Google’s algorithm changes have a history of coming complete with their own warm and fuzzy sounding names. Pandas and Penguins that may inspire happy feelings in those unfamiliar with what they mean coming from Google, may not understand when SEO masters and content creators cringe and hold back tears when they hear those commonly friendly feeling terms. At the end of May Digital Ethos posted how some struggling with the Penguin update could avoid being fully penalized.
The most recent update, the Google Penguin WebSpam change, has actually been one that has been the most impatiently awaited and most expected update ever.
The Penguin is Angry
Many sites have suffered from the most recent update due to several reasons relating directly to SEO, or search engine optimization, practices. Google has warned business owners, web designers, content creators for years that while SEO can be highly-constructive and positive, it can also be very negative, and result in penalties that can be incredibly difficult to recover from. Good SEO practices can include keyword research, high-quality and educational content, and as always, originality is vital. These are also commonly referred to as white hat techniques.
It isn’t the white hat techniques that have angered the Penguin. The techniques the Google has finally put the digital foot down on are most often referred to as black hat SEO. They include such practices as:
- Purposefully Duplicated Content
- Keyword Stuffing
- Hidden Redirects or Doorway Pages
- Black Hat Link Schemes
Google has officially classified the above black hat schemes to be Webspam and it will no longer be tolerated. Google’s own Matt Cutts has been a part of the Webspam team for a bit and has put out hundreds of videos in his own webmaster help series. This video will not contain any of his usual wisdom when it comes to good web practices, but in fact just the opposite.
The point here is that although these things might sound crazy, when put into actual audible language, these are exactly the same practices that the Penguin has sought out, and selectively destroyed. Matt Cutts advises watching these two videos if you’ve been hit by the angry Penguin and endorses these tips to help website owners recover as quickly and easily as possible.
There are several ways that web developers, content creators and SEO specialist have determined will help you survive the Google Penguin update.
5 Steps to Recovery
- Eliminate all unrelated links on your website.
- Generate only backlinks that are obtained organically, such as guest posting.
- Limit the number of ads on your site and focus on easy site navigation for visitors.
- Try to include only contextual links.
- Use different anchor text when linking to your site.
Don’t forget to check the search engine spam penalties page for more information that could be vital to the recovery of your website.
Google wants users to focus directly on white hat SEO methods that include creating high-quality and highly compelling content. They have suggested for years now that unless you are using white hat techniques, it is absolutely better to use no search engine optimization at all.
About Joy Lynskey
Full-Time Freelance Writer and Content Manager for Puglisi Consulting Group, Joy Lynskey specializes in Technology, SEM, SMM, and other elements of Digital Marketing.