When Google unleashed its Panda Updates, a lot of us were hit real hard. And less than a year after that, while we were still licking our wounds, the full force of Penguin hit us.
Initially, most of us did not know what it was all about. Google’s Web spam team gave hints here and there about an upcoming “over-optimization” update, but we really had no idea what we were up against. It was not until it was released that we realized what it specifically targets — links!
However, it is more than just a web spam update because it also concentrates on artificial link-building, over-optimization, black-hat SEO, and so much more. This makes it trickier for you to know why you have been affected.
It is also somehow similar to Panda, in the sense that it priorities the quality of websites. In fact, this is another step for Google’s aim – which is clearly to increase the relevancy of search results, giving room only for top-notch websites on the first page. On a side note, this is what which makes Google such a great search engine. It is consistent in its developments and it focuses on quality.
Going back to Penguin, although it made the headlines and it became a trending topic overnight, it was not the first of its kind. Google has had other similar algorithm updates and will continue introducing new ones to us. If you think “Thank goodness I made it out of Penguin alive”, do not get carried away just yet. There are still more to come. It is merely a small step into the overhaul of the SEO industry.
But since such evolution is still wandering around future time frames, it is best if we focus on what is currently on our doorstep – specifically on how to recover from Penguin.
Useful Strategies to Recover Google Penguin -
1. Remove low-value links :
If you have a blog about fashion, and you are accepting posts from guest authors, make it a point to limit the topic scope. Otherwise, you will receive articles on business, finance, travel, photography, and so on, and consequently give your blog unrelated links.
Make sure to specify a comprehensive guideline for guest writers so that they will know what to write about.
If you have a business website, like an online store or a virtual showroom, focus only on back-links that belong to your particular niche.
For instance, if you are into automobiles, make sure your incoming links are from authority sites about vehicles, vehicle manufacturers, repairs services, and so on. Otherwise, get rid of all those irrelevant and low-quality links.
2. Acquire back-links by guest posting :
The history of buying inbound links dates to the early 2000′s, when search engines decided that they had to rank linking sites higher than those who are not. This eventually lead to “link buying”.
Although this may have worked before, Penguin eradicates the possibility of this method becoming legitimate. Why? Buying links is a sure way to get quick inbound links to your site, but does it focus on the relevancy or reliability of the links? The answer is NO.
This is the reason why submitting to Web directories or link farms is no longer a good idea. The alternative is for you to become a guest author and post on legitimate blogs.
This is the best way to earn links for your site — through awesome content.
3. Vary your anchor texts :
Some website owners were affected by Penguin because they had nearly identical anchor texts that lead back to their site. These look suspicious because the links tend to be spamming and “unnatural”.
For example, if you are aiming for the keyword “search engine”, try using various combinations and phrases like “internet search engines”, “search engine ranking”, “search engine optimization”, and so on. The best online tool that can help you is Google AdWords.
The trick is to diversify your anchor texts so that your posts will appear original, compelling, and targeted to queries.
4. Limit your ads :
Have you noticed that almost all spam sites have pages overflowing with links, ads, and banners for their clients? This is an obvious mistake, especially since Google is using it as an indicator for spamming.
So if you followed in their footsteps, it is highly likely that your website is not flagged or penalized. To counteract this, you have to focus on your readers.
Your posts should be easily found and your site should be easy to navigate. More importantly, your site should be easy to read, without the disturbance of colorful ads and intrusive banners or pop-up windows that annoy rather than inform.
5. Focus on contextual links :
Perhaps one of the reasons why you have been “slapped” by Penguin is the fact that you have a gazillion sponsored links on your footer. Although this is not completely a bad thing, it is still considered illegitimate, especially if they are from low authority sites.
Google prefers links that are embedded in articles and posts. But note that these do not just involve simple insertions of outbound and inbound links. It involves an organic and honest dissection of links to find out which ones are relevant to a particular post.
For example, if you have an article that talks about fashion, it will not make sense if you insert links from or to travel, construction, or business sites.
Remember that recovering from Panda is different than recouping from Penguin. More so, it may take some time before you regain your lost position on SERPs. But as long as you stick to white-hat S.E.O and watch out for further updates, you are on the right track.