Google Penguin Update
Monday, April 30th, 2012
The average searcher may not realise, but Google continually updates its search facility (or “algorithm”). They aim to constantly improve the quality of results, and tweak and modify to try and get the best sites to come out on top. Many of the changes are minor, sometimes Google rolls out an update that can only be described as “BIG”. Penguin is one of these.
The release of Penguin was originally called the “web spam update” – reflective of Google’s aims for the change. Google is looking to find and penalise sites that use cheap, spammy SEO techniques such as forum spamming, keyword stuffing and link buying to boost their sites. They claim Penguin reduces the power of these “tricks”, and rewards sites that are packed full of useful, original, relevant information.
Since Penguin is such a new update, it is still not completely clear how exactly Google has decided to measure these things. In the days after release, many sites with good content and legitimate SEO watched in horror as their traffic plummeted. Google has opened a form for such people to lodge a complaint, but it is uncertain whether they will reconsider any individual sites, or are taking the information as a whole.
So how can you protect yourself from penguin?
- Create lots of quality, original content. Google will always value this above all else, and their biggest goal can be described as getting genuinely good sites to rank top.
- Avoid duplicate content at all costs. Penguin has come down heavy on this, so make sure all your pages are unique.
- Do not engage in dodgy SEO practises such as link buying and spamming. Google hates these, and is punishing them more than ever now.
- Work on building strong links to your site. Cheap links from low quality websites may harm your site, but good links from authority sites will do wonders.