What is all this about Google and Penguins?

Chances is are that if you are a small business owner you will have a website (if you don’t, you and me need to talk). There is also a very high probability that you have talked to various colleagues about your ranking in Google and maybe even Bing. This invariably leads to us having a good old winge about all the big companies (who don’t pay any tax like…ahem… Amazon) being ranked at the top of the search engines. The simple truth here is that a lot of these big organisations can afford to pay lots of people to spend lots of time getting there website to the top of searches using search engine optimisation techniques.

Well, the good news is that Google’s new algorithm, code named “Penguin” is designed to penalise over optimised websites and try to reward websites that have high quality content.

Here is what Mr Matt Cutts of Google said on the subject.

We try to make our relevance more adaptive so that people don’t do SEO, we handle that and then we also start to look at the people who sort of abuse it, whether they put too many keywords on the page or whether they exchange way too many links or whatever they’re doing to sort of go beyond what a person would expect in a particular area and so that is something where we continue to pay attention and continue to work on it and it is an active area where we’ve got several engineers on my team working on that right now.

So, Dont:

  • Hide text or links in your web pages.
  • Cloak or stick in redirects to try to trick people to your pages.
  • Send automated queries to Google.
  • Load lots of useless pages with irrelevant keywords.
  • Do the scatter gun approach by building multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with all the same content.

And please do:

  • Fire that ‘Internet Marketeer / SEO specialist’ who is promising you something out of nothing whilst talking to you in his flash car on his bluetooth headset.
  • Hire some creative people to put amazing stuff on your website, so, people like going on it.

So what is wrong with over optimised sites and why is google all upset with them?

Well the problem with them is when you search for something you actually want to find, you get a load of “highly optimised” but, irrelevant pages, which is wasting your time, electricity and bandwidth. Or the same sites with the same versions keep coming up and you get a narrow picture. Google knows the customer is usually right and if they stop showing us what we are looking for we will find someone who will show us and companies will pay them loads of money for advertising instead.


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