In June of 2013 Epicor Software found that their site had been deindexed and that their organic traffic from Google had dropped over 90%. Most sites get over 53% of their traffic from organic search and over 80% of that traffic is from Google. A significant source of Epicor’s traffic and revenue had been impacted.
Dawna Olsen, Sr. Director of Corporate Marketing at Epicor started researching the problem. First she looked at her BrightEdge dashboards and pinpointed the day the traffic dropped. After considering possibilities, including a black hat link attack on their China site, Dawna concluded that she had been hit and hit hard with a Google Penguin penalty. She also accessed the backlink database and started reviewing her external link quantity and quality and saw that she had a very high number of links from certain affiliate partners. She examined the links and could see that the quantity per partner was too high and that her affiliates looked like the kind of link farms that Google was punishing with Penguin. She also found problematic footer links that needed to be no-followed. She disavowed unwanted links. She also contacted her affiliate partners and instructed them to take down most of the links and increase the diversity of anchor text they were using. They did so, and one month later she submitted a reconsideration appeal to Google and her penalty was lifted.
BrightEdge reports showed rapid organic traffic improvements. Organic traffic jumped 23% and Epicor commanded a 3X increase in share of voice with its competitors. Critical keywords moved from not ranked to Position #8. Within specific key geographies, top keywords went from Rank #43 to Position #3. In this case, having the right tools translated into recovering substantial lost traffic and revenue.
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