After Google Penguin was rolled out in April, many website owners, SEOs and bloggers were struggling to understand what to do in order to avoid being penalized and/or to recover from a possible penalty.
As I said in the previous post, it’s not immediate and straightforward to understand from which Google algorithm update you may have been caught (Panda or Penguin) and you should look very carefully at your web analytics to understand when you were hit. (Check out the comments in the post I mentioned before to find out how)
How to Beat Google Penguin
This sounds like a karate or kung-fu intro and it might seem a difficult task for many, but I guarantee that it’s much easier to get out of a Google Penguin penalty rather than a Panda update as you can read from the SEOmoz Blog post of “How WPMU.org recovered from the Penguin Update“.
So here is a list of 4 ways to beat Google Penguin:
1) Create High Quality Content
You should always create great, unique content that you’re proud of and that can really make a difference between you and your competitors. Something that takes you to a higher spot and that will with no chance be considered the most authoritative resource on that topic.
It doesn’t have to be professionally written by a PhD or by Dante Alighieri, but it must be cool, shiny and awesome.
Your readers must stop and say “Wow! I wanna share that! How could I miss following him/her!?!”
How? Well, there are plenty of ways to stand-out and here are some of my favorite:
- using amazing pictures (check this enlightening post on how to optimize pictures for SEO by Neil Patel on Quicksprout)
- recording exciting and inspirational videos (I’ve seen this awesome video on Pat Flynn’s SPI blog)
- giving advices, helping others and creating useful how-to lists
2) Natural Link Building
This is a more technical aspect and, since Google, is looking forward to help “normal users” and not SEO experts stand out, it is a high priority task to stop focusing on creating artificial links.
If you write something truly amazing, it will get attention, it will receive links, it will get noticed without having to grab thousands of nonsense links from low quality sources. Even just a few links, naturally inserted can have a great impact on your rankings. So stop loosing your time in poor link building techniques which can get you seriously hurt with the new Google Penguin update.
Also in this case I suggest you to take a look on how WPMU.org recovered from the penalty by removing thousands of low quality links placed in the footer of WordPress Themes.
3) Engage in Social Media
This should be obvious, with Social Media rising day by day, you must truly use this channel. From Facebook to Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and going to the latest Pinterest, social media has an amazing engagement rate among users, it helps building trust and brand awareness.
- 41% of Twitter users use it nearly every day
- 10% of Americans use Twitter
- Approx. 58 millions of Americans are checking Social Media profiles multiple times per day
- On average Americans check Facebook 4 times a day and 8% check it more than 11 times a day
- 76% of Twitter users are actively engaged/posting
4) Avoid cloaking and sneaky tactics
As this neat article from SEJ states pretty clear, the time’s over for all the sneaky tricks, the cloaking of text/links and the excessive exact match anchor text usage. If you don’t want to be the target for the next Penguin 1.2, 1.3, etc updates you should avoid these at all costs. Better to miss some spots in the top rankings rather than disappearing from the index! 😉
I see this Google Penguin update not so bad as a lot of people have described it, it’s a step forward in the right direction where spammers and heavy link building get penalized in a way that we’ve never seen before and that helps good content and good writers stand out and reach the light that they deserve.