Since the introduction of Google Penguin algorithm on Apr 24, 2012, all the webmasters and SEOs are on high alert.
Google rolled out it’s first Penguin update (Penguin 1.1) on May 25, 2012, exactly 1 month after the initial launch.
We expect a total of 5 updates (at least) in year 2012 (including the 1st one), in coming months. Lots of websites suffered huge traffic loss after the introduction of Google Penguin. Although, few have recovered partially after the subsequent updates, many more sites are loosing ranks on SERPs and traffic with each updates. Before proceeding to recovery tips, let’s know the basic of Penguin algorithm -
Basic of Google Penguin Algorithm
Penguin is an algorithm (just like Google Panda) introduced by Google to fight spammy websites for better SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) and user experience. This algorithm basically fight against spammy activities like Keyword stuffing, Cloaking and link SPAM. And, encourages webmasters to follow the Google’s quality guidelines.
Google will continue to update the Penguin algorithm version, every few months, to continue the fight against SPAM.
How to Know – You are Hit by Penguin
The simplest yet proven method is – Open your Google Analytics and “ monitor your organic visitors from Google ”.
If the number of visitors dropped at least 33% just after an update, then you are most probably hit by the Penguin. You should also consider about Google Dance, before the final decision.
Latest Penguin Recovery Tips
1. Keyword stuffing: Make a site-wide audit for keyword stuffing. Check for high ranking pages, who have suffered more on SERPs.
How to do: Check for the total number of words on a particular post or page from your Admin Panel. Then, check the number of times a particular keyword repeated on that page by using the simple ‘ find ’ feature in your browser (Edit –> Find or Ctl + F). If the keyword density is more than 2%, simply restructure the article or page with the gist intact. You may consider to update the article with latest info also.
2. Cloaking: If you are practicing any Cloaking or Doorway pages, then stop it immediately.
3. Paid links: If you have purchased any type of backlinks, either from a link farm or from an individual, contact by an Email or telephone and make a request to remove the links as soon as possible.
4. Spammy outbound links: Also known as ‘ Bad Neighborhood ’. If you have given links to any spammy websites, withdraw it immediately.
Check the overall health of the site, to whom you have given the backlinks using 2 simple methods.
(a) Is the site hit by Penguin? (Compete Traffic Stats) Not so reliable, as Compete updates site status very infrequently and show stats of only US traffic. Still you can use it for assessment.
(b) Search the site for any penalty by Google. Simply type site: Domain name in the Google search. If no links found or only HOME page is found, then the site is definitely penalized by Google for not following the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
If you think, the site is authoritative and not hit by Penguin, you shouldn’t remove the backlink.
5. Spammy inbound links (-Ve SEO): Check your site-wide backlinks status. Sometimes spammy sites deliberately links good sites with ill intention or with a request from competitor site (paid). This is called -Ve SEO.
But, sometimes your good backlinks turn bad/spammy, because the sites giving links practice black or grey hat seo in the course of time.
Both types of links are unpaid. And, due to the unpaid nature, you have either limited or no control over it/webmasters. You can send Email requests with legal consequences to the concerned webmasters. But don’t expect a quick response or quick result.
Google never penalizes sites for Unpaid-Backlinks with -Ve SEO. In fact, Google excludes the link juice, if any, from spammy unpaid-links during Penguin updates.
So, you shouldn’t worry much about your spammy unpaid-links.
6. Avoid exact anchor text backlinks: Although you have acquired few good exact anchor text backlinks by guest blogging or paid editorials, Google thinks this is grey hat seo under Penguin updates. Instead of exact anchor text, you should go for long tail or descriptive anchor texts.
7. Avoid directory submission with sole purpose of SEO gain: Google likes paid directory submission, like Yahoo Blog Directory. Because this is paid listing without any guarantee of inclusion of you site, Google thinks it’s transparent and not for the sole purpose of SEO gain/link juice gain.
You may consider listing your blog on few select blog directories like Technorati for wider exposure only.
8. Unlearn SEO: It’s high time to unlearn SEO a bit to be immuned from Penguin algorithm updates. This is appropriate to newbie bloggers and SEO practitioners who are a bit aggressive while practicing SEO.
Good contents make a great blog, and great blogs make a beautiful web. So, lets make our world-wide-web more beautiful by creating great contents for web-surfers/visitors.
Now the article is open for questions about Google Penguin Updates and various Recovery Tips.