Living with Google Penguin — Part 2 tips on avoiding being hit

Firstly, Part one of Liv­ing with Google Pen­guin can be found here http://leesmallwood.com/2012/05/08/google-penguin-update-anchor-text-diversity-part-1/

So, onto the 2nd part …

Google Pen­guin: Tips on avoid­ing being hit and on what to do if you have

How To Avoid Being Hit By Google Penguin

Go and check your ana­lyt­ics account. Do it now! If there are warn­ings of unnat­ural link­ing, make sure those links are either removed or nofollow’ed at the earliest!

Then, go through this checklist:

1. Paid Text Links

Remove any paid text links that you have.

NOTE: Pay spe­cial atten­tion to this even if you never used paid links!

Why?

Because you may not have any idea of what your com­pet­i­tion is doing for you (or against you). There are paid links out there that do not pop-up in the ana­lyt­ics warn­ings. These could simply be those that were cre­ated by SEO pro­fes­sion­als work­ing (uneth­ic­ally) for your com­pet­i­tion to bring you down.

Yes, people pay junk sites to link to com­pet­it­ors — in large num­bers! It’s an age-old tac­tic that’s been earn­ing people in the black­hat food chain a full time liv­ing ever since the incep­tion of SEO. And these links are usu­ally exact matches for your primary keywords.

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Use http://www.freeseoreport.com/ or http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ which will help you track these

And here’s a case study that con­firmas what I just said: http://trafficplanet.com/topic/2372-successful-negative-seo-case-study/ PING +Matt Cutts if you haven’t rein­stated http://justgoodcars.com please would you read the post… the guy who did the _negativeSEO cam­paign is noth­ing more than bacteria!!!)

Your Guest Posts

Google doesn’t deny that guest post­ing is a valid link get­ting act. But it dis­likes any guest posts you make to sites that mis­use them.

So you need to mon­itor your col­lab­or­at­ors’ sites. If you made a guest post and they duplic­ated it in all their ven­ues of post­ing, with or without your name (or your know­ledge) then the value of the your con­tent goes down.

Also, sites that have low update fre­quency or per­ceived low qual­ity con­tent will also drag down the value of the link they point to you.

Art­icle Mar­ket­ing Efforts

These need to be mon­itored too. Most dir­ect­or­ies like eZine now have qual­ity con­trol meas­ures to accept art­icles after they got slapped last year.

The Google Pen­guin has affected a lot of web­sites which had sec­tions of thin con­tent but many links going out from it. Also, the use of an art­icle for advert­ising pur­poses has spread too far, which again you must monitor.

Some house­hold names that were affected because of such use of con­tent include:

- Digg
– BrotherSoft

- geek.com
cultofmac.com
cubestat.com

and many others.

Com­ment Spam

Too many links in com­ments on your pages, as well as too many links com­ing from com­ments other than for­ums are a sure­fire way of get­ting de-indexed.

Install a good com­ment mon­it­or­ing plugin.

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There are a pleth­ora of plu­gins for Word­Press self-hosted sites here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tags/comment-spam

Also, if there is an unavoid­able hot dis­cus­sion on a par­tic­u­lar post you made, then let it occur and include links, but on the backend have a plu­gin that nofollow’s them all. Google Pen­guin isn’t against dis­cus­sions. It’s against inflated link juice.

Web­site Structure

The Google Pen­guin update is dig­ging sites deep for manip­u­la­tion of their crawl­ing efforts. Your titles, meta tags and sitemap should be well optim­ised. Any orphaned sec­tions that appear as hid­den pages should either be archived, or removed altogether.

How to recover if the Google Pen­guin update has already hit you

That means that you have been cited for spam and a huge chunk of your con­tent has lost it’s value along with the hit.

But don’t lose hope just as yet. First make a list of pages that were genu­ine, of good qual­ity and truly deserved to rank. Make sure that this list is in line with Google’s qual­ity guidelines (http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769)

Then, use the Google Pen­guin Feed­back form to report the pages you feel should not have been affected. Here’s a link: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport?pli=1 and add Pen­guin in the details

If you feel like shout­ing out “Help me Obi Wan Kan­obi you’re my only hope …”

Then for the remain­ing pages and domains that have indeed no hope of a comeback, fol­low this checklist:

- Remove irrel­ev­ant keywords from your pages and their tags

- Find all the redir­ects in your site that are meant to (or by mis­take) point to a land­ing page or ad page which goes against Google’s guidelines

- If you have domains that mir­ror each other’s pages and have been inter­linked, remove them all and de-link them from your import­ant main site

- Do not make pages tailored to search engine bots. And do not cloak them over to a human read­able page. Cloak­ing is the worst kind of spam out there

- If your pages have adware that forces pop-ups, it has been banned due to low user exper­i­ence. Either remove the adware or improve user exper­i­ence. Shut down the pop-ups

- Remove all your sub­mis­sions from blog net­works. These are already under a huge scan­ner and your pres­ence on them will only make mat­ters worse

- Remove all links (even from your reports and lead mag­nets) that point to link farms

- Remove auto­mated pro­grams or intel­li­gent scripts from your page that tend to mir­ror the latest set of search quer­ies and modify your page for them

- Remove links to illegal down­load sites, even if the down­load is freeware

- Modify or improve pre-written sales copy on your affil­i­ate pages. If you are big on affil­i­ate mar­ket­ing, it’s best to write your sales copy your­self or hire a pro­fes­sional copy­writer who adds value to the visitor

- Only opt for affil­i­ate pro­grams that give good products to the end user and that do not force you to load long duplic­ated sales let­ters on your visitors

- Google Pen­guin is a strong move against black­hat tac­tics like embed­ding hid­den words on a page, or using zero font and white text on white pages style of trick­ery in design. Steer clear of those

- If you haven’t paid atten­tion to this yet, it’s time to employ LSI keywords into your con­tent. It stands for Lat­ent Semantic Index­ing, which focuses on help­ing the search query to be deciphered by con­tent rel­ev­ance. It’ll match your pages bet­ter without penalties

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I wrote a couple of art­icles on Semantic Keyword Research,
Part 1: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100034828195835575273/posts/MGi582Y6Yef Part 2: http://leesmallwood.com/2012/04/13/semantic-keyword-research-part-2/

But google lat­ent semantic index­ing for more sites (https://www.google.co.uk/search?aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=latent+semantic+indexing)

And finally [TL:DR]

The Google Pen­guin update also delves into the trust­wor­thi­ness of inform­a­tion you put out on the site. So make sure your research is done well

Here’s some links for you to check out for more help:

- +Glenn Gabe https://plus.google.com/u/0/107070305268662654617/posts/XafK7mej8rP

- +SEO­moz https://plus.google.com/u/0/112544075040456048636/posts/hHaXg8Rs5Lf

- +Barry Schwartz https://plus.google.com/u/0/107945426404682361496/posts/74ohvX8NxLA

If you come across other related art­icles, please add a link ion the com­ments below and I’ll add them to the post above…

The most spoken but sel­dom fol­lowed advice:

“Make sites are for users, not for search engines.”

I know it sounds like a broken record, but now is when it’ll save your ship. Use it! It’s time to take action…
o #googlepen­guin #googlepen­guinup­date #googlepen­alty #lsgp o

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About

SEO, social con­tent and sig­nals advoc­ate, closet geek (not fully fledge), writer, speaker, & blogger.

Founder of NOD3x (http://nod3x.com) — Social Net­work Ana­lysis, know­ledge graph ana­lysis application

Lee can be con­tac­ted by email: here

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