One month after the release of the not so much welcomed Google update named Penguin and few days after the updated 1.1 version, we wanted to make a brief analysis about websites that have been hit by the Penguin.
“Hit by the Pinguin” means that these websites have seen their average traffic suddenly decrease to 40% up in few days following the release of the wild animal by Google.
One Month Later, Which Consequences?
The main goal of this update was to penalize the “keyword stuffing” and the “webspam” techniques which were and are still used in the SEO “black” world. As described on the Google’ search blog the “black hat SEO” or “black hat webspam”.
Well the damage done by the Penguin isn’t the same for everyone. For a lot of big websites that rely on organic traffic, the one coming from the search engine and logically from Google, quickly decreased. They started to lose they ranking and of course some smaller players in the same field started to rank higher.
If your website has been hit by the Penguin update you should (read you have to) check the following points in order to be sure you are not over the line.
Google takes more into consideration the link’s quality and not only the link by itself. It means that now you have to look forward for links coming from quality websites and not coming from links farm or hacked website. Most of the websites that have been hit quite hard by the Penguin have been using not so white SEO techniques and as a matter of fact the wild animal has just penalized them .
The second point to check is the over-optimization, a lot of websites’ owners believe they have to overoptimize their website to earn traffic. Do not forget that your website has been created for visitors (if you didn’t think about this you have to start it from now), i.e. humans people who are looking for some information, and not for crawlers, robots or spiders especially the ones that Google owns.
The main purpose for a website is to deliver interesting and great content to its users. If you do not offer an added value on your content, Google will consider that you should be before websites that are offering quality content.
This is one of the most important points to check. Are you sure you haven’t started to speak the crawler’s language? Putting on each and every sentence few keywords making the whole sentence impossible to read just to please the spider? If you have done this, you have to rewrite your content and make it more human-being readable and do not forget to spend even more time on the link anchor text as they MUST look natural and not robot oriented.
Comments and Spam
If you have posted comments on other websites or blogs, especially if your posts look like :
”Great article, great website,
You should consider editing them as soon as possible as for they don’t bring any quality to the conversation. Also, if you have caught some people doing this on your website, do not hesitate to delete the post and why not posting a new article saying that you are now fighting this technique.
Hidden Texts and Hidden Links
Still an old technique but some people still loves it. Do not use it. Google knows if you are using it as the Google’s crawlers do not see the webpages the same way we see it. You can check their inner sightseeing vision in the Google Webmaster Tool; it’s quite different from ours.
Be sure to name properly each of your pages, even the very old ones that you have written 5 years ago and you think not one is seeing anymore. Google’s crawlers know they are still here and more importantly know they are not yet fixed.
Go to your Google Webmaster Tools and see if they have tried to warm you that your website is not following their guidelines. If you can’t find any useful information about your website, contact them and ask them if they could possibly give you some advices and feedbacks about what happened on your sudden traffic change.
Penguin is not a live feature but has already been updated once, few days ago, to make sure that clean websites which had been penalized will recover from the update. According to Matt Cutts, head of webspam team at Google, the new release of Penguin, has only impacted less than 0.1% of the English queries which is lower that first release which was about 3% of the queries.
We can expect new releases of Penguin in the next couples of weeks or months and, as usual with Google, new techniques may become suddenly forbidden, allowed or even compulsory.