How to Make the Most of the Penguin Update

May 7, 2012

Over the years, Google has had several updates to improve its search results by reducing spam. In order to get your website to the top of search results, many people have been using sneaky tactics that are now being caught by Google. According to Search Engine Watch, the things you should avoid are:

-Hidden doorway pages
-Buying links
-Different page for engines and users
-Hidden text or hidden links
-Cloaking or redirects

You should really focus on improving the user experience and add value for your customers so that any customer or visitor keeps returning to your website. Part of your in-house SEO strategy to take action after being hit by Penguin should include several factors so that you’re not affected again by the next update.

Act Now

-Run an analytics report

If you were affected by any Google update, including Penguin, you should run a 30-day traffic report to check your website analytics to see when you were hit and how many visits you lost due to the updates.

-Keyword referrer report

In order to know which keywords lost traffic, you should run a keyword referrer report. This will help you assess how much traffic each keyword lost.

-Check keyword rankings

You’ll have to manually check your top keywords and how they rank. It’s a must for SEO!

–Check Google Webmaster Central

Check to see if you received a message if your website was affected by the update. It’s most likely you did, but if you think that your website was unjustly hit, you should send Google’s web spam team a message.

–Use link tools to see your link profile

You should run occasional reports on your inbound links in order to see your link profile.

–Run redirect tools

Make sure that no problems were caused by developers by using tools such as pingdom or webconfs.

Plan for Long Term

–Enterprise-wide guidelines and training

You should create SEO guidelines that should be followed, mainly: on-page optimization and an acceptable amount of keywords so that you don’t come off as spammy.

–Financial forecast

-If you took a drop in rankings, you should create a financial forecast on how much revenue you have lost up until now so that everyone understands just how important SEO strategies are for the company’s success.

–Clear directions for IT

Developers should have a clear understanding of what the best SEO practices are in order to be successful. They play an important role in succeeding.

-Page level keywords

You want your keywords to flow with the content on your pages. You don’t want to stuff keywords in strictly for SEO purposes. This won’t help you anymore, anyway. By having your keywords sound natural and like they should fit in, you’ll make your content flow better and be easier to read.

-Monitor links

Make sure that your inbound links are working for you and not against you. By naturally building links to reliable websites, it will be more beneficial than linking to poor-quality sites.

-On-page SEO guidelines

SEW says that “this is a must have document and should include all on-page best practices like title, meta, URL naming convention, ALT tag, H level tags, internal linking, and copywriting best practices.”

-Content and copy team

Make sure that your content and copy team aren’t going too crazy with keyword stuffing. There shouldn’t be more than three of the same keyword on a page in order for them to seem natural.

-Work closely with your agency

You should be asking appropriate questions about your link profile and things like site benchmarks and keywords so that you understand what they’re doing.
In the end, the updates will be beneficial so that there isn’t web spam and that the quality of sites is improved so that users can benefit from them more than before.

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