Webmasters and SEO staff who feel wrongly penalised by the keyword stuffing Penguin update can now report their concerns to Google.
Engineer Matt Cutts has tweeted a link for webmasters to flag problems with the Penguin search engine update – accepting that some genuine, honest sites have been negatively affected by the algorithm tweak.
The post gives people the chance to flag sites which are now ranking well, despite being full of nasty spam, as well as providing a feedback form for those who felt their site suffered unfairly after the launch.
Google search engine updates are released regularly to improve search results for users. That involves a series of complex algorithm changes designed to weed out those who use unfair tactics to manipulate the search rankings.
The latest tweak, Penguin, has directly targeted sites utilising keyword stuffing strategies. The ramifications for Internet marketing are clear: focus on natural, quality content.
Webspam sites usually have huge paragraphs of random keywords, odd hyperlinks jammed into unrelated content, or hidden text boxes full of key phrases.
Google recognises that many ‘white hat’, genuine SEOs can struggle to rank against these webspam sites – so Penguin was designed to level the playing field. It was also supposed to give websites who haven’t dabbled in search engine optimisation the chance to rank for their selected keywords.
Many websites reported huge Google ranking losses after Penguin launched on April 24. Three days later, Google has tweeted a link for webmasters to flag sites which they think were unfairly downranked.
The form requests a sample URL for the affected website, associated search queries, and a comments box for feedback. You can access the form here.
Everyone agrees that improving the quality of information on the Internet is a good thing. Those firms employing high-quality SEO copywriters shouldn’t have been affected by this update. Adhering to Google’s best practice guidelines for search engine optimisation minimises the chances of being negatively affected by its search engine updates.
It’s simply a question of playing fair.
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