The Not so Big and Not so Bad Penguin Update

Last Tuesday Google implemented the Penguin update. This has been swirling around the SEO industry in the past week. Mostly, the complaints are coming from black or grey hat website owners. Shocker – Google penalizing those that are trying to manipulate the search engines.

Matt Cutts made a comment at SXSW this year that had everybody stressing out. It was about some sort of “over optimization” penalty. Evidently, this is it.

This is a great lesson to learn, so the sooner you drill it into your head the better: the only way to have long term results with the SERPS is to focus on the user experience of your site. Why? Because that is what matters to Google.

The penguin update (don’t you love the black/white imagery?) is about spam. When you utilize spammy behavior in your site or in your content you’ll have issues with Google.

The issue arises with what exactly is considered spam or spammy? The litmus test is the user experience.

If you read a blog post that is SEO optimized for the words “content marketing” but you don’t pick up on the repetition of that phrase because it is only used appropriately, you are good. If the term “content marketing” starts to pop out at you because it disrupts the flow of the message – that is spam.

If you read the same thing over and over again on the same site, that doesn’t help you. It’s annoying and it is spam.

If you read the same blog posts all over the place on different sites but you can’t tell where it came from originally? That’s spam.

If you notice that a site has lots of odd backlinks, that’s spam. For example, let’s say you notice a site that sells silverware but has a backlink to a plumbing business. Or vice versa – that’s spamtastic.

And lastly you find yourself lost among “just okay” type of content. Where the writers obviously looked at the top 5 results for a term and smashed it together into a grammatically correct, technically unique but ultimately useless piece of content. That’s spam.

When your site does nothing but add to the ever growing noise of the internet – it’s spam.

And *finally* Google is coming for you!

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Amie Marse is the founder of Content Equals Money. She lives in Lexington, KY with her two dogs: Billie and Lily. She has been writing content for her web based clients since 2005. She launched Content Equals Money in Oct of 2010, home of conversion focused content writing services. She loves to chat about small business development and how to make content equal money!

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