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Penguins, Plugins, Perplexed...Please Participate

 
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frugalrvers
Posts: 325
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on 05/26/2012

Hey Everyone...Looking for some advice, if possible. Didn't post in help please, because this isn't Wizzley related, per se...

Jim and I are blogging/writing for 95% absolute fun...the rest is to supplement income in our rv lifestyle. We mainly write on Wizzley and then our few blogs, with our cheap rv blog being our "baby."

We only started this 15 months ago, and are pleased at the results. I am a learn-o-holic, so I did the best I could learning seo, keyword placement, etc.

Anyway, I've never done anything I would intentionally call "bad" at all. I don't do much backlinking and it is always from my own material, when I do link to anything. I don't keyword stuff, blah, blah, blah.

That said, we took a hit from Penguin...absolutely didn't knock us off the board at all, but a good kick nonetheless. This surprised me because, again, if anyone lacked knowledge on promotion, seo and links, it was me.

Have spent days reading about the dangers of wordpress plugins, if you have zero idea on how to configure (that is NOT easy to find good info on, btw). I feel certain it was two plugins (I know many would disagree). XML sitemaps had categories and tags turned on (now turned off) which many report looks like duplicate content. But the other is the "keywords" part in the all in one seo plugin. I think I overused it, putting the same keywords in on rving no matter what the post topic, then adding a few about the specific topic.

So I'm thinking of going back to my roots and going "natural" - I'm comfortable doing my blog without fancy plugins, etc.

ANY INPUT ON ANY OF THIS? And..............IF YOU DEACTIVE PLUGINS YOU'VE USED, DOES IT DESTROY YOUR BLOG TO DATE?

Thanks...I'm just so frustrated by all of this and think the best thing for me is to just do my best without bells and whistles. I got hit for something and it has to be my lack of wordpress plugin education...

Thanks Guys and Gals!


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
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on 05/26/2012

Robin - Anne has a lot of expertise in these things. She's currently on a camping trip and will be back by Tuesday. Let's ask her then. (Remind me, or message her directly with a link to this thread.)

In the meanwhile, don't delete anything, and don't take any drastic measures. You've got plenty of time to fix things once you know more about what's wrong.

Any input from our knowledgeable members is welcome, too.


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
Online
frugalrvers
Posts: 325
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on 05/26/2012

Thanks Chef!

That is great to hear - there is no rush and I absolutely wouldn't do anything asap without having a lot of feedback and research under my belt.

I know it seems funny to complain, because I really do come up well in searches on the main words I try to rank for...but that Analytics dip (and holding steady) on April 24th makes me think I'm doing something wrong...and I need to find out what that is!

Will stay tuned...have a nice weekend!

Robin


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
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on 05/26/2012

BTW, this is Robin and Jim's blog. Check it out...it's a lot of fun.

And while you're there, look in the side bar for their "gas money" donation set-up through PayPal. All they ask for is 1 Dollar. Get's them going for 3 more miles.

 


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
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frugalrvers
Posts: 325
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on 05/27/2012

That is so thoughtful of you...thank you chefkeem...


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
lakeerieartists
Posts: 769
Message
on 05/27/2012

 

frugalrvers: 26. May 2012, 12:43

ANY INPUT ON ANY OF THIS? And..............IF YOU DEACTIVE PLUGINS YOU'VE USED, DOES IT DESTROY YOUR BLOG TO DATE?

Thanks...I'm just so frustrated by all of this and think the best thing for me is to just do my best without bells and whistles. I got hit for something and it has to be my lack of wordpress plugin education...

Thanks Guys and Gals!

Plugins being removed from a blog will not impact the content unless they are content related plugins.  So removing them will not destroy your blog.  Sometimes plugins become ineffictive due to changes in Wordpress and they need to be removed.

You should probably not change anything right away, but let Penguin settle before you do.  These waves of changes on Google tend to have the most effect at first, then settle in.  Sometimes Google makes tweaks to them afterwards. 

As to your writing style, using keywords is still fine, but I would just write naturally while including the keywords, and not stuff your content with those words.  With a blog, you develop your keywords over a multitude of posts, not just with each single post.   The biggest thing that may have affected your blog with Penguin was what sites linked to your blog.  To correct for that, I would just change that going forward, by linking to your blog from a variety of content sites, quality sites like Wizzley, other blogs, etc.


Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists) is the owner of an online art gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery and a freelance writer
Online
frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 05/27/2012

Thank you for your reply!

I guess my post is sorta steering me toward needing some educating on the all in one plugin. There could be links to my blog that I am unaware of, but for me I've always stuck to just linking from Wizzley, Squidoo, Hub, Infobarrel and my other smaller niche blogs. That said, the darn all in one plugin has the keyword entry segment, and in there I always put in my SAME rv keywords for every topic (though I don't worry at all in my post about keywords and absolutely don't stuff...letting the plug in do its "job").

As an example (and again, there was no intentional bad stuff being done here), if my normal niche keywords are rv, rving, motorhome, etc...but my rv post was about Verizon internet service while in the rv, I would paste in my usual rv, rving, motorhome, etc...then a few relevant keywords for the internet topic. What I'm thinking I should have done was left the rv keywords out except when a post was 100% about rving?

I really need a wordpress therapist (and probably a different kind, too) at this point. Does this make sense, what I was doing?

I should also stress that I only took a tiny hit...nothing destructive...things still looking good for such a newbie like me. But Analytics clearly shows a drop on April 24th - and I know I've never done intentional "bad" stuff (honest, wouldn't know how!!)...so I thought this had to be it?

Sheeesh. I'm willing to bet newbies like me, who do unintentional things and merely lack education, get dinged as well....


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
humagaia
Posts: 652
Message
on 05/28/2012

The keywords thingy will prob not have anything to do with the ding - very few search engines take any notice of them any more - Google certainly does not (or so they say).

Penguin was a lot about dodgy b/l's from dodgy sites. Your linking strategy should be OK UNLESS  any one of the b/l sites is deemed to be dodgy. As HP has been hit so bad I would consider checking whether switching off any b/l's from there makes any difference. This strategy could be employed for each of the sites you employ for b/l's.

You should also check what other sites link to you naturally. If any of those look dodgy then request that the link be removed by the webmaster.

Remember though that Penguin has been vilified by many who have used only 'white-hat' backlinking. There may be some significant changes in the pipeline to redress the matter - but don't hold your breath, it is Google after all.

My policy in your case would be to diversify your traffic generating strategy. Try to rely less on Google traffic and expand to gain traffic from FB, G+, Twitter ( and other search engines, if that is possible for you). The less reliance there is on Google the smaller the hit from any future changes to the Google game.


Jimmie
Posts: 338
Message
on 05/28/2012

You entire blog is about RV LIVING, so why wouldn't each post have RV as a tag? I have a blog and its main theme is used as a tag on almost every post. (no penguin slap that I can discern.) 

I see no way that the plug ins you mentioned could cause a Google penalty. Honestly if it is a minor change, I would not stress over it. I do recommend looking into Google Plus, however. Begin using that network. Get your author tag with google on your blog.

 

  

Online
frugalrvers
Posts: 325
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on 05/28/2012

Thank you humagaia and Jimmie -

I know this whole plugin/keyword thing doesn't make much sense...I truly do. But believe me, I was surprised to read how damaging XML sitemaps plugin can be if you don't have categories/archives, etc. set to no index - where it appears as duplicate content.

That led me to recognize how much learning I have to do about plugins...and I wonder how much impact they truly have (and if set up or used incorrectly, how much damage they can possibly do?).

But all of your advice here does put my mind at ease...so thanks for that!


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
lakeerieartists
Posts: 769
Message
on 05/29/2012

I have XML sitemaps on all of my Wordpress sites, and it doesn't seem to have made any difference with the last few changes on Google.


Paula Atwell (aka lakeerieartists) is the owner of an online art gallery, Lake Erie Artists Gallery and a freelance writer
Online
frugalrvers
Posts: 325
Message
on 05/30/2012

That is good to know, Paula...thank you!


In 2009 we sold everything and hit the road! Follow us on our blog at Cheap RV Living
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