Unlike Panda which is designed to target pages that are of low quality or duplicate content, Penguin is designed to target “spam” or “keyword stuffing” or “over optimization”. The Penguin Update was launched on April 24. Its intention was to punish pages that have been spamming Google. Those sites can expect a big drop on Google’s search results ranking with this Penguin Update.

penguin update

So what if Penguin Update hit you or caught you for spamming incorrectly? Well, Google says this is an algorithmic change which is a penalty that is applied automatically; and Google has no plans to make manual exceptions. However, there is a new form that you can use to report errors, if you think you were caught by mistake. Or if you’re seeing spam that you think the Penguin Update should have caught, Google says to use this form and bypass options like reporting paid links and use the “Report webspam” button.

Well that’s not it about Panda Update, it penalize over-optimized sites too! But it does not meant to target the hard-to-pin down “over-optimization” but rather to outright spam. So be more aware of “spamming” than “over-optimization”.

Steps to be Taken to Recover from the Hit

As you know now that Penguin Update is targeting spam, you need to remove any spam you might have from your site. Correct anything that Google has flagged as spam with your site or whatever you can think of that might be spam-like. Also watch out for the inbound links, the sites that are linking to your site, could be dangerous sites or irrelevant sites. Below are some types of link issues that can harm your website:

  1. Paid text links using exact match anchor text: This is against Google’s guidelines, as Google would consider this a paid link that exists solely to manipulate PageRank, rather than to provide any value to visitors.
  2. Comment spam: Avoid trying to unnaturally rank for specific keywords, such as signatures in comments that contained exact match anchor text; and people who used a spammy user name (e.g., Best India SEO Company) as exact match text.
  3. Guest posts on questionable sites: Be aware of sites filled with low-quality articles where the focus was on the anchor text rather than the content.
  4. Article marketing sites: Less content and featuring links with exact match anchor text were another common factor among affected sites.
  5. Links from dangerous sites: inbound links from sites that have been flagged for malware, numerous pop-ups, or other spammy issues, web spammers or bad neighborhoods are a danger and is another factor that caused websites to lose their Google rankings.

Having said all these possible issues, fix them, eliminate any kind of keyword stuffing, spun content, cloaking, and other spammy tactics. So when you make the right changes to your site, and Google recrawls, indexes your site, it possibly will start ranking again in the next Penguin refresh.

I checked with Shashank for his comments / tips and here is what he had to say

Some more points regarding recovery from Penguin.

1. Do not have exact match anchor text, have variety of keywords per url.

2. Save your site from internal page duplication like homepage.com & homepage.com/index.html.

3. Do not Build link networks & do not build link wheel which shows you are trying to build links benefit to a website and gives indication to Google.

4. Do not run behind only do-follow back links; have no follow and do follow in your portfolio; you need to look organic.

5. Do not use any Ping services to ping your back links to Google like; pingomatic or pingfarm. let Google find your back links on it own.

6. Need to provide value in the site so the user shares the website stuff on social networks as social media is gaining high share in ranking algorithm.

7. Build quality content and engage audience on your website; true mantra for long term success.

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