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SEO in MK after Google Penguin update - How Now?

Posted by A Hinxman on Thursday, 10 May 2012 in SEO for Business

What Is This Google Penguin Update?

On 24/4/2012, Google launched a major algorithm update called webspam update, later named as Penguin update. The objective of the update is twofold.

  1. To weed out spam contents such as keyword stuffing and poorly written articles such as those unreadable spun articles (I thought they have done it in Panda update?).
  2. To weed out sites that build tons of spam links to boost their search engine ranking.

Do not confuse Penguin update with Panda update, which is another update done last year, mainly targeting at website quality.

Many websites were unscathed by Panda update, but Penguin update has caused quite a few websites to lose their rankings. But is the blame on SEO, or they are you just a victim of the disaster that has affected both black-hat and white-hat SEOers? We'll see.

  1. Can Penguin really detect link building?
    Something that smells fishy to me is, if Google were to launch a webspam update that can flag sites that build links, why does it take separate effort in March to kill blog networks like BMR?
    For those who don't know what I'm talking about, BMR is a very popular private blog network that allows its members to post articles and build backlinks. The network was de-indexed on 22 March, one month before the Penguin update.
    Milton Keynes SEO consultants may be wrong but here is my guess. Penguin can't detect link building activities. What it can detect is links from the same or similar articles, using Google's LSI technology (it doesn't have too many new technologies, does it?). So when Penguin sees too many backlinks from essentially the same or similar content, those links got flagged.
    If so, the new update will not have any impact on networks like BMR, because BMR syndicates ONLY unique article, and every article is only published ONCE. If Google were to launch Penguin without killing BMR, BMR will be happily singing to the whole world 'you cannot catch me, you cannot catch me!'. This will put Google in a bad light. To avoid that, Google needs to kill BMR before it launched Penguin.
  2. Can Penguin really detect links from poor content or irrelevant content?
    You can see many examples where it can't. But that doesn't mean you can start writing junk content!
    You can do your own research. Many back links are junk links or spam robot forum webspam submission links. But there is one thing that makes all the difference. Getting a link from an authority website on a webpage with a good page rank with a main high home page website page ranking.
    So what's happens when an authority site boosts the authority of your site? With that authority, this site can now rank high in the keyword it wants with a slight boost in backlinks, even though if those back links are pure junk.
    You will notice, you still don't need a lot of back links to rank well when you have an authority link. What you need is authority, and some backlinks which you have control over the anchor text.
  3. Can over-posting of article submissions really hurt my ranking?
    This is a question I've been asking myself after the penguin update and I thought it will be so, since Penguin is about killing webspam.
  4. If I do nothing wrong, why do I lose all my rankings?
    Your rank drop may have nothing to do with spam links or black hat tactics you may have unwittingly commissioned. With the new Penguin algorithm, it is obvious that Google now puts more weight on site authority (i.e. site PageRank). Internal pages of authority sites are now dominating Google's search results, eventhough they may be less relevant, with little or no backlinks!
  5. A special case where your promotional efforts can hurt you!
    Say you want to build links to your website but you are short of time or perhaps you do not employ a copywriter. What some people are tempted to do is to take the content from their website and re-word it and re-use it again on another page or as a promotional article. I always advise people to be unique and original but it is hard when you are pressed for time. Content you want to rank for or get a good link back out from should always be 100% unique. In the past, you would be able to get your website to rank well but after Penguin update, your ranking will drop to flat zero.
    Remember I said that Penguin's objective is twofold? Besides devaluing spam links, it also devalues spam contents. When you publish spun versions of your original pages on your website, Google may mistaken your original article as spam content and hence it devalues it.
    You may try to build links with your re-worded content but they will not be as effective.
    So please, make sure that the content your want to rank in Google is 100% unique. Do not publish that content elsewhere, even if it is re-worded.
  6. What are your future plans and what should you do now?
    Penguin is a change in algorithm, not a penalty. If you suffer a rank drop on 24/4/2012, then it is due to Penguin update. If you suffer a rank drop before 24/4/2012, then it has nothing to do with Penguin.
    If you are affected by Penguin update, there is no need to delete the web pages you've published. The worse case is those pages are not counted although your home page link to them drains your home page ranking.
    What you need to do is to get more backlinks from unique contents, by varying anchor texts and by varying your sources. You also need to get backlinks from high PageRank webpage (not website) so as to boost your authority level. Those backlinks can be through any anchor text. It doesn't matter. What you want is the PageRank juice. In fact, the reason why your website dropped could be simply because you have a lower site authority than your competitors.
    Trust me. Google Penguin still can't differentiate between built backlinks and organic backlinks. What it can detect, at most, are links from similar content. So make sure that your backlinking sources are varied, especially arround the title and the sentences surrounding your keywords. Also, don't just build links from one source. You need a mixture of backlinks, from social bookmarks, Blogspot, Squidoo, Ezinarticles, Myspace, Facebook, Tumblr, blog comments, forum links, a mix of nofollow and dofollow links, links from authority web directories etc. I know it's tedious but you need to do it at least for your homepage in order to increase its authority level.

    Lastly, if you have access to social forums or directory type websites then use them!

Before you get overly excited forget about link building. Focus on writing content of benefit to people. Some of the traffic to your website may sell and convert. Promote your website to get traffic, not to build links for SEO.

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