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Google’s Penguin Update Impacts Keywords

How has the Penguin update changed keyword research and use?

On April 24, Google released an updated algorithm with the codename Penguin. The purposes of this update are to reward websites with quality content aimed at good user experiences and penalize sites practicing black hat tactics with nefarious link profiles. Since the release of Penguin, several articles about the impacts of Google’s changes have circulated the Internet. Many website owners fear that their rankings will drop, but the key to success remains the same: providing quality, unique content for users.

Throughout the history of SEO, business owners have placed a high emphasis on keyword density and placement. The importance of these factors has changed with the new updates because Google is trying to eliminate sites with keyword stuffing and link spamming from search results. It is still beneficial to place your main keyword in the titles and beginning of articles, but keyword diversity is also important. Modifications of keywords and related phrases are good to use throughout content because they sound more natural while promoting high quality articles. Crawlers still search sites for keywords, but an over-abundance of repeated phrases will raise a red flag to Google and cause those pages’ rankings to drop.

The weighing of anchor text works in a similar fashion. The main focus of Penguin is to determine the relevance and quality of websites based on their link profiles, and the anchor text plays a large role in the algorithm’s methods. Google crawls through the displayed text of hyperlinks in order to gauge the relevance of linked pages. Before Penguin, some businesses took advantage of this algorithm by spamming links on blogs, forums and comment pages to improve their rankings. Google hopes to discourage this tactic and improve search results for users by penalizing websites that use matching keywords for multiple links. The majority of websites affected by the update maintained the same keywords for their anchor text in at least 65 percent of their inbound links.

The changes to the way Google analyzes anchor text do not limit a website’s potential for link building. The best post-Penguin method is to build a natural backlink profile with diversity in the anchor text. Using keyword variations in your anchor text will yield better results. When commenting on other sites and blogs, make sure that your keywords are relevant to the content while linking to high-quality pages. Google places negative weight on websites engaging in practices that resemble link spam, so it is best to attract natural links by producing informative, unique content that is worth sharing.

Google’s focus has always been on providing high quality and relevant results for search engine users, and Penguin aims to penalize sites that take advantage of the algorithm’s loopholes. Websites that satisfy desires for informative and helpful content will be rewarded through higher rankings on organic search results. Keywords are good in moderation, and the bottom line is unique content that meets or exceeds expectations.

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