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Understanding Webspam or Make Friends With Pandas And Penguins

Black Hat SeoThe days of manipulating search engine page rankings with garbage websites are gone.  Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithms focus on penalizing and downgrading Webspam websites that have unnaturally high page rankings based on poor and repetitive content and other questionable SEO practices. Panda and Penguin algorithm updates are happening more and more often and some days both can be updated a couple of times per day.  To succeed in driving traffic to your website, you need to keep your website out of the Webspam category while providing relevant and timely content.

Defining Webspam

Webspam is a practice that for many years allowed websites to manipulate search engines to drive traffic to their site.  These sites are designed specifically to spam Google and other search engines in order to raise page rankings, albeit, artificially.  These practices include cloaking, keyword stuffing, and other tactics known as “black hat SEO”.  What businesses fail to understand is that these practices, in the long run, do more harm than good.  When a potential customer finds you through this practice, it is extraordinarily difficult to convert them from a visitor to a buyer and develop an ongoing relationship.  Today, the algorithms are designed to weed through the websites that are employing “black hat SEO” practices and downgrade their page rankings for the purpose of raising the quality of information in search engine page rankings.

 

Google’s Panda

Panda algorithms search for websites that have poor quality, duplicative, and repetitive content.  Websites, including content farms, and others that specialize in creating tens of thousands of pages of worthless content are now considered Webspam by most search engine algorithms.  For nearly two years since the first Panda run in February 2011, website owners have had to refocus their SEO strategies and revamp websites without utilizing manipulative black hat tactics in order to rank high in search engine findings.

Google’s Penguin

Google PenguinPenguin algorithms are different.  While Panda focuses on the content of websites, Penguin focuses on links and link profiles.  Link building has always been a focus for website owners seeking to raise their page rankings, however, just as there are individuals that seek out black hat SEO tactics, there are those that manipulate back links to raise page rankings. Penguin targets these low-quality link profiles and lowers the page rankings based on real and high-quality links.

How To Keep Ahead Of Panda And Penguin

First, abandon your old practices that included any of the above mentioned black hat tactics.  These simply do not work any longer, and in fact, cause your website to be deemed as Webspam.  Today, you need a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes high-quality content for Panda, and high-quality links for Penguin.  Think “keyword optimization” not “keyword stuffing”.  Think “high-quality relevant links” not “link to everything.”  Raising your page rankings with Google and other search engines does require time, effort, and patience.  Remember, you are building an online persona, reputation, and looking for new customers that choose you.  When you engage potential customers and provide them with timely and relevant information, your linking efforts will be rewarded.  Organic linking that comes from individuals that like what you have to say or offer so much, that they want everyone they do business with to know it as well.

Stay away from manipulative SEO tactics and instead focus your efforts and resources on creating high quality content for visitors to your website. Blogs, white papers, product reviews, industry news and analysis, and press releases are a great way to build high-quality content.  Encourage visitors and customers to comment and share the information you provide and build a relationship with the community.  This leads to the invaluable organic links that will raise your page ranking.  The next time you do a search and you find the results are relevant to you, hug a panda and a penguin and be thankful that they are doing their job and helping you find relevant, high-quality websites.

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