Introducing the Google Penguin

Google Penguin

It is time to welcome Google Penguin algorithm. On April 2012, Google team published 52 changes to the search engine algorithm which some of them are then based for the Penguin update.

Although the exact penguin update is unknown, this update has made another improvement over the Panda update held by Google last year. The effects that the Penguin has given to the algorithm are mostly about keyword stuffing and anchor text.

The Google Penguin update, much like Panda last year, has angered many SEOs and webmasters, most of whom say they have played by Google’s rules.Last year, Google Panda was continuously watching all black hatters, and gave many hints for those websites that used black hat SEO.

Google Panda was not affecting the black hat SEO users as much as Google Penguin does. Panda update was said to decrease minor website ranking in search results but Penguin algorithm update are said to also decrease even the best known websites that involved in keyword stuffing. This update can result many websites disappearing from Google search overnight.

Google was also hitting websites for aggressive anchor text for keywords in backlinks even before Penguin. Post-Penguin, anchor text diversity becomes more critical. "Penguin is an update of the Panda. It does what Panda did with a little more touch to meet the current trend and demand", said an SEO specialist Kurniawan.

Microsite Masters examined historical data for thousands of websites to investigate whether sites that saw their rankings drop after Penguin were also guilty of having an unbalanced percentage of anchor text for keywords as opposed to more natural-looking mix of linking anchor text.

As for sites that were not penalized, they had a much more natural looking backlink profile. Sites that had money keyword anchor text less than 50 percent of the time can have the possibility for not being affected by the Penguin.

Essentially, Google Penguin was trying to correct its rankings by discounting patterns it considers to be link spam. Granted, that potentially also opens the door to negative SEO attacks.

Another finding was that Penguin also hit sites with few incoming links from domains and websites in the same niche, according to Microsite Masters. With Google, link quality and relevance are key, so by being able to attract quality links from authoritative domains in the same niche would be a clear sign that a site or page is relevant.

The Google Penguin update has created unemployment in some places. The Penguin update effected low quality SEO/link building services, much of which 80% was carried out in India. A US Digital Marketing agency stated that “90 percent of our business was outsourced to India, we assumed they had the knowledge to keep Google happy but we were wrong”.

If Penguin has caught you for having unnatural or spamming links, link pruning can be an answer. According to veteran SEO Bruce Clay, who was interviewed by Search Engine Watch contributor Eric Enge. He advises people to consider their link profile at least once a month, looking for low quality links to remove.

Getting a link to a website removed is about twice as hard as successfully requesting a website link.

If that were to happen, or one is unable to add enough good links to counter the bad, or otherwise unable to get a spam link removed, Clay advised that one thing people can do is send Google a list of links they tried to get removed and ask them to discount them.

While it is easy to focus just on cleaning up links in the hopes of a Penguin recovery, it could be something else dragging down a website's ranking. Perhaps a site Google views unfavorably has scraped your content, and is now either linking to you, or it failed to remove an internal link to your site from within the copy text, and now that link from a bad neighborhood is pointing at your website.

If you find that other sites have stolen your content, Google has this page to submit a DMCA report and request the removal of content. If Google removes that site, that’s one less bad backlink you have to worry about.

For the given time, websites should do an SEO audit to ensure there is nothing that can harm their position and credibility. They can do an honest evaluation of their sites, or find an SEO professional.

For those websites that are impacted but have done nothing wrong, it may just be the case that they don't have enough quality backlinks, or the domains may not have enough authority.

Avoiding the Google Penguin

Below are the few tips to avoid the Google Penguin update affect a website ranking:

  • Remove keyword stuffing that is first update of penguin algorithm to reduce web spam.
  • Use simple words.
  • Make sensible title that looks for human readable not for machine.
  • Do not over optimize a website with keywords stuffing or use black hat SEO.
  • Avoid unnatural links: participation in link exchange program, traffic exchange etc..
  • Do not publish spun content or article spinning, it could be raise plagiarism issue.
  • Avoid hidden text and links that used for special purpose for search engine queries only.
  • Too much affiliate link that have no relevancies

The Google Penguin update, just like Panda last year, decrease the movement of black hat SEO practices and other violations. This update can give newly made website that have useful content to compete better in the World Wide Web, and just like anything else, nothing comes perfect. This newly updated algorithm at the same time opens a new gate of opportunity to further violate the given rules.