5 Things you need to Know about the New Penguin Updates

About New Penguin Updates

The Penguin algorithm update was designed to attack and de-rank a large subset of Internet website whose SEO practices were thought to use “black hat” strategies. The Google algorithm change thus went after pages and URLs that were doing three main things:

1. Stuffing their content with keywords so that it attracts search bot attention instead of focusing on giving quality to human readers
2. Spamming the Internet with back links on low-quality websites, content farms, link farms and through comment spam.
3. Monopolizing all of their backlinks and some of their content with too much use of a single keyword, resulting in a strategy that more resembles keyword spam. Since its release, Penguin has generated a lot of talks and it’s easy to get lost in the noise, forgetting what might be important. Thus, here are five distilled points you need to know that will guide you and your site through managing Penguin.

About New Penguin Updates

About New Penguin Updates

1. Penguin doesn’t embody anything new.
The policies that Penguin (and its predecessor Panda) embody and enforce are not a new change in Google policy. They have always been the desired outcome of the search giant’s index. The only difference is that they are now being more actively enforced through these two algorithms and all their updates.

In other words, Google is getting more determined to act intelligently and actively clean its search listings of what it views as low quality. Most search users who just want information that’s actually useful to them would agree with the criteria in fact.
2. It’s not the end of the world.
Despite the Clamor from many affected sectors of the Internet that would have had you thinking it was the end of the world; the Penguin updates were not as widespread, devastating or random as you might be thinking. Google released their algorithm change to address highly specific issues with the black hat tendencies of a number of websites.

They did this for the sake of improving search for their users and largely went after a specific subset of sites that were either manipulating their ranking either by tricking the search bots or by overdoing it with the keyword stuffing of content instead of actually trying to provide relevant and informative content.

If your website was not doing these sorts of things, it is very unlikely to be affected by Penguin. In fact, even the first, worst, Penguin update of April 2012 only affected an estimated 3% of the pages indexed by Google -a small percentage to be sure.
3. If Penguin did affect you, you can undo the damage.
As we’ve already said, Penguin affected highly specific SEO practices on the Internet and if you were accidentally or purposely engaging in those practices, you were probably knocked down a notch or two in the search engine rankings.

Now that you’ve been punished, you need to change what you were doing wrong, wait for the next search bot reexamination and wait as your index rank slowly creeps upwards. It will be a bit of a slow process but at least it will happen. Eventually, as long as you improve your SEO practices, you will recoup lost rank.

Flesh out your content, make it more natural and engaging to human readers; eliminate all of your low quality backlinks to any suspicious or spammy websites: where possible, get rid of exact word match anchor text backlinks and start from scratch with a new backlink campaign that’s organic, based on trust, relevance and which involves searching for quality sites with relevance to your own site in which to place your backlinks.
4. Penguin is just the beginning.
Google is getting smarter by the day and it will only be harder to keep up with black hat tactics that work, with the constant daily risk of de-ranking or even delisting hanging over your URL’s head.

The company has the interests of its hundreds of millions of search users as its bottom line, since they are Google’s bottom line and because the entire earning structure of Google -including Adwords, Adsense, and other ad formats—is dependent on a growing user base that searches based on high quality relevance in the results they get.

Google pairs its ads with those results; the higher their quality and relevance, the more Google learns. Black hat tactics are a hindrance to this basic goal. Thus, they are being squeezed ever hard and will continue to be squeezed out ever harder.
5. You need to focus on ‘white hat’ SEO and creating value.

Forget rushing your way upwards through the search engine rankings by trying to create thousands of backlinks through link farms, content sites or Blog comments; forget to try to attract the notice of search bots by writing content that was designed to trick them or feed them tons of keywords, forget about posting articles in low-quality websites that are designed mainly for search engine manipulation instead of human reader engagement.

Instead of risking this kind of catastrophic loss, just focus on the quality optimization strategies that are stable and have always worked. Focus on building valuable content, getting it noticed, getting it shared through social media and other people’s pages due to genuine interest.

Focus also on building up a series of guest posts and articles in high-quality sites that are relevant to yours, all of which link back (without exact match anchor text if possible) to relevant pages on your own website.

With this kind of long-term SEO strategy, you will be building a much more stable ranking that leaves you to worry free about future algorithm updates. You will achieve this because you’re working towards the same aims that Google has -providing quality content to Internet users.


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