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Search Engine Optimization Affected by Google's Penguin Update

Last updated 6 years ago

Google’s algorithm update, named Penguin seems to be focused on “webspam” and the tactics unethical search engine optimization companies use to dupe the search engine into ranking their clients pages higher on the search engine results page.

Fresh content that makes sense to your audience is what the search engines want.  Search engine optimization companies that stuff pages of content with keywords over and over again appear to be the target of this update.

Google gives 8 Specific Guidelines to help better understand this update and why your search engine rankings may have been impacted:

1. Avoid hidden text or hidden links.

2. Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.

3. Don’t send automated queries to Google.

4. Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.

5. Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.

6. Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.

7. Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.

8. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.

And 4 Basic Principles:

1. Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”

2. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”

3. Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.

4. Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.

A modern day twist on a Bob Marley song may go a little something like this, “you can fool Google some of the time but you can’t fool Google all the time”.  Do things right or make sure your search engine optimization company is following best practices that do not involve black hat tactics and you will not have to worry about Google’s updates.

Try to trick them and you will always have to worry about waking up one day to find Google de-listed your website.

ReachCast is ReachLocal's award winning solution for business owners who wish to outsource their web presence optimization (Search Engine Optimization, Social Media and Reputation Management rolled into one) to trained experts in the field of Internet Marketing.

Have you seen your organic rank

ings drop in the past week?  Will you switch SEO companies because of it?  Why or why not?

About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore.  His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies.  He manages over $1,600,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government.  Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation.

To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit:



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