Google’s Penguin Update. What Changed?
Penguin update, which affects 3% of queries, and it targets those websites that are especially bad content and linking practices. Now Google has always fought against webspam but this is the first time they’ve done a really specific update against it, but it’s unlikely to affect 3% of websites. A lot of spammers appear for hundreds of thousands of queries. They’re likely to see a massive dip in their performance, whereas the vast majority of the Web will probably see fairly similar results to what they had before unless they are engaging in any of these practices.
If you’re not engaging in them but you appear for terms against competitors who do this, you’re likely to get a ranking boost or at least appear above those who have been knocked down by doing this. Let’s take a look at the things Google is now going to punish even more than they did before.
The main issue is any website that breaks Google’s guidelines will be punished heavily. That’s always been the case but the main recommendation that Google is making today is that you re-read those guidelines on their website just to be sure because there’s a lot of information.
Next, any link schemes are going to be penalized that things like reciprocal link farms and three-way link networks, that kind of thing that’s always been penalized. It’s worth looking at your link profile to determine this.
It’s also worth looking to see if someone else has put you in one of these networks because there are occurrences where websites have been penalized because they’ve been added to bad link networks without their knowledge.
Always check Webmaster Tools to see where you’re getting those links from, and if you’re getting a lot of links from a single site you’ve never heard of, you can contact Aftera. We provide a backlink profile check and link profile cleanup.
Next, we’ve got unrelated links. This is one of the examples that Google gives on their blog post about this. Essentially, if you’ve got a page of content and then it’s got links in it that have nothing to do with that content at all, just random anchor text keywords stuffed in there that link out, that’s going to get penalized. And we’ve seen over the years that Google can determine the nature of a page and what that page is supposed to be about. If your links are completely unrelated to the content, they are going to get penalized.
Next, we’ve got keyword stuffing. I’m surprised if people still do this kind of thing, but they have said that it will be penalized. Keyword stuffing is when you add a keyword too often on a page, and it’s really obvious when that’s occurring. If you read and every fifth word is one specific keyword, then it’s going to get knocked down.
We’ve got an article spinning. This is seen as quite a good tactic a few years ago, but now it is seen as a very black hat, especially when people stick content into the software. It spins it out and spits out a new version of it. That stuff is not good for the Web. It’s not going to help anyone. If you take a piece of content and then rewrite it from scratch yourself and then put that on, that’s less likely to get penalized. But really obvious spun content is going to be targeted by this update. Last we’ve got duplicate content. Again, this is a very common thing that we see. It has been stated that it’s going to be a deliberate duplicate content.
It is difficult to comprehend how Google can tell what’s deliberate and what’s accidental. Website owners should always check Webmaster Tools for things like the duplicate Meta report. Aftera’s SEO experts also work on to help our potential clients or need help contact us for a free SEO audit on your website. We help you see what content is appearing twice or at two separate URLs.
This isn’t an update designed to punish SEO. Google has said that flat out. This is designed to fight against webspam. People that are doing good SEO or they’ve got good content will not be penalized by this update, and that’s good to see from an SEO industry expert. If anything, this is going to help our industry by punishing those websites that outrank us by using malicious, dirty tactics. It’s not going to last long for them.
At Aftera we always promoted whitehat SEO and worked directly under Google’s guidelines to ensure our clients no penalization from blackhat tactics that other digital marketing agencies.