Google recently made a change to it’s highly complex search ranking algorithm that affected numerous online websites. The latest Google update, coined the “Penguin” update occurred on the April 24, 2012.
The Penguin update was designed to stop spam websites and websites that utilized spam link tactics to achieve high rankings from doing just that in Google’s SERP (search engine results page). Websites that employed SEO companies that utilized these spam linking tactics to acquire link popularity were drastically penalized by the update.
The Google Penguin update has left some SEO companies scrambling to figure out how to react to the update in hopes of regaining the search rankings they previously acquired from the spam linking strategies.
It is never easy to recover from an algorithm change, but there are several things that can be done to get your website back on the right track to achieving the high rankings that were taken away via the Penguin update penalization.
The first step in recovering from the Penguin update is to get rid of unrelated links on your site. It is recommended that you only have links that are related to exactly what you have to offer on your site. Make sure that at least 20% of the links in your site are from related and credible websites.
If your website accepts guest blog posts, insist on backlinks by guest posts on relevant websites or after providing great content: Some of the sites hit by the Google Penguin update had a history of backlink buying. If spam-type sites have links to your site on their websites, chances are that the Google Penguin update has hit your website and your rankings may have plummeted. To recover from the update, contact the Web masters of such websites and ask them to pull your links down. Fight the temptation of buying backlinks in the future.
Don’t over-optimize backlinks to your website. It’s important to fight the temptation of linking only your keywords back to your website. Make sure your backlinks have a good mix of anchor text such as linking your domain name or your company name back to your website.
One of the primary reasons why some sites were hit hard by the latest Penguin update is because they had hundreds of identical optimized anchor text links pointing towards their website. This makes Google think that your links are potentially spammy in nature. If your target keyword is ‘organic SEO services’, use several anchor text variations like ‘SEO service provider’ and ‘SEO service U.S.’
Limit the number of your ads and focus on navigation: One thing that is identical in all spam websites is lack of focus on navigation. Most spam sites are also characterized by having many ads.
If your website is focused on search engines, you could recover from the Google Penguin update by focusing on users. It is suggested that you cut back on the ads and make the pages easy to navigate through the use of such tactics as internal linking and sitemaps.
Use contextual links only: You could recover from Google Penguin update by removing any non-related sponsored links that are stuffed in a sidebar and in your footers. Replace these with links in the body of the content (contextual links).
In sum, if you’re scrambling to recover from plummeting search rankings because of the Google Penguin update, it’s important to avoid over optimization and insist that your search marketing company uses White Hat SEO techniques only if you want your website optimization to have a chance at recovery.