Google panda and Google penguin penalties and the way to avoid them

Google panda and Google penguin penalties and the way to avoid them
 Google Penguin and PandaAs discussed in my first post on how SEO has changed in the last 6 months, the risk of getting a Google penalty is higher than ever if you do not take the appropriate measures. Bad links use to get ignored and now they count against your site. In this post I will go over both Google Panda and Google Penguin and the measures you need to take to avoid them.

Penguin and Panda
Both are algorithmic penalties that act like a filter and run once a month. If your site falls within the right parameters, it won’t be affected, however if it doesn’t, then a penalty will be placed on your site. Both penalties target over optimization and are designed to rid the internet of web spam; Google Panda focuses of onsite over optimisation whereas Google Penguin targets over optimisation of backlinks.
On-site SEO
It is important to set up your site correctly. Without correctly implemented onsite SEO, you will very much be swimming against the tide so to speak when it comes to ranking your site but you will also potentially be opening yourself up for a penalty.
The important thing to remember here though in terms of preventing a Panda penalty is to make sure that you don’t have any duplicate content and you don’t stuff your content with keywords, keeping your keyword densities below 2.5%. If you have any duplicate content, make sure you add canonical tags to the page:
<link rel=”canonical” href=”” />
A good tool to use to check keyword densities is SEO Quake which is a plugin for your browser and is available for Firefox, Safari, Opera and Chrome.
Link Building
Google Penguin looks at the anchor text diversity of the links that you have built. The belief is that a site with a low anchor text diversity has probably got a high amount of manually created links – links deliberately built to manipulate the search results and improve your search rankings. Remember, Google says that you are not allowed to build any type of link with the intention of improving your search ranking.
When it comes to link building, most effort is placed on building a large amount of links to a site but often with no real strategy. Most people do not even track the links they have built which leaves themselves open to a penalty.
What to record
It is vital to keep records of the links that you have built. The easiest way to do this is with an Excel spread sheet. In the spread sheet you want to record the following information:
  • Backlink URL (the URL of the page linking to your site)
  • Backlink domain URL (the domain of the site that links to your website)
  • Linked to page (the page the backlink links to on your website)
  • Anchor text (the text in the link)
  • Live link status (is the link still live)
  • Backlink URL Indexed (is the backlink URL indexed)
  • Domain Indexed (is the backlink domain indexed in Google)
  • Backlink URL PR (the PR of the backlink URL)
  • Domain PR (the PR of the domain linking to your site)
  • Username and password where applicable (so you can amend the link if necessary)
  • Type of link (wiki, press release, web 2.0 etc.)
To find out the backlinks going to your site, use all of the backlink analysis tools at your disposal. Backlink analysis tools are effectively mini search engines and all use a slightly different system to find links. The more tools you use the more links you are likely to find. You should also include the URLs of the backlinks that you have created. The links you have built won’t show up in backlink analysis tools if they haven’t been indexed yet.
To find the other information I use a tool called Scrapebox. You will have to use private proxies when compiling the information otherwise the Google will temporarily block your URL and your data will be inaccurate.
Penalty Analysis page
Once you have this data, you need to create a penalty analysis page. I personally do this in the same spread sheet and simply create another tab so that I have all of the data for a site in one place but you can create another spread sheet should you wish. In this spread sheet, you need to create the following fields:
  • Total links
  • Number of domains – copy the domain column into a new tab and remove duplicates and record the number
  • Number of exact match anchors – use the formula =COUNTIF(Tier1!$D:$D,”keyword”) for this and complete the tier1!$D:$D section by highlighting your anchor text column and replacing keyword with your keyword
  • Number of broad match anchors – same as above expect use “*keyword*” as this will find any rows with you keyword in but not exclusive to
  • Number of links that do not include your keyword = total number of links-exact match anchors-broad match anchors
  • Percentage of unique domains – this is total link-number of domains divided by total number of links
  • Percentage links exact match anchor – this is number of exact match anchors divided by the total number of links
  • Percentage links broad match anchor – this is the number of broad match anchors divided by the total number of links
  • Percentage links without your keywords – this the number of links without keywords divided by the total number of links
You will need to create a new row for each of your keywords.
Any other information that you wish to record such as deindexed links can be done so using the same COUNTIF formula described above, obviously changing the data fields where appropriate. I only do this if I need to find out information that I don’t already know e.g. when I look at a site for the first time. For people that are optimising their own sites though, you will know what links you have built.
Factors like deindexed links are only appropriate when people have used link networks like ALN which Google have clamped down on in recent months. I would avoid using such networks as you don’t need them to rank a site and you’re asking for trouble if you us them.
What to look for
There are no exact numbers to look out for however if your exact match anchor text diversity is up near the 30% mark, you need to start building links with more generic anchors. If you have a number of links with generic anchors that have not been indexed yet, you can focus on getting them indexed. If necessary, you can alter the links too using the username and password that you have recorded.
Author Bio
Jack Willis is an online marketer at Marketing Grin and has been doing search engine optimisation for over 5 years. Marketing Grin offers a variety of different SEO packages for companies large and small and also helps recover sites that have been hit with a penalty.

185 thoughts on “Google panda and Google penguin penalties and the way to avoid them

  • February 6, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Hey very interesting blog!


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