Understanding Penguin – White Belt Training
Welcome Grasshopper and congratulations on taking the first step toward your black belt in Killer Whale style SEO. Killer Whale style is a white hat SEO penguin analysis that consists 4 parts: Understanding, Audit and Analysis, Final Analysis and Clean-up, and Moving Forward. Each of these four parts will be explained by me, your sensei, in order to guide you in defeating Google’s infamous Penguin Penalty. In this first lesson, you will earn your white belt by completing the Understanding phase. Each lesson in this sequence earns you a new belt and new set of tactics to battle the mighty Penguin. But first, you must understand what you are up against – only then will you be unstoppable.
Sensei, What Is The Penguin Update?
Well Grasshopper, Penguin is a series of updates to the Google algorithm that focus on ensuring quality search results by targeting and penalizing sites that engage in black hat or spammy link building tactics. These tactics include the following practices:
-High Anchor Text Density
-Massive Numbers of Low Quality Links
-Unnatural Link Velocity
-Unnatural Home to Deep Link Ratios
Penguin 1.0 was released in April of 2012 and took down thousands of sites. This version of Penguin was the second hit in a two-punch combo with Google’s Panda update being the first. Panda primarily focused on “On-Page” Optimizations while Penguin tackled “Off Page”. It was essentially a refinement of the PageRank formula which shifted focus from high quantity link profiles to high quality link profiles.
Why yes Grasshopper, there are two main Penguin Penalty types: Algorithmic and Manual. The algorithmic penalty means that your site was caught in the Penguin filter which means that you must wait for the algorithm to notice that you have audited and cleaned up your link profile. There are a few varieties of manual spam actions such as unnatural links from your site, unnatural links to your site, and impact links.
An “unnatural links from your site” warning from Google indicates that your site has been flagged as a site that uses black hat SEO practices to link to other sites. In this case you need to follow the lessons and apply the information to your outgoing links.
The other two manual actions involve spammy links going to your site. This is not something you want attached to you. “Unnatural links to your site” is a sitewide penalty and can be much more difficult to recover from than “impact links”, which means only certain pages on your site are penalized.
Manual penalties are widely considered to be more difficult to correct than algorithmic penalties as someone on the Google spam team needs to review and revoke the manual penalty. As part of the manual penalty process, you will have to submit a “request for review” or reinclusion letter before the Spam Team will release you from the grips of the mighty Penguin.
Congratulations grasshopper, you now have an understanding of Penguin and what it means to have a Penguin penalty. You have completed your first lesson and I now award you your white belt in Killer Whale style SEO. Stay tuned forLesson 2, which will cover Audit and Analysis and will guide you through the first half of your battle against the Penguin.