Webmasters and Bloggers have not even finished wiping their tears because of the recent Google Panda effect, I guess now it is time for them to buy two hand kerchiefs. Google has introduced another new update for so-called better search results and they named it as “Penguin”. I guess only Google can make me hate/love these animals without knowing much about them. Google Penguin update targeted at webspam.
They have clearly mentioned that the change will decrease rankings for sites that violates Google’s existing quality guidelines. We have elaborated some existing guidelines and other essentials tips to survive Google Penguin update. You can see them below and if you have any issues, feel free to comment using the comment form below the article.
1. Avoid Hidden Text or Hidden Links on your Blog
Ok, to make it more simple, if you present text, link or any information to search engines differently than to visitors, then they are called as Hidden Text or Hidden Link. That is a bad practice and your site could be easily penalized for that. Normally people use CSS to make them as small as possible. Some even make the font size smaller directly.
Things You Should Avoid:
- Using white text on a white background.
- Including text behind an image
- Using CSS to hide text
- Setting the font size to 0
2. Use Good Keyword Density On Your Blog Posts
What is Keyword Density?
Keyword density is a measure of how often a keyword or keyword phrase is used in your web page. Also Google uses this to determine how relevant your web site is in a search. The standard keyword density will help your website to achieve higher search engine positions.
You can use Google Toolbar to analyze Keyword Density. Normally you should have 3% to 4% Keyword Density, but try to make it around 2% for better results.
3. Avoid Keyword Stuffing/Cloaking/Spamming
Keyword Stuffing is another unethical SEO practice done by some webmasters using keywords. They use more than enough keywords inside the post to get more exposure in search engines, but actually they won’t. Search engines like Google can easily identify such practices and thus resulting in penalization. Even you might have accidentally used more keywords inside your blog post, so it is better to proofread them before publishing.
You can refer the above tip (#2) about Keyword Density, maintain that to keep your post clean. Also don’t use irrelevant keywords inside your post. The keywords you mention should be related to your blog post in one way or another.
4. Don’t send automated queries to Google
You should not send automated queries to any search engine. People normally use some sort of software to automate such queries thinking that it will result in Good SEO.
Taken from Google Webmaster Tools [Content Guidelines]
Google’s Terms of Service do not allow the sending of automated queries of any sort to our system without express permission in advance from Google. Sending automated queries absorbs resources and includes using any software (such as WebPosition Gold™) to send automated queries to Google to determine how a website or webpage ranks in Google search results for various queries.
You should not make your blog work with unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, analyze, etc.
5. Avoid Duplicate Content: Multiple pages, Subdomains, or domains
If you want to prevent your blog from becoming a scrapper site then you should avoid duplicate content.
What Could Also Be Duplicate Content
- Discussion forums that can generate both regular and stripped-down pages targeted at mobile devices.
- Store items shown or linked via multiple distinct URLs.
- Printer-only versions of web pages
To avoid these issues you can indicate your preferred URL to Google by Canonicalization. You can also minimize similar content and use 301 redirects to avoid this issue. Also don’t forget to tell Google (via Webmaster Tools) how you want your site to be indexed, like http://www.hellboundbloggers.com or http://hellboundbloggers.com (example).
Also if you are accepting guest posts then check whether they are genuine or copied posts.
6. Don’t create Pages with Malicious Behavior
Malicious Behavior in the sense, it could include phishing or installing viruses (check Symptoms of Virus), trojans, or other badware which potentially harms search engines and your visitor’s computer. Google hates it and penalizes it without further action.
Suppose if you have a page with pop ups and scripts that could install any harmful software with or without permission into your visitor’s computer, then that could be a bad strategy and you should delete those pages before Google does something to your site.
7. Don’t Use Doorway Pages To Impress Search Engines
Some webmasters create poor quality pages for targeting specific keyword or phrase. They are often called as “Doorway Pages”. Normally such pages frustrate users and also funnels them to a single destination using cloaking or some other black hat SEO techniques. It violates Webmaster Guidelines.
Doorway pages normally have Auto-generated content or scrapped content and are not essential for any kind of users.
Doorway pages are web pages that are created for spamdexing, this is, for spamming the index of a search engine by inserting results for particular phrases with the purpose of sending visitors to a different page. They are also known as bridge pages, portal pages, jump pages, gateway pages, entry pages and by other names. Doorway pages that redirect visitors without their knowledge use some form of cloaking. (via Wikipedia)
8. Avoid Affiliate Marketing Until You Have Good Content
They also want your site to have good and original content if you want to participate in Affiliate Marketing. Your blog should not have scrap content and also auto-generated content (which auto blogs normally does).
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. (via Wikipedia)
Your site should have enough promising content for your readers to consider the Affiliate products from your site. If your site is not yet for Affiliate Marketing or your site has no valuable readers, then you can quit it and try some other SEO strategies for making money with your blog.
9. Avoid Black Hat Link Building Techniques
This Google Penguin update is mostly targeted at Webspam, so that they can reward high quality websites. So I guess they’ll be penalizing links and sites which affects or differs from the context of the main page. So before you build links for your blog, check the quality of the link partners.
Earlier Google penalized blog networks and gave a penalty to non-contextual backlinks, so you need to be very careful about link building. Don’t forget your Article Linking Strategy should not distract readers. Penguin will affect your Backlinking Strategy if you are not playing it well.
You should also consider Organic Link Building, it will help you get wider search engine exposure and drive targeted traffic to your business. An organic link is a link from someone else’s site with or without an explicit agreement to exchange links.
Some Decent Link Building Tips:
10. Avoid Buying/Using Cheap SEO Services
Bad and Cheap SEO services normally give you black hat search engine optimization for your site which is against Google’s Policy for better results. They will have poor link building services and it will result in excess backlinks.
Usually they’ll have packages which includes excess do-follow links, Wikipedia links, .edu backlinks, etc for less price. But the results are not worth it. To be frank, you don’t need to rely on such SEO services if you can manage some time and apply basic SEO tips. If you end up with bad SEO Mistakes then it is hard to recover.
Learn More Here : Why You Need To Be Careful While Going For Cheap SEO Services
Google Penguin Update: Feedback/Recovery Form
If you think your site was affected by the “Penguin” webspam algorithm update on April 24th, 2012, (P.S. you can check your Google Analytics stats for reference) and you feel that your site should not been affected, you can fill out this form to inform Google it is a mistake.
You can also checkout Google Webmaster Tools – Reconsideration Request if you feel Google is not indexing or considering your site properly.
If your Site Traffic is going down because of Panda, then check these:
- Google Panda Penalty: Why Your Site Traffic Is Going Down
- Top 3 Ways Blogs Can Fight Google Panda Update
- 3 Off-Page SEO Techniques Killed By Google Panda
Are you affected by this Google Penguin Update? What are the steps you have taken for this? Kindly share your experience in the comments below.