A few weeks ago, at the end of April 2012, Google released its new algorithm change called “Penguin”. Find out how to ensure your website will not be penalized by Google with this new penguin update and what to do, if you have already been penalized. These tips will help your website stay on top of the Google results page.
When Google makes a search algorithm update, every single webmaster, SEO person, website owner, online business and website copywriter quakes in their boots. Google is that powerful, and has such a large number of people doing searches on it, that one algorithm update could drop your website from top positions from the search results page and cause detrimental effects to your business.
The latest Google search algorithm update is called ‘Penguin’ and it comes over a year after the ‘Panda’ update. Penguin penalizes websites based on 2 major factors:
- Your pages’ content:
- Is it stuffed with too many keywords in a spammy looking way?
- Is it unique content or is it posted all over the internet with only slight variations?
- Backlinks to your website:
- Do they look natural or spammy?
- Do they come from quality and related websites?
Of course Google has not been 100% clear on exactly what the new algorithm change is picking up on, so it is up to SEO geeks, webmaster nerds, and internet freaks to work it out on blogs and forums by ourselves what factors the penguin update focusses on. This is done by looking at what websites dropped and which ones were not affected, and pooling that information to form a clear picture.
How do you know if your site is affected?
If you have experienced a sudden drop in traffic from Google (check your website analytics) or if your impressions have dropped significantly on Google Webmaster Tools for keywords that normally rank highly for you – this could be a sign you have been hit. If none of these things have occurred but you are still fearful that your site may be affected by a Penguin future update, its best to implement the strategy below anyway.
How to recover your site:
Firstly even if you are not affected yet, make sure your on page and off page SEO is in line with my recommendations below.
- Make sure you don’t have paragraphs on your website with long excessive lists of keywords or synonyms all together and simply separated by commas. If you do, fix this immediately and ensure your sentences don’t look like they were written for a search engine.
- Do you use a tool to spin your articles or blog posts? Spinning is an SEO technique whereby you use a tool to take one blog post or article and replace certain elements like using synonyms and changing the order of paragraphs so as to trick search engines into thinking you have new and original content. Make sure all your blogs and articles are completely original and you have not spun them after writing them.
- Ensure there is not excessive anchor text internal or external linking on your website. If every time a certain word shows up it is an anchored text hyperlink, you will get penalized.
- Do you get all your inlinks at certain times or all from a few sources? This is hard to change but can be stopped so as not to be penalized and start creating quality content that will be linked to naturally.
- Do your links come from websites that are related and are quality themselves or from websites which themselves look spammy and/or are off topic.
It is never easy adapting your website to a Google algorithm change such as Penguin but in the end, it pays to have your website ranking highly. We all need to play by the rules Google makes, even if we don’t like them, otherwise traffic to our websites will suffer. It’s not a good alternative, so be proactive, clean up your site and sleep easy knowing you won’t be penalized in the next round of updates.