Some of my sites got hit by the update but thankfully, I managed to get them back in the rankings after 2 months of hard work and no pay (no rankings = no pay for me).
Below I will be sharing with you the 3 lessons that I learned from the Google Penguin update.
Hope this will help anyone trying to rank in the post Penguin era.
1. Focus on Your Visitors, Not The Search Engine.
Google seems to be paying more and more attention to quality after the Penguin update. They will look at the Bounce Rate and Average Time Spent on site primarily as an indicator of a site's quality.
Create extremely helpful and engaging content to keep your Bounce Rate low and Average Time Spent high.
Make sure you use a good web hosting that has great uptime to minimize the Bounce Rate as well.
The design of your site will also influence how your visitors behave and how long they will spend on your site.
Delete all that distracting, above the fold flash advertisings.
Keep your site header small to allow more content to be displayed above the fold.
When visitors land on your site, serve them with fat, juicy content that they can see straight away (above the fold).
2. Keep Everything Natural.
Google loves everything to develop naturally in the Search Engine world.
They don't like overnight success and absolutely despise people who "fake" it.
Stop the purchasing service such as "1000 Backlink Blast in One Day!" or "10,000 Article Submission for Cheap!"
They will hurt your SEO.
Instead, try to keep everything natural. You do this by adding variation to everything.
* Vary your backlink sources. Don't just do Blog Post or Blog Commenting. Remember what happened to BMR (Build My Rank).
Get backlinks from different sources. Web 2.0, Forums, Press Release, Video Sites, Document Sharing Sites, Social Media. The more the merrier.
* Vary your anchor text. If your keyword is "Acne Cure" don't build all your link using "Acne Cure" as your anchor text. This will look unnatural to Google and they will think you are gaming the system.
Try to keep the main keyword percentage to be below 50% in your linkbuilding activity.
Add some LSI keywords and junk links to your link profile. Throw in phrases such as "Organic Acne Cure" (LSI Keyword) or "Click Here" (Junk Link) to diversify your link profile.
* Vary your post size. The usual rule of thumb in SEO is to get content around 500 words and Google will reward you.
Well, the Penguin have changed this.
Vary your post size. Do 1000, 2000 or even 5000 word post once in a while. When you are feeling lazy, do 150 or 250 word blurbs.
This will make your site looks as if it's written by a real human, not a scraping bot.
* Vary your daily backlink quantity. It's unnatural when your site is constantly getting 10 backlinks per day.
Sometimes do 1, sometimes do 20. Make sure your site is getting some links, but be very, very consistent in your daily linkbuilding activity.
Don't do linkbuilding for 10 days and then stop for 2 months.
Lesson 1 & 2 should help you deal with the Penguin & Panda update.
The third lesson has to do with business strategy and it is the MOST important one.
The third, final and most important lesson is...
3. Don't Rely Solely on Google as Your Traffic Source.
Yes, SEO is great. Getting close to "free" traffic daily without having to pay expensive PPC campaign is fantastic.
However, it is getting more and more difficult each day and we shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket.
Get more knowledge on paid advertising. Start small, but start.
Consider other means of getting traffic. The best way to do this is to pretend that Google does not exist.
What would you do if Google does not exist?
Where will you get your traffic from?
Answering those questions will be an eye opening experience for some people who think SEO is the only way to get traffic
Realizing that there are other sources of Traffic besides Google (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Paid Advertising, etc.) is the most valuable lesson that I have learned from the Penguin update.
The IM landscape is always changing each day. So does SEO.
Learn to adapt. Or stay still and vanish.
Hit thanks if you find this thread valuable and feel free to add your thoughts and comments below.
Good luck with your IM career.