It’s the dawn of a new era of SEO content writing and Google page ranking. ‘Penguin’ is one of the search engine’s new algorithms, which is always on the job, ready to warn you if your site doesn’t comply with the new rules. It can be confusing when you are hit with a Google penalty or ranking devaluation as a result of Penguin’s new regulations, but you can quickly have your website back on track by following these simple rules.
Were You Hit?
The first thing you want to ask is, how do I know if I’ve been targeted or punished by Penguin? The easiest way to tell is to review your site’s traffic, particularly after April 24th 2012. If you noticed a drop in search traffic then it’s very likely that your site was relegated.
Take care of your links
You need to keep an eye out for bad backlinks; Penguin will take no prisoners with your website, if it’s filled with what many are calling ‘rotten backlinks’. If your site falls into this category, and is being punished for use of poor backlinks, then there are some easy steps to eradicate them and restore your credibility.
Gather a complete and comprehensive list of all backlinks that you have for your site. You don’t have to do this manually, there are plenty of tools out there than can produce a full list, including Google Webmasters’ suite which is completely free to use.
Once you have a full list of the backlinks, you then need to locate bad ones. Unfortunately, you do need to do this stage manually, which can prove to be quite time consuming. Essentially, you are required to look at each and every link, then decide on its quality. Once you’ve developed something of a routine, and criteria for good/bad links, you’ll find the process begins to go by much quicker.
Send your requests
Set up a template email in advance in order to save time. Once you know which backlinks are low quality, send your template request to the webmasters of the associated sites. Make sure you are candid about the penalty you have received and ask politely if they will remove the links. When asking, make sure you supply the URL and anchor text information to make it easier for the webmaster.
Make sure that you follow up and repeat as needed, with each request.
While you are going through the process of removal, keep records of your actions. Ideally, you want to be able to show Google some concrete evidence of when you sent the removal request emails, and who you sent them to. Some links may still be up and running (perhaps due to an unresponsive webmaster) but having this documentation as proof will at least show Google that you’ve made the effort.
Watch false positives
Penguin is far from perfect; there is a chance that you may notice some false positives in your research, which you could be penalised for. If this is the case, then don’t hesitate to report it. The reporting form will be listed somewhere under your Google Webmasters tools.
The waiting is, perhaps, the hardest part of the cleanup process, after being hit by the Penguin algorithm. However, if you have done your search, submitted all of your link requests and cleaned up your SEO content then the only thing you can do is wait. It may take some time but the improvements will be noticeable, and you should begin to see an improvement in site traffic and search engine ranking before too long.