Google Penguin Algorithm Update: Guide to avoid penalties

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Every SEO is aware of what Google algorithm is, how it works and how it will affect the performance of a website in SERPs and rankings. Obviously, the main goal of Google and any other search engines is to provide relevant information to each searcher that would use their websites. Also, to provide a good user experience to searchers in terms of:
  • Faster way of providing results
  • Useful and reliable information based on keywords used
In the past few years, Google has been very successful in this goal which is why they are known as the best search engine in the web. In order to attain their goals and prevent spammers to manipulate their SERPs, Google launched their algorithms known as:
  •  Google Panda
  • Google Penguin
  • Exact Match Domain (EMD)
  • Venice etc.

But there is one algorithm that has become very remarkable when identifying websites that violate Google guidelines. It is known as penguin.

The penguin algorithm was designed to target and penalize websites that are practicing unethical SEO approach on and off page of the website such as:
  •  Keyword stuffing
  • Low quality content
  • Over optimized keyword
  • Unnatural linking practice

The effectiveness of this algorithm definitely had shaken and changed the world of SEO upside down. So a lot of SEOs are keeping their distance to unethical SEO approach that may damage and hurt their website performance in SERPs. But how websites can really avoid being hit by this algorithm?

Google updates their algorithm once in a while and the recent update is the penguin update which is now Penguin 2.0. Matt'sstatement said that this update will affect 23% of English queries so this is definitely will affect many websites.

Google penguin update

To avoid being hit by the update there are some strategies that can be applied on many websites (which discusses below) to keep its level of performance in SERPs on fire.

Don’t use exact match anchor text - Exact match anchor txt is definitely dangerous in SEO nowadays. The best way to use anchor txt to a website/webpage is to diversity your anchor txt. It is safer to use different words with the same meaning to avoid manipulation of rankings for your targeted keywords. Also, the possibility of a website to naturally appear on another website is definitely higher as the keyword will be used as the anchor txt is not purposely added.

Provide quality content - The best way to learn something new is by reading fresh information about the topics we are interested in. Google is always pushing forward their mission to give only quality content. This is also the best way to avoid being hit by the penguin update by consistently providing informative content; it will benefit the website in the long run. Content is the key to success in internet marketing and once you make your content become your asset, it is going to be easy for your website to outrank its competitors and stay on top of your chosen industry.

Focus on branding - Focusing on a specific topic in your industry will help you generate your success in the future. It is also the best way to attract more visitors and online trust of your target audience. If your website is about football, then it is strongly safer to focus on giving information about football. Don’t attempt to broaden the topic what your website is about. Prove your knowledge and expertise in the topic/niche you are focusing on by giving away useful information to your audience and in the long run, your website will benefit from it.

Naturally link our pages links in-content - This is a combination of branding and keyworded anchor txt. Don't attempt to write content about history of basketball with a link of your football website under your targeted keyword as the anchor txt. It is safer to maintain the relevancy of the content that you will use to link your website. The consequences of irrelevant linking in SEO are definitely troublesome as your website may lose its ranking, lose huge amount of in organic search and worst, you may lose your trust of Google by having your website deindexed from their database.


Google is aiming for good quality content websites to reward good quality authors that are consistently providing the needs of each searcher that will use their search engines. There is nothing to be scared about if your website will be hit or not if you are following the webmaster rules and guidelines carefully.

Joseph Gojo Cruz is the author of RankingElite, a Philippine-based Online Marketing blog. Joseph has been working in SEO industry for over 3 years from website audit, link and content development, social media and search engine optimization. Connect with Joseph on Google+Twitter, and Facebook. Joseph is also a contributor on SEJ and Ahrefs.