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Firstly, Part one of Living with Google Penguin can be found here http://leesmallwood.com/2012/05/08/google-penguin-update-anchor-text-diversity-part-1/

So, onto the 2nd part ...

Google Penguin: Tips on avoiding being hit and on what to do if you have

How To Avoid Being Hit By Google Penguin

Go and check your analytics account. Do it now! If there are warnings of unnatural linking, make sure those links are either removed or nofollow'ed at the earliest!

Then, go through this checklist:

1. Paid Text Links

Remove any paid text links that you have.

NOTE: Pay special attention to this even if you never used paid links!

Why?

Because you may not have any idea of what your competition is doing for you (or against you). There are paid links out there that do not pop-up in the analytics warnings. These could simply be those that were created by SEO professionals working (unethically) for your competition to bring you down.

Yes, people pay junk sites to link to competitors - in large numbers! It's an age-old tactic that's been earning people in the blackhat food chain a full time living ever since the inception of SEO. And these links are usually exact matches for your primary keywords.

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Use http://www.freeseoreport.com/ or http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ which will help you track these

And here's a case study that confirmas what I just said: http://trafficplanet.com/topic/2372-successful-negative-seo-case-study/ PING +Matt Cutts if you haven't reinstated http://justgoodcars.com please would you read the post... the guy who did the _negativeSEO campaign is nothing more than bacteria!!!)

Your Guest Posts

Google doesn't deny that guest posting is a valid link getting act. But it dislikes any guest posts you make to sites that misuse them.

So you need to monitor your collaborators' sites. If you made a guest post and they duplicated it in all their venues of posting, with or without your name (or your knowledge) then the value of the your content goes down.

Also, sites that have low update frequency or perceived low quality content will also drag down the value of the link they point to you.

Article Marketing Efforts

These need to be monitored too. Most directories like eZine now have quality control measures to accept articles after they got slapped last year.

The Google Penguin has affected a lot of websites which had sections of thin content but many links going out from it. Also, the use of an article for advertising purposes has spread too far, which again you must monitor.

Some household names that were affected because of such use of content include:

- Digg
- BrotherSoft

- geek.com
- cultofmac.com
- cubestat.com

and many others.

Comment Spam

Too many links in comments on your pages, as well as too many links coming from comments other than forums are a surefire way of getting de-indexed.

Install a good comment monitoring plugin.

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There are a plethora of plugins for Wordpress self-hosted sites here http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tags/comment-spam

Also, if there is an unavoidable hot discussion on a particular post you made, then let it occur and include links, but on the backend have a plugin that nofollow's them all. Google Penguin isn't against discussions. It's against inflated link juice.

Website Structure

The Google Penguin update is digging sites deep for manipulation of their crawling efforts. Your titles, meta tags and sitemap should be well optimised. Any orphaned sections that appear as hidden pages should either be archived, or removed altogether.

How to recover if the Google Penguin update has already hit you

That means that you have been cited for spam and a huge chunk of your content has lost it's value along with the hit.

But don't lose hope just as yet. First make a list of pages that were genuine, of good quality and truly deserved to rank. Make sure that this list is in line with Google's quality guidelines (http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=35769)

Then, use the Google Penguin Feedback form to report the pages you feel should not have been affected. Here's a link: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/spamreport?pli=1 and add Penguin in the details

If you feel like shouting out "Help me Obi Wan Kanobi you're my only hope ..."

Then for the remaining pages and domains that have indeed no hope of a comeback, follow this checklist:

- Remove irrelevant keywords from your pages and their tags

- Find all the redirects in your site that are meant to (or by mistake) point to a landing page or ad page which goes against Google's guidelines

- If you have domains that mirror each other's pages and have been interlinked, remove them all and de-link them from your important main site

- Do not make pages tailored to search engine bots. And do not cloak them over to a human readable page. Cloaking is the worst kind of spam out there

- If your pages have adware that forces pop-ups, it has been banned due to low user experience. Either remove the adware or improve user experience. Shut down the pop-ups

- Remove all your submissions from blog networks. These are already under a huge scanner and your presence on them will only make matters worse

- Remove all links (even from your reports and lead magnets) that point to link farms

- Remove automated programs or intelligent scripts from your page that tend to mirror the latest set of search queries and modify your page for them

- Remove links to illegal download sites, even if the download is freeware

- Modify or improve pre-written sales copy on your affiliate pages. If you are big on affiliate marketing, it's best to write your sales copy yourself or hire a professional copywriter who adds value to the visitor

- Only opt for affiliate programs that give good products to the end user and that do not force you to load long duplicated sales letters on your visitors

- Google Penguin is a strong move against blackhat tactics like embedding hidden words on a page, or using zero font and white text on white pages style of trickery in design. Steer clear of those

- If you haven't paid attention to this yet, it's time to employ LSI keywords into your content. It stands for Latent Semantic Indexing, which focuses on helping the search query to be deciphered by content relevance. It'll match your pages better without penalties

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I wrote a couple of articles on Semantic Keyword Research,
Part 1: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100034828195835575273/posts/MGi582Y6Yef Part 2: http://leesmallwood.com/2012/04/13/semantic-keyword-research-part-2/

But google latent semantic indexing for more sites (https://www.google.co.uk/search?aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=latent+semantic+indexing)

And finally [TL:DR]

The Google Penguin update also delves into the trustworthiness of information you put out on the site. So make sure your research is done well

Here's some links for you to check out for more help:

- +Glenn Gabe https://plus.google.com/u/0/107070305268662654617/posts/XafK7mej8rP

- +SEOmoz https://plus.google.com/u/0/112544075040456048636/posts/hHaXg8Rs5Lf

- +Barry Schwartz https://plus.google.com/u/0/107945426404682361496/posts/74ohvX8NxLA

If you come across other related articles, please add a link ion the comments below and I'll add them to the post above...

The most spoken but seldom followed advice:

"Make sites are for users, not for search engines."

I know it sounds like a broken record, but now is when it'll save your ship. Use it! It's time to take action...
o #googlepenguin #googlepenguinupdate #googlepenalty #lsgp o
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Lee Smallwood's profile photoGlenn Gabe's profile photoRobert Burns's profile photoJuan carlos ortega's profile photo
6 comments
 
interesting how any new update from Google produces this Headlines "How To Avoid Being Hit By" thanks Lee great link
 
+Robert Burns My pleasure - hope it helps... remember if you come across any articles that you think will help others post the link in here and I'll add them to the posts...
 
Nice post Lee, and thanks for the mention. I appreciate it!
 
+Juan carlos ortega yes, that's so true... mainly because so many businesses rely on Google search. I think what this update - and in fact the series of recent updates have shown is - that businesses need to take a holistic view of traffic, so if Google updates their algorithm then all the eggs aren't in one basket - so to speak...
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