Penguin And Panda Still Punishing Web Sites
July 09, 2012
, by Troy Henson
A few weeks back, Matt Cutts’ tweet on Penguins has flooded the world wide search engines and has been the cause of a major “refresh” Dubbed as Penguin 1.1, it was thought that the ordeal was over, until it struck again last May 25, 2012. Changes have been monitored by the webmaster chatter.
The second time around, it was too conservative to call the change as a “refresh” once again since minor tweaks to the algorithm have been done to ensure of zero recurrence of the situation, according to a monthly quality blog from Google. Cutts says that only 0.1% of English searches will be affected.
“Less than 1% of queries [were] noticeably affected in the U.S. and 1% worldwide.” According to the Google tweet last June 11 when the refresh took place as they introduced Panda 3.7. A great improvement has been seen in the performance of the search engine, although this has brought about many controversies as well
Compared to the Penguin webspam controversy the Panda does not just focus on over optimization nor send out spam, it focuses on disrupting site content, messing up websites all over the globe. Site overhauls have been done to correct the situation for those who have been hit by this online phenomenon. Many to this date are still struggling to resolve issues that came out of the Panda tweet.
Although these issues are being monitored closely, it is best that site owners also be on their guard so as not to be hit again by something of this gravity.
Below are our findings about these updates based on our experiments:
- Penguin is page based as confirmed by Matt Cutts. It will rather look at web pages rather than the whole domain. Some things that it will look out for are hidden links, repetitive keywords (keyword stuffing), overuse of same anchor text.
- Google looks at backlink pages as well. Links from Penguin affected pages are not recommended. Links from such pages offer negative link juice which impacts rankings.
- Getting such links removed have proved to regain the rankings based on our experiments.
Below are some of the preventive measures you can take to avoid Penguin update:
- Do not stuff keywords on pages.
- Do not use spun or duplicate content. The content should be at least 75% unique and should be human readable.
- Since social signals are given some importance, make sure to link your website to your Google+ profile using rich snippets. Facebook likes, shares and Twitter retweets might also give a boost.
However if your site has already been affected, we recommended the below measures to be taken:
- Build more positive / quality links. This will lower the number of negative links to your website. Make sure to use both generic and keyword targeted anchor text.
- If the inner pages are affected, copy content from the Penguin affected page to a new page. Start building quality links to the new page. Obviously, disallow the old page from indexing.
- If the home page is affected and nothing seems to be working, create a new site and redirect the old site to this one using 301 redirect. Start link building for this new domain from scratch.
Here are some recommendations for Panda update as well:
- Content Freshness – Make sure to update the site at regular intervals with new pages, blog posts, etc.
- Number of Pages on the website should be higher. Point 1 should help this cause.
- Site Speed – Although we keep ignoring this, make sure that the site loads up quickly. We feel the 2 second limit set by Google is a bit harsh. We recommend the load time to be under 8 seconds.
- Thin Content – Do not use hidden content or content with tiny font size.
- Avoid duplication of text and page titles. Make sure they are unique.
- Avoid keyword stuffing and hiding.
We will make sure to continuously track and observe upcoming algorithmic changes by Google so that we can stay updated with the latest SEO strategies. We will keep you posted.
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