The Latest Google Penguin Update

Last week, Google rolled out the most recent update to its search algorithm.  As you may already know, Google periodically makes updates to improve search results and user experience.  The latest update (code named “Penguin”) targets websites that are manipulating search engines by using “black hat” tactics such as buying and selling links strictly for SEO purposes.  Although this update is expected to have a larger impact on spam sites, it could affect other sites as well, especially if they have over-optimized content.

Even if you have a legitimate site without spam, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your search engine traffic to see if there has been an impact.  As you can see in this list from Search Engine Land, not all of the sites affected are spammy.  Google is becoming much stricter about black hat optimization techniques, so it’s important to make sure you’re following “white hat” practices that fall within Google’s quality guidelines when optimizing your site.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure your site doesn’t get hit:

  • Use quality content on your site that reads naturally and is not over-optimized with keywords and keyword-stuffed links.
  • Remove excess links across your site. If there are too many internal links in a block of text, remove the unnecessary ones.
  • Get rid of paid backlinks that you bought simply for SEO purposes.  These can be considered spammy and won’t help your ranking in Google.

You shouldn’t have much to worry about as long as you’re creating unique content and focusing on improving visitor experience rather than over-optimizing for search engines.  The best thing to do is monitor your traffic and make sure you’re not including anything spammy on your site.  If you work with an Internet marketing or SEO company, reach out to them if you are concerned about the update.  You can also post questions in the comments section below and we’ll answer them the best we can.

For more tips on creating fresh content and optimizing your site the “right” way, check out these posts:

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Google

Top 10 Ways to Write Good Content

Avoiding Thin Content on Your Site