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Tips on How to Recover from Google Penguin

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Posted 10th June 2012 at 05:01 AM by Suzanne Morrison

In April 2012 Google released a new algorithm update called the Penguin. As a result many webmasters lost a huge amount of traffic from Google and in some cases lost all their traffic. There was much speculation during the time about what the root cause of this loss was, but over the last month or two, a few patterns have appeared.

If you are not sure whether or not your website was hit as a result of the Google Penguin Update then the best way to find out is by looking at your web stats. Take a look at the traffic coming from Google around the 24th April and see whether or not the large drop in traffic coincides with that date. If it does, then the likelihood is that your site was impacted by this algorithm update.

In this update Google was specifically targeting "over optimization". This means that a website has overdone the search engine optimization either on their own site, or in the backlinks that they have built to their site.

First you should take a look at your on page optimization. Have you gone to far and mentioned your keyword too many times on your web pages? Take a look at the main competitors in your niche that are still ranking high in Google and check what sort of keyword density they are using. Then compare it to yours and take corrective action if yours is too high.

The next step is to gain an understanding of your link profile. There is an excellent tool called "Majestic SEO" that you can use to get an indepth backlink report. This is free and you will be able to download a report that shows the anchor text for all the backlinks that you have built.

The majority of sites that were hit by the Google Penguin update were using their keywords in over 50% of the anchor text. This simply doesn't look natural to Google and would not typically happen if these links were built naturally rather than by you.

The most time consuming thing that you will have to do to get your rankings back is make your backlink profile more natural. It is my opinion that the following steps need to be taken into account whenever you build links to a website:

1) Vary the anchor text - if your site has been affected by Penguin, take time to build links using a large variety of different anchor text keywords including things like "click here", "visit this site", "look here" and so on.

2) Build a mixture of nofollow and dofollow links. It is not natural to get only dofollow links

3) Try to get a good amount of links from sites that are related to your niche.

4) Stay away from obvious linking schemes such as link wheels, reciprocal linking and posting in blog networks.

If you have the analysis tools available it makes sense to look at your main competitor's backlink profile. You can then aim for a similar backlink profile to them.

As well as doing all of the above it is extremely important that you also focus on other methods of building traffic to your site. You should use other traffic generation methods such as social marketing, paid advertising, ad swaps and others.

For more details on how to recover your site from Google Penguin take a look at my free Penguinized WSO.
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