In April, Google launched the Penguin algorithm aimed to detecting and filtering out websites and blogs classified as ‘spam’ from its search results. A month later, Google released an update to the Penguin algorithm to identify and blacklist websites which violate its quality guidelines.
While implementing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a standard practice for websites and blogs, the Penguin update is aimed at scrutinizing over optimization and spamming. As a blog owner, if you’ve adopted over-optimization techniques, there’s a good chance that the Penguin update has already hit your blog.
Let’s try and understand what is the Google Penguin update and how does it affect you and your blog?
What is Penguin Update
Simply put, the Penguin update aims at identifying sites and blogs which use malpractices such as keyword stuffing and link spamming. The idea is to encourage bloggers to adopt white hat SEO techniques in order to build high-quality blogs with appealing visuals and stellar content.
At the same time, the Penguin update is likely to catch you in a net if you adopt black hat SEO techniques to promote your blog. Google says the Penguin update is an effort to detect ‘stuff in the middle’.
How does it affect you?
In general, if you follow Google’s quality guidelines, the Penguin update should cause no harm to your blog. However, if you actively pursue any of the following practices, there’s a good chance that your blog will be classified as ‘Spam’ by Penguin sooner than later.
Linking to unsafe & dangerous sites
Linking to low quality blogs
Backlinking to sources offering poor quality content
Linking to spam comments
In general, you should always link to trusted sites and blogs offering high-quality content.
Penguin Update classified my blog as Spam, what should I do?
Google admits that the Penguin update isn’t perfect and there may false positives. If you believe your blog has been unduly penalized by the Penguin update, Google recommends you fill this form and submit a spam report. Make sure to put the word ‘Penguin’ in your report. Once Google receives this report, they will scrutinize your blog/ site and provide you appropriate feedback.
Google recommends you use the above form only in case you’ve received a warning about the Penguin update’s implications for your blog.
Even if your blog hasn’t been affected the Penguin update, there are good lessons to be learnt. For a start, the Penguin update offers an insight that the SEO landscape is evolving and you need to keep up with the advancements to make the most of this opportunity. Secondly, it serves as a reminder that you MUST adhere to Google’s quality guidelines or else risk your and your blog’s future.
Has your blog been affected by the Google Penguin update? Do you think the Penguin Update is a step in the right direction by Google to streamline SEO? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.
By Guest Author –Roger Collings is the Managing Director of RDC Communications Ltd and a telecoms consultant specialising in computer telephony integration.