First Google Panda, then Penguin. Webmasters and Bloggers can now understand that Google definitely loves Animals but I am sure webmasters will not love animals anymore if this goes on. Google Panda update started early last year but in the month of October – November 2011 it gave a huge heartbreak to all the webmasters. Even before bloggers or webmasters could recover from major panda update, Google rolled out another major update on 24 April 2012, popularly called as Penguin Update. Google works with one Moto in mind, to give better search results to its users. The update to Google’s latest algorithm was rolled out with the main purpose of making Google effective in recognizing and punishing web spam/spammers in a better way.
The algorithm is designed to target:
- Keyword stuffing often used to increase the ranking of a particular page.
- Redirects and cloaks, which is used to show something to users and something different to search engines.
- Link schemes, designed to increase ranking of websites/pages.
- Duplicate content, generally used to increase the size of a website and ranking.
Google have clearly mentioned that this algorithm update will surely bring the change in traffic rankings of those websites, which violates Google’s quality guidelines. I will be sharing some tips for you to survive this update if you have suffered from it.
1. Avoid keyword Stuffing: This is an unethical SEO practice, which is commonly used by webmasters and bloggers. The bloggers think that it helps in getting more search results from search engine but Google hates it and it clearly violates Google’s Quality Guidelines. Proofread your articles well to check if you have inserted many keywords.
2. Maintain good keyword density and avoid spamming: Keyword density is a measure of how often the keyword is used in the particular post. The standard usage of keyword density brings the website up in search results. Too much usage of a keyword decreases the quality of your posts. This update is targeted to bring down the ranking of websites who have spam content. In a normal post, you can have 3-4% of keyword density but Google suggests keeping it around 2% for better results.
Do not try to spam the post and thus the reader by using unnecessary keywords, which are nowhere related to the post.
3. Avoid hidden texts/links in your posts/blog: This is a big blunder. Google has clearly punished webmasters or bloggers before for this unethical SEO practice. People change the CSS coding and use “0” font sizes to write something that is not visible to users, but remember, you cannot save yourself from Google’s eyes. Don’t try to use white text on a white background styled theme or font size 0 to hide some link or text. Don’t hide any text behind the background of an image. If have been doing so, please check all your posts and take immediate action before Google takes it for you.
4. Avoid using any paid SEO service: Most of these services use the black-hat SEO techniques. However good they claim to be, Google does not love automated stuff. These services give good short-term results by increasing back links quickly but these are not quality back links and will not help you in long run. SEO is the backbone of any website, so do not try to play with it. Do some homework and take out some time everyday to do your site’s SEO.
5. Avoid using Doorway Pages To impress Search Engines:Often webmasters create low quality pages for targeting particular keyword or phrase. They are “Doorway Pages”. This violates Webmaster Guidelines as these pages irritate readers because they are often redirected to some spam page. Doorway pages generally have automated content, which is not at all useful for users.
Doorway pages are web pages that are created for spamdexing, this is, for spamming the index of a search engine by inserting results for particular phrases with the purpose of sending visitors to a different page. They are also known as bridge pages, portal pages, jump pages, gateway pages, entry pages and by other names. Doorway pages that redirect visitors without their knowledge use some form of cloaking. (via Wikipedia)
6. Do not create Malicious pages: You might not be doing it intentionally but if you have some content, which pops up to, install or download some stuff on visitor’s computer, then you are bound to be penalized. Use quality ad service as sometimes some good CPC ad services might screw your website’s relation with Google if they do not have good advertisers.
7. Do not duplicate your content: This will end up your blogging career. Do not copy other’s content. Present readers with original content. Copying others content is not the only cause of duplicate content. If you have same posts/pages that are pulled up via multiple URL’s, then you are into duplicating your own content. Use Canonicalization to redirect search engines to your preferred URL.
Do not make sub-domains with the same content in any other form.
Google said this update will affect only 3% of queries, but this 3% might end your merry making days. So put your SEO practices in place and do not mess with Webmaster’s Quality Guidelines.
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