Google Penguin

More sites have had their rankings affected by Google Pengin. This article explain why 'black hat' seo techniques are becoming more unpopular.

What is Google Pengin?

Google Penguin is the name associated with a Google algarithm update which was introduced on April 24, 2012. The update is aimed at downranking websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines which use SEO techniques such as keyword stuffing, cloaking and link schemes, duplicating of content and other cheating techniques. The result of these practices will be decreased search engine rankings.

What is cloaking?

Cloaking is the black art of presenting content to search engine spiders which is different to that which is visible on the site.

What is keyword stuffing?

Keyword stuffing involves loading keywords into the content and meta tags for site pages. Quite often the page text doesn't flow or read grammatically well and sites which still practice this will no longer be favoured by the search engines.

Link schemes

Whilst Google’s rankings are partly based on the number of links to your site, the quality and relevance of links is most important. Poor quality links could be considered more damaging to your rankings than not having any links at all.

So what can you do?

Ensure your site does not use 'black hat' seo techniques

If you are working with a company to provide search engine optimisation, make sure that they do not use bad seo techniques which try and trick the search engines. At some point your site will be caught out and will be downranked. Work only with techniques approved by Google's webmaster guidelines. Two good questions to keep asking yourself are: Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist? if the answers are yes then you are on the right track. If the answers are no then you need to reconsider your techniques.

Make sure your content is well written with the right balance of keywords

Keywords should be reasonable and necessary, properly placed with a balanced effort to achieve search results. We suggest working with specialist website copywriters who weave the keywords into the content in such a way that they contribute to better rankings and do not appear repetitively or randomly with little or no relevance to the context.

Avoid using too many keywords on each page and if necessary create separate pages for different content and keywords.

Ensure quality links to your site

If you have participated in a link scheme then we suggest you remove your site from such like and concentrate on getting links from reputable and relevant sites which relate to your topic more specifically. We believe that site directories still help your rankings as long as the anchor text is relevant and the directory site is reputable.

Avoid reciprocal links i.e. sites which offer a link to your site if you link to theirs.

If you do have links from sites to yours make sure that the anchor text contains the relevant keywords.

Don't duplicate content

Duplicating content is neither useful nor helpful to users so instead of duplicating pages create links to the information from a page. This also increases internal links and relevance.

Summary

Remember that Google's prime objective is to please their users. If your site uses underhand techniques to imrove its rankings then expect to be caught out and downranked at some point if it hasn't happened already. Read up on Google's webmaster guidelines and make sure that any seo carried out on our site adheres to these guidelines. Getting well ranked instantly is not going to happen easily but if you get there using the right techniques you have a better chance of staying there!