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Cutting Through the Noise and Preventing a Penguin Panic

Jason Roy

It’s been about two weeks since Penguin came out. The SEO world is still rampant with confusion. As one of the most controversial updates since the great Panda, Penguin seems to go against everything Google stands for.

And there’s another element to the confusion that borders on panic. It’s what happens when you wake up and find your top-producing sites are no longer on page #1 and therefore, are no longer top-producing.

This is one of the worst feelings you can ever experience. It’s why we don’t recommend putting all your eggs in one basket, but sometimes, it can’t be prevented. SEO is a big deal for internet business – one which, unfortunately, we have little to no control over.

So SEO’s, internet marketers, and online business owners wake up to find their main sources of income gone. In the best case scenario, the sites were only dropped a few rankings due to link devaluation. Worst case? Complete de-indexing of a website. Ouch!

Thanks to all this panic, we’ve seen all kinds of misinformation. People eager to “get back” at Google have called the Penguin update “Google’s worst update yet.” We’ve seen article after article talking about how Penguin is ruining the search engine rankings, how people are mass switching to Bing – you name it, it’s out there.

And whenever there’s mass confusion, you can count on some less-than-ethical businesses to cash in. We’ve seen mass emails going out from companies claiming to “Penguin-proof your website” by building hundreds of pages of “fresh content.”

As if the fix to an over-optimization update is more over-optimization! Unfortunately, many website owners who got hit are letting their emotions take the helm. They were doing so well until the update… if they can just get their previous success back, everything would be fine!

So they respond to the emails. They get the “fresh content.” They immediately change the optimization of their homepage.

Folks, if this is what you’re doing, we politely ask you to stop and reconsider. When Google penalizes a website, there is no quick fix. Adding hundreds of pages of fluff to your website WILL NOT improve your rankings. In fact, it will almost certainly harm them even more.

Blackhat is Still Not a Valid SEO Strategy

Penguin did a number on the search engine rankings. Article after article was published, shouting about how Google let blackhat spammers infest their rankings, ironically thanks to an update designed to eliminate spammers.

Then website owners who just lost their rankings see this and think, “well, if spam sites are now on rank #1, that’s what I need to do to get my rankings back!”

No, absolutely not! If you’ll look at the rankings for those same spam sites the articles were talking about, the vast majority of them are no longer there. What does this mean? It means Google’s removing them.

If you use spam tactics in an attempt to get your rankings back, you may succeed – for a day. Then your site will be completely de-indexed and blown off the face of the internet. Suffice to say, this is not a strategy that’s effective for long-term revenue.

Want Long-Term Success? Build a Business

We’ve said it over and over again – the secret to the ranking is not more optimizing. It’s not keyword stuffing, it’s not about buying hundreds of PR4+ backlinks, it’s not about adding pages and pages of filler content. 

It’s about creating a site that adds value to its visitors. It’s about building your business in such a way that it becomes an authority and attracts a following. It’s about thinking about the user experience above everything else – even short-term SEO gains.

If you do this, you’ve created a website that can flourish without Google. Ironically, once you make a site that can flourish without Google, you’ll likely get the best rankings you’ve ever had.

This is because Google wants high-quality authority sites on page #1. Sites that don’t need to engage in spam tactics and over-optimization to see the light of day. 

Why? Because these sites provide value. And at the end of the day, that’s what people want.

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If you liked this article, you may also enjoy:

How to Optimize Your Meta-titles, Descriptions and Keywords

An Update on Penguin

2012: The Year the Blog Networks Died

The Google Penguin Update: Bye Bye Blackhat?

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