How Penguin 2.0 Puts Up A Tougher Fight Against Web Spam

Filed as Features on June 7, 2013 11:38 am

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Google’s website states that: Every day, millions of useless spam pages are created. We fight spam through a combination of computer algorithms and manual review. Penguin 2.0 is their latest spam-fighting algorithm update.

The problem with spam websites is that they saturate the internet and show up in search engine rankings. When these devious sites appear higher in search engine rankings, what do you think happens to your site? That’s right – it gets pushed to the bottom of the list.

Some people took the news of Penguin 2.0 as a message from Google that they were trying to punish the spammers. However just the opposite is true. Google released this update as a way to reward relevant sites and make them easier to find in the search engine rankings.

What Qualifies as a Spam Site?

As Google explains, spam sites come in all shapes and sizes. If you aren’t familiar with what qualifies as spam, you might even have spam SEO on your site! Here are some of the methods that are more commonly used in spam sites.

  • Gibberish – One of the easiest methods to detect, these sites are not at all subtle in their attempt to spam. Their site is full of automatically-generated gibberish that reads like a foreign language from an alien planet and makes no sense at all.
  • Sneaky Redirects – These sites redirect you to a different page than what they initial revealed to Google as a way to cloak the real content that it does not want Google to find.
  • Artificial Links – If your site displays a pattern of deceptive links, Google could interpret this as the result of buying or selling links that take part in devious schemes to pass PageRank. This is true if the links are either outbound or inbound.
  • Keyword Stuffing – Keyword stuffing is when the keyword appears too often. An example is: Find beach condos for your next beach condo vacation thanks to this beach condo company that offers beach condos for beach condo vacations. Could you guess that “beach condo” was the keyword there?
  • Poor Content – Freelance writers call this “fluff”, and for good reason. The content is thin and has little value in the grand scheme of the site, serving only to make it appear as if the site is fleshed out with fresh, relevant content.
  • Hacking – Some spammers do not even have their own site. They just hack yours as a way to display spam-related links or content. This is the best reason to fix vulnerabilities within your site.

Manual Action versus Algorithm Action

Google maintains manual spam-fighting teams that, since 2005, expanded as far as India, Ireland, China, and Japan. They find sites that, although appearing on Penguin 2.0’s radar, are legitimate, like the homepage for Essex restaurant in NYC which could initially be flagged as porn.

Overall Google has reduced efforts to manually identify certain types of spam because algorithmic updates like Penguin 2.0 do the job more efficiently. According to Google, Penguin’s primary function is to lower the rankings of sites that use web spam strategies.

Some look at Google’s algorithms to shut down spam and see it as an attempt to block the flow of information. Actually Google promotes free expression and the free flow of information, according to their website. The exceptions include:

  • Spam that affects rankings
  • Phishing sites that send fraudulent emails
  • Malware that could harm your computer
  • Legal requirements
  • Prevention of identity theft

Working with Penguin 2.0

When you work within Google’s website guidelines, then Penguin 2.0 will work to keep your site in the search rankings. The best way to work within the guidelines is to regularly update your site with fresh, unique content that is relevant to your site.

When using keywords, make sure they read naturally and don’t feel forced or awkward. And take advantage of Google Webmaster Tools, which provide you with detailed summaries of the state of your page on Google, such as how visible it is and how you can increase your chances of getting found.

Finally some other website seo analysis tools offered by third parties are also useful in staying within Google’s good graces, including Check My Links Broken Link Checker, SEOmoz PRO Tools, and Hubspot’s Marketing Grader.

Freelance writer Melissa Cameron is also a wife and a mother, which makes working from home pretty convenient! She writes on a wide variety of topics which leads to visiting a plethora of websites, such as www.tvsinternetmarketing.com that she used when writing this article. When she isn’t working Melissa enjoys yoga, knitting, and family time.

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