With the introduction of Google’s Penguin update, lots of website owners and webmasters have become uncertain about the upcoming status and rankings of their websites.
There are differing opinions about the purpose of the algorithm update. It has also caused a stir among many especially those who are not very familiar of Google’s quality guidelines.
The Penguin update is an update of Google’s search algorithm, but it is a drive to penalize erring websites which apply web spam and other black hat or unethical techniques. The update is actually meant to enforce and uphold the search engine’s standards of quality content.
This article is intended to let you know Google’s quality guidelines. This can help to give you an idea whether your site is not in conformance with it so that you can plan and execute your next move.
But if you find that your site adheres to those guidelines, just sit back and relax, for your site is free from the Penguin update.
Here is a reprint of Google’s quality guidelines for your information:
Quality Guidelines – Basic Principles
1. Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users, which is commonly referred to as “cloaking.”
2. Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
3. Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
4. Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our Terms of Service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.
Quality guidelines – specific guidelines
– Avoid hidden text or hidden links.
– Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.
– Don’t send automated queries to Google.
– Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.
– Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
– Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.
– Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.
– If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.
Note: If you determine that your site doesn’t meet these guidelines, you can modify your site so that it does and then submit your site for reconsideration.