Google’s Penguin update, launched on April 24, 2012, was designed to penalize pages and sites that have violated Google’s Search Engine Spamming guidelines. Google’s anti-spamming guidelines are set to prevent sites from spamming its search results and artificially boosting their rankings.
Examples of spamming techniques that will cause penalties:
- Thin or Shallow Content: Writing content that lacks substance with the intent to boost rankings rather than to provide value to the end user.
- Keyword Stuffing: Saturating content with targeted keywords, over and over again, with the intent of ranking well for those keywords.
- Hidden Text: Placing keyword content on your site that is not visible to the end user but still visible to the search engines.
- Cloaking: Disguising content in a format that the search engines can’t read but humans can.
- Paid Links: Buying links from individuals or companies rather than by earning them naturally.
- Link Spam: Placing links back to your site on non-related open forums and blogs throughout the web.
Under the Quality Guidelines section you can read up on the specific guidelines Google provides about these and other deceptive or manipulative behaviors.
What can be done to recover?
Disavow Your Bad Links
Take action to remove bad links with the new disavow tool from Google. Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team warned that the tool should be used with caution. He also warned that publishers should first try to remove links they are concerned about pointing at them by first working with the site owners hosting links or with companies they may have purchased links through.
Begin New Link Building Campaigns
After you have completed your link removal requests, you need to begin a >new link building campaign with the goal of creating a balance or natural link profile. The key to having your link profile look natural is to diversify your tactics.
Optimize Your Keywords Properly
Despite the scare of a Penguin penalty you still need to optimize your keywords. Without it, search engines will not know what your site is about therefore they will not rank you. It all comes down to keeping your content balanced and natural, with the end-user in mind.
If you need help determining whether or not your website has been affected by Google’s Penguin algorithm update or if you need help recovering, please contact us today.
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