Cartoon penguin

In April of 2012, Google released an algorithm update, dubbed Penguin, that affected a small chunk of websites. Businesses with sites that were over-optimized and used artificial link building techniques were penalized in the search results for engaging in activities that go against Google’s guidelines.

Penguin can be summed up as follows: websites that were trying to artificially appear more well-liked or well-respected than they actually were may have been negatively affected by this update.

Here’s a good rule of thumb when making sure your site is search-friendly: does it read in a way that makes sense to actual humans? Are you working to build your site’s authority by creating interesting and relevant material that people will want to share?

If you’re doing those two things, then keep on! Google will continue to penalize unnatural link profiles and keyword stuffing, so don’t be tempted to go that route, even if it seems easier.