We were made aware of the “Over-optimization” penalty when Google’s Matt Cutts spoke at SXSW back in March. At the time we were not sure if this new update to Google’s search algorithm was going to be part of Google Panda or be something completely new. It turned out that they named the update so it can stand alone as Google Penguin.

We are now about two weeks into Google Penguin and there have been many websites that have been affected by Penguin, but the percentage of websites affected seems to be smaller than when Google Panda was released. When Google Panda launched it impacted about 12% of search queries and early numbers for Penguin show an impact of 3% of search queries. It would have been interesting to see the impact on search queries had Google Panda not been launched earlier than Penguin as many websites have been updating their practices for the past eighteen months.

What does Google’s Penguin Update Mean For Your Website?

There are several issues that Google Penguin addresses in the attempt to level the playing field between quality content websites and “over-optimized” websites:

  • Keyword stuffing – Loading your website and content with keywords so they will be picked up in search traffic.
  • Link Schemes – Link schemes can include: links to manipulate PageRank, links to web spammers, excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging, and buying or selling links that pass PageRank
  • Over using exact-match anchor text – The text you choose to hyperlink being repeated over and over to where it diminishes the value of the link.
  • Non-reputable backlinks – They occur in spam type blog post comments and forum signatures.

Over-optimization is a serious threat to your website. If you think that you might be on Google’s bad side, talk with JASE today and let us help you. As always, please feel free to share this article with friends.

Penguin Zooimage credit: SouthEastern Star on flickr

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