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Penguin – Google’s New Webspam Algorithm

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The month of April has been critical for SEOs with Panda 3.5 update on April 19th and recent Google’s web spam algorithm update or over optimization penalty – Penguin on April 24th.  The recent Penguin update has impacted many websites that they have lost traffic and revenue tremendously. However, weeks before the update, Google has sent link violation notices or warnings to many websites to their Google webmaster accounts.

Are u hit?

Monitor your web traffic after April 24th and if you notice a massive drop in traffic, then you are probably affected by Penguin.  If you notice improvement in traffic, then you are hugely benefited with this update.  If there is no change, then it doesn’t mean you are safe.  This is just the beginning and Google will be rolling out more updates in the future, so it’s better to play safe.

What is Over Optimization?

There are many spammy techniques or black hat methods to make a website rank well in Google. Spammy techniques include cloaking, keyword stuffing, doorway pages and spammy inbound links that makes a site rank well in Google, pushing down the reputed websites with quality content.  Google has taken a positive step ahead with this Penguin update filtering spammy websites from searches.  So, play in the ground following proper rules and you will definitely win the game.

Penguin Recovery

Most of the sites hit by Penguin have spammy inbound links.  This is the initial stage of Penguin and spammy inbound links is the major consideration right now, however things will definitely change in the future. Inbound links are links pointing to your web site.  If you are the one hit by Penguin, check if you have followed the below tactics for SEO.

  •  Paid links with exact anchor text.  The anchor text should be natural and not exact.
  •  Spamming in comments by including exact match anchor text instead of names.
  • Irrelevant Guest posting with exact match anchor text for the sake of generating income.
  • Article syndication with exact match anchor text.

Natural link profile is very important for a successful SEO.  Please refer my writing on Link Building Tactics, listing the techniques of acquiring quality links and also the importance of having a mixed link profile. Natural link profile will have a mixture of link strategies with varying anchors that includes brands, website url, image links and much more, it won’t have majority of exact match anchor text following a single strategy for acquiring links. So, make sure your link profile is natural and from reputed, relevant websites and also ensure you are not linked from websites reported for malware.  Not only inbound links, you have to correct everything that you think is spammy in your website.  This will definitely help for a speedy recovery.

Penguin Form

Google has announced that Penguin update is algorithmic and so victims of this update can’t file a reinclusion request.  Google has a form where you can inform them if you feel that you are wrongly hit.  You can also report spam to Google if you think a website is not worth missing a Penguin hit.

It’s time to fix things up. It is really frustrating for webmasters to face tough challenges during every Google major algorithm update. Already Panda is making a great impact and now Penguin has also joined the game.  Whatever it is, don’t panic, analyse your website clearly and start taking action. Make changes to your site in a way that you remain unaffected by any of the major Google algorithm updates.