What is the Google Penguin Over Optimization Update?
Google has been trying to rid their search engine of low quality websites considered spam since it’s inception. People have also been trying to manipulate the Google search results for years. This has produced many low quality sites to rank on the top pages of Google, and hindered the ability for quality sites to rank, as quality sites have to constantly compete with those that use black hat seo strategies. The biggest culprit in recent days have to do with keyword rich anchor text. Producing low quality incoming links has produced incredibly positive results for web businesses, and has given rise to low quality content distribution networks. Examples of these are:
- blog networks
- blog carnivals
- 3 way link building schemes
- article spinning networks
With the use of the above tactics, websites are able to produce hundreds, if not thousands of in content keyword rich anchor text links pointing to their domains. And it worked!
With the Panda algorithm updates, many of these networks have been identified and de-indexed by google. This is a good thing!
If you were participating in producing low quality content on any of these networks, you most likely have seen large decreases in your rankings over the past few months. It appears that Google has not only devalued the links from these networks, but have also implemented a penalty to those sites that have used them.
If you have seen a large decrease in you rankings in the past few days (starting around April 23rd 2012) due to the new Google Penguin Over Optimization Update, then I would take a close look at the anchor text distribution for your website.
I use seomoz’s Open Site Explorer (http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/) to see this.
My site http://www.seo-services.com has seen a large decrease in rankings from this Over Optimization Penalty, and I believe it is due to my anchor text distribution.
If your site has too high a percentage of incoming anchor text as your keywords… I believe a flag has gone off in Google, and your site will be penalized for Over Optimization.
In my particular case, I have a strong issue with this. I have an Exact Match Domain, which means the name of my site (SEO Services) is my main keyword. Many sites with exact match domains (EMD) have been hurt by this penalty.
Exactly what the limits are to have this Penguin Over Optimization Penalty flag your site is unknown… if I had to make a guess, I would say if over 25% of your incoming links are for one of your keywords, this would set the flag to the Google Algorithm.
I have looked at many of the websites that now rank on the first page of Google for competitive keywords, and have noticed that the highest used anchor text was either:
- The Company Name
- The Site’s Url
- Some other anchor text like “click here”, “visit the site”, etc.
- Partial match keyword anchor text that is very evenly distributed
How Has Penguin Changed Online Marketing?
- Producing high quality content, both on and off-site
- Building a social media community using an on-site blog, facebook, twitter, facebook, and Google Plus
- Collecting reviews and positive feedback from social networks, review sites, and product and site reviews.
- Displaying customer feedback to the engines using micro data in the form of rich snippets
- Building quality websites that produce low bounce rates, high page views, and long time on site statistics
- Have your site produce successful searches (searches where a visitor does a search, goes to your website, finds what they were looking for, and does not do another search).
Why the New Google Penguin Over Optimization Update Needs to be Changed
What to do Now?
- Less focus on Keyword Anchor Text. The incoming links still help, but using keyword anchor text needs to be kept in check. Too many incoming links with exact anchor text can trigger the Over Optimization Penalty.
- Keep producing great content (both on site, and off site)
- Focus on social media… building a community, and producing helpful fresh content to your customers
- Be Patient. Google will make the necessary changes to keep their search results the best in the industry. If you conducted yourself with reputable marketing tactics… producing a great website, user experience, and great content, your rankings will come back.