Remember that over-optimization penalty that Google was cooking since last month? Yes, it is now live. Rather than calling it over-optimization penalty, however, Google named its algorithmic update after another cute animal – Penguin.
What’s with the Penguin?
The Penguin update was actually launched last April 24, and the announcement came from Google’s distinguished head spam fighter, Mark Cutts. According to Cutts, the update was aimed at better identifying websites that utilize aggressive spamming tactics in order to make their way on top of Google’s rankings, which has long been known to be against their quality guidelines.
Cutts and his team already pointed out in the wake of the update approximately 3.1 percent of Google English would be affected. But, the update could actually take its toll in languages that can be easy target for spams, like Polish.
It is still too early to assess how far reaching the Penguin update’s impact is. After all, it was just last week when the update fully rolled out. Yet, numerous website owners are now struggling to clean their sites and most of them are not happy with the changes that Google is implementing.
Did Penguin Hit You?
Like any other updates from Google, there is no easy way to tell if the Penguin update actually hit you. However, as it has been pointed out, such an update is designed to target websites that are using a wide variety of web spam tactics to climb to the top of the rankings. So, what are these web spam tactics, you ask?
Google would like to call it search spam and sites that may be considered to be likely targeted by Penguin are those that use keyword stuffing, purposely duplicate contents, link schemes and cloaking or sneaky redirects or doorway pages.
If you see a major drop in your site’s rankings, chances are, you might be affected by the Penguin update. However, if you notice a significant increase on your website’s rank, then you have benefited from the said update and the changes did not totally affect you.
Recovering from the Penguin’s blow
Suppose you have been affected by the Penguin update. This is not the time to panic and blame Google. The Penguin update is not really major nor unacceptable. Google just fine-tuned its algorithm in order to penalize sites that they deem are having unfair advantage over other websites that deserve the limelight. As such, to address the problem at hand, you might want to fix all the link issues in your site, eliminate any form of keyword stuffing and other spammy tactics that you are probably employing.
This is also the perfect time for you to look at your website and carefully evaluate what is perhaps pulling your rankings down and perhaps come up with a smarter marketing plan that does not rely on Google alone for the traffic. This way, you will not have to cram every time Google makes changes in its algorithmic system.
The Penguin got the wrong website
Do you think that the Penguin got your site for all the wrong reasons? Use Google’s new Penguin Feedback form or post a feedback using the search engine’s webmaster forum. If you would be using any of these, it would be wise to explain your side properly. At least give out details about the quality behind your site and never tell them how the update is costing you. Remember, you are not alone. So, it pays to be wise with the details you are going to provide.
Article was written by Robert Kirk who works as an SEO Consultant for RFK Print Solutions in the UK. RFK Print are a web based company who sell a range of printing products such as high quality business cards flyers, leaflets, booklets and more.