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3 Ways Google’s “Penguin Update” Can Affect Your Website’s Rankings – And How to Stay on Top

Sterling Kump - July 10, 2012


Google’s spammy-link penalizing update, Penguin, has received several updates since its initial release in 2012. Most recently, Penguin was updated to version 3.0 in October of 2014. While the principle goals of the original Penguin update have remained the same, please see our newest blog post below for the most recent news on Penguin 3.0:

Click Here for the Newest Update on Penguin 3.0

 

In an effort to provide searchers the most helpful search results, Google has continued to refine their search algorithm.  Their most recent update, affectionately named “Penguin,” was launched shortly after Memorial Day.  Penguin updates are expected to continue through the end of 2012, and are geared toward dramatically improving quality, relevancy, and cleanliness of the search result by penalizing overly spammy pages or those with spam-like links. Sites that violate Google’s quality guidelines have also likely been hit by this newest update to Google’s constantly changing algorithm.

Even though many sites have been hit hard by these updates, you don’t have to be among them. Your site can recover from Penguin and prepare for future algorithmic updates by understanding the update and making  recommended changes.

Here are some of the most important things to know about how Penguin might affect your website. Stay ahead of the game by knowing what’s coming and reviewing your site to make sure it isn’t guilty of committing these errors and others like them.

 

1.  Keyword Stuffing – Keyword stuffing is the excessive use of keywords in the content of your website. If a site is keyword stuffed, the keywords are usually repeated randomly and excessively throughout the website.

  • REMEDY: Appropriately include your keyword phrases in the titles of your web pages and use them sparingly in the content of your website. Vary the keywords and phrases so they sound natural. It’s smart
    to shoot in the range of 2-5% keyword density for most blocks of text.

2.  Ad-Heavy Page Layout – Penalized page layouts usually have to do with the overload and placement of ads on a page —particularly those “above the fold”– or those first seen when a viewer lands on the page. Google knows that a site which favors relevant content over advertisements gives users a better experience, so they reward and penalize accordingly.

  • REMEDY: If you have ads on your website, the best practice is to balance the ads with relevant content throughout your website… Wait, what’s that you say about content?

3.  Plagiarized or Outdated Content – As with all Google updates, Penguin will penalize websites that do not have original (not plagiarized, informational, and relevant to the keywords searched) and or fresh (recently uploaded) content.  It makes sense, since users want to find the most pertinent and most recent information on the internet about their topic.

  • REMEDY: If your content isn’t quite up to par, get some! Do some research, some analysis, write, and you’ll have some unique content in no time.  Get rid of any duplicate content you have on your website (you can check for unique content here), and keep it up.  Be original, relevant and fresh, and you’ll score in the search engines.

Always keep in mind that all Google updates (including Penguin) are strategically written to fish out the best, most relevant, and user-friendly sites from the search results.  When you make on-site changes, keep your readers, customers, and fans in mind. Is whatever the user is looking for easily found?  Are there too many distracting ads cluttering the space? Is the content informative, relevant, and useful?  Ask yourself these kinds of questions as you make adjustments to your site.

Also, remember to keep an eye on your rankings to measure your site’s progress and how it is affected by the algorithmic changes.  Google updates such as Penguin and Panda will no doubt be made in the future as the search engine strives to provide its users with a quick, efficient, and useful search experience.  Stay ahead of the competition by using information from the updates to your advantage– beat the algorithm to the punch and see your rankings soar!

If you want to find out how these updates may have affected your website and where your website ranks today, check out our Free Website Analysis.  This analysis will provide you with your current Google rankings, how you compare to you online competition and your site metrics that identify prominent problems with your website.

About The Author

Sterling Kump


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