Monthly Archives: September 2012

How to Recover (in brief) from Google Penguin

Did Google Penguin kill your website and it’s Google ranking?  If so then read on and hopefully you will get some ideas on what to do to rectify the position.

First some background;

When did Google Penguin take place?

Google’s Penguin algorithm update originally took effect in April 2012 although there was another update more recently in July and it is said (via Search Engine Land) that Matt Cutts recently announced ANOTHER new update is due any time soon (and this will be one Google update that many SEO’s won’t like) – see below for more details.

What was this update designed to target?

Google used the Penguin update to target and penalise the following activities:

Keyword Stuffing – repeating the same keyword phrase repeatedly on a page or across the site, shoehorning it into content even when it makes little sense to a visitor

Over Optimisation – essentially too many keyword anchor text links to your domain can cause a ranking penalty

Link Schemes (and Farms) – using a network of links.  This is easily identified by Google (including 3 way link farms)

Re-spinning Content – taking an existing article and using re-spinning techniques in an attempt to pass it off as a unique piece of content

Unfortunately it would seem that Google Penguin also affected sites that have never been involved in any of the above – investigation suggests that a poor link profile to a site when compared to others in a similar niche or sector may be the cause.

Quick Tips on How to Recover from Google Penguin

Whilst this post is not meant to be a complete guide to Google Penguin we hope you find the key actions listed below useful, which if implemented should go towards ensuring the recovery of your rankings in the future:

Prune your Links

Use SEOMoz Open Site Explorer to regularly review your backlink profile and look to get rid of those links you feel are of low value and worthless.   We have heard that some unscrupulous webmasters are actually charging to get rid of such links – in which case you will need to liaise with Google via their Webmaster Tools to help them identify problematic links in your profile.

Ensure your content is Unique to you!

Look at your company history, its team players, its achievements as part of a story that only you have – then blog about it. The more unique and interesting content you have the easier it is to get links from a wide diversity of sites.  Don’t be tempted to “borrow” content for the sake of posting.  A well written, unique, resourceful piece of content will be worth more than a number of poor quality pieces.  Better to go for the quality over quantity!

Remove keyword footer links inside your site.

Keyword phrases are not given much benefit by Google anyway so it’s worth getting rid of them.   In their place rewrite your content to link internally to other relevant pages – these are called contextual links.

For more detailed information on Google Penguin we suggest you read this article direct from Matt Cutts – Distinguished Engineer:

If you are having trouble with your site rankings and think it’s because of Penguin (or even Google’s Panda update from last year) – get in touch.  We have the tools and experience to help you identify what is wrong and how to fix the issues you are facing.

Finally, back to that other update…………

Matt Cutts has stated the next update from Google will not be liked by SEO’s – note he has not mentioned other industries so in our opinion they will look at SEO’s operating ethically in the Search community, those that participate will get rewarded!  We will have to wait and see.