Google's Panda and Penguin algorithm updates have really disturb many small business and blog owners. Many websites that once ranked exceedingly for specific keywords are no longer listed in the top pages on Google's search engine. In some cases sites were knock back several hundred pages. What mainly people do not realize is, the updates are not a penalty and are strictly algorithmic. What this means is, you are killing your time trying to clean up some things on your site and then submit a reconsideration request to Google. A manual penalty is much more severe and would warrant a reconsideration request. The algorithm updates are devalue sites based on over-optimization, blackhat SEO techniques and spam.
Some sites actually benefited from the updates because they moved up in rankings when the other sites plummet in ranking. Imagine being a blog owner with a site that gets ten to twenty visitors a month and out of the blue you are now getting hundreds if not thousands of visitors daily. That is simply the power of Google, but it also underscores the significance of not having all your eggs in one basket. A carefully designed traffic strategy should always rely on receiving traffic from multiple sources. Organic traffic is great, but when you are at risk of the latest Google algorithm update damaging your rankings, it just does not make good sense to focus solely on search traffic.
What are Panda and Penguin?
The Penguin and Panda updates were shaped by Google to target low quality websites that were abuse Google's guidelines. To be more specific the list below will give you an idea of the types of things the updates were challenge to filter from Google's search engine.
- Site's that containing low quality content – This can consist of photocopy content or poorly spun articles., product pages that have no unique information, articles on the same subject as those already written and short articles that add no real value to the website.
- Spammy sites – Site's that are full of web spam that consist of link schemes, cloaking, keyword stuffing and any tactics that suggest site content can't stand alone.
- Over-Optimization – An example of this is a site littered with the same keyword all over the place. There's no relevant content to the keyword and in most cases the page is filled with affiliate links, contextual advertising and any other monetization efforts.
Useful Tips for Google Penguin update
If you have been affected by the updates or you hope to avoid losing rankings from future updates the following guidelines below should be followed:
- Do not over-optimize your pages – Avoid keyword stuffing in hopes of ranking well for that keyword. Google's search algorithm is smart enough to know what the content of your page is about, so there is no need to over do it. In fact, I would strive to have no more than two to three keywords in a 700 word article.
- Create a unique backlink profile – make sure that your backlinks come from a variety of sources. Natural backlinks is the best route to go, but many site owners are trying to compete for higher rankings. If you decide to generate backlinks make sure your backlink profile consists of blog posts, guest posting, bookmarks, article directories and links from social networks.
- Quality content is a must – This is a no brainer. If you create quality content, Google will reward you for it. Also, quality content brings visitors. There's no better way to generate natural backlinks then creating content that people want to link to and share on social websites.
Ranking highly on search engines takes work, but it's not rocket science. The days of wounding corners are over and Google is serious about creating a more quality search experience for its search engine users. Many private blog networks have been put out of business for using blackhat SEO tricks that went against Google's guidelines. Going forward, it just does not make sense to try and game the system. High quality content will bring you natural links over time that will rarely be at risk of hurting your site. Also, keep in mind that quality content is important, but what's more important is ensuring that you focus your traffic generating efforts from multiple sources so all your eggs are not in one basket.
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