Internet, SEO

What Has Google Penguin Done To Webmasters In 2013?

google-panda-penguin-2013Google Penguin Updates have been the talk of webmaster forums for over a year now. Site owners either love them or hate them, based on how it has helped them rank—or how they were de-ranked. So as we gear up for Penguin 2.0, let's reflect on our journey with Penguin to this point.

Penguin Updates-Helpful Or Hurtful?

Google Penguin actually did to at least part of its job well, according to some reports. It has helped weed out the spammers and phishers and raised high-quality sites to the top. On the other hand, it also did negatively impact some very high-quality sites.

The Reasons For the Site Ranking Drops

Although Penguin did accomplish the part about raising standards so not just anyone can put content on the web, it did make search engine placement more competitive. Rankings have dropped because now website owners have to work extra hard to get to number one. Not everyone may believe this, but further studies of the link between Penguin and search engine rank will provide clues of this.

The Severity of Website Ranking Decline

Every site is different, and some were hit more severely than others. However, some seemingly well-done sites had dropped fifty places in search engine results overnight. Worse yet, some sites were removed completely. Several factors contribute to this, but before covering more of the ways this can be fought against, prevention is paramount.

How Not to Let Penguin Knock You down

  1. Write totally unique content. You might get away with writing some content that has been spun. However, it should be unique enough. If it is too similar you may become flagged for duplicate content. If you really want to succeed at making a high-quality site, you are advised to place fresh articles, videos, and images on it. It is better to write each one manually rather than spinning it if you can.
  2. Put enough content on your pages. Your "About Us" and "Home" pages should clearly explain your purpose for being online. The rest of your pages should have at least 300 to 400 words on them, but useful words and just "mumbo-jumbo" that doesn’t make sense. Whatever you do, never add lists of random keywords just to help your rankings! It should be paragraph-by-paragraph content, or audio and video that pertains to your site. It should not be totally of an advertising nature, with few exceptions (i.e. your "services" or "features" page).
  3. Encourage interaction on your site. Not only should your site be well-written, but it should also encourage the people visiting it to want to interact. Place share buttons on your pages and invite people to comment on them. You can pay people to comment and share, but remember to make sure they are making authentic comments about how they really feel. Any interaction that is not true could be penalized if "The Penguin" found out.

Submission for Re-Review to Penguin

Even Google makes mistakes, and occasionally they even admit it. Therefore, they are willing to accept feedback if you feel your site has been penalized or removed unfairly. Just go to the Webmaster Tools site to follow through with this process.

Times when your site may be reconsidered: Say you have a blog that usually has high-quality content on it but then someone found out your blog e-mail. They an easily post useless messages or irrelevant ads (i.e. Viagra ads on a site for pet supplies). If Google realizes you are not the one who is doing this and you have this kind of incident reported, your site may be re-instated.

An article published on behalf of Amit Mehta. Amit is a technology junky and the owner of Boost Software. He enjoys blogging about topics in technology and occasionally guest posts on popular blogs about some of the most recent tech gadgets, windows installer errors, and other slow computer issues.

If you have any questions, please ask below!