Preventing Penalties from Google Panda and Penguin Updates

Published Apr 03, 2014 by Dan Virgillito in News
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If you run a website, you know the difficulties you face when thinking about SEO. With one update, the site owner can watch his or her site fall to the back pages of Google, never to return. This is the sad reality for plenty of scared site owners who do not know how to proceed. While it is not easy, you can fight back and avoid algorithm update problems. With a proactive approach, you will land on the top pages and not worry about issues in the future.

Here are five ways to prevent harm from Google Panda and Penguin algorithm updates.

Quality content

Content will always matter and poor content will always hurt you: First and foremost, one must understand that well-written web pages, articles and product disruptions will always help. It is not simple as site owners often think they write great content or use a unique piece. The truth is often the opposite and you must develop a comprehensive plan to offer unique, relevant and interesting content. To offer interesting and valuable content, you should give true value to your readers. Meaning, when your visitors check out your content and read it, they should learn something and want to share the information. Secondly, you need to write long descriptions and blog posts.

Instead of winging it and writing 300 words, you must write longer pages. With lengthy write-ups, Google will value your content easily and correctly. Finally, you must verify you use content other website owners do not own. To do this quickly, head to Google and type in a phrase within your content. If the exact phrase shows up all over the Internet, you have a problem on your hands. With duplicate content, you are one algorithm shift away from seeing your site fall from the top page for a long time.

If you discover duplicate content, do not panic. By altering your wording, you can avoid the wrath of Google and improve your organic rankings.

Never buy links

Never-buy-links

If you buy links, you will hurt your chances of success. Eventually, Google will catch on and penalize your site heavily. This was true in the past and it is true now. The leading search engine hates when people try to cheat the system and it is clear to Google when this happens. This should not scare you away from links as they are a valuable part of a campaign; however, one must look for them in a natural way. With great content and a practical link building campaign, you can watch as plenty of people link to your site. This is true now and if you want to keep your success up for the long run, you need to obtain links slowly and methodically as this is what Google appreciates. Otherwise, if you suddenly have hundreds of links from nowhere, Google will take notice and a new update will kill your site. This only worked years ago and has not worked for a long time; do not fall for the trap and you will zoom to the top without worrying about the next Panda or Penguin update.

Do not fear guest post blogging

All-too-often, one idea will permeate the blogosphere or online marketing circles. Recently, site owners feared guest post blogging as they assumed Google was cracking down on ALL guest post blogs. This is, and will never be, the case. If a site owner writes dozens of blog posts and places them all over the Internet, he or she will hurt their reputation, especially when posting on low quality sites. Fears are overblown and you should continue your quest to dominate as a blogger. You should assess your current guest post blogging plan as you can find shortcomings and discover anything that leaves you vulnerable. To start, check out the current places where you guest post blog. They should offer value to the reader as you do not want to put your link on a low quality site without any interesting information. You should also consider how often you blog and the number of places you work with. With three or four relationships, you can guest post blog and enjoy plenty of direct and SEO traffic. Remember, while you need to evaluate your guest post blogging strategy, you do not want to throw everything out as there are plenty of positives you will enjoy out of the experience, including rising in the ranks.

Facebook and Twitter

One way to fight back against updates is to use a wise and simple SEO strategy. In the past, Google looked at the website name, links and content. Times have changed and the leading search engine also relies on social networking metrics. When you have a successful Facebook or Twitter campaign, you will find links from a variety of sources. More importantly, if you have plenty of followers, you can impress Google as it is obvious you offer value to your readers. Site owners use Black Hat techniques to bring in more traffic and this extends to social media. Some bloggers will buy followers and try to spam their Facebook wall with information. This is okay in the short-term, but will hurt in the long run. As this metric grows in popularity, you will need to follow the trends closely. To do so, you need to find real followers and add them slowly.

create-compelling-posts-Facebook-and-Twitter

Secondly, you need to create compelling posts and interactive with your visitors often. By taking these two simple steps, you will impress your visitors and Google will take notice. If you start this now, you will beat your competition as people still think of outdated methods to find new visitors. Again, like with anything else on the Internet, you need to take a natural approach as you cannot add hundreds of followers to your accounts within the first few days. Luckily, with excited followers and great content, you will avoid problems when another inevitable algorithm update occurs. Instead, you can watch as your competitors who did not follow this advice will plummet in the rankings.

Speed

While not a factor in the past, you need to think of website speed. As people access your site from a variety of devices, they will appreciate fast loading pages. To fix issues, you need to test your site and take out any unnecessary images or videos. You also need to clean up your code and make sure it is well-written. Plenty of site owners ignore this and their organic rankings crash. This will only grow in importance and a wise site owner should start looking at site speed now. Since busy site owners often forget this metric, you can beat them and watch your pages rise to the top.

You must take a proactive approach to the search engine games. It is not always easy to do so as there is plenty of competition. At the same time, the SEO game changes daily and you cannot rely on ineffective methods. If you write great content, obtain valuable links and offer value on your Facebook page, you can thrive with your SEO campaign. Either way, when knowing what to do and what not to do, you will avoid the wrath of Google algorithm updates.

Written by Dan Virgillito

Dan Virgillito

Dan Virgillito is a freelance content strategist with a passion for good storytelling and all things digital. He lived in the Netherlands, Poland, England and Sicily. Say hi on Twitter.

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