Penguin is the latest algorithm update from Google designed to eradicate spammy websites from appearing in the search results. Essentially another step forward from 2011’s Panda, Penguin’s main targets are out-of-date content and backlinks from bad neighbourhoods.

In the past, a website could get good rankings from using ‘black hat’ SEO techniques, such as spammy content, keyword stuffing and buying poor quality links from questionable sources. This resulted in a bad experience for Google users, who often found that sites using unreasonable SEO techniques were filling up the search engine results pages with nothing but spam.

Since these early days subsequent algorithm updates such asFloridaand Panda have attempted to root out these bad practices. The changes in Penguin aim to penalise any remaining offenders that are still lurking in web space.

In my previous blog post; ‘Why does Google update its algorithm?’ I discussed how Google updates are ‘for the greater good’ when it comes to improving the quality of search engine results. Penguin isn’t anything to fear as long as you are prepared to make any necessary changes.

No update is perfect and like its predecessor Panda, Penguin has had its fair share of criticism over the last few weeks. The teething problems have included complaints from legitimate companies that had been removed from search rankings. However, these issues have already been addressed by Google and the majority of eSterling clients have had no major problems with Penguin.

So what can you do to avoid your search engine results dropping as a result of Penguin?

  • Update your content. Re-write old or keyword-stuffed content on as many pages as possible. You can read some guidelines for this here.
  • Get a blog. This really is the easiest method to add fresh content to your site on a regular basis and is also a great way for your visitors to find out more about you.
  • Source links from reputable websites. Build your own links by submitting to online directories, or signing up for quality online advertising. Link building services from eSterling have shown no adverse reaction from Penguin as we source only quality links.
  • Remove anything that could be regarded as spammy – invisible text or keywords stuffing has been a huge no-no for a while now.

These points will come as no surprise to regular readers of the eSterling blog. A successful website is about providing fresh, relevant content to the user and adhering to Google’s guidelines on links. As long as you focus your attention on this, you will survive the Penguin update and many more to come. Who knows, you may even benefit from the next update…

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