Article marketing has been the cornerstone of SEO campaigns for many years. However, since the Google Panda and Penguin updates, the success of many internet marketers’ efforts has been detrimentally affected. Learn about both Google updates and how to avoid getting “tag Teamed” by the Panda and Penguin!
Conroe, TX -- (SBWIRE) -- 08/13/2012 -- The Need for Google Panda and Penguin Update In recent months, Internet Marketers have seen their article marketing efforts squashed by 2 big Google Behemoths known as the Google Panda and Google Penguin.
Article marketing has been the cornerstone of Internet Marketer’s SEO campaigns for many years providing high quality backlinks to their intended “money sites” converting to high rankings in the search engines. However, the web has seen a major influx of so-called “Black Hat SEO techniques” that use advanced software programs to automatically generate backlinks. Often this content is plagiarized and spammed to thousands of article directories at the push of a button.
The 2 Google updates aim at improving the quality of search engine results. To understand their effect on article marketing, you first need to understand how they individually affect search engine rankings.
Google Panda Update Overview
The first Google Panda update was introduced on February 24th, 2011. In a nutshell, it looks at SEO factors that are based on the pages of your website. It aims to target what Google deems “thin sites” - sites with little or no value to visitors. These sites are often content farms, keyword stuffed and illegible. The big deal about the Google Panda update is that it is a site wide penalty. Meaning that if a number of pages on your website are deemed “thin”, your entire site is penalized.
The Google Panda update effects article marketing indirectly. If your pages are keyword stuffed, Google is not going to rank you so high, regardless of how many backlinks you have coming in. A lower keyword density now yields better results, around 2% as opposed to the previously accepted density rate of 3%. Google Panda also cracks down on keyword stuffing of title tags - the H2 and H3 tags, so best practice calls for not placing your keywords in every title of your content.
The other main Google Panda Update affects duplicate content. This is where someone takes your work and links it back to their site as their own. Of course many Internet Marketers spin the original content into 100's of different versions to attempt to fool the search engines, an issue I’m not sure can ever be overcome by a computer algorithm.
Google Penguin Update Overview
Unlike the Google Panda update, Google Penguin update deals with SEO factors off your pages, and is not a site wide penalty. Penguin focuses on the content you generate to build backlinks back to your site.
Similar to the Google Panda update, Penguin deals with material considered to be spam and keyword stuffing, but relating to the back links to your site. For example, if you submit an article to 1,000 different article directories and they all have the exact same anchor text backlinks with your keywords, this will be penalized by the Google Penguin update.
The Google Penguin update also focuses on link relevancy, so if you have hundreds of backlinks coming in from completely unrelated niche markets, Penguin will again penalize your rankings.
Google Panda/Penguin Update Best Practices
There are several basic practices you can follow to ensure your articles do not get detrimentally affected by either the Google Panda update or the Google Penguin update:
- Keep Keyword density to around 2%
- Don’t spam keywords into H2 or H3 tags even if its justfied
- Only submit your work to reputable article directories, not those that have been over spammed (most important!)
- Always publish unique content that reads well
- Use a variety of anchor text when linking back to your articles or posts
- Only post to categories that are relevant to your market
Note, if you have been penalized by either the Google Panda update or Google Penguin update, you can recover. However, you will need to correct the issues (lowering keyword density, removing articles, removing links etc) and wait for Google to re-index your work before your rankings are restored. It is far easier to follow the above simple guidelines and not get penalized in the first place!
About Stephanie Tully
Stephanie Tully is a written and published author and internet marketing expert. Stephanie is also the co-webmaster of How to Begin a Website - a Blog filled with tips and resources relating to web development, SEO and Blogging.
Please see Stephanie's personal list of best Article Directories with high Page Rank that still yield great results even after the Panda and Penguin update.