Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How to Avoid the Attack of the Google Penguin

When Google released its webspam algorithm update, Penguin, on April 24, heads spun. While it’s common for algorithms to stir debate, the Penguin update triggered an alarming amount of criticism. Webmasters and SEOs fired back at the new algorithm, claiming that it will only hurt site rankings.

Well, that’s true. But, this algorithm is aimed at sites that are cheating the search system.

The purpose of Google’s Penguin is to crack down on sites that are purposely over-optimized in order to achieve a high standing in the SERPs. Google recognizes the unfairness between sites with high quality content but low rankings, and sites with heavy optimization and low quality content that appear higher in the SERPs.

“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,” said Google Engineer Matt Cutts.

Google’s aim is to give each site a fair chance of ranking well in the SERPs. Sites that manipulate the search system will be penalized by Google in which they will be removed from Google’s index and become invisible to search engines.

While every site wants to be at the forefront of Google, the Penguin is keeping close guard on its organic traditions and cautiously eyeing sites to ensure no black hat techniques occur.

If you’re curious if any of the SEO practices you follow may cost you a penalty, here are a few tips to help your site avoid an attack by the Google Penguin:

-Avoid the overuse of exact-match domains
-Be cautious of your keyword density
-Write fresh and clear content on each page
-Don’t scrape content
-Create titles that are creative and don’t contain solely keywords
-Write unique anchor texts and avoid exact-match text
-Write guest blogs to link to your site
-Create high quality links
-Post useful feedback on other blogs
-Share your writing on social media sites
-Take note of your page loading time

The best method to avoid being hit by the Google Penguin is to think organic.

Google's Penguin Update Makes Waves Through Online Marketing Industry

If there is one rule to the internet marketing industry it is the fact that the industry is in constant flux. There are constant changes that push those tracking the search engines and the way they function to keep obsessively up-to-date in order to understand the ways they function, and by extension how sites can be optimized to rank on them. Although there are several important search engines, including Yahoo and Bing, Google undeniably dominates both in the US and around the globe, except in certain markets like China where Baidu, the local alternative, has the largest market share.

As a result, the changes that occur with Google are those that are tracked to the closest degree because understanding Google's search algorithm and intern how to rank effectively on it will bring the greatest return at present. Google's changes are thus tracked very closely, and their latest large-scale revision called the Penguin Update was released two weeks ago and the industry is just now wrapping its head around the implications.

In essence, most of the changes that occur from Google are noteworthy and important, but are usually not entirely game-changing. Google's Inside Search blog posts monthly updates that highlight the changes that have been made for each month, and this is very beneficial to the industry. With the larger changes such as the Panda Update last year and now the Penguin Update, the changes are more significant. With Penguin, the search algorithm takes direct aim at those websites that are over-optimized and have engaged in questionable search engine optimization practices. Of particular note, the update penalizes sites that engage in:
  • Keyword stuffing- the practice of having too many mentions of a keyword or keyword phrase in on-page site content.
  • Illegitimate Links - links that are bought and established from low quality sites.