The penguin update is yet another attempt by Google to make their search engine results a little more useful. People are always trying to find ways of manipulating the Google search engine results, and so every now and again, Google will release an update to make it harder to manipulate the results. The Penguin update was one of the published ones because it was a little bigger than most.

How Black-Hat SEO affects the results


When a person uses Black-Hat SEO, it means that they use optimization techniques that try to manipulate the Google search engine results. People who were most affected by the penguin update were the ones who were using Black-Hat SEO.

Am I going to be affected by the penguin update?

If you have noticed no ill consequences yet, then there is a good chance that you are in the clear. This is especially true if you know that most of your pages have been indexed by Google for quite a while. If you have not noticed any ill effects to your ranking on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), then you are currently safe from the penguin update. The trick is to keep it that way.

The penguin 2.0 update


This is just another fix to the current penguin update. They do it all the time for their updates as they rarely ever get it right first time. Quite often they will launch updates to remove poor quality results, but some of them slip the net. The Google administrators check the top search engine results manually and they see the ones that have slipped the net. With their input, the engineers figure out how the ones that slipped the net did it.

They then update the system again in order to catch the ones who are slipping through the net. With the penguin 2.0 update, they have simply compiled a long list of changes that they have been working on a while, and they are going to install the changes all at the same time.

Tips to help you stay on the straight and narrow 

Be careful of over optimization with checking tools and changing keywords too often. Also, be careful that your insertion of keywords is not misinterpreted as keyword stuffing. Try to make the keywords look more organic in the text.

Write your content so that it is good to read for humans. Some people create what is known as SEO text, but this is becoming less and less popular in the eyes of Google. Keep your user in mind as you are creating content, so that your text is both interesting and well written. Unique, original ideas, new and usable information are also a good thing.

More important tips to help you

Be wary of the fact that if a person feels that you have spun their content, then they can report you to Google for producing spammy content. They may have trouble pulling you up on plagiarism (although it legally is), but they will not have a problem getting you punished by Google. The truth is that Google cannot tell if you have rewritten articles from hundreds of websites unless you have been silly enough to copy them word for word. But, if a user thinks that you are not producing content that is usable and thinks you are just rewriting articles all the time, then they may report your site as being spammy. Google may then spring into action (although it takes them a long time).

Do not add too many affiliate adverts onto your website, as this does often come as standard with a website that is low quality and spammy. Be wary of adding conditions to reading the content, such as insisting that people “like” you on Facebook first. Do not install any malware on your site and be wary of your cookies, as they may be interpreted as malware if you have gone a little bit fancy with them.

Hiding pages is something that Google are often concerned about. There are some pages that it is okay to hide, such as payment and checkout pages. But, they have gotten better at finding websites that hide pages. The crawlers may not be great at reading JavaScript, and they certainly won’t index it, but they can read some of it. And the last thing you want to do is have your website red-flagged for hiding pages, inserting doorways or cloaking. The more black-hat SEO that you try, then the bigger the risk of the penguin update affecting your site.

Kate Funk is an English tutor and writer at She specializes in topics of interest to techno geeks and networking enthusiasts.