I’m going to give a quick overview of what Google Penguin is.
So, what is this Penguin thing, Corinne?
Google Penguin is the code name for a Google algorithm.
An algorithm is the set of rules and calculation used to pull up a result. Such as the things Google search will look at to decide which order to display results, such as traffic, back links, keywords etc.
Google Penguin was first introduced on 24th April, 2012 and it’s aim is to target websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using Blackhat SEO techniques.
Blackhat SEO is using methods to unfairly gain ranking in search, such as link farms, buying links, hiding keywords or any method of trying to gain backlinks which is not organic.
What does it mean for bloggers?
You might often hear how you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to blogging. Especially in regards to earning money. This is because if you are hit by an update, your page views could drop dramatically.
This is why it’s good to use many different menthods to drive traffic to your blog, such as social media, bloglovin and e-mail news letters. This is so that if you were to be penalised by an update of this type, you would still be able to get visitors from different mediums and not have to rethink the amount your charge for advertising or sponsored content.
It’s been a year since the last update – so many website owners and bloggers who have been working hard at clearing up their sites after being hit have been waiting a long time to see if their efforts have paid off.
How to protect yourself from a Penguin Update.
So, you probably want to know how to keep your blog clean and avoid getting hit from a Penguin update. Even if you aren’t making money from your blog, nobody wants to get less traffic or be removed from Google! Here are some things to think about:
1. Check your Anchor Links.
If you’re links are over optimised for keywords that you are trying to rank for, you may be hit by Penguin. You can check this by going on Remove’em. Your name or brand name should ideally be the only things in pink or red.
This website isn’t 100% accurate but it is a great starting place to get the top level issues of your site for free.
2. Be careful when accepting guest posts.
When somebody guest posts on your blog – make sure to audit the links that they may place within the post.
I went through a phase of getting emails from people asking to guest post on my website for money. They would offer to pay me to then write an article that my audience would enjoy. Or so they said.
Luckily, I realised that this was too good to be true and the only reason they wanted to post on my site was to insert links in the post. This is not only Blackhat SEO, but it’s highly likely that most of this articles are not unique and are copied on other blogs – which could also impact you negatively.
3. Don’t participate in link building schemes.
There are many sites that will promise to improve your search rank, build links and get you more traffic. These are schemes that participate in Blackhat efforts to get you traffic and could result in a penalty later down the line.
Don’t be tempted by ‘get on page 1 of Google’ schemes.
4. Don’t link out to rubbish.
When you are linking to other content from your blog, make sure that it’s quality content that will add value to the post.
5. Original content only.
As mentioned in tip 2, duplicate content can harm your site. This also means people that copy and publish you content might be damaging your blog too. There are many ways to check duplicate content, but the best way is to simple Google a section of your post.
6. Don’t keyword stuff!
If you’re trying to stuff your post with keywords, not only will this piss off the penguin, but it will give a poor user experience and be pretty obvious that you’re writing for search engines. Keyword stuffing is usually used in the meta tags, but can also be used in image alt tags or within the actual text of the post.
You can go to the Goolgle DMCA page to request the removal of any page that has copied your content.
Google Panda, Hummingbird and Pigeon for Dummies.