Google Penguin SEO Updates and Recovery Tips

In 2012 Google released what was originally known as the “”webspam algorithm””. The impact this update had on the SEO world was large enough for Google to officially name the update “”Penguin””. The idea of the Penguin update was to effectively de-rank any sites that violated Google’s webmaster guidelines. This included sites that used any manipulative techniques to improve their rankings. What this also meant was that many innocent sites, that appeared manipulative to Google, lost their high positions in search. The techniques that got many sites demoted is known within the industry as “”black hat””, this includes techniques such as keyword stuffing, link schemes, duplicate content and cloaking. If you were hit by the Penguin updates or you simply want to boost your rankings, here is a guide of what to do and what not to do: Stop:

  • Putting a list of keywords in the page title, instead of making it descriptive
  • Filling the Meta Description full of keywords, instead of using it as a call-to-action. In terms of ranking, the Meta Description has no effect; its only function is that it is displayed below your link in search results.
  • Using keywords in the alt tags of images. Alt tags should be descriptive.
  • Cloaking. It’s guaranteed to eventually get you penalised. Avoid it at all costs.
  • Keyword stuffing or using a specific keyword density. Keyword stuffing will only decrease your chance of being ranked high.


  • Using titles that are descriptive and are optimised for branding and sharing. A title should be exciting and interesting, not just keyword rich
  • Write content for humans; not for the search engines. The content you provide should be designed to solve specific problems the user is searching for
  • Use social badges. This gives users the ability to easily share your website and content
  • Use real information, such as a real address and phone number

Every year search engines are becoming more advanced. Penguin will by no means be the last update to alter search results. If you own or run a website, you must focus on longevity and brand, just as much as ranking your website.

The important thing to realise about all of Google’s updates is who they benefit, they always benefit the user.

When releasing content or building any type of website you must make this your primary objective. A site that offers quality information to its users will constantly rank higher than sites that simply try to please or manipulate the search engines.


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