Google Penguin is a major algorithm change launched by Google in April 2012. It was designed to penalise webpages that had a large number of low quality backlinks—links coming from untrustworthy websites, or websites with a low trustworthiness score.
Google Penguin does this by looking at the quality and relevance of your backlinks. If a webpage has too many links from websites deemed to be spam or low quality, Google Penguin will give the webpage a lower ranking compared to other, higher-quality websites.
Google Penguin also looks at the anchor text (the keywords associated with links) to determine if you’re using too many keywords in your links. Using over-optimised anchor text is another way to trigger a Google Penguin penalty.
If your website has been hit by a Google Penguin penalty, the best way to recover is to remove any low-quality backlinks that may be skewing your website’s score. You can often find these links by taking a look at your backlink report, or running a detailed link audit. Once you’ve identified the offending links, you can either remove them yourself, or contact the webmaster and politely ask them to remove them.
Become a Sales & Marketing Rainmaker
Learn valuable skills to win more customers, grow your business, and increase your profits.
In addition, there are a few SEO strategies you can use to reduce the chance of receiving a Google Penguin penalty. Firstly, you should always try to include natural-looking, relevant links in your content. Having too many unnatural-looking links (for example, links that include a string of words with different variations of your keyword) is a red flag for Google Penguin.
You should also be careful to only link to reputable websites from your content. Having too many links to low-quality websites (such as blog networks and link farms) is another way to attract a Penguin penalty.
Besides checking the quality of your links, it’s also important to keep track of where your links are pointing. If you have too many links pointing to your own website, Google can start to see this as a form of manipulation. The solution is to make sure you’re using three types of outbound links: to other pages on your own website, to other trusted websites, and to authoritative websites (like government or academic sources).
Finally, make sure you’re not actively pursuing unnatural links to your website. Buying links, link-exchanges, and linking to untrustworthy websites are all activities that Google Penguin is designed to detect and punish. It’s always better to focus on building relationships with respectable websites and blogs, as these links will carry more weight with Google’s algorithm in the long run.