Avoiding the Penguin’s Bite

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penguin update, seo, link building, content, over optimization penaltyGoogle, in its never ending battle against low quality webspam, has launched another algorithmic weapon into the fray. Penguin, released on April 24th, is Google’s Over Optimization Penalty and targets unseemly SEO tactics, primarily keyword stuffing and article spinning. It is now easier for Google to detect and penalize tactics that were already violating webmaster guidelines.

As a legitimate brand, what can you do to avoid penalization? Pay attention to your SEO, especially link building. Google will penalize even the biggest brands if they break the rules. J.C. Penney learned this the hard way last year when they lost valuable rankings for indulging in dodgy link building. Whether you do the SEO or it is outsourced, make sure that your brand isn’t doing any of the following:

  • Buying paid links – a typical SEO error because it’s possible to buy links on sites that appear to be of high quality.  Remember that buying links is against Google guidelines and save your advertising budget for PPC.
  • Blog and forum spam – avoid any link building program that leaves many low-quality links on forums and blogs or promises hundreds of links or programs that automatically generate links. Google know what’s going on and Penguin will root these out.
  • Article spam – focus on creating quality content and forego article spinning and junk guest blogging. Junk content is no longer a reasonable linking tactic.
  • Link exchanges – trading links for SEO value is a trick that Google has known about for years. While high quality, related sites can naturally interlink without any problems, artificially swapping links should always be avoided.

Despite the concern about Penguin, legitimate brands probably don’t have too much to worry about. Keep your site free of junk content and your links relatively natural, and your web presence should survive Penguin without any damage.


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Author Bio

Andy Beohar

Andy Beohar

Andy Beohar is VP of SevenAtoms, a Google and HubSpot certified agency in San Francisco. Andy develops and manages ROI-positive inbound and paid marketing campaigns for B2B & Tech companies. Connect with Andy on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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