How to defend against Google Penguin: causes, effects and solutions

google penguinAfter more than a year after the launch of Google Panda and after it is completed in the next update, April 24, Google announced a new change to its algorithm immediately renamed Google Penguin. And Google Penguin is another potential meted out to all the sites that make use of over-optimization of pages and looking to build their network in an unnatural links.

Google Panda rewarded all the sites that focus on quality content, written in a natural and spontaneous (non-automatic), and receive "certificates of appreciation" from other sites as a link as spontaneous. Google Penguin strikes instead other practices: see in detail the characteristics of this update, how to detect possible penalties and how to remedy them if our website had been hit.


What is Google Penguin


The update was announced April 24, 2012 Blog Google Webmaster Central. The announcement regarding the release of a new algorithm designed to address the problem of keyword stuffing (the over optimization of keywords) and unnatural link building. The objective is to reward even more those using techniques licit paying attention to the content. Unlike Panda, whose release took place gradually, the launch of Penguin took place simultaneously around the world, with an estimated average incidence of 3% of the searches.
What are the effects of a penalty suffered by Penguin? For a web-site results in a significant loss of positions and the consequent decrease of visits received. In the case in which a page is deemed not suitable, will be in fact the entire site to be penalized and not just the page in question.

How to detect the penalty

Notice of a penalty can be easy: the first thing is to consult a statistics service of the traffic received by Google from April 24 onwards, to check any abnormal drop in visits and impressions. Using Google Analytics, we can derive this information from the path "Traffic Sources / Sources / All traffic" and find the row with the value "google / organic", we would also like to draw this line and put it in comparison with the total visits
detect penalty



We can also compare the graph of our visits with the search trends shown on Google Trends or Google Insight to make sure that certain drop in visitation may perhaps be due to a decrease of general interest to a specific theme.
Even the Google Webmaster Tool can help us to see clearly referring to the chart with the number of user queries that have shown our pages in the SERP (path "a search query Traffic"): a drastic decline of these numbers can lead us to think of a penalization in progress.
Ascertained the penalty, we have to go to the counter.


If you have been affected by Google Penguin is useless despair and protest: the best thing to do is roll up their sleeves and act immediately eliminating the possible causes that led to the penalty.
Google itself, as well as explaining in a concise but clear objectives Penguin, provides in its Guide on Google Webmaster Help Center and other useful information. Which can be useful for our purposes? Here are a number of factors to be tackled:
  • Do not use techniques to over-optimizing keywords, inserting hidden text or hidden links. The keyword density on a page should be maintained at a "natural", without exceeding, you may consider even diminish the presence of keywords and get off at rates around 4-5% maximum, in favor of a more fluid and natural-texts.
  • Do not use techniques cloacking or create doorway pages with the intent to deceive the user positioning for certain keywords but rindirizzando the visitor to other shores. Even the most friendly welcome page, pages optimized for 1-2 keyword and that in practice act as a back door to the contents themselves, could be at risk, the difference could make the content, but then why not consider the welcome page as a page for all purposes if the contents are valid and not only for SEO?
  • Avoid creating networks of satellite sites, to simulate a natural matrix of links to the subject, if the sites in question do not really useful content but they only serve to push a particular keyword (and are therefore full of duplicate texts or generic content and / or repetitive). Look for at least the right to distribute satellite sites on different servers and domains intestarne to different people, to try to simulate a lack of "relationship" between these sites.
  • Try to build your link popularity in a uniform and constant in time, but also avoid using automatic submission services that could increase inbound links in a short time and in a suspicious manner. Further, it should avoid getting inbound links with the same keyword.



Ultimately, it also lists the recommendations after the release of Google Panda, you should try to write for users, not for the engines, the council seems trivial and repetitive, but the sites are slowly emerging at the expense of those sites are penalized who have followed the guidelines suggested (natural writing, original texts and consistent, correct formatting and proper use of HTML tags, spontaneous link from / to resources themed content update).
Google Penguin, moreover, has also attracted some criticism.

the critical

Some criticism has been leveled against this continuous search for improvement, with doubts raised on the need to overturn a search system that is among the best (if not "the" best) but that always brings big upheavals in the SERPs, why the criticism ? Promote the use of Adwords. If a major company (and rich) is all of a sudden out of the strategic positions, rather than remain cut off immediately, could be used to Adwords with substantial investments.
This observation, although based on an educated guess, should take into account two factors:
  • If the company uses X systems unorthodox or not acceptable to Google, will lose positions and maybe having to bring in Adwords, but at this point there another company Y which will be found at the top and therefore may decrease in contrast the investment of the same Adwords
  • You can move different "charges" to Google, not least the lack of transparency and position of dominance that can help make the company "nasty", but its strength over time has been to consider the end user the center of the project and provide the best user experience.


Thanks to this approach, Google has established itself as the undisputed leader in research on the web, favoring now not only the user but also those dedicated to SEO work in a transparent manner.
Take for example the owner of a site of medium-small size and limited budget: will focus on optimizing on-page factors, the creation of a parallel blog to push some keywords and the collection of inbound links from theme average importance.
May face competitors (companies) with more financial resources, which have the possibility of buying links (a practice that is still used today though forbidden) theme on sites with high Trust / PR, who may maintain a team of developers to create a large network of satellite sites, located in different geographical areas and optimized for a few keywords, and maintain an editorial staff that do business copywriting and social activities. In this way, the owner of the small site is designed to "get back" to compete in this type of situation would be to sit at a poker table with a tanker.
But now we can hypothesize scenarios in which the goodness and quality of content may make a difference, and a few spontaneous and relevant links will maybe get the better of matrices of links to sites with content generated only for pleasure to the engines.
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