Image of a Penguin in a Scarf and Hat | symbol of Google Penguin update and best practices

Don’t Let Google Penguin
Leave You Out In The Cold

In Internet Marketing by Lynn Pechinski

[box type=”titled-box” title=”Don’t Let Google Penguin Leave You Out In The Cold” variation=”blue”] When Google released its Penguin algorithm update in April 2012 (a 4th update published June 3rd of this year), the company continued their efforts to increase the quality of search engine results by further eliminating web sites which violate their Webmaster Guidelines. Specifically, Penguin seems to focus on several key issues:
  • Over-optimization of anchor text
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Cloaking
  • Manipulation of page ranking through link schemes
Since website developers are constantly tweaking their clients’ sites, links and content to align with these algorithm updates, it’s easy to feel frustrated when the “rules” change. It’s also easy to get angry if such an update negatively impacts your page ranking when it was previously ranked well. If you are scratching your head wondering why this happened, when you fared well after the initial Penguin release, you’re not alone. Though the initial release of Penguin targeted primarily home pages, this new update goes deeper into your entire web site, looking for instances of content spam, paid links containing exact match anchor text and links to so-called “dangerous” sites (to name just a few). So, if you are a legitimate webmaster or owner of a site that has been penalized by Google Penguin, there are some corrective steps you can take to get back into Google’s good graces and recapture your page ranking:


  1. Visit Google’s Webmaster Guidelines regularly to understand the dynamic rules and the tweaking of those rules with Google’s continuous updates.
  2. Clean up any on-page spam, if any. Remove low-quality, shallow pages providing no added value, pages that scrape content from other websites, copied content, inadequate affiliate pages, and/or cookie-cutter sites.
  3. Examine your outbound links. Links on your site should be relevant to site content, connect with trustworthy sources and high on content. Avoid exact match anchor text; links should be used as citations to support the information you are providing visitors.
  4. Examine and audit your backlinks (or inbound links, other sites who are linking back to your site). Remove and disavow bad or harmful backlinks.
  5. Work to build high-quality inbound links, such as guest-blogging, enhanced social media visibility and activity, and publishing link-worthy, content-rich articles.
  6. If you believe your site was targeted unfairly, file a report with Google.
  7. If your site doesn’t recover, consider starting over with a fresh site.
Google is always looking to prevent website owners from exploiting loopholes by creating new algorithms to close them. Their goal has always been to reward legitimate sites while penalizing those website owners who would unfairly manipulate the page ranking results in their favor. Ultimately, Google Penguin is a good thing for most site owners, as it works to level the playing field for all. SEO and algorithm updates are often confusing. If you need a partner to navigate these waters for you, we’re always here to help. Call 1st Straw Marketing at 888-235-3088 or email   [/box]