There has been much talk about Google Panda and now there is Google Penguin. The idea behind Panda is to weed out those sites that use ‘black hat’ methods and those sites that do not have good quality content. However, no system is infallible and there were many genuine sites that were penalised mistakenly. Following hot on the footsteps of Panda, came the Penguin algorithm which penalized web pages for over optimization. As with the Panda update, Google stated that penalties would only be applied to pages with problems and would not affect genuine sites. The difference between the two is that Google Panda reassesses all sites once per month on average, whilst Penguin evaluates continuously. As a result, webmasters need to be able to adapt to the new measures quickly as penalties will be cancelled directly.
In the weeks following the launch, many websites have dropped in the organic search results for particular keywords or key phrases. Google is now clear on what it wants to achieve and its main purpose now is in avoiding spam. When the Panda update was released, webmasters were very disappointed, but now that they have released Penguin, most are even more worried and are expecting the worst. Within just one month, Penguin has affected in excess of 3% of the organic results. More problems can ensue with the continuous updating as pages that have been indexed among the top results might find themselves completely off the list altogether within just a few hours if any irregularities are found.
So, what can you do to avoid being penalized? There are a few things to avoid completely, such as duplicating content, hidden links, Black Hat SEO techniques, bad design and having excessive keyword density. Make sure you check your keyword density to match the approved standards. Read Google’s terms and conditions for the latest information and always adhere to the rules.