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  1. #1
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    Penguin effect on Local? A quick story.

    I recently started blogging for a major electronics retailer. It seemed like a huge opportunity because I can pretty much put whatever links I want in the posts. In my eagerness to capitalise I threw in one exact keyword matched link to my sote. Then I noticed that links to external sites were 'nofollow'.

    Surprisingly enough, when I mentioned this to my contact, she was happy to add my website to the list of linkable sites. Great.

    Then lo and behold, within a couple of days of the 'nofollow' being removed, I fell off page one for local results. So I went back and removed the exact match link and few days later I'm back on page one!

    I seem to recall reading elsewhere on the forum that Penguin and link profile have no effect on local results, but my recent experience seems to indicate otherwise.

    I'm interested to hear any other thoughts or comments.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Penguin effect on Local? A quick story.

    Interesting story, Justin. Sounds a bit sensitive, even for Penguin, but you did test it pretty scientifically...

    My initial thought is it depends on just how exact-match the anchor text was.

    My other thought is maybe it was just the straw that broke the camel's back (although I don't know anything about the SEO you've done, obviously).

    You know what would be interesting, albeit in a masochistic way? To try it again.

  4. #3
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    Re: Penguin effect on Local? A quick story.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinM View Post
    I seem to recall reading elsewhere on the forum that Penguin and link profile have no effect on local results, but my recent experience seems to indicate otherwise.
    Hi Justin, I don't recall seeing that. I don't really deal with backlinks at all but in my opinion local is primarily about regular organic factors. There are local factors mixed in with the blended results of course. But I don't see why organic penalties would be removed from the mix just because a result was local.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  5. #4
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    Re: Penguin effect on Local? A quick story.

    @Justin

    It just occurred to me: by "the local results," do you mean the Google+Local (AKA Google Places, AKA 7-pack) rankings, or the organic results for local businesses?

    Even if you meant the former, Penguin could indirectly affect the Google+Local rankings: if your clients' site gets penalized, that's certainly enough to knock them down in the results. If you meant the latter, a Penguin penalty certainly can do you in.

  6. #5
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    Re: Penguin effect on Local? A quick story.

    You know what would be interesting, albeit in a masochistic way? To try it again.
    @Phil
    Not a chance!


    I don't see why organic penalties would be removed from the mix just because a result was local.
    @Linda
    My bad, I'm not sure where I got that idea.

    @Phil
    Just to clarify, I rank in the 7-pack. I'm just a sole proprietor doing my own local SEO here, not a consultant or anything, hence my total aversion to experimenting with my link profile, educational and all as that may be!

  7. #6
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    Re: Penguin effect on Local? A quick story.

    Quote Originally Posted by JustinM View Post
    @Phil
    Just to clarify, I rank in the 7-pack. I'm just a sole proprietor doing my own local SEO here, not a consultant or anything, hence my total aversion to experimenting with my link profile, educational and all as that may be!
    Good thing you knew I was just joking! (I'd hate to be responsible for even more link blood on the Penguin's beak...)

  8. #7
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    Re: Penguin effect on Local? A quick story.

    You said, Links to external sites, I wonder how many sites? If it is a large number then it could have been the straw that broke the camel's back. A bunch of do-follow exact keyword back links can lead to a drop in rankings.
    I have read other people testing the same thing out with back links and they would fall and recover just as you described when the links were removed.
    I find it interesting and do wish you would test it again......but I understand why you don't want to!

  9. #8
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    Re: Penguin effect on Local? A quick story.

    I'm guessing Marie that this isn't so much the straw that broke the camel's back but the 50 kilo anvil. I've only been doing SEO seriously for about a year (and by no means in a full-time capacity), so it's conceivable that my link profile is so shallow that this one link threw the whole profile into the red zone.

    Anyway, it is interesting that I've got this resource (a major retailer's blog) that I can experiment with. I'll be doing so with a bit of caution though as my livelihood is on the line here!

  10. #9
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    Re: Penguin effect on Local? A quick story.

    It may be incorrect (or perhaps not) but I just don't go for exact match anchor text anymore. It just seems to risky in light of the fear in the aftermath of the Penguin update. I figure that if you have good On-page and a good link profile, you will have secure rankings for your keywords, and you will not have to worry about future iterations of the Penguin update. - Incidentally, we have a new wave of Penguin on the way very soon
    Nicholas Pratt | Director | Add me on Google+
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  11. #10
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    Re: Penguin effect on Local? A quick story.

    If your back links are shallow....then YEP, it can cause the drop. You need to have more of a mixture. If possible try back links with images, your company name and so on. Once you have more of a back link base then add in a few keyword back links.

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