Flying Under the SEO Radar: Top Tips for Avoiding Google’s Watchdogs
Replacing Google Panda, Google Penguin is a watchdog spam-filtering algorithm that Google has put in place to make sure businesses are operating at certain standards. Here are some ways to keep abreast of Penguin and avoid attracting its attention.
1. Avoid over-optimizing
As with Google Panda, oversaturation of certain competitive keywords is a recipe for disaster and an invite for investigation from Google Penguin. As a rule of thumb, usually no more than 15% of a page’s content should be composed of keywords.
2. Watch for certain words
It’s come to the attention of many Penguin researchers that certain words can attract its attention, such as “money” and “brand.” While you can use these words in certain keyword phrase combinations, be sure to do so sparingly. There are keyword programs that can locate these problematic words and offer substitutions, so look into those for future keyword searches.
3. Check backlinks and related domains
You likely have a link building network for your SEO material or some other sort of interlinking between your business and others. However, make sure you check your SEO reports to ensure that these links and their respective domains are legit; if they aren’t, leaving them up is a good way to attract Penguin’s attention. Note that some links and domains degrade over time and become sources of spam, so just because a site checked out a year ago doesn’t mean it still does.
4. Check you banner ads
If you’re running banner ads with links on your web site, check them regularly to confirm that the links/domains are still working properly. A lot of web sites feature banner ads for other businesses that are separate from that business itself, but the owners of those sites may come under fire from Google for being associated with the faulty links.
5. Go over the guidelines
The Google Webmaster Guidelines are the Bible of online business operations. They are available online and free to access, so go through and memorize them. Also stay up-to-date on developments with Penguin itself; many people reported that they were expecting a new update to the algorithm in summer 2014, and when it didn’t happen, they posted tips and update links for others. Keeping your site and SEO practices adhering to guidelines and current information is the one true way to keep Google Penguin from interfering with your business.
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