Penguins are never known to attack anyone. Yeah, I know that. But sadly that’s no more true since April 24, 2012. Now you would not want to go anywhere near the Google penguin, especially if your blog brings in a huge chunk of your online income.
Google Penguin Update April 2012
The Google Penguin update has badly affected a lot of bloggers, affiliate marketers and online business owners, forcing some of them entirely out of business since April 2012. Building a business is no joke and definitely not easy, especially when you got to deal with cut throat competition in the online world.
In such a scenario when a cute animal like the Panda or Penguin comes in and snatches away your daily blog traffic, SERP position, credibility, customers, sales and your hard earned money, it evidently becomes a matter of huge concern.
Has your blog been attacked by the Google Penguin Update?
If you answered yes, then you should take one very crucial step immediately. You have to analyze your blogging method, evaluate your blog and all this should be done NOW. Why is this so important and so urgent? Because only close examination of your blog and blogging techniques will reveal the deadly mistakes that provoked the Google Penguin to attack your blog.
Even if your answer is NO, you still need to go through this step of self evaluation and self scrutiny of your blogging methods. Why? Because Google Penguin like the Panda I expected to come back to haunt with updates very soon. So you should be aware of the pitfalls in order to better protect your blog from any further attacks and secure your online business.
How to Find Out If Google Penguin Attacked Your Blog?
Before you start scurrying off to find out the deadly mistakes that invited the Penguin to your blog, confirm if your blog was really hit / not. The best tool to use here is your Google Analytics report.
- Sign in Google Analytics
- Set parameters between Apr 10 to May 10, 2012
- Check the traffic overview
- Look closely if there are any acute dips in traffic in and around the Penguin launch date of April 24, 2012
- If the dip traffic corresponds to April 24 and has since diminished and never improved again, then it means that the Penguin picked your blog to peck on you.
Now that the attack is confirmed, you need to check and pinpoint the mistakes from this list:
Mistake # 1- Low Quality Content
Your content can be your savior / killer, depending upon how you create it. If your content is totally unreadable with awkward sounding keywords stuffed into it or is plagiarized from other sites, then you can be sure to invite the penguin’s wrath upon your blog
Mistake # 2- Engaging in Link Trade
Links are the nucleus of the internet and that is why we call it as the ‘web’ or ‘internet’ meaning that each of the sites are connected to each other via links. Links are the major criterion used by Google to determine your page rank.
No wonder that many webmasters decided to get links, hook or by crook. If you have any links purchased from link farms, or if you have engaged in link trading / exchange with questionable sites (that are totally non-relevant to your niche) then you are looking at your first and most critical mistake.
Mistake # 3- Wholesale Use of Same Anchor Text
There are many other ways to get links to your site, other than link buying or link exchange. The commonest white hat methods used are article directory submissions and guest posts on other blogs. Well, there is one important feature that you use while engaging in both these methods to get back links and that is use of anchor text.
Pre-penguin, it was almost the norm to use exact match keyword as anchor text for the page that you linked to. In simple terms, if you wanted to rank for the keyword / phrase ‘Google Penguin update’ you would write an article about it and then use the same key phrase in the author bio, wouldn’t you?
No matter how many articles you submit to directories and how many guest posts you write on the key phrase, every time you would use the same anchor text to link back towards your page. If you have saturated the web with such identical key phrases, all pointing back towards your site, then expect Penguin to come pecking at this second mistake.
Mistake # 4- Submitting Content to Spammy Article Directories
As mentioned in the previous section, article marketing was the most recommended, free and easy method to get free back links until Google Penguin came hunting for fish. Article directories are crappy, spammy and house thousands of low quality junk passed off as content.
These short posts (between 300-500 words) do nothing to provide informative content to the average web user who ends up on these directories looking for value. No wonder that Google Penguin decided to gobble them all up. Google Panda also had a huge impact on the article directories and whatever that was left was finished by the Penguin.
If you had invested time, effort and money to submit thousands of articles to such directories to receive back links, then it is time to realize your 3rd mistake.
Mistake # 5- Having a Deal With Blog Networks
Blog networks were also quite popular like the directories. Most of them charged a hefty monthly fee to register members. If you have been dealing with such blog networks that circulate content, then you are in for trouble.
If you find any or many of the 5 mistakes listed above, then you need to rectify them without any more delay. Even if the Google Penguin missed you in April 2012, the chances of an update coming soon are very high. Better safe than sorry!