SEO DOs and DON'Ts since Penguin and Panda

Discussion in 'Search Engine Optimization (SEO)' started by getagrip, Dec 24, 2012.

  1. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

    Just thought I'd get a thread going about SEO as it relates to the Penguin and Panda updates. What I do know is that what may have worked 2 years ago may be irrelevant now, so I thought it would be useful to get a thread going about some DOs and DON'Ts for SEO that are relevant since the Google changes. From the little bit of research I've done on the subject, here are some things that may help search engine rankings:


    1. As usual, create unique content, which has always been important, but now more than ever.

    2. Get backlinks from high quality / high PR sites.

    3. Use anchor text when possible for specific keywords.

    4. Put keywords behind images


    1. Avoid duplicate content at all costs.

    2. Avoid keyword stuffing when possible.

    3. Avoid backlinks from poor quality /low PR sites.

    This is definitely NOT my area of expertise, so please feel free to chime in. As I was writing the things above, I realized I need to do a better job at practicing what I preach in some areas, so it looks like I've got some work to do! :notworthy:
  2. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Varying your anchor text is extremely vital. Try to make it look natural by varying your anchor text using related keywords or sometimes even no keywords at all - Check out this site.
  3. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

  4. Vishal P. Rao

    Vishal P. Rao Administrator Staff Member

    Merry Christmas to you too Keith :)
  5. happywife

    happywife Gold Member

    That's a good start, Keith, and upon reflection, nothing has really changed with the fundamentals. Your list has always been the right thing to do. The changing of the anchor text that Vishal mentioned is probably the most relevant change that would apply to people who have always made the effort to build their web business without manipulation.

    I think a lot of the problems that we've had in recent years are the result of so many people trying to take shortcuts that have manipulated the system (with good results in the short run). Article spinning, massive link building campaigns, keyword stuffing, link wheels, etc., have skewed the search results in such a way that changes were inevitable. Unfortunately, a lot of good/innocent websites were caught up in the SEO housekeeping and only time and perseverance will allow the cream to rise to the top again. ;)

    It's true that when we take a good hard look at our work we can see where we may have gotten a bit lazy in the quality of our efforts and where we can make improvements. As I've gone over my own sites (still in the process), it's startling to see sometimes where I "threw up a page" without really making sure it was first rate. A page by page site review gives you the opportunity to improve upon what you've done and provide even greater value to your visitors. In the long run, I think that's what will make the most difference in the end.

    Blessings for the new year,
  6. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

    Thanks Angie!

    There is one other thing I'm curious about that I didn't mention above: keyword tags. For example, I might add the following tags to this post if it were on my own website I created with Wordpress:

    search engine optimization
    Google Panda
    Google Penguin

    Does anyone know how keyword tags were effected by the Panda and Penguin updates? For my Wordpress built websites, I'm planning on doing keyword research and then adding in anchor links using those keywords (which is what I'm most guilty of not doing LOL), but I was wondering if it would be overkill to also add in keyword tags. On a related note, I'm kind of wondering if its also overkill to use permalinks that are the same as your title to a specific webpage, for example:

    If your website title for a specific page is:

    "SEO for people who are dumb"

    Your website permalink structure might look like this:

    For those who don't know, you can use the above structure in Wordpress by changing your permalink settings to:


    Doing so automatically does this for you on each new post you make, but I'm now wondering if this is overkill, since you are repeating what is already in your title.

    One thought I do have about using keyword tags assuming keyword tags turns out to still be a good thing - and I can see how this could be potentially a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it - is to add keyword tags that DON'T occur in your content. Using this strategy for this post, if I was using keyword tags, I might add in the following keywords tags that you don't see anywhere in this post:

    search engine optimization google penguin
    wordpress search engine optimization
    search engine optimization keyword tags

    Again, I'm not sure if this is a good or bad strategy, so feel free to enlighten me!

    Please note I'm NOT referring to keywords used in meta tags. Rather, I'm referring to keyword tags that are a on visible part of your page, but not part of your content, such as in the body of an article.
  7. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    It seems changing it could be detrimental, might look like obvious gaming in google's eyes.
    One thing I noticed more of in recent searches is the title matching the query ranking higher.
    A page title, permalink, and tags that match seems to be the new preference in my experience.
    It forces you to give more thought to the page name to make it unique and relevant.
    Content that is relevant to the title and not keyword stuffed is seeing better results.
    Most of my recent top keywords are only in the title and not in the article body.
    (although a few main keywords are only in the content and not the title)
    AWStats rocks when it comes to monitoring keyword searches.
  8. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

    I see what you are saying about wanting the keyword tags matching exactly. I suppose Google might see using tags that aren't already on your page simlar to how they view keyword stuffing. Then again, it kind of makes sense to use tags that relate to the keywords on your website that don't quite fit right with your content, but I really don't know if Google penalizes you for that. Since we don't know for sure what the answer is, right now the safest bet is to spend time doing keyword research, then using anchor text for those keywords within your content.

    I really like AWStats. Just curious, are you seeing any negative SEO from Russian (.ru) sites under "Recent Came From". I've been seeing that a lot lately. I don't think its effected my rankings too much, but it bugs me. I thought it might be spam directed only at my Wordpress sites, but its pretty much across the board. I did see that Google has a Webmaster Tool that you can use to "dissavow" bad quality sites that are linking into you, but their blog says that you only need to worry about this if you have been blacklisted. Anyway, the .ru sites seem to be becoming a big nuissance lately! (n)
  9. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    Most .ru and .de "visits" I see are spam attackers.
    Good plugins block them from posting but not from trying.
    I use IP blocking for some of them that show up repeatedly.
    If you look at recent visits it shows what files they accessed.
    Usually it will be a login script they are trying to defeat.
    Bad Behavior will block at lot of those attempts.
    IP blocking will keep them from trying at all.
    You can block a range instead of a single IP.
    The IP may vary but usually fit in a range.
    (such at for example)
  10. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

    Just realized "Recent Came From" is a term not used in AWStats. For those who have AWStats and want to look at this, its actually under "Referring Sites".
  11. payment proof

    payment proof Well-Known Member

    I agree so much that I made a pos about this back in June. :)

    As always, great post getagrip. :)
  12. Jason Roy

    Jason Roy New Member

    Well you certainly cant use same anchor text everywhere after penguin and you obviously cant submit duplicate or spun article in hundreds of directories after Panda.Besides this site's cant be over optimized like lots of keywords in title or meta description have to be avoided to keep your site safe.You cant build backlinks only on do follow site,have to combine it with no follow links too.Have to combine with low page rank sites too besides high PR links.
  13. gowriter

    gowriter Member

  14. Aside from Panda and Penguin, there was an update called EMD where Matt Cutts of Google said that it is just a minor update. However, there are lots of website were remove in search engine results.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of EMD

    Pros of an EMD

    Great for a startup to gather some relevant longtail traffic
    Easier to get targeted anchor text
    Easier to get social mentions with keywords
    Can dominate a single niche (IE: “Category Killer”)
    Good for targeting variations in the long tail keyword phrase set
    Brand mentions and keyword mentions become one in the same
    They can be very effective for generic commercial intent queries
    They can be very effective in local search
    Great way to build startup “bootstrapper” traction
    Can be an effective strategy with a well built microsite to target a single niche.
    Some businesses have very limited keyword sets – this is a decent approach in these areas.

    Cons of an EMD

    Limits future brand expansion
    Can create “brand confusion”
    You don’t get the same “credit” for brand mentions.
    Your brand can come off as “generic”
    It can be harder to claim social media profiles
    It can be more difficult to associate mentions with your brand
    Hatorade on your site quality if you outrank competitors
    More chance of “over-optimization” (seriously, does anyone else hate this phrase as much as I do?)
    There are a limited amount of them
    They can be very expensive
    The effectiveness of the advantages are slowly being neutralized
  15. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    EMD = Exact Match Domain
    It was just too easy to rank high with a keyword domain name.
    Now matching phrases should outrank a keyword in the URL.
  16. getagrip

    getagrip Gold Member

    After doing some keyword research and then revamping all of the page/post titles on one of my mountain bike sites (which I did on December 25th), I'm happy to report that in just about every case, I was able to get on the first page of the Google, and in many cases, the number one spot for searches using quotes. My goal was to use keywords with less than 400 optimized results to be competitive since my website is relatively new. Google took about a week to re-index the site in their search results after I made my changes.

    The only drawback was that I was not anywhere near the first page when quotes were not used. I have not added anchor text yet, so I'm going to do a test by first adding in anchor text to each post for that specific keyword, and see if the results change after a 10 days. Then I'm going to get some backlinks, wait 10 more days, and see if the results change after that. Anyway, its fun to test things out!
  17. jamess

    jamess Member

    Yes, I think title related contents are doing good in search result. But EMD( Exact Match Domain) is not effective properly yet I think it will take time..

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