Pandas, Penguins and Penalties – Oh my!
Google last week announced its latest webspam update – called the “penguin update”. This update, as explained by the Google Webmasters Blog is aimed at removing spam sites from the ranking and punish the sites adopting black hat SEO techniques. The blog, by Matt Cutts, underlined some basic principles that a website should adhere to in order to keep its rankings higher.
- Do not create hidden links or hidden text
- Do not use unauthorised tools to send queries to Google or do automated submissions
- Do not use cloaking (at all)
- Do not duplicate content
- Do not create ‘doorway ‘pages, sub domains or domains solely for search engines.
- Do not create pages with viruses, trojans or malware behaviour.
Soon after the update was implemented many sites lost their rankings – some of them completely vanished from the rankings. Google was also criticised a lot for penalising authentic sites and showing irrelevant results in rankings. One of the funniest examples of the update faux-pas was pointed out in the comments on Google’s announcement of the webspam algorithm change:
Anyone who’s looking at the results rather than what Google claims will know this did nothing to help webspam. For instance #10 for “make money online” …
I’ve seen countless more examples of minimal content pages ranking now. I guess that’s one way to get around the “over-optimization” filters … just don’t have anything on your site to optimize!
The comment was posted after encountering a blank blogpost on page one for keyword “make money online”.
The criticisms of the update even resulted in a petition against the Google Penguin Update. Maybe Google too realised that Penguin was not as successful as Panda – later that day Matt Cutts was seen tweeting companies, asking them to give their feedback on Penguin, reminding them that if someone wants to report spam that Google missed, they can send the feedback to Google. It clearly shows Google is not very sure of Penguin as yet and is looking to improve it further.
Whatever Google’s plans for further updates are, Penguin has definitely given its winners and losers, and it seems there are still more surprises to come. So, it’s better to give your SEO techniques a second check and make sure they are strong enough to stand against… THE PENGUIN! :). The trick is simple – as always said by Google “Create Content for Users Not Search Engines, Links Will Come Naturally”, just what we believe here at Tamar – NATURAL IS THE BEST!