Has your website recently lost a lot of it’s traffic? If you are a website owner, you may have recently seen a decrease in your website traffic due to being penalized by the latest Google update called Penguin.
Google Penguin was released in April with an update last week. This comes after the release of Google’s Panda update last year which hurt nearly 20% of websites. Google must be a fan of animals. specifically black and white ones?
So why is Google on a mission to remove websites from ranking well on search results? The recent Google Penguin update is to eliminate website owners from using black-hat spammy search engine optimization (SEO) methods to help them achieve high rankings on search engines. Some of these methods include websites that are over optimized intentionally such as a tactic called keyword stuffing which involves stuffing pages on websites with keywords to rank higher. Other spammy methods include duplicate content within your website or others on the internet and misleading or hidden links on websites.
If you are curious to see if you have been affected by the latest Google Penguin update, log in to Google Web Analytics and compare your organic traffic before April 24th and after. If you see that your organic traffic has dropped significantly after April 24th, you are likely a victim of the Google Penguin release.
How to recover from Google Penguin
If you have confirmed that you did in fact get penalized by Google Penguin, it’s time to clean up what Google is identifying as spam. The first thing you should do is log in to your Google Webmaster account and see if the search giant has sent you any messages regarding your account and spammy tactics. After you have checked for any messages, here are some other areas to put focus on to help you recover from Google’s Penguin update.
- Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
- Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.
- Don’t send automated queries to Google.
- Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.
- Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
- Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.
- Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
- 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.
If you are certain that nothing in the list above is relevant to you and you feel you may have been penalized by Google on accident, OR if you have addressed each of these issues, you can then submit your site for reconsideration to Google or by submitting this form which was created specifically for targeted Google Penguin victims.
Avoid future SEO penalties
As Google states, the only sites getting penalized are what they deem as “spammy” websites. Too many website owners choose SEO firms that use spammy tactics that only hurt them in the end. Website owners and SEO companies need to stick to white-hat methods for their SEO and focus on high quality content.
Have you been a victim of the latest Google Penguin update?