Does the month of May mean manual actions?
Yesterday morning, Search Engine Roundtable’s Barry Schwartz reported numerous Google penalty distributions to various websites. The manual actions were distributed to websites showing “thin content with little or no added value.”
He reports that Google targeted a content network and “slapped” many participating sites with Google penalties.
Schwartz also cites a large thread from Black Hat World (BHW) featuring a lengthy discussion between forum users affected by the Google penalties. Many BHW users are baffled by the manual actions’ reasoning of “thin” content, some stating that their website content is composed solely of “unique” and “handwritten” articles.
But that’s not the only strange occurrence. Some commenters on Search Engine Roundtable and Black Hat World have stated that, although they have been hit with a Google penalty, they have not seen a decrease in rankings. At the end of the blog, Schwartz speculates if this is a “manual action bug.”
With so much unsure as to why these Google penalties happened, how can you ensure the safety of your website?
Is Your Website in Danger of a Google Penalty?
First, Let’s assess the takeaway information from Barry Schwartz’s article.
- A reaffirmation of quality content.
If you’ve been reading our blog, this news should be no big surprise. Since the Panda update, Google has shown an increasing interest in rewarding sites with something helpful to say while punishing sites that do not have Google penalty distributions. This latest attack on “thin content” with “no added value” is the newest group of casualties in Google’s ongoing war for a better user experience.
- A warning against content networks, private blog networks, article farms, etc.
An SEO definition of content networks: Content networks are syndicated networks of websites containing content and advertising to generate leads. Google has taken action against content and private blog networks (PBNs) in the past, but this is the first evidence of a follow-up effort we’ve seen in many months.
With these in mind, it’s easy to see whether your site is in danger of a Google penalty. Ask yourself: 1) “Is my website’s content useful to my readers and customers?” and 2) “Am I using a content network?”
We’re guessing you’ll be able to tell the answers to these pretty quickly. Now the question is: Where do you go from here? And how can you avoid Google penalties?
Are you scared of Google Penalties? Use Proven SEO Practices!
Maybe all this talk of “black hat” and “manual action” makes your head spin. Perhaps you’re just the average business owner trying to run his online site the best he can. Well, even if you don’t know much about SEO, you can still avoid getting hit with a Google penalty.
Now more than ever is the time to beef up your content or get led to the slaughter. The great Google machine is hungry; anything less than quality content has a high chance of being penalized. Just take it from one commenter who states, “If you do ANYTHING to manipulate [Google’s crawlers], Google will hunt you down.”
Hunting down great content, however, can be more complex than it looks. But if you’re already getting SEO services from your SEO company, you know where to get quality content written for your website. They can even help you recover from Google penalty surprises like the ones seen over the weekend.
We at SEO Inc. know the proven practices to help you recover from and avoid Google penalties altogether. Whether your website suffers from an algorithm change or a hard-hitting Google penalty, we’ll work to ensure you get right back to business.
Are you worried about the recent manual action scare? Do you need to ensure your site doesn’t have a Google penalty, or do you need a solution if you did get one? We’re only a call away.