Google Penguin Update: Is Your Website Protected?

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Google’s newest rollout; Google Penguin, was officially launched on April 24th, 2012. It’s all about cleaning up spam and displaying sites that are of more relevance to search engine users. Thus far it seems to be effective and working very well for them in removing spam sites. Although not as harmful as last years Google Panda, Google Penguin is the newest algorithm that has become a roadblock for the webmasters. Last year’s Panda update affected approximately 12% of all total search queries, whereas the Penguin update is said to have affected over 3.1% of search queries (so far).

The new Penguin update is somewhat similar to the Panda update last year, which targeted websites that copied poor content from low quality sites. The Penguin update turns attention to removing spammers from the SERPS (search engine rankings page) and its focus continues to shift towards relevant, fresh, and high quality content. Google Penguin rewards premium content and relevant, useful websites.

As the Penguin update is built to deal with spammers and unethical SEO practices, it’s essential to make sure you aren’t involved in these kinds of activities such as viral link building, link farms, content copying, etc. Google doesn’t like spammy and unnatural links coming into your website, nor does it like you to have a lot of outbound links.

Google Penguin is scheduled to compound things even further. It will look into what kind of neighborhood your site is grouped in.

Google really put an emphasis on detecting and penalizing spam and other black hat SEO practices with Google Penguin. Many people forget that being listed in Google is a privilege, not a right. Google may ban you from their index at any time. One of the critical changes implemented in the Penguin update was to prevent over-optimization in anchor text. Anchor text is the text displayed in the URL that links to your site from an outbound source. As mentioned earlier, Google’s Penguin update was to remove unnatural links from various sources.

If your website is practicing white hat SEO techniques, you have nothing to be worried about. Google and their crawlers are extremely smart and know if your website is spam, or if it’s of relevance. To avoid being penalized via PageRank or any other kind of penalty, continue to build backlinks from high quality, relevant websites. Although time consuming, it is time well spent and can be gratifying when you see your rankings at the top.