Adjusting To The Google Panda And Penguin Updates

Last April 2012 lots of changes happened in the SEO industry. The recent Google Penguin and Panda updates were released and this is probably the biggest algorithm change they released for the past few years. Many website rankings were affected and thousands of link farm sites were de-indexed. We have prepared a guide on how your website can survive and further benefit from these updates.

Google Webmaster Tools Warning

Google sent out webmaster tool warnings to website owners. If you have received one of them your website may have been affected by these changes. A notification that your site may have “unnatural or artificial links” pointing back to your site is one of the issues that we will discuss here. These types of links are seen by Google as manipulative and you will probably get penalized if you don’t fix it. Traffic networks or link farms like BMR and ALN were allegedly caught by Google and have de-indexed their websites. So if you used a similar service then you may have also incurred de-indexed links pointing back to your website.

SERP Drops Between April 16th To The 24th

The algorithm changes have been launched by Google from April 16th to the 24th (Panda and Penguin). A few sites have gained from these updates but more webmasters have experienced drops in their rankings. If you check your analytics and you see massive drops in traffic then you were probably hit with a penalty.

Signs That You Have Been Penalized

  • If you were ranking good for a certain keyword and then you suddenly fall of the first page of Google
  • If you find all of your keywords suddenly losing 5-10 pages of SERP rankings
  • If you can’t find your domain using the Google search

Google’s Penalty

Industry experts are not sure how long the penalty will last.  There is really no standard on determining the exact duration of the penalty slapped on a website. What we could do is to play by the Google webmaster guidelines. Fix all of the manipulative on-site optimization strategies and continue to build quality content that would attract organic links from the viewers.

Apply For Reconsideration

Do you think that your website has been unfairly penalized? Google’s webmaster tool allows you to submit reconsideration for your website. You can give them a detailed explanation on why you think you were penalized by mistake. However, it is important that you do a thorough scan of your entire website for manipulative or spam strategies that you may have applied. You can check the webmaster guidelines as well as the tips we will provide below as your checklist.

Here are some recommendations for your on-site and off-site optimization:

Webpage Titles

Putting your targeted keywords once in the webpage title is very important. However, overdoing it can also be harmful to your site’s ranking. Google is now applying a penalty to websites that apply keyword stuffing and duplicate titles. A good way to check if your website title is in compliance with the webmaster guidelines is by typing “” in Google search. From there you can check your page titles if they are duplicates and keyword stuffed.

A good title could contain the brand name and a description of the content of the webpage like “Health Hub for Healthy Food And Diet Plans” A bad title would be a keyword stuffed version like “Health Diet | Diet Plan | Diet Plan Discount | Discount Diet Plan”. Also every page should have  unique  title.

Quality Content

Providing content through articles is another strategy being used by webmasters. Make sure that you create high quality articles and information that gives value to your readers. Avoid creating duplicate posts in your site with almost the same topic and content. This strategy is just plain spamming and Google now penalizes sites that try to “game” their algorithm.

Take time to research the information you are about to present. Compile similar information into a webpage and give it a descriptive title instead of just placing as many keywords as possible.

You should also be aware of your keyword density. If you have integrated your key phrases once on your homepage then that is ok. Putting 20+ instances of the same keyword is just spamming.  Make sure that your keyword density is retained to a minimum. Use related key phrases other than your “money keywords” because that is what would naturally appear.

Web Design And Layout

Google has also released a statement that addresses too many ads above the fold. This means that websites that have excessive amounts of ads on the top part of their site could be penalized. Excessive ads don’t give back any value to viewers so Google is trying to set apart sites that provide valuable information against the ones that are just spamming to try and gain money from ads.

Social signals are very important for your website. You should try to integrate social sharing buttons to your pages so your viewers can easily share your content to their online community. More tweets, likes, G+ and bookmarks mean more authority and traffic for your web property.

Internal Links

We should also pay attention to our internal links. Previously internet marketers and SEO people have used strategies that help their viewers navigate the website. Google also looks into your internal links if they are actually helping the viewers to access relevant information or are just manipulative.  Use descriptive anchor texts instead of over optimizing your site with the same keywords pointing back to the same landing page.

Avoid stuffing the footer with site wide links that have your targeted keywords pointing back to different pages on your domain.

External Links / Back Links

The external back links is now a major issue in the latest Penguin update by Google. If you have received warnings from the Google webmaster team then it means they have detected unnatural or artificial links that manipulate the search results.  The recent search updates are hunting down link farms or paid traffic networks such as BMR and ALN. So if you used a similar service then you may have de-indexed sites pointing back to your web property. This strategy is now being slapped with a negative ranking in the SERPs.

A good way to check for de-indexed traffic sources is through the MajesticSEO and Raven Tools analytics. If you have links pointing back to your site from harmful sources (especially site wide links) then you should contact the owner of that site to take down the hyperlinks. If possible, take down as many links as you can that come from de-indexed sites. This is a clear indication to Google that you have been using paid services to simulate an organic linking process.

Over Optimization Of Anchor Text

Before the updates were released last April, all the SEO marketers had to do was to get a landing page and focus many back links with the client’s chosen keywords. After a few days of spreading articles in different websites the target landing page will rank quickly on a good position. This rule has also been altered by the changes released by Google.

Over optimization of anchor text is now also deemed as unnatural and manipulative. You can check your anchor text density by using services like Majestic SEO. If your site has more than 30% of its links with the same anchor text then you’re probably manipulating the anchor text links pointing to your website. Whils tempting to bombard your website with your money keywords the problem is, it is now an obsolete strategy. Mix up your anchor texts by using natural and organic anchor texts like your brand name, URL or an honest description of what the landing page is about.

What Is Our Solution To These Updates?

We took the necessary steps to update our process by removing the strategies that were being penalized by the updates. We also added new and more effective elements like social signals into our campaigns.

Social signals – More social media impressions with FB likes, Tweets, G+, and Bookmarks that build authority.

Videos and Infographics – Dedicated team that create awesome videos and infographics that adds value to your site

Quality Content – Focus on content creation, we create quality content that is manually posted

No Unnatural Links – We do not use private link networks or article submission networks on our SEO campaigns that is now being hunted down by Google.

More Manual Submissions – We submit content manually which means more relevancy in terms of back links.

Site Optimization Tips – We provide on-site optimization tips as shown above to be safe from Google’s penalties.


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    1723 days ago

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