think its purely down to your de-linking campaign at edublogs etc?

    I wonder if Google should come out with a special tag for author links etc in the footer like a href=”dontdoitgoogle” id=”killthepenguin”

    • New Recruit


      This is great, it certainly puts the doubters on comments in the past (who claimed it was warranted) to be silent. I am not a wordpress developer, so I have no real understanding of how your site works.

      What I have a problem with is that, you had to reach out to real news, to actually touch Cutts to get an answer, so in this, you are too big to fail. The problem is the thousands of smaller guys who just got trashed, we have no one to champion our cause, so are swept aside. How many legitimate wordpress development companies are still being burnt, innovative small shops that are swept aside. If you had remained silent (or not had a big enough microphone), would you have been left to die? I think we can guess the answer to that.

      The more the Google algorithm is tweaked for the squeaky wheel, rather than fixed, the more it gives the impression that google is doing a good job, while rather they are just quieting those who have a big microphone.

      Those 2000 new visitors, might have gone to a another small shop developer (who was burnt by google, the same as you) They had no champion. They are gone… Now the entire community is diminished

    • New Recruit

      @Neil Heh, I think it’s most likely a combination (only Google knows really), although if we have helped then correct the algo in the benefit of genuinely worthy sites (like us) then happy days.

      @Bruce, I don’t think we are really too big to fail, by any means, but I think that being 100% open, honest and, yes, making nose, doesn’t hurt at all. I’d like to think that really what we did was open ourselves up to th world (here are the numbers & we’ve got nothing to hide, help us etc.) and that is what made the difference and got us the coverage.

      That and me harassing folk over and over again… oh and also being a Pro SEOMoz member, as once, back in the day, Rand emailed us all personally so I’ve got his address :)

  • The Incredible Code Injector

    One has to wonder how many perfectly good, but lesser known sites have gotten hit by this. I have sites that show up on all kinds of crappy pages, but I didn’t put the links there, nor did I approve of them. Funny thing is, Google indexes THEM to this day.

    It’s great you seem to have gotten it resolved, but there is clearly a much bigger issue than just what happened with this site.

    Matt Cutt’s reasoning is jaw droppingly short sighted & simple minded for someone in charge of such a powerful tool. (Did I really just type that?)

    I need to go look at some pics of Jessica Alba now to reassure myself. :P

    • New Recruit

      Lol, I think it’s a really difficult situation for anyone, but that if you’ve got ‘nothing to hide’ (we didn’t really, apart from some stupid attribution links) then I think that they’ll probably listen – I’m hearing a lot of people out there saying ‘we got hit unfairly’ – but not that many providing as many details & info as we have… maybe it wasn’t that unfairly :/

  • Its great to see your traffic back. I expect that traffic graph will touch greater heights as now everyone knows about WPMU … with all the great content and community here! All the best.

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