Google Penguin Update: How You Can Survive?

Google PenguinWebmasters 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

If you want to write SEO Rich Posts then you need to concentrate on your Keyword Density. If it is not proper then you’ll end up messing your entire blog post.

Google Toolbar - Keyword Density

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 or (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:

  • 5 Essential Ways To Build Links For Your Blog
  • 11 Super Cool Myths of Link Building Busted

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.

80 thoughts on “Google Penguin Update: How You Can Survive?”

  1. Hello,

    Well, I have been trying out to understand Google Panda and Penguin, by reading more and more and this is helping me a lot. I know Google Panda is all about Quality Content.

    Although, It would take some time for me to understand, How to avoid any penalty from Google Penguin. It is bit complicated for me, they say, Only natural links are safe, but After reading articles, including this one, i get bit confused.

    Anyways, Will try experimenting a bit.

  2. Here are few tips to get rid of Google penguin updates.

    1. Clean up spammy link grids and overuse of keyword phrases on your site. Make sure you aren’t over using head terms as anchor text links on your site.

    2. Look at duplicate title tags and fix these issues.

    3. Fix duplicate alt tags on photos. We find this all the time. It’s easy to use the head terms in alt tags instead of taking the time and creating a definitive alt tag for each photo.

    4. Thicken your content. If you have thin content on your pages with overuse of head terms, then add good quality content to those pages and diversify the keywords on those pages. You want to have “authority” quality content on your site. If you over use keywords on a page, Google looks at this as keyword stuffing.

    5. Get rid of duplicate content. Many sites use duplicate content for city and state landing pages. They only change the name of the city/state but all the other content remains the same. Take the time to make each of these pages unique.

  3. I think Google wanna take revenge on the spammers through these Animals. But, it effects even the loyal bloggers due to some minor mistakes. I think, by following the above tips we can survive during panda effect.

  4. In  my thinking, the focusing on keyphrases work more than keywords. though not a seo master and may be i can be wrong, what your take.

  5. Escaped from panda and now the penguin 🙁 Google playing with blogs. Thanks for the awesome tips to survive afte the penguin update.

  6. OMG!!! Penguin…..then wat’s next???? Anyway the information that u hav given is very useful.I hope this will improve my site ranking !!!

  7. What about the small business that has a small website?
    And because of these tweaks by Google gets lost in the shuffle?
    A website that was only created so that the business could be seen in the community
    What if this website owner followed all the rules he could with his limited understanding, and he still gets lost in the shuffle, what then?
    Do we just say, that’s life!
    When those with money and know- how, continue to beat the system, what then?
    I personally think that even though is has become a global market, I think that your website should be more easily  seen in your own neighborhood.
    The rules just keeps changing and making it harder for the small website businessman, what does it take for a website to be seen as legitimate and just wants to advertise locally without all this tweaking?
    Let’s face it, we still need to be close to the first pages, until people get to know you!
    The reason why I am saying the above, is because it has become frustrating, despite the fact that you are trying to play nice with the big boys! 

  8. Panda..Penguin…After That I think Google Will Take Out
    Anyways..You Done A Great Job..Awesome Post..Helpful For N00bs Like Me..
    Bookmarked For Future Guidance..Keep On Writing..

  9. very nice post…now it is very important that your back-link should be genuine and that come form quality site and site is related to your site…

  10. one thing that i need to know is how can Google blacklist a site just because it is doing affiliate marketing? That is not professional.

    • It is not like that mate, a blog with low quality content or content not related with the products they are going to promote gets Google’s attention for degrading. 🙂

  11. Some of the white hat techniques have been turned to black hat like linking your blog with anchor text you need a mix up anchor texts now to make your website with natural back links ..! 

  12. My traffic decreased after this update.
    I am following your tips right now.
    I hope it will come back to normal soon.
    Thanks for the tips 🙂 

  13. Dear sir
    My name is Javid and I launched my site about 8 months ago. (
    We started with 30 articles in a day and we have 7thousands of them by now.
    Lately (about first of april) I have read in some websites and weblogs that if you make the tags No index you will obtain much better traffic from Google, so with Robot and No index tags I removed our tags.
    It was about april 20 that there were no tags from our site in Google anymore.
    Then about 2 days later our visit and ranking fell down suddenly.
    I also took a few photos that show our decline in visiting in april25 and april26.
    And there were no change in this situation for about one month, for instance we publish an article for the first time and after some hours the other websites which copied our article get a better ranking than us and apparently all of our input is from Google images.
    We faced a great fell in word searching either.
    Now here is the question, what can I do with this?
    Is it happened because of making No index all of the tags in my site?
    Is it happen because of Google Penguin?
    We had about 10 thousands tags that were removed from Google even though it is normal to have so many tags in Persian websites.
    I added too our site name in all of titles of the articles.
    Our content were like this before:
    But I’ve changed it to:
    Article Title- Title of Site
    And 6-7thousandsa more of these changes
    I have sent a revised form but it is not answered yet.
    Some weblogs says Matt cutts recommended to launch a new site
    How if I set up a new domain and take a back up from my site there?
    What is your suggestion for me?
    If you need any more information please just let me know.
    I have find your web pages from Google and looking forward for your answering.
    Here is some pictures from us in Google Webmaster Tools
    My traffic from Google fell to one third and most of my visits are from Google images.
    Yours Sincerely

    • Hi Javid, it has nothing to do with ‘noindex tags’. I’m not sure but I can give these suggestions considering the situation mate,

      1. Try to demolish those content looting sites (you can either file a complaint or approach them directly). This could be tedious but taking down few sites could also scare away some sites.

      2. You can make use of “All in one SEO” plugin if you haven’t. My suggestion will be to use “Article Title” alone.

      3. If you have low quality content, kindly remove or if possible, try to edit it and make it quality.

      4. Penguin update affected even good quality blogs like and many other sites, so don’t feel bad about this update and try to check whether your blog passes all the webmaster guidelines present in this post.

      5. You can do some good SEO techniques, common one but beneficial.:)

  14. Good list you got there! I’ll try to implement this on my sites. 
    seriously when will Google stop new algorithms? panda, penguin next will be piglet! 

      • This whole thing about penguin is crazy. I wonder why a giant like Google should not test their algorithms well before launching it. I am a supporter of quality but we have seen highly reputable sites with professionally written contents being hit.
        If your site gets links which you can’t control, should your site be punished for that? I can hear malicious individuals laughing their heads off since this may be a way to destroy competition

      • Yeah I’m not against it but sometimes there are legit sites that suffers because of these updates. I do hope that they will only penalize sites that deserves to be finalized. 

  15. Google is animal lovers. 🙂
    One thing I notice about google algorithm updates is we should make a value from our post. If we’ve done that then we should not worry anymore, at least that’s what Google rep said. (eventhough there is some case a WP Theme creators affected by the penguin and loss 40% of its traffic from Google –webpronews)
    Thanks for the great post Pradeep

  16. Google is misusing their no. 1 SE reputation. They want to control the blogosphere. This is all because of the webmasters who gives too much hype to these kind of things from Google. Aint there any other SE in this world.

  17. How can we check whether they are using whitehat or blackhat techniques
    i will soon buy a SEO expert online so could you please answer this

  18. When will be the next Penguin Update by Google ? Will it be helpful to fill out the appeal form for the affected webmasters ?

    • Google decides that mate, we have no control over what could happen. Maybe if you can monitor Matt Cutts Twitter profile, you can take a wild guess. Yes that form could do the reverse for your blog. 🙂 

  19. Another update. Google is really doing its best to clean up the worldwide web with all those spam things. 
    Which animal will come after penguin? who knows. lol

    • There is one infamous discussion going on Internet that Google uses the name of black and white animals, so the next update’s name could be Zebra, Killer Whale, etc. 😉 

  20. very good and well written article , really helpful to so many bloggers those who struggling with penguin .

    It is definite good update of Google. I really appreciate from penguin updates and I think black hat seo technique should be closed rapidly because this technique had extended to broad district…

  22. I am totally agree with this guidelines or tips you’ve provided here, this is the Good way to follow google webmaster guidlines.


  23. There was a very nice post last night in the search engine land where they have talked on behalf of Google and wrote that Google is not supposed to feed you and your family. And they have mentioned that since many people are complaining about the penguin update, it should be clear that we didnt ask anyone to rely on us. 

    Penguin is quite smaller in comparison to the last year’s Panda, but its intensity is much high. Those who are hit are actually very badly affected.

  24. Sam what about my very old post , the beginning of first 10 post, i might  be interested large keyword or may be not. is it advisible to remove now. will it affect us in any other way. 

  25. whatever it is.. how webmaster will trust google if this thing show up on google search? search for google using "fashion baby" keyword. look who's ranking? is this the quality content google been looking for?

  26. Nice Guide! I think my poor website is really slaps by this update. Things change, we must really stick now to White Hat.

  27. This is the second time in the last 12 months we have been penalized, i have snet an emial to google and they have sent one back exactly the same format as the last time saying there is no spam issues with our site.

    Well why have we lost our positions in the SERPS, google anaylitics clearly shows when the penguin was rolled out and our decrease in our positons.

    We have found a solution listen

    We are a finace company we have decided to have a direct approach and have reintroduced tele sals google cant crab this, as far as we are concerned we couldent give a shit oif goggle ever shows our site agin as you you need to build back links if you dont you go down in the serps and if you do you go down

    your damed if you do and your damed if you done

    Fuck Google

  28. These are some great tips, Pradeep. Fixing crawl errors and looking for any warnings in your Webmaster’s tool and then fixing them are important as well.

    Contrary to what they are saying, this Penguin update appears to be de-ranking genuine non-spammy sites for apparently no reason.

    And that is something they should fix ASAP. No doubt, we all want those spam sites to disappear from the SERPs; but NOT at the expense of high-quality sites losing their page-1 spot!

  29. First priority should be to create useful content; when you blog don't think about making money off your article, think about creating value for readers and then make your blog crawl-able by the search engines.

  30. Thanks for sharing about latest Google update, I think if you only focus on basic SEO techniques then these animals won't going to hurt you at all. 😉

  31. Pingback: Penguin Update Spearheads the Spam Raid for Google
  32. One of my friend`s business site also got affected!
    the reason is PAID links & getting links from spun content.

  33. Great post, we are now in the period of changes for sure,but it's hard to know what caused traffic to goes down, maybe it's google sandbox, panda, and now penguin.

    Well…I'm going back to webmaster tools, analytics and start researching for this penguin, and honestly these changes are exhausting me.

    thanks for sharing

  34. Honestly this is a push to make webmaster pay for adwords. All of these changes, panda, fuggy the whale and whatever comes next is a big business attempt to control the SE market. I think its time for everyone to keep up the fight against this monopoly (Google) and trust me in a few weeks just like networks blogs it will not be as prominent.

  35. Google is going to be really nasty. No space for SEOs now. You cannot rank well if you have great content with good keyword density. 🙁 penguine made me cry.

  36. Good post Pradeep, though all of these are covered in SEL – by Danny Sullivan. And these are the best practices that existed even before Google came into being as an SE. nothing new in that. Apart from the Penguin there was also an updated Panda 3.5 that went live on April 19th, so many sites might have got hit by that too. But it all boils down to one thing, provide quality content through our sites and play safe with the Big G. The sad thing is that there is no room for reconsideration for Penguin.

  37. This one is really a detailed tutorial to get survived from the Penguin Update of Google . Earlier that was Panda and now it is Penguin . These animals are killing humans !

  38. If we are applying right SEO tactics for our site/blog then i don't think so we need scare from google's this updation overall it will prove best for all who are using white hat SEO tactics.

  39. I am wondering what will be the next update name. Surely they are killing the animal species. One day or the other these animals will come to know that their names have been used by Google and they will suicide themselves. 😐

  40. These algorithm changes are really great, but when i search in google for certain queries, it started to throw crap results. Seriously, google is going crazy and seems like they are more focused in naming their upcoming algorithms in the way people will like to call it.


  41. These points might help me as well seems like i got hit by penguin not a bad effect but thanks for the tips Will try to check them and avoid getting hit in next update

  42. Is there any transparent method of finding out whether one's site has taken a hit due to Penguin update otherwise than by making a guess from the visitor numbers (because sometimes the visitor numbers fluctuate randomly)?

  43. First Panda and now Penguin.

    Seems Google has a fixation of arctic animals. Symbolically, don't go for their outer chubby and heart melting looks….Google is out to get you….

    Blogger should be more worried about sustaining whatever traffic they are getting rather than getting traffic….


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