Writing for Google Panda and Penguin

December 21, 2012

Search engine optimization is transforming Google introduced the Panda and Penguin changes. These despair. You can still get your content up in the ranks. But, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first thing is that SEO writers must make articles and web page content human oriented instead of keyword driven. In the pasttwo initiatives changed the way Google processes content for SEO purposes. They made the search engine results more organic and not strictly keyword based. This is bringing better content to the surface and leaving overloaded keyword articles in the dust. But, website owners do not need to , internet marketers drove the idea of keyword rich articles and web pages. With the Panda and Penguin changes to Google, that concept is shifting. Google searches the contents of a web page for human quality content instead of looking just for keyword enriched pages. Instead of looking for keywords used multiple times, Google is using more organic search methods that combine human readable content with quality linking.

Another thing to consider is keep keyword content to a minimum. As stated before, Google is doing away with ranking keyword rich content high. Instead, they are looking for pages that have the keyword used in an organic way. For example, instead of using a keyword like “weight loss pills” 3-4 times in a paragraph, Google is searching for the pages that discuss weight loss pills in a natural way. They will rank a similar page with only 2-3 mentions of the keyword higher than a keyword stuffed one with 10-15 mentions.

Inserting links requires choosing quality over quantity. In the past, adding links to different articles meant you were giving your web page a boost. However, that is another change SEO writers will need to handle. Google checks the quality of the link instead of just counting how many you have. Linking back once or twice to quality content will give you a higher ranking than adding a dozen links to questionable content.

Press releases have their own challenges in the world after Panda and Penguin. In the recent past, every company would issue a press release through their marketing strategy. They would get the same copy put on multiple websites with links back to their site. That strategy is not going to work well now.

Quality sourcing is paramount for press releases post Panda and Penguin. In the past, using multiple sources of any quality was acceptable for releasing press releases. However, that is past. Google is considering where these releases are coming from in their ranking criteria. The press release should come through a true newswire service, not a marketing source. That will give it higher ranking naturally.

Distributing the same press release to multiple sources can backfire. That means the same content is getting spread around the Internet. Copied content will bring down any webpage’s ranking. A press release should come out in various versions to keep this from happening. To do this, a smart SEO writer will bring out 3-4 versions, each 20-30% unique. That will bring the press release content up in ranking.

SEO is not dead in the Google world after implementation of Panda and Penguin. However, the rules have changed a bit. SEO writers and internet marketers will need to keep this in mind.



Author: Sam Adkin’s latest published article is a brief history of online merchant accounts at Bettermerchantaccounts.com

  • Veronica @ Pelican on Money December 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Thanks for the tips Sam! I’ve always found mixed results when I write for search engines and for people. For example, my post on gift card ideas was written for search engines with keyword targeting and does pretty good in rankings but not so many people care about it. On the other hand, other more emotional and thought-provoking posts do better with people but not so much with Google. I try to have a balance of both.

    • Marissa December 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      I have exactly one post that does well in the ranking and people stick around and read it.

  • DC @ Young Adult Money December 21, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Thanks for the tips! I am trying to get better at SEO, so I appreciate it. I would like to increase my Google traffic over the course of the next year.

    • Marissa December 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      That’s my goal, too.

  • John S @ Frugal Rules December 21, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Thanks for the tips. I too am trying to improve my SEO and am learning that there’s a balance to be had. Not everything needs to be optimized. While the optimization does help I think that in the long run quality content is what’s going to help you stand apart.

    • Veronica @ Pelican on Money December 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm


    • Marissa December 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      Have you looked at scribe SEO?

  • Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity December 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Here’s the $1m question: what good is it to rank highly if you suck at writing, have no grasp on grammar, no original thoughts, and are flat out boring as all hell? Sure you’ll see some traffic, but as soon as those people hit your page and can’t make it through a few sentences of gibberish, they will be gone, never to come back. That is why all of the updates have been occurring, and what those who design the search algorithms are starting to gain a better understanding of.

    I’m no expert on SEO, SEM, or anything else, but I do know one thing…people don’t want to waste their time, and by focusing on the keywords and metrics more than the content and the way you write it will cause people to bounce off of your pages very quickly. Just like in everyday life, if no one can understand what the heck you are saying no one will bother talking to you–in this case if you don’t make sense, or don’t have anything interesting/valuable to say people will just leave, never to return.

    • Marissa December 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Ahem, guest post 🙂

      • Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity December 21, 2012 at 3:29 pm

        That wasn’t a targeted comment, it was made to a whole lot of bloggers who need to heave that said to them :-p

        • Marissa December 21, 2012 at 3:34 pm

          I know, but I wanted to point out that this is a guest post. 🙂

  • Rod J. Rogers (@FreeAgentRogers) December 23, 2012 at 12:13 am

    A a new blogger, I’ll have to learn to write for search engines and for people. A balance of both is necessary to allow for Google changes; You can’t be dependent on SEO.

  • KK@Student Debt Survivor December 24, 2012 at 9:55 am

    I probably should be paying more attention to SEO. For now I’m just writing naturally.

  • Mandy @ MoneyMasterMom December 24, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Content is key, write well, and write what you love and the people/panda/penguin will follow. That’s my approach. I’ll let you know in a year if it worked out! 🙂