Ok every site is reporting on the Google Penguin update and some excellent research has already been done, so instead of pretending to be SEOBook or SEOmoz SEOXY is going to tell you who gets the hit and who doesn't.
How you like us now?
For those of you just getting your SEO legs, the world goes into an uproar when Google releases a new change to their algorithm. Before I rip on the whole word and SEOers for freaking out every time Google announces a change, let me first make a disclaimer:
That said, let's get back to ripping. The truth of the matter is that Google is constantly making tweaks to the search engine algorithm. In fact at the rate of almost 2 a month.
That's like 499-599 changes to the way Google works every year.
Not all of them get fancy names like "Panda" and "Penguin" only when Google knows they are going to drop the hammer on a zillion people and thereby pissing them off royally. Although this latest update was not called officially Penguin until recently (it was called "webspam algorithm update" internally) it is still considered to be in the "rolling out" phase.
Enough with the background: Who gets hit?
Ok those that are receiving the pain who I lovingly refer to as the successful cheating assholes on the Net. Those that use Scrapebox and Xrumer and ALN to get enormous amounts of cheap and spammy backlinks to your site and you rocket to the top of the SERPS. Those dudes are hosed now.
But Wait SEOXY, I see terrible sites ranking number one now! And they SUCK !!
Yes, yes patience little one. Google rolls these puppies out by country usually and there are a ton of Google data centers in each country as well as a back up indexes, currently running processes, testing all that junk. This isn't a button switch, it's a fast phase in thingy. So as some sites get shuffled down, some get naturally elevated, some go some come, there is some precipitation that need sto occur, a "setting down" after big updates like this.
S'more details on Penguin Please
There are basically two kinds of SEO-minded people reading this right now. The black hatters and the white hatters. Oh there are plenty of people reading this that think they only "dabble" lightly in the black arts and are thus "grey hats" or stupid "blue hats" but these animals (panda and penguin) are both black and white for a reason.
There is no Grey Hat
I don't care what forum you hang out at, or how successful your enterprises are (retract, I do care that you are successful sorry) what matters is what Google thinks. Google thinks that really ALL SEO IS BLACK HAT haha. Thankfully, they threw the white hatters a bone recently in this quote from the Google web spam team:
We want people doing white hat search engine optimization (or even no search engine optimization at all) to be free to focus on creating amazing, compelling web sites.
Ok so basically, as I stated, Google would like you to forget about SEO. Once again, SEO is dead (long live SEO). For the most part this is great if people do take this bait.
The people that "give up" on SEO are the ones that were/are trying to "game the system" you know the totally worthless, junky, crap sites that sit at the top of the Google search results when you look for something and you click only to arrive at the stupidest, uncaring and uniformed site possible? Yes those sites are going bye bye (hooray Google) to make room for better gamers *wink*.
Hey SEOXY, Will I get penalized?
I dunno take a look at this list:
- Do you pay someone (like on Fiverr) to get you backlinks?
- Do you build all your backlinks using you main keyword only?
- Do all your backlinks point to your home page?
- Are your backlinks on unrelated websites?
- Did all your backlinks appear in a short time?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions you are going to get slapped down like a redheaded stepchild in the rankings. How far down is how much you violated these rules.
If you answered yes to more than one of these questions I am sure you are already penalized.
This is a Good day for web users
Google is interested in giving you the correct result to your search super fast. They deliver that, and that is why they are number one. All of the short-cut cheaters are now smacked down and since they have a skewed view of SEO they wont be coming back soon (unless they repent and sign up for this site or SEO University to learn some real stuff haha).
Beware of Rumors
A lot of self professed SEO gurus (I am not self nor otherwise professed haha) are (and will be) stating this and that about several recent and upcoming algorithm updates. All you need to know about the Penguin update is in that handy bullet list I provided up above. That's pretty much it.
May mistake this update for the "over optimization" update, it's not. Additionally, a few are touting that the over-opt penalty was a myth and never occurred, it did.
We have had 4 major algorithm updates this year (keeping up with Google's proposed "one major update a month in 2012") and we are right in stride.
But SEOXY, how can I protect myself?
Ok the first thing is cease ALL backlinking (unless your users are linking to you naturally. Now, have you been hit by Panda any time since late 2011?
Next, you have to "un-optimize" your website. I know I know you just learned how to optimize it and finally got it done or just payed someone to do it blah blah and boohoo. The game changes all the time, it has changed for us all equally. Now buck up and get that SEO under control!
- Taking out all the h1, h2, h3 tags with your keyword in them and putting in normal headers.
- Un-bolding your keyword in your content (and better yet changing the term).
- De-underlining your keyword in your content (and even better removing or changing the keyword.
- Remove image titles and/or captions (or at least change them to NOT include your keyword).
When I think of more I will add to this list. Basically it's all the SEO 101 basics that get you penalized nowadays. Too many people doing it really. That is why you will NOT find these tactics in your SEO University program. They do far more harm then good.
Ok, if you think you have all of your on page SEO chilled out, now you can KEEP NOT BACKLINKING hahaha tricked you! Yes backlinks are so 2011. Let them come from your users and you will make a million dollars on the Net. However, now you need to make your website "socially friendly", add links to bookmarking and social sites as well as any Web 2.0 properties that you have (Facebook and Google+).
Those are the new backlinks that are all the rage in 2012.
Hey I have to go because this post is dragging on too long, but please, hit one of the like or bookmark buttons below and give this post a little love.
Also, please leave a comment, I would love to hear what is on your mind.