Google Penguin Update
“Overnight my business which supports my 5 children, 3 employees, pays for my mortgage and debts has been wiped out”
This is just one of the hundreds of comments from small online business owners who are signing a petition on Change.org to have Google kill their Penguin update.
So what is Google Penguin?
On April 24th Google released a change to their algorithm named “Penguin” with the intention of penalizing sites for over-optimization or spamming.
On Google’s Webmaster blog they write:
“The change will decrease rankings for sites that we believe are violating Google’s existing quality guidelines. We’ve always targeted webspam in our rankings, and this algorithm represents another improvement in our efforts to reduce webspam and promote high quality content. While we can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users, our advice for webmasters is to focus on creating high quality sites that create a good user experience and employ white hat SEO methods instead of engaging in aggressive webspam tactics.”
What does the Google Penguin update target?
As shown in Google’s official comment they will not divulge what they are specifically targeting to classify your site as being spammy, however in comparing sites that were and were not penalized the update seems to focus on a ratio comparing natural site links to forced or unnatural links.
Glen Gabe at G-Squared noted these 5 common issues;
- Paid text links using exact match anchor text:Avoid sponsored or paid links that use exact match anchor tag keywords.These are very easy for Google to spot and your competitors will report you
- Comment spam:Another easy footprint for Google to spot!Avoid using those forced automated link building tools such as Xrumer, Scrapebox and SENuke.
- Guest posts on questionable sites: Most “private” blog networks that allow you write a guest post/article, which you would upload it, their network have all been identified by Google.
- Article marketing sites: Links from EzineArticles, ArtileBase, SubmitYourArticle and other article marketing sites have been classified as being unnatural links by Google
- Links from dangerous sites: Sites that have been flagged for malware, numerous pop-ups, link farms or other spammy issues are another indicator causing sites to lose rankings in the Google SERPs.
Is Google Penguin is Encouraging Some to do Negative SEO?
Now that Google is penalizing sites that have a high amount of un-natural links do you think it’s possible to negatively impact your competitors rankings by using those blackhat tools to against them?
And some slimy SEO have even been bragging about it as in this case study.
How Can I Fight Back Against The Penguin Update?
Here are a number of SEO tips we recommend doing to get your site re-indexed if you have been penalized and that will Google Proof your online business.
1) Identify any security weaknesses that you may have on your website to protect against malware. If you’re using WordPress or another CMS program be sure to have the latest updates and make sure that you’re only using plugins from trusted sources.
2) Employ tools that will monitor backlinks to your site and be watchful for a negative SEO attack from a competitor.
3) Do a site audit of your website and of the top level competitors in your niche.
4) Employ LSI (latent semantic indexing) techniques into your content NOW!
5) If you’re site’s template was designed by a third party make sure that there are NO links embedded in the template that go to the developer and/or other link farms.
6) Obtain backlinks from trusted websites and directories such as Best of The Web
7) FOCUS on the user experience! Make sure that your site is easy to navigate employing good site architecture and create great content that includes video, audio and images.
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