October 30, 2014

How I Can Trust You: Penguin

By Lewis J.

Last week, I explained the trust factors in Google’s Pigeon algorithm. Now I want to discuss Google’s Penguin algorithm. Released in 2012, Penguin was designed to eliminate spam sites from Google’s web index, specifically sites using keyword stuffing and link schemes. 

Keyword stuffing is a black hat SEO strategy used by spammers whereby a large number of unnecessary or irrelevant keywords are added to a site’s homepage in order to trick Google into including it in search results unrelated to the site’s content. These additional keywords are often camouflaged by altering their color to match the page background. In this way, a disreputable loan company might be able to include its site in a search for bicycles or hamburgers.

Link schemes are another black hat strategy, related to keyword stuffing. They are designed to boost a site’s ranking artificially by increasing the number of links being directed at a targeted website. Links, both inbound and outbound, are one of the criteria Google uses to determine a site’s page ranking. Google’s web crawlers treat links to your site as a vote of confidence from the web community. The more links you have, the higher your ranking will be. Often, spammers will boost their rankings by creating false webpages that contain links back to their targeted site. It’s not uncommon for spammers to stuff these dummy sites with relevant keywords as well. If Google perceives a site as relevant to yours, it weighs those links more heavily. Other strategies include link exchanges (where two parties agree to create multiple links to each other’s sites), link generating bots, and creating blogs with articles full of unnecessary links to a target website. Visit Google to see their full list of link schemes.

Not only will links created with these sorts of schemes damage your trust ranking, but links from sites that use them are also damaging. If you have any of these untrustworthy links to your website, remove them or disavow them. If you are uncertain what links are considered spam and which are not, your best solution is to contact a reputable SEO company, like eGumball Inc. They can help you manage your site and generate trustworthy links that will improve your Google ranking.

Have more questions about links or rankings? Leave them in the comments!

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