Google’s Penguin Update
Tuesday, April 24th, was a day that seemed normal until, a reasonably noticeable drop in rankings changed things. What did Google do? Could it have been another, more aggressive version of Panda? A part of the “no ads above the fold” algorithm change? Maybe it was the famed and feared over-optimization penalty that has been looming since Matt Cutts mentioned it a couple of months back?
Apparently, it turned out to be a uniquely different new search algorithm targeted at catching webspam, strangely enough called “Penguin” (black and white like a Panda, although not as large or imposing…) – this is actually the change Matt Cutts was talking about, but he told Search Engine Land that using the term “over-optimization” wasn’t entirely accurate, because the algorithm doesn’t target SEO, just webspam. Now, normally, the majority of peoplewould say webmasters don’t need to panic about this sort of thing , provided that their sites aren’t spammy. However the perception Google’s algorithm has of spam as well as the perception of spam that you, as a site owner may have are not the same – so, even though you may believe your own site would not be affected, it usually is plausible (though Google does state that this update only has an effect on around 3.1% of searches).
This algorithm boils down towards the age-old battle between “white hat” as opposed to the “black hat” SEO. It will “Reward” high-quality sites and punish black hat webspam which is everyone’s goal in this algorithm update.
Basic Things to Avoid :
Google is on a mission to rank high-quality sites and lower sites that “are participating in webspam tactics to manipulate search engine rankings,” the search algorithm will specifically be attuned to tactics that webmasters could use to get better rankings through questionable schemes, such as the following:
Keyword Stuffing – Avoid repeating your keywords too many times on a page (in fact, try to stay within 2-4 times), and steer clear of throwing keywords into content that is definitely unrelated for them. Should you use keywords and phrases more often than once, be sure they make sense in perspective and that the article flows while using the keywords included. This ensures the user’s reading experience is a useful one knowning that your site content is correctly optimized for search engine utilization.
Link Schemes – Since you probably know, Google analyzes the number of sites backlinking to you (the greater sites that link back to yours, the greater you’re considered an “authority” by Google) as a means of discerning whether your website is relevant and beneficial to users. Your link profile has a large amount to do with your site’s rankings. Backlinks you build needs to be quality ones, and in addition they really should be strongly related your website. Quality over quantity is quickly becoming a new industry standard.
Duplicate Content – An honest mistake is ok, however when you are purposely plagiarizing and copying content, don’t anticipate to rank in the SERPs and, with a related note: Don’t Post Good Content. Post GREAT content. Obviously, as Google indicates in their Webmaster Guidelines, it’s always better to naturally garner links simply by creating relevant, high-quality content that people naturally hyperlink to. However, for sites that take part in SEO, this may not always be the easiest thing to do. Regardless of how you garner links, your content should ALWAYS be great – content that is certainly grammatically correct, that flows, and that is certainly easily consumed by the search engines like google and not loaded with keywords. As Google concludes: “We want people doing white hat search engine optimization to be able to focus on creating amazing, compelling websites).”
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