What is the Google Penguin update?

Google Penguin is a part of Google’s core algorithms to reward and acknowledge high-quality websites. The higher objective of the Penguin update is to stop the presence of websites in SERP that use keyword stuffing and unnatural links to rank on top. 

The fight against low-quality websites on top SERPs is eased by the Penguin update. The update came after Google launched the Panda update and is an extension of the same. 

When the Google Penguin was rolled out, the initial impact was seen in 3.1% of the English search queries.

Google penguin update first rolled out in the year 2012 and underwent many updates during the years. It has become the crucial part of the google page ranking algorithm from the year 2016 with the penguin 4.0 version.

What are the causes of the Penguin update? 

Google Penguin algorithm works against the two prime parameters is Keyword stuffing and Manipulative link scheme. It checks every website content with google algorithm update to provide informative results in the search engines.

Keyword Stuffing

The unfair practice of inserting and stuffing excess keywords in the content in order to rank on top in search engine result pages. 

An example of keyword stuffing could be like this: 

Covid Vaccine is of acute shortage for the vaccine. Covid Vaccine side effects and Covid Vaccine precautions. Find Covid Vaccine availability.”

Link spam is a practice of building and purchasing links from third-party providers which are mostly low-quality websites. 

The objective of link spam is to build the fake presence of a website, at the cost of quality and intent. 

Recovery from Panda update: what should you do

If you see the ranking of your website going down suddenly from the day of the algorithm launch, there are certain steps you can take to recover from the Panda update. One thing to consider is that once a website is flagged under the Panda radar, it’s going to be tough to recover from it. 

However, it is recommended to adhere to fair practices and to build your website genuinely. Below are the things you can do to avoid the Panda impact on your website. 

A disavowed link is one that you don’t want Google to crawl and to have any impacts on site ranking. 

What links should you disavow? 

The links of your domain that contains the following: 

  •  Purchased and spammy links.
  • Links in exchange for free products and services. 
  • Excessive link swapping 
  • Using robots or automated programs to gain links. 
  • URLs that are present on third-party websites for fake popularity. 

While submitting the disavow file to the search console, make sure that all the old disavowed files are included with the new ones as well. This will ensure that all the files you have submitted for disavowing will be considered.

Care must be taken while submitting your disavow files. If by mistake, you submit a high-quality URL that is helping your website rank on top, things can do down the graph. 

The important thing to consider is that Google says disavowing a link should be your last option to avoid Panda impact. The reason being, it is really easy to disavow links but does not guarantee you the freedom from Panda update. There are more stringent practices to be followed to remain unaffected by the algorithm.  Continuing reading below for more information. 

It’s important to understand that there could be anyone on the internet who can link back to your website. Chances are if the linking domains themselves are spammy, it will hurt your SEO and even brings you under the Panda radar. Therefore, it’s always good to disavow such links in the search console as explained above, however, should remain a last resort. 

You can use the Google search console for free to export websites linking to your domain. These websites contain both do-follow and no-follow links.

Once you know the spam websites linking to your domain, you can prepare an outreach strategy. Reach out to websites that contain your domain links, but are not relevant to your industry and link your site to irrelevant context.  

Promotional and sponsored links are the ones that you pay for or give in exchange for your product or service. 

Often, these promotional websites link to other domains as well without doing the quality check. And the panda update, instead of only checking the links, check the complete URL profile. 

This means if a website links back to your website and also other links with low quality, your efforts may end up in negative impact. Therefore, the link domain relevancy, your audience relevance, and the context of the backlink play a crucial role in delivering the benefits to your website. 

Why do you still see a drop in your ranking? 

It’s important to note that your website may still face a drop in rankings and no gain in traffic even after adhering to Panda best practices.

These could be the possible reasons for the same: 

  • It is quite possible that the traffic you received before the Panda update might have come from the spammy bulk links. Therefore,  there is very little scope to increase the traffic.
  • There are no new link additions to your domain after cleaning the bad links.
  • The drop in ranking may possibly not be due to the Panda update, but it could be other algorithms that you might have missed out on. 
  • Not all the bad links have been disavowed. In addition to that, you may have mistakenly disavowed high-quality links which resulted in traffic and ranking drops.