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GOOGLE PENGUIN UPDATE

Google launched its Penguin update in April, 2012  This is an algorithm update ostensibly designed to prevent keyword spamming and black hat technologies from circumventing proper SEO techniques. Its primary function is to offer Google users a better user experience and fewer repetitions of content. 

My favorite Google engineer, Matt Cutts, refers to it as an improved version of Panda, in that it extends Panda's removal from Google listings of web pages with poor content to those using excessive keywords, poor links and other contrived means of persuading Google algorithms of their relevance to specific search terms.

The Penguin update makes it even more important for you to write naturally, avoid reciprocal links where the links to or from your web page are irrelevant to the content of either page, and avoid using gateway sites. It also focuses on the use of genuine anchor text - your own name or business name and the use of naked URLs. Here are some ways of making sure the Penguin does not catch you:

1. Keyword Density

Do not over-optimize your webpage by using excessive keywords or keywords designed for search engines and not human readers. Over the past 2 years I have always recommended a keyword density of around 1%. No more than that. Use your keyword in the title, the first and last paragraphs and once more for each 200 words or part thereof. Ezine Articles states 1% in its author guidelines.

2. Link Programs and Reciprocal Linking

Avoid link programs designed to increase the number of links to and from your web pages. Links to web spammers will likely result in your page being delisted.  Make sure all links to and from your page relate to the content on that page. Make sure all links to and from your page are from genuine pages on real websites, and not link farms. Reciprocal linking agreements must be between two sites with the same niche.

3. Anchor Text

Avoid regular use of the same anchor text  for your backlinks and your internal links. Use as much variety as you can in your links - Google prefers natural linking than using the same anchor text for each link. Aim for around 60% of your anchor text to be the name of your business or website, 20% to be the home page URL itself (naked links) and 20% regular keyword-rich anchor text.

The days are gone when all anchor text should contain keywords. Even 'Click Here' is good anchor text now. Google is looking for variety in anchor text and landing pages, but most of all, your business name.

4. Duplicate Content

Avoid using multiple pages, or even domains, with the same fundamental content but different keywords. You must not copy a page then change only the keywords.

5. Affiliate Presales Pages

If your site is promoting an affiliate program, make sure that it adds value to the Google user's experience. 'More of the same' is no longer tolerated, and more web pages will be dropped by Google over the coming weeks as it identifies multiple pages from different websites offering the same basic information on affiliate programs. You must now offer something different than the next guy.

6. Article Scraping and Spinning

Do not publish articles create by article 'spinning' or 'scraping' software. This may raise plagiarism issues and could be dangerous to the listing of the blog or website you use them to promote. Auto article generation software is being targeted by the Penguin update as are articles changed only by means of spinning synonyms. Google now seeks original hand-create articles rather than those that have been software-generated. 

This is a step on from the old Adwords article spamming where all articles were the same other than the keywords used in them. These sites were delisted overnight, many people losing their entire businesses and income. Google is learning rapidly how to detect scraped content and the use of article-generators that scrape the web for content to create articles artificially. You could lose all your listings overnight using such scraping or article spinning systems. 

7.  Blog Comments and Guest Posting

Google is aware of software-generated blog posts and comments posting. Any sources found using software to make such postings will be traced to source, and that source liable to be delisted.

8. Doorway Pages

Avoid doorway pages that are generated just for search engines, such as those create by 'Smart Pages' software. Not only will these be delisted, but the pages they redirect to might also suffer.

9.  Multiple Landing Pages

Make sure all your links do not lead to the same page, such as your home page. The Google Penguin Update is looking for multiple landing pages from multiple anchor text.

10.  Know Your CMS

To keep on the right side of Google Penguin, make sure you understand how your content management system works. If you have a blog or a forum, the same content is liable to displayed in a number of different formats.  Thus, a blog entry might be published on your blog's home page, on an archive page and also in a page with other entries that have the same label. 

This comes from Google's own mouth,  so be careful with this type of content. Different CMS systems display your information in multiple different ways that may be detected by algorithms as multiple content, so make sure you know how yours works. 

In general, the Google Penguin Update promotes:

A.  Pages written for users rather than search engines. Do not cloak content designed for search engines from readers.

B.  Natural writing. Use no tricks to try to improve your search engine ranking. Ask yourself if your site would be the same if there were no search engines, and if you would be comfortable inviting Google to scrutinize your entire site. If the answer to the latter question is 'no' then you are in trouble, because that's exactly what Google will be doing.

Fundamentally, the websites with the best original content will prosper, while those relying on copies, scraped or spun content will suffer. Be natural, write your own content or have me write it for you and you will do just fine. Those that do may find their web pages rising in the rankings. It may not be immediate. But it should not take Google long to identify the cheats.  

PENGUIN 2 UPDATE

Since writing this, Google has introduced the Penguin 2 update. Although other aspects of liking structure are included, the main focus of Penguin 2 is on applying the original Penguin to internal pages in your website/blog.

Learn more about the Penguin 2 Update here. 

Article Submission Service

Article Services offers an article submission service second to none. You can select the elements most suited you you, an can email me if you have any special requests. Check out my service here:

ARTICLE SUBMISSION GOLD

Note:  This link opens in a new page so you can easily return back here: both windows will be open on your browser. 

SEO SERVICE

I also offer a Penguin update-friendly SEO  service, where for $15 I will check out your Home Page (or any page of your choosing) to make sure that you are not keyword-spamming or in any other way open to the Penguin algorithm affecting your ranking.

I will check your Title tag, Meta data, text headings and web content for keyword density and LSI. I will make any changes necessary after discussion with you - the $15 applies whether there are no changes or extensive changes required. 

Fill in the form below and I will get back to you withing 24 hours: 

Author: Peter Nisbet 

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