The newsLINK Group - Recovering from Google's Penguin Penalties

Editorial Library Category: Marketing Topics: Google Penguin Penalty Title: Recovering from a Google Penguin Penalty Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: Google’s entire reputation is built on a seemingly magical ability to provide relevant search results almost as soon as you can type in the appropriate keywords, but spam websites definitely make that goal harder to achieve. Editorial: Recovering from a Google Penguin Penalty 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Google’s entire reputation is built on a seemingly magical ability to provide relevant search results almost as soon as you can type in the appropriate keywords, but spam websites definitely make that goal harder to achieve. As a result, Google hates spam websites so much that it put a team together to write an algorithm whose sole purpose is detecting them. The algorithm is called Google Penguin. The team is led by a programmer and blogger named Matt Cutts, and the team is continuing to update Google Penguin regularly. What exactly is a spam website? The people who create it manipulate search engines in order to achieve a better content ranking than they would get otherwise. The only trouble, of course, is that the manipulation pretty much guarantees the results won’t be as relevant as they should have been for the person searching for information. When Google Penguin launched April 24, 2012, it immediately got the attention of SEO experts. Why? If Google Penguin finds websites that violate the guidelines Google has written for webmasters, then it penalizes the website by decreasing the search engine ranking. Unfortunately, though, it is hard to get rid of a Penguin penalty. The latest version, Penguin 3.0, was rolled out starting on Thanksgiving Day in 2014 … just in time to affect website rankings both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You can imagine the reaction of any company that ended up getting a penalty. How does Google Penguin affect you? You may have outsourced your website to an SEO expert or a marketing team. How can you be sure the expert or the team hasn’t used spamming techniques? A bad website can trigger Google Penguin. Are you confident you (or an employee) haven’t accidentally done something that would cause you to be penalized? What you need is general information and then some specifics. First, let’s consider the general information. Web spammers are often guilty of the following tactics: Website spammers are not interested in social media. They don’t think that it helps them, so they don’t pay attention to it. If you build relationships in social media with prospects and potential customers, though, you are differentiating yourself in a good way from website spammers. Website spammers over-optimize keywords and don’t create quality content. To detect a spam website, look for repetitive, unnatural language and poor or stolen content. A good website justifies its existence by providing people with something that is unique and well-done. If you are not seeing that on your website, then you have cause to worry. Good advertisements are an art. Done well, they will always be relevant and add value, because they will also be devised with an eye on the potential audience. Part of doing them well is to limit the number, though, because too many ads signal the reader that the people who designed the website are only interested in making money and have no real interest in the website’s visitors other than as a way to generate additional revenue. As a general rule, therefore, be aware that less than 50 percent of the content on a website page should be dedicated to advertisements. A good website takes work to keep up-to-date. Spam websites, on the other hand, don’t get a lot of maintenance. That means a spam website will have dead ends, broken links, and pages not found. Spam websites have lots of domains, microsites, and low-quality inbound links. To fight the problem of too many domains and microsites, keep your content on just one website. To fight the problem of low-quality inbound links, realize that you cannot buy high-quality links. Nobody sells them. What you should do instead is invest in high-quality content, invite guest bloggers who will benefit the website by bringing their networks of supporters to your website, and sparingly use the Google Disavow tool, when necessary, to improve your association’s online reputation. Don’t try to improve your rating by using misleading tactics. There’s a name for these tactics: Black Hat SEO.