With Google’s release of Penguin 2.0, and plans for additional search engine algorithm updates this summer, business owners and their webmasters must be more vigilant about the type and quality of content they put on their websites.
Google’s summer updates have been designed to dig deeper than ever before.
Is your website ready?
Here are four ways to get your website ‘slapped’ by Penguin:
Good Homepage Content ‘Trick
‘Penguin 2.0 is looking at more than the content on your site’s homepage. Google has extended its reach to all of your website’s pages. Your site will take a hit from Google in 2013 if you try to trick search engines with quality content on the homepage and poor content everywhere else. You used to be able to get away with a strong front page presence. Those days are gone, now.
Google will also slap your website if you’re using advertorials to trick people in different ways. Google will lower your website’s rank if “editorial-like” content that speaks highly of your business, products or services isn’t clearly marked as paid advertising. Google will also lower your site’s rank if you’re utilizing advertorials to flow PageRank. Always try to offer an unbiased review of a brand, affiliate marketing product or company if your website is centered around a specific product.
I also see this creeping into guest posting, where people are shamelessly promoting a product in their guest posts.
Penguin 2.0 continues the previous policy of going after websites that utilize keyword stuffing. Google will immediately drop the rank of any website that has an abundance of search-friendly keywords; the same or similar keywords repeated throughout site content; or hidden keywords that visitors can only see when highlighted. Other aggressive “black hat” SEO strategies that try to trick search engines instead of engage and attract humans with quality content will continue to be targeted and lead to penalties.
Old news, I know, but you’d be surprised on how many websites still try to pull off these types of tactics.
The quality of the links you place on your website, and the text used to link back to it, can also impact its rank. Google will slap your website if you’ve solicited friends or others to use exact match anchor text, keywords or phrases that you want to rank for, when linking back to your website.
Additionally, Google has started researching authorities in specific fields to help judge the expert knowledge behind website content. Google slaps any website, whether it has excellent content or not. It will also slap if there are links to other websites with content from questionable sources. Google will also slap your website if you link to sites that don’t have content relevant to your website’s content, or that link to “link farm” sites built exclusively for SEO purposes.
Probably the quickest way to get low-quality links and a Google penalty is through software that automatically submits hundreds, even thousands, of back links to your website at once.
The Road to Recovery – “What if I have been doing one of these practices?“
Immediately evaluate your website and change any area of poor performance so that your website’s rank can improve moving forward. Many times you can go back and email the webmaster to either take a link down or change the anchor text.
Also, keep in mind that these updates aren’t meant to harm everyone. Try not to lose perspective if Google algorithm changes temporarily impact your business in a negative fashion. Penguin 2.0 is designed to improve search engine results by targeting business owners and webmasters who play the system in their favor over others who don’t have experience with these black hat search engine optimization strategies.
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