Penguin Update revealed
As well as being a freelance website designer I am also a freelance SEO, and there has been a
lot of fuss lately about the Penguin and Panda Updates, Panda is understood fairly well already,
but it seems that a lot of people are still struggling to understand what the penguin update does.
It would seem that the recent Google update is based on specific queries to a particular domain.
Let me explain what I mean, If your website before the Penguine update was ranking highly for a
specific keyword for one of your products, say for example your website was "www.DiscountedSportsEquipment.com"
(This is a random example) and you were ranking highly for the keyword "Sports Equipment"
The chances are that you probably had built, (either yourself or you had an seo company do it for you)
thousands of links using the keyword "sports equipment" in the anchor text. (The text in the link.)
This used to work really well, except that Google knew people were doing this and so decided to
do something about it, so they decided what they felt a natural link profile would look like. And
having 1000 links all using the keyword "sports equipment" and only 100 other mixed links doesnt
fit this profile, it looks unnatural, so they applied a penalty to that website for that keyword, to
prevent it from ranking for that keyword.
The penalty appears to be applied to the domain and not just to the specific page that you were
targeting. This means that the website can still rank for other keywords, (This is a very important
point) but while the pengun transgression is still in place in your link profile, you will not be able to
rank for the keywords you are penalised for.
How to get out of the penalty
So you have a choice, you can:
A) Build a new website - Not a great choice unless you were thinking of starting again anyway.
B) Edit your link profile - you need to change the links so that no more than around 20% of your links use the keywords you were penalised for. This isnt always possible, in which case you have to dilute the links by building 80% more links using a large mixture of related and random keywords.
C) change your domain - This works because the penalty is applied to the domain not the page. So you simply move the website to a new domain and set up a 301 redirect to the new domain.