On April 24, 2012, Google announced an algorithm update termed as the Google Penguin with the aim of targeting web spam tactics which includes SEO over optimization, black-hat technique, keyword stuffing, and link schemes.
The sixth release of the Penguin update or Penguin 3.0 was confirmed on October 17, 2014 and on December 1, 2014 Google confirmed that Penguin 3.0 is still in the process of rolling out. It has impacted less than 1% English queries.
It’s an uphill task if your website has been hit by the Penguin Algorithm; however, following are the few things that you need to check with immediate effect to gradually regain your lost traffic.
Penalties under Penguin are page-specific, keyword-specific penalizing the tactics that violates search engine ranking. Hence, locating the exact link and the keyword that is affected is very important for the diagnosis and recovery.
After the identification of all the bad links which includes directly paid links, links on articles/directories, links with spammed anchor texts etc., it is necessary to download, remove and disavow the penalized links.
Once you have removed all the bad links, there is hardly anything that you can do but wait for Google to crawl and identify the changes. The time period for this activity depends on the frequency of the crawler and on the amount of links you have removed.
It is very important to learn from such mistakes and rethink your content strategy. Building quality content will help your website to pull the links that you were earlier pushing for, through spam tactics.
There is no “simple and easy” way of recovering from a Google algorithm penalty but with proper analysis and patience you can pull back your lost website traffic. As regular refreshes are carried out on the Penguin update, it is a great opportunity right now to reassess your website even if you are not penalized yet and also to safeguard against future Google updates.