How to Survive from Google Penguin Updates?

survive from google penguin update

Google regularly comes up with variety of algorithms to give top notch experience to its users. Somehow the webmasters and most of the bloggers who are making money by driving organic traffic don’t like their updates for many reasons (they often degrade their search rankings).

In this detailed guide, we will discuss how to survive from Google penguin updates and make sure you have a website that is more user friendly.

What is Google Penguin Update?

On April 24, 2012 Google activated new ranking algorithm changes called Google Penguin update to give better user experience to its users. The main purpose of Google Penguin updates is to degrade the sites rankings in search engines that are

  • Posting unrelated (meaningless) content just to get more search engine traffic
  • Bad link building (using back hat SEO)
  • Keyword stuffing

If you are doing any of the above practices, stop doing right away. Or you will get penalized by Google penguin updates and might see huge traffic drop from search engines to your sites.

How does it impact and list of penguin updates

If you are using bad practices to build links to your sites to get more traffic, you will get penalized by Google penguin updates. Simultaneously, if you are overusing the same keywords again and again just to rank high for the specific keywords, you will get penalized by Google as it wants to show high quality results, not keyword stuff content on top of the pages.

Google Penguin updates affect approximately 3.1% of search queries in English.

Here’s the complete list of how Google penguin updates impacting the search results.

Penguin 1.0 update: April 24, 2012 (affected 3.1%)

Penguin 1.2 update: May 26, 2012 (affected around 0.1%)

Penguin 1.3 update: Oct. 5, 2012 (affected 0.3%)

Penguin 2.0 update: May 22, 2013 (affected 2.3%)

Penguin 2.1 update: Oct. 4, 2013 (affected 1%)

How to survive from Google penguin updates?

 survive from google penguin update

Avoid using black hat SEO techniques at all costs

Keyword stuffing: Avoid keyword stuffing to bring more traffic. Using the same keywords all over your page to get organic traffic, those days are gone. Instead of keyword stuffing, use relevant keywords to rank better in the search engine results.

Stop over using keyword anchor text linking back to your sites: Many bloggers use anchor text links (using their main keywords) to rank higher in the search results. But excessive keyword anchor text linking rather downgrade than help.

Duplicate content: Don’t copy others content as search engine crawlers can easily caught your sites and degrade your search results for the same keywords. Google is paying more attention to the bloggers who are using copied content or automated tools to create content. Always focus on creating top notch content.

Bad link building: Link buying from other sites or using guest blogging as a way of just link building can hurt your search rankings. Don’t get links from the same sites, try to diversify your link building sources. Focus on getting links from not only top websites, but also from the new blogs as it can genuinely show Google your site is linking by everyone in your industry.

Create link worthy content

There is a lot of junk content out there. There are millions of blogs publishing thousands of articles each and every single day. What makes your content share worthy and link worthy?

Ask yourself these questions before publishing a post.

  • Am I going to give a detailed guide on this topic or just few points?
  • What my readers want to do after reading the post?
  • Why should someone read and link to this post?

If you are really passionate about what you are writing, you will eventually deliver great stuff to your readers that attract more links, comments and shares.

So be passionate about your blogging topics. If you are not, you will never build a thriving business through online. Readership is everything, not traffic.

How to get links from other bloggers?

Before thinking about getting links from other bloggers, you should first ask yourself, why would anyone link to my sites. Here are few practices that can help you get links from others in a healthy way.

  • Start linking to other bloggers frequently (in each and every post you write). This will alone help you get more links from them in the long run.
  • Ask for others to link to your sites (Do this sparingly. Give them strong reasons why your post is link worthy. They might link to you!)
  • Make sure to optimize your blog posts for search engines (but stop using excessive keywords, you can use relevant keywords though!)
  • Build connections with other bloggers, take interviews and get in regular touch with them

Make your content social

If your content is getting shared on major sites like Facebook, twitter, Google+ etc. you will have more chances of getting search engine traffic to your blog posts.

Google is taking shares, circles and tweets into consideration while validating the quality of the posts. So always make sure to get more likes, tweets and circles on each and every blog post you write.

How to make your content social friendly?

social media is king

There’s a simple way to get more shares on your blog posts. Make it easy for your readers or users to share your posts on major social media sites like Facebook, twitter, G+ etc. Install a great social sharing plugin like Digg Digg (Read Review here).

And ask your readers to share your contents at the end of your posts. If they really liked your content, they will share your stuff without any hesitation.

Here’s Google’s Matt Cutts talking about exactly this topic:

Add nofollow tags to all the unwanted links

If you are accepting paid reviews or offering banner ads on your sites, make sure to use rel=nofollow tag to all the links. They must be avoided using nofollow links as it can hurt your site rankings with irrelevant information and linking.

Use Google Disavow link tool to remove spammy links from your sites. A Google disavow link simply means that you’re denying an external link that is pointing to your sites.


As long as you are building quality links the right way (using the above practices), you will definitely see a huge spike in your organic traffic. Avoid bad link building and stop using keyword stuffing and black hat SEO techniques to build links. Focus more on bringing readers to read, share and link to your posts. It will eventually help you get more traffic from the search engines.

What are your thoughts on Google penguin updates? Are you hit by penguin updates? How are you building links in penguin world? Please leave your comments below.


  1. vikas yadav says:

    A great article covering mostly all the factors that affect the ranking of website in the search engines. But I think that you missed an another important points i.e. image optimization. Most of the new blogger can write great content but often copied images from other blogs to their own blogs. Google penguin also affect the ranking of those blogs who have copied image on their blogs.

    Another things you need to mentioned that upto how much words an article should have?
    Because i have seen many blogs who have articles of just 200-300 words, and after that they don;t understand why Google penalized their content.
    I want to know from your@Anil, upto how much words an articles should have?

    • Vikas, I have seen large contents (More than 100 words) doing well these day compared to the 400-500 word long articles. Google is giving much weightage to the well researched content. And its very difficult to explain a well researched content in 200-300 words.

      One should try to cover most of things about a topic he/she is blogging about. And should try to answer all questions people can have about that particular topic through their contents. You should browse targeted discussion forums and Yahoo Answers type of community websites to get an idea about the kind of questions people are asking about a particular topic.

      These kind of contents will be really loved both by Google and your blog readers.

      • vikas yadav says:

        Ok, You are saying that large contents (1000+words) are doing great for getting good SERP, then why, where most of the articles under 500 words, are always ranked higher in SERP.@Anil., Tell me the reason for that, also.

        • Vikas, exceptions will always be there. Top most bloggers and celebrities can drive huge amount of traffic to their blogs with small size contents even. Their websites have really high authority in Google eyes. But for small and medium size blogs, providing well researched and long contents will be the key to success. Apart from this, you should be writing contents in a way, your blog readers are liking it and spending good amount of time while browsing your website.

  2. Nikhil says:

    Hi Anil,

    Great post on Google Penguin, Google penguin hit hard when it arrive. It affect most of the websites, even shoutmeloud also. Tips you provided are great and really useful and I will definitely implement those.
    thank you fr your great content…….. 🙂

  3. Pramod says:

    Nice article Anil, penguin and panda updates were two most prejudicial updates they released. Many bloggers were affected by it. Now onwards we have to consider related and quality links only while building backlinks to avoid any such update hit.

  4. Anirudh Anand says:

    It is very difficult to understand what is in the mind of Google. With each update, they are making significant difference in the search pattern. Thanks for the tips.

    • vikas yadav says:

      Hello@Anirudh:- Google wants that every time when a user perform search for a particular search, then Google would give the best possible answers for that query, this is the main reasons for every new Google algo updates(Panda, penguin, hummingberd etc.). Google have not any personal enemy from any blogger. To make the search result better, google update new algo.I hope you understand what I am saying.

  5. Amiti says:

    Great post. It was easy to understand even for someone that is less technical like myself.

  6. Haroon says:

    Getting lot of knowledge from your post daily.

    I was penalized on 6 December update on my education related blog due bad quality post , not due to copy paste content but due to short length post(150-200 word), But Thank God with my little effort i successful restore my traffic to same as it was before update.

  7. Shivam says:

    Definitely, some of the noteworthy points are mentioned in the article. However, as far as link building is concerned, I personally don’t think that link building is even partially dead. Yes, diversification is more than necessary in this ever changing SEO arena.

    Also, adding “nofollow” links to the unwanted links is seriously “Must Do” job for every blogger.

    Nice post and a great read!

    • Good to see you on BloggersPassion Shivam

      No doubt link building has changed a lot in the recent time. Lots of traditional link building practices seems to be backfiring in this penguin World. Now its all about getting quality links and one should forget about quantity.

      I will soon be publishing a post where I will be discussing about the link building techniques we should not follow going forward.

  8. Uday Ghulaxe says:

    Nice post anil sir. Yes now social media is going to be big impact on the the blog traffic. Yes according to matt cutts google plus and other social media like twitter and facebook are countable in the ranking factor of the website . Thanks for sharing such a nice post sir

  9. Anchit Shethia says:

    I never understood if I am affected by any of the Google updates because I get my 80% of traffic from Social media and direct visits and only 20% from Google.
    But I will keep the tips in mind before hitting with it.

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