25 Google Penguin Update Recovery Tips

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19 Jun 2012

A large number of websites have been affected by recent Google Penguin updates. Website’s owners and webmasters are raising numerous questions and doing every bit to recover from the damage. In past couple of weeks, hundreds of blogs have been written on Penguin Updates; some have even shared their experiences and strategies on how their websites recovered and started getting the same or even better traffic.

But before going further it’s important to understand – What is Google Penguin Update?

Google penguin updates were launched to decrease search engine rankings of those websites that use black hat techniques to gain search popularity and violate webmaster guidelines. There have been 39 search quality changes including penguin updates in May 2012, ever since it was launched.

Now, let’s not determine all search quality changes but focus on recovery tips: –

1. Spammy Links – Remove all spammy and unnecessary links pointing towards your website. Make a list of links; use Google Webmaster tools and site explorer such as opensiteexplorer.org or yahoo search explorer. Learn to recognize good and bad links and remove them manually. A few examples of spammy links are getting links from Spammed Domain, Article & Forum Spam, Paid Links sites etc.

2. Over Optimized Anchor Texts– Analyze your website anchor texts; check if they are overly optimized or not. Change them with the page name rather than targeted keywords. e.g. Intellectual Property Services to Intellegenre.com

3. Inbound Links – Your website might be affected because of heavily linked to internal pages. Check if these inbound links are a bit spammy or targeting just a few relevant pages. Understand the link value of your website’s pages, re-link pages and focus on link quality instead of quantity.

4. Footer Links – Does your website contain large quantity of footer links pointing mainly to ranking pages? If yes then remove these links immediately; keep main pages links in the footer. Avoid using keyword oriented links in your website’s footer.

5. Redirects – Stop temporary redirects that you’ve set-up for higher search engine visibility. Penguin updates have penalized those types of website who were spamming Google with such redirects.

6. Broken Links – Lets not confuse web crawlers and remove broken links on your website. Use online tools such as brokenlinkchecker.com and make a list of broken links. Fix as many of them as possible and then use Google Webmaster Tool to request url removal.

7. Content Spamming – A large number of website were hit due to content spamming to gain link value and search popularity. It can be keyword stuffing on your website or using same content to a large number of websites and web directories. It’s highly recommended to make changes on your website by writing relevant content and removing those spammy posts linking to your website.

8. Doorway Pages – Make sure to remove all poor-quality doorway pages on your website; it’s a violation of Google Webmaster Guideline.

9. Technical SEO – Penguin algorithm deeply looks into technical aspects of your website that include xml sitemaps, robots.txt and Google webmaster registration.

10. Pagerank Sculpting – Practicing page rank sculpting can be one of those reasons why it harmed the websites rather than benefited. Google has changed the way no follow link “rel=’nofollow’” worked a year ago.

11. Over Optimization – Most of the webmasters are aware of the term called “Over Optimization” or “Overly SEOed”. For several years, Google had been working on penalizing the websites that were overly optimized and finally they came out with the tool called Penguin Update. Make relevant changes on your website such as reducing keyword based anchor text, footer, keyword stuffing etc.

12. Quick & Easy Link – Link Building has been one of the crucial aspects of SEO for more than a decade now. Your website’s link popularity depends upon a number of relevant links pointing to your websites. A large number of webmasters practice primitive link building techniques to get quick and easy links. These techniques include submitting links to low quality directories, comment spamming, article spamming, forum signature spam etc. Google has targeted all those websites that were involved in such spam activities.

13. Move to a New Domain – If your website is banned by Google after penguin update; it is advised to start fresh and transfer content to a new domain.

14. Website Audit – Perform SEO Audit on your website that includes analysis of indexed pages, content, landing pages, keyword term targeting, formatting, duplicate content check, page URL, internal links, redirects, anchor texts, footer links and meta tags etc.

15. Selling Links – Buying or selling links means manipulating search results which is against Google webmaster guidelines. If you have done it any way; take a quick action and remove these links to recover your website from penguin update penalty.

16. Make User-friendly Content – User friendly quality content websites have been given greater importance in penguin update. These websites not only improved their search positioning but also got more visitors. If your website was hit because of low quality keyword stuffed content; it’s high time to make necessary changes.

17. Article Spinning – Google web spam team had already announced that machine made content would be the prime target. Websites having “Spun Content” usually generated by article spinning software were penalized in penguin update. If you have generated content using these tool; give them a human touch or change them entirely. Stop using these tools now.

18. Dead Links – Dead links may have hurt your website if it’s above average (more than 20%). If it’s higher than 40% your website will no longer show up in the second page of Google for a search query.

19. Reconsideration Request – Make sure to go through Webmasters Quality Guideline, understand what could be the real reason of penalty. Make all possible changes that violate Google’s guideline and submit a reconsideration request. However, if your website is hit by the algorithm; sending it for reconsideration won’t do anything. Google don’t update search results manually.

20. Canonical URLs – Check canonical URL error, and better remove them and clean up unnecessary links on your site.
21. Duplicate Title – Duplicate title confuses search engines; it should be fixed to lift the ban. Create unique title to each web page, select keywords carefully and do inverted commas search to avoid duplicate title issue.

22. Build Natural Links – Try to earn natural links from authority websites that can improve your link popularity. Build natural links for visitors who look for information rather than search engines. Some of the best examples of natural link building are contextual link, creating good content and viral videos. Avoid low quality directories, link farming, article spam link etc.

23. Schema – A lot of penguin victims have tried this complicated html Schema; you could be one of them.

24. Link Warnings – How about those link warnings? Ignored! A large number of websites’ ranking dipped who ignored these unnatural link warnings sent by Google to their webmaster accounts. Recover these messages & fix the issue.

25. Negative SEO – Some people believe that practicing Negative SEO can recover the penalty. But reality is different and you shouldn’t follow anything beyond webmaster guideline.