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Google Penguin visits once a year and this is the third appearance. Needless to say that many website owners tremble at the arrival of humble Penguin because it can change their fate – either take them up or drop them down the search rankings. Fortunately, Penguin updates affect only a fraction of websites and only those which play hanky-panky with their sites. The idea is to avoid getting punished by the Penguin. Here are some well-known techniques to avoid getting hit by Google algorithm updates and especially Penguin 3.0.
Buying back-links? You are buying trouble
We always want to find the easy way out. That’s human nature. It can also put us in deep trouble. Buying back-links may seem easy but it doesn’t help where Google search ranking is concerned. You must avoid all kinds of link farms and blogs which are known to take money. Now, how does Google know that your links are spammy? It’s quite easy really. Blogs can be identified by the kind of links they have on their site. For example a site on dogs carrying a link on psychology is sure to attract attention and penalty. Once you get blacklisted by Google, it’s quite a task to get back into search results. You must therefore completely avoid obtaining back-links from paid sites as well as blog networks.
Keywords and stuff
The problem with Google search algorithm is that it changes every once in a while. The new Penguin 3.0 update has surely tweaked its algorithm and it’s going to work against those who try to stuff keywords into their web content. This practice of keyword stuffing has gone out of fashion, but some website owners still believe in overdoing it. Google has time and again warned against this practice.
This does not mean that you give up your keyword strategy. In fact, keywords are the only way Google can identify and rate your content. It’s like hanging between the mountain and the deep blue sea. Obviously you have to walk a tightrope while using keywords. Prudence is the only way out. To a limited extent, trial and error can work in your favor.
Optimization is out
There was a time when search optimization was a serious activity. Google has put paid to all optimization. Whatever people may say, but optimization is as good as dead. Optimization meant onsite and offsite tweaking of parameters. Both techniques have gone out of business because of Google updates through Penguin and Panda. Penguin 3.0 has surely further pushed optimization to the fringes of search. The question which everyone is now asking is whether you must look at content optimization at all. SEO, by itself, has become a dinosaur. What do you do then to improve your search ranking? You just cannot give up and watch your site go down the tube, nor can you jeopardize your ranking by unnecessarily attracting negative attention from Google.
Social networking is in
There is a paradigm shift in how experts look at search. Instead of trying to catch the fish from the river, it’s better to stir your own pond – get the most out of your social network. You must remember that traffic means better search ranking. There is nothing which can beat traffic. You can get thousands of visitors to your website if you can exploit your own social network. Additionally, you can explore the possibility of joining social networking sites where you can meet people with like tastes. This approach has been used effectively by many website owners. Penguin 3.0 just cannot find fault with this strategy. The advantage of social networks is that there are hundreds of them where you can find people to visit your site without paying.
Content, content and content
Google has always emphasized quality content. The very purpose of Google search algorithm is to ensure that only genuine and trustworthy sites get displayed on search engines. If Google search starts showing shady and spammy results, people will stop using it and the show would be over. You have to sympathize with Google for trying hard to keep away the bad elements. There was a time when website owners used to game the search results. As a result, most of the first few results were porn sites – you got it right. It is to the credit of Google that search has now become legitimate. Therefore, content is where you must put your effort. Forget SEO strategies, forget keywords and forget links – simply concentrate on providing great content. Penguin 3.0 can actually work in your favor if you follow this advice.
Difference between data refresh and algorithm update
It’s very important to know the difference between data refresh and algorithm update. Penguin 3.0 is an algorithm update. This means that the Penguin algorithm itself has been tweaked to modify or alter search results. They are usually changed once a year. Due to the change in algorithm you may either benefit or damage your search ranking.
On the other hand, data refresh is an activity which is carried out more often, probably once every month or so. During data refresh, your site may be reevaluated.
How to revive your website?
If your site gets hit by any algorithm change, the first thing you must do is to have a re-look at your SEO strategy. Poor links from spammy sites can get your website penalized and blacklisted. The unfortunate part is that you can do nothing about it. The good news is that you can get back on your feet. Once you remove your back-links, you have to wait for a data refresh from Google. If it finds that rogue links are no longer present, you stand a good chance to recover your search ranking.
As of now, Penguin 3.0 does not seem to be a game changer. However, you must remember that it takes time for the dust to settle and the algorithm update to take effect. The best way to avoid getting penalized is to follow good practices as recommended by Google. Put good content on your site which is unique and you will win the battle and a great search ranking as well.