How to P-P-Pick Up a Penguin Penalty

I’m old enough to remember the classic P-P-Pick up a penguin ads, but Google’s Penguin Update hasn’t been funny for alot of webmasters and SEO’s.


Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam was kind enough to give a warning of an over optimisation penalty, (now dubbed the Penguin update). So when the update came on the 24th April it wasn’t a great surprise.

According to Google they ‘can’t divulge specific signals because we don’t want to give people a way to game our search results and worsen the experience for users’.

However it didn’t take a genuis to work out that exact match keyword rich domain names would be in the target line as they’ve been gamed so much.

Here’s a non comprehensive list of some characteristics of sites that I noticed that got penalised by the Google Penguin update.

Sites with:

1. Exact Match Keword Rich Domain names
2. Light weight to fairly light weight in terms of content with little content updates
3. Links where the majority of the anchor text is exactly the same as the page title & domain name and the links are easily attainable.

If your site has all three of these characteristics then you may have noticed and expected a drop, possibly a minus 50 penalty.

What to Do

The logical step to lift the algorithmic penalty would be to build a strong authority site centered around a content strategy. Easier said than done.

5 Responses to “How to P-P-Pick Up a Penguin Penalty”

  1. Ray HeskethNo Gravatar Says:

    Yeah this sounds like the anomaly i’ve been experiencing on a new site im working on at the site is keyworded and SEOed for a loft conversion builder. Google has been trawling it but no joy with the rankings yet.
    I think its about time google made this change and it should make for better websites in the long run. I was thinking of knocking this site off the rankings by using the domain, but with the new rules, it wont work.

  2. MichaelNo Gravatar Says:

    Ray, keyword rich domain names will still work if you build the authority of the site, you just need to be concerned about over optimising them and also having a link profile with too many exact match anchor text links.

    This is worth a read

  3. Ray HeskethNo Gravatar Says:

    I had a wee read. Interesting article.

  4. So it was Panda Afterall | Internet Marketing Belfast - Michael Wall Says:

    […] Forums started to buzz with sites being wiped out and dropping like stones. Just after the weekend I noted on my Twitter account that I didn’t see much damage to all the keyword rich domain names that I would track and keep an eye on. By and large these are decent quality, with time and money invested in them. Some of the poorer quality exact match sites that I test had been blitzed by Penguin. […]

  5. Panda, Penguin, Top Heavy, Confused? | Internet Marketing Belfast - Michael Wall Says:

    […] Google Penguin could be ruled out timewise, the site isn’t over optimised, and there has been little aggressive keyword rich link building aimed at improving manipulating or overstepping Google guidelines. […]

Michael Wall

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