How To Overcome The Google Penguin Update


Matt Cutts and the Google algorithm updates are really starting to annoy internet marketers around the globe. Google Panda was the first update, which was devastating for many involved in the SEO game, but there was not anything quite so bad for a while until the Google Penguin update came along. There is no doubt, it is not as easy to rank in Google as it was back in the day. It is really tough out there. Many internet marketers have gone back to their day jobs and left the SEO industry completely.

SEO update

Image by ‘the.approximate.photographer’

One has to realize that this is a business and every business will suffer at some point. Internet marketers are so used to their business going from strength to strength that this is something they just don’t expect to happen. However, there is always a way to turn your business around.

You have to ask yourself what the Google Penguin update was all about. What is Google looking for? Of course, before you start anything you must make sure that you have a clear, positive frame of mind. What is the point of thinking that Google is evil? It is definitely difficult to stay motivated at times like these, but that is what it takes. Stay away from the negative SEO forums and focus on restoring your site to page one again.

Google Penguin Update – How To Optimize Your Website

People came unstuck a lot of the time by over-optimizing their keywords. Using the same keyword, over and over again, when building links without any variations is one way of getting hit. There are lots of ways in which you can vary a keyword.

To de-optimize your keywords you should look to a variety of methods

  • Generic keywords – ‘click here’, ‘continue reading’, ‘great site’, etc.
  • Long tail keywords – For example, ‘make money online’ becomes ‘make money online at home’.
  • Naked keywords – ‘’
  • Brand keywords– ‘your site brand’, ‘your name’, ‘website name’, etc.
  • Semantic keywords – These are shorter keywords, but they are not long tails. If you have a site about ‘making money online’, then you would use, ‘SEO’ or ‘internet marketing’, for example. You should spread these anchor texts out evenly for them to be effective.

You should also pay attention to where you are doing your link building and which kinds of sites you going to. There was a recent update where a lot of internet marketers were punished because of simply taking full use of blog networks. When these were de-indexed, sites with thousands of links were affected badly.

Best Ways To Build Links Online


  • Guest posting – This is a very good option, especially if you can find blogs with a high page rank.
  • Web 2.0 posts – There are many of these sites around so make sure you make use of them all and don’t post all of your links on just Hubpages and Squidoo.
  • Forums – This is a powerful form of linkbuilding if it is done the right way and you don’t spam the forums.
  • Social Media – Don’t forget about Twitter, Facebook and social bookmarking. If you are doing SEO then you simply have to be social media.

Google has become very smart. This means that it is difficult to take short-cuts these days. This applies to people who are using black hat techniques. They are going to be discovered soon or later. If you want to build an authority website then you should definitely stick with white hat techniques.

Content also proved to be a problem with the Google Penguin update. Not only must you remember that content will always be king and stick with really good quality content, but you must also pay attention to the way that you use your keywords. Using ‘landscaping company, Florida’ muliple times in the same post is definitely going to bring the value of your content down. Varying your text in your posts on your site is just as important.

  • Organize your website – This refers to the appearance of your website. When someone lands on your page they want to be able to read the article easily. It shouldn’t be busy with all sorts of adverts flashing away. You don’t want too many links in the footer either.

Internal linking has also been a problem. If you think about it, when you go to a site that has twenty links in a single article you will probably just find that annoying. It is hardly effective either. Google is penalizing these types of links as well so this is something to watch out for.

What do you think?  Have you experienced problems since the Google Penguin update?  Have you NOT had any problems  since the Google Penguin update? Let us know your views by leaving a comment below!
Thank you to my Guest Post Author: Jonathan Newby

Jonathan owns a number of websites that show people how to make money online.  

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This post was written by a guest author. Please see their details in the post above. If you'd like to write for OnlineIncomeTeacher, then check out our write for us page for details about how YOU can share your tips with our readers.

  • Andi Leeman

    We were fairly young when the slaps happened so that might be why we faired well, we are on the first page of Google for a few longtail keywords which is good, they are not heavily competitive but still we are there and we have very little if any backlinking going on yet.

    A certain Google Sniper product that taught you how to get onto the first page of Google recommended trying to compete with search results of 20,000 or less, as I write this I see we have climbed form page 2 to page 1 for a term that Google says has 64,700,000 competing sites. I am also using a cookie free computer so the results are not skewed by Google recognition… I hope lol. Sounds good but probably only has 4 people globally searching for the term! 🙂

    Great article BTW Jonathan

    • Hi Andi! Yeah, can’t say that our site was affected (touch wood) by the Penguin update. I guess we have both been using the methods that Google are trying to promote.

      Still, I’m sure Google will release another update soon. Not sure whether they are naming their updates after animals beginning with the letter ‘P’, or ‘black & white’ animals. My bet is the next one will be called Google Pelican!

      Glad to hear that you are ranking well for certain keywords/keyphrases. We do well on some really competitive phrases, yet not so well on some non-competitive phrases. I can’t complain though, we’re doing OK. 🙂

  • Clair Trebes

    Really enjoyed reading this article, funnily enough I was reading about Penguin earlier and then this was posted 🙂 Great insight, and I’ve already noticed some websites that ranked highly through SEO now dropping to much lower positions on google (incidentally enough these sites did hammer the keywords in their niche)

    Defo giving me some food for thought especially as I am keen to learn more about SEO 🙂

    • Hi Clair! Yeah, I’ve noticed a few sites slip in the rankings recently. I’m sure that they will fix their SEO strategy quickly though.

      I welcome the updates. Shows that Google actually wants to promote quality content to it’s users. Helps to encourage bloggers to create the best content that they can.

      Thanks for the comment Clair! Oh and if your wanting to learn more about SEO, check out our ‘On-Page’ & ‘Off-Page’ SEO techniques posts.

      • Clair Trebes

        Thanks Matt!!! I will be sure to check it out, SEO is something I need to get good at, and quickly for my sites! 🙂

  • Maybe they will call it the Zebra Update!

    • Hi Robert! Zebra is a good shout. Perhaps even Skunk. I’m sticking with Pelican though, that’s my guess 🙂

  • Vineet kumar

    nice post

  • Awesome post – You definitely give some great ways to get more natural and authoritative backlinks to your site which is now a lot more important after the Penguin update. For my authority blogs, I am now staying completely away from doing linkbuilding other than blog commenting, guest posting, forum posting, and social sharing. And the reason I’m doing them is for referral traffic – SEO benefits is icing on the cake 😉


    • Hi Thomas! They are definitely the best link building methods to stick to. These tend to be the ones I use and I’ve been able to grow my links/traffic using them.

      Better off sticking to methods that Google like, so that they won’t penalize your site further down the line.

      Thanks for the comment Thomas!

  • Admin

    Really useful article ..

  • prateek

    How can we know whether our site has hit from any Update or not???

    • Hi Prateek,

      Well the Penguin update happened quite a while ago, so I doubt that will have had any effect on your site now. In terms of other Google updates though, that is difficult to answer. Google tends to make lots of little updates throughout the year, most of which we will never really notice. They also tend to make 2-3 major updates in the year, which “can” have an effect on a site (depending on the update).

      The best thing you can do is to try and keep upto date with what is going on in the news about SEO. SEOmoz is a good place to start, though we (OIT) will also report on any big upcoming changes.

      If, however, you do notice a big change in your site (i.e. traffic loss, PR loss, blacklisting, etc.) then you need to take action. Using tools like Google Analytics and Webmaster tools will give you greater insight into what has happened and, more importantly, how to fix said issues.

  • Hm that was very true

  • The information is very update, That’s Great information, I really enjoyed, I would like more information about this, Thanks for sharing.
    Silicone Gloves

  • It Spot

    Very Useful Information for those who don’t know , what is Google panda and Google Penguin. It helped me a lot. Thanks To The author….