Content marketing gurus and SEO mavens alike were in a tizzy earlier this week as Google rolled out its Penguin update. Penguin, like Panda, is an algorithm update aimed at catching webspam. Sometimes these updates, which Google routinely does, do really have an impact on online marketers outside the SEO world. But Penguin is unique. Being smaller than Panda, its focus is more direct and strict. And if blogging for business or article marketing is your thing, you could get bounced by Penguin and not even know it. Luckily, there are ways for your blog to play nicely with Penguin and they come straight from Google’s mouth.
Google’s top 8 things to avoid via WebProNews on Penguin are:
1. Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
2. Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.
3. Don’t send automated queries to Google.
4. Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.
5. Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains or domains with substantially duplicate content.
6. Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans or other badware.
7. Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
8. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.
These are all great tips — especially the keyword stuffing — Penguin or no Penguin. We’ve seen clients eager to jam as many keywords into a blog or article as possible and it never seemed like a good idea. Now we know it isn’t. Things like sneaky redirects, hidden links and multiple pages of duplicate content have always been looked down on by Google and now Penguin is better way combat it. In short, Google is getting smarter all the time and updates like Penguin are on a mission to take out bad, spammy content.
The good news is that these updates actually help those of us who create original, non-shady content. By playing along with Penguin, instead of against it, your content can now be found faster and read by more people!