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Penguin Update Targets Link Schemes and Low-Quality Content

Google’s much anticipated “over-optimization” algorithm update has been released. It was originally thought this new update would be called “Venice.” But in keeping the tradition of other updates that were named for animals (…think Panda), the search giant named this update “Penguin.”

We did have some forewarning this update was coming. As we discussed a little over a month ago, Google’s spam chief Matt Cutts was asked at the SXSW Conference what Google was doing about “overly-optimized” sites. Although it isn’t customary for Cutts and Google to announce an update ahead of time, he went on to explain how the search giant was planning an algorithmic update to deal with this issue.

So what is overly-optimized content?

In the context of the Penguin update, this can include content stuffed with keywords, shady link building and other practices. According to a report in Search Engine News and SEO Moz, sites negatively affected by the update likely have one or more of the following:

  • Low-quality or “spun” content
  • Questionable linking practices
  • Overuse of exact-match domains
  • Aggressive use of exact-match anchor text
  • Keyword stuffing in internal/outbound links

Below is an example from ... read more

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