How to Recover from Google’s Dreaded Panda and Penguin Updates

Beat the Penguin Checklist Before You Begin

If you’ve been hit by Google’s dreaded Penguin update, or want to make sure you don’t get penalized in the future, then this checklist will help you to safely optimize your website, maximize your rankings, and gradually reclaim your traffic, sales and income.

Before you begin, there are two preliminary steps that are now critical to your online success.

Step 1: Analyze your link network
More than ever before it is important to understand where your backlinks are coming from and what keywords are used in the anchor text of these links.

Step 2: Monitor your rankings
If you are not already doing so, you need to track your rankings in the search engines for the main keywords you are targeting. The reason this is so important is that if you’re going to make changes to your site, you need to measure the impact of these changes.

Once you understand your link network and you are carefully monitoring your rankings for your main target keywords, you’ll be ready to apply the ideas contained in this checklist.

On Page Optimization Checklist
Google has described the Penguin update as a “web spam” update. Therefore it is critical that your site follow Google’s recommendation in regard to making sure your site avoids any of the practices that Google may perceive as being used by search engine spammers. This starts with making sure you have good, relevant On-Page optimization.

  1. Don’t Panic.
  2.  Don’t randomly delete web pages and contents.
  3.  Eliminate over optimization in all your page titles.
  4. Create unique Title tags and Description tags for every page
  5.  Check Google Webmaster Tools for ways to fix your HTML
  6.  Re-evaluate your internal links.
  7. Make sure your site contains the right elements
  8. Create useful links between pages on your website
  9. Optimize your site’s download speed
  10. Create a helpful 404 page
  11. Optimize your images for humans
  12. Add rel=”nofollow” to all comment links
  13. Add a social dimension
  14. Focus on keeping people on your site

Off Page Optimization Checklist
Perhaps the biggest steps you can take to recover from a Google Penguin penalty or to ensure that you avoid a future penalty is to address your site’s Off-Page optimization. For years Google has been telling Webmasters that your links can’t hurt your rankings. At best, poor quality or questionable links to your website would simply be ignored. This was to prevent your competition trying to “de-optimize” your site by building a whole lot of spammy links to your site. However, all that has changed with Penguin. For the first time in Google’s history you can be penalized by having an “over-optimized” link-network. While it’s true that a single link may not be able to harm your site – certainly the wrong mix or “pattern” of links to your site definitely can penalize or even knock your site out of the search engines. As off-page links are much more difficult to control than on-page links – this represents a real challenge to SEOs who are stuck with existing link networks that cross Penguin’s over optimization threshold.

To avoid these penalties, we highly recommend that you follow the items in the following “Off-Page” SEO Optimization Checklist:

  1.  Update links from sites you own
  2. Update links on sites you don’t own where possible
  3. Eliminate links from de-indexed sites
  4. Eliminate links from low quality content syndication networks
  5. Use high quality link networks to balance your link ratios
  6. Manually clean up your link network or use Google disavow tool smartly
  7. Create a diverse Link Network
  8. Check up on third-party SEO service
  9. Submit a Reconsideration Request to Google


Ashwani has been actively involved in SEO services since 2005. His expertise and distinctive work approaches have made him one of the most experienced and trusted SEO experts in the industry. He is a certified SEO and Google Ads professional. He also has strong business development skills in advanced SEO, PPC, and digital marketing strategies.


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