The Google Penguin algorithm update is nothing to worry about if you continue writing articles naturally, and without endless keyword repetition. The update has been designed to catch out those relying on ‘black hat’ web-spamming techniques to boost their rankings, and not those that have gained their ranking position fairly and honestly.
A search engine’s clients are those using it to find information, and Google is only trying to improve that service for its customers – and by assisting the search engine to achieve this you can take a big step towards a good ranking. Google is not particularly targeting poor quality content here, although you will suffer if your page text is full of unnecessary instances of your keywords. What concerns Google is the source of the links back to your website, and the anchor text you use that people click onto reach your individual web pages.
So that’s it basically – how to keep the Google Penguin algorithm update happy. To be more specific:
Your Web Page Content
Keep writing articles, but keep it natural and avoid keyword spamming. The Google Penguin update has been designed to detect what is known as webspam, a component of which is keyword stuffing – trying to influence spider algorithms by excessive use of a keyword in an article or web page content.
You should work to a maximum of around 1% keyword density. The more discerning article directories apply a keyword limit to your submitted articles. Ezine Articles for example applies a 2% limit – that includes similar terms, such as ‘article writing,’ ‘writing articles,’ and ‘write articles’ all being regarded as the same keyword; even ‘articles’ would be read as a keyword.
I would suggest using a keyword density of no more than 1%, if that. 2% should be regarded as a top figure.
Taking ‘golf balls’ as an example of a keyword you are using on a page in a golfing site, you would use the word ‘golf’ in terms such as ‘golf shoes,’ ‘golf apparel’ and many others. The algorithm has no idea of your intended keyword, so it will list what it believes appropriate from the semantics of your page. It will take ‘golf’ as a keyword and, if that exceeds a certain figure (nobody but Google knows what that is), your page is liable to be dropped a few places in the rankings for any of its keywords.
So write naturally and don’t worry about keyword density, other than to keep it low, although not so low that the main topic is lost. Forget numbers in your article writing, and write naturally and sensibly – as if you were speaking to the person reading your article.
Your Anchor Text
Many people use the same anchor text in their links time after time. Mix it up: when you are writing your resource, box or creating in-text links that readers can click, it makes sense to use your primary keyword or phrase as the anchor text (the text that is highlighted as a link). Avoid the use of the same keyword or phrase all the time. If your website focuses on article writing or article marketing, avoid the temptation to keep repeating the word ‘article’ in the text.
You can employ a number of alternative words, such as dissertation, essay, passage, content, copy and so on.’ Synonyms can often be difficult to find, particularly those meaning exactly the same in the same context, so if you are stuck for alternatives, check out an online thesaurus such as Thesaurus.com and you will find a whole host of them. You may lose the benefit of links back to your web pages if Google Penguin calculates your links as being over-repetitive (an algorithm is a mathematical formula and hence does not use human values).
Your Linking Strategy
The Google Penguin update looks for a diverse source for the links leading back to your web pages. Your search engine listing position will suffer if large numbers of backlinks come from the same website or from a recognized links farm. The same is true if your links are predominantly from poor quality web pages and pages not directly connected with the topic of those to which they link.
Mix your links between different sources, and also different types of source. For example, don’t have all your articles published on the same article directory. Make as sure as you can that the links leading back to your website (backlinks) are not all from the same source – or even similar sources, but are mixed between different article and web directories, Squidoo lenses, forums, blogs, private web pages, etc.. Make sure your links come from multiple sources.
So, if you avoid excessive keyword repetition, vary your anchor text and mix the source of your backlinks up, you can kick the penguin in the rear end and tell it to get lost. Google’s purpose is to provide its clients with a good search experience – the search engine is not particularly trying to punish you – and the Google Penguin update is how it is achieving that. So keep writing
Article by Peter Nisbet. If you want more information on the Google Penguin update, check out Pete’s website where you can also take advantage of Pete’s $5 offer on his 43-page booklet on article marketing and article writing.