Has you site recently dropped like a rock, right off the front page of Google? If so, a big, scary, rank-wrecking bird from Antarctica may be to blame.
Yes, I’m talking about Google’s latest site-slapping update, codename: Penguin. So what did you do wrong?
Ironically, many of the things you’ve done to boost your page rank on Google may have just caused your site to lose authority. The penguin is a funny bird…
It was no secret that Google wasn’t happy about a broad range of the keyword and link-building schemes going on. In fact, Google has been slapping digital marketers for a broad range of offenses since the early days. Trust me… I know all about it.
This time, however, Google gave us fair warning. Matt Cutts pretty much declared war on “over-optimization” at SXSW…
And what they’re doing is actually driven by the desire to improve the quality of search results. So it’s actually a good thing for Google users overall.
HEY, I’m trying to look at the bright side…
What Penguin HATES: “Over-optimization”
As you can imagine, Google doesn’t like it when webmasters try to trick it’s search engine with “black hat” SEO schemes. Supposedly, the folks at Google are trying to reward “white hat” SEO efforts, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
First, we should take a quick look at what Google is slapping sites for, so hopefully some of us can get out of the path of destruction:
- Keyword loading, aka “webspam”
- Misleading or irrelevant outbound links
- hidden or cloaked text and/or links
Google calls this “over-optimization,” but what they really mean is “exploiting sneaky SEO loophole tactics.” For many of us who may have dabbled in this gray area in the past, Google is planning to make us pay.
On the flipside, Google’s Matt Cutts tweeted that Google is responding to complaints from sites that believe they’ve been unfairly affected.
We’ll see how that goes…
If you’re concerned about your site — and if you’ve hired anyone to do any “SEO work” on your site in the past, you probably should be — here’s a great article about how to check your site for over-optimization.
Guidelines for the future are simple: Engage in white hat optimization only. That means you should write helpful, meaningful content that’s relevant to the topic of your site… with helpful, relevant links.
Mainly, Penguin’s about what you should NOT do.
To all of you SEO masters on Fiverr, whose tactics have been ravaged by Penguin: Hang in there…