The Google Panda and Penguin updates were designed to penalise low quality websites and reward those who had valuable content associated with them. They have hit content farms hard and many sites have found themselves on the ground; but those who deal in Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) techniques also need to know about a post-Penguin world or they could be finding themselves in a very difficult position.
Keyword Stuffing is Dead
Any good SEO will know that you shouldn’t be stuffing keywords into your text, but there were many who carried out this technique with moderate success.
Previously, keyword stuffing was something that was considered to be “illegal” by Google, but it was very loosely enforced. Now it’s much stricter so writers and web masters need to be more careful about how they use keywords on their websites. If the site is flagged then it will tumble down the rankings.
Links to other websites was one of the most common SEO techniques. If the site was linked to a reputable website then it increased the authenticity of the content. However, now that’s all changed. The principle remains the same, but now the links must be relevant. Before these updates it was possible to just put in any old link to any old website and that would be enough. This meant that no thought had to be put into the link and it could have been completely irrelevant.
Writers and webmasters now will have to make sure these links are relevant. It’s currently unknown what signals are used by Google to detect improper linking, but the reality is that if the links aren’t relevant then the website will drop down the rankings.
The Panda update was so monumental and so damaging to millions of sites due to the fact that it was the first time Google actively checked the quality of a web page. If a site is considered to be a place that has no or little value to a reader then the site is taken down on Google’s ranking system. This means that the site must be considered to be high quality. Subsequently it’s not enough to just spend time marketing oneself anymore. Now a page has to be both informational and promotional if a site is going to prosper under Google’s new regime.
In short, the post-Penguin world that Google has created has almost completely eliminated the use of the so-called black hat SEO techniques and now webmasters will see fit to seriously think about what they put on their websites.