In April of 2012, the Google Penguin update went live as an effective means of reducing unnatural link building as a search optimization tool. This had a massive impact within the SEO community. The result has been a reduction in ranking for sites that have too many similarities in incoming links. It has widely impacted pages employing a variety backlinking schemes. Web directories and content sites have also dropped in the search rankings. Many personal and business websites rich in content have been penalized because certain keywords or phrases appear far more often than normal. If you’re among the many who’ve lost a good chunk of traffic since the Google Penguin update, you shouldn’t lose hope. There are some changes you can make to push your site back up the rankings.

Rather than Keyword Density, Practice Keyword Importance Using TF-IDF

The old way of making certain keywords stick out in documents was to have them appear a certain percentage of the time in those documents. You’ll have to be a little more sophisticated in overcoming the Google Penguin update. TF-IDF is simply a mathematical means of determining the relevance of words in a document. You should use LSI and TF-IDF scoring tools in conjunction to ensure the best possible Google ranking.

For example, you can determine which of the pages on your website are too similar to other web pages. You can then alter these pages significantly or remove them in order to avoid being penalized for keyword stuffing or content duplicity.

Fix Those Old, Unnatural Incoming Links With the Google Disavow Links Tool – Search Engines Do Not Like Them

You have no control of who links to you or how they link to you, so Google created a disavow links tool to help webmasters avoid penalties for unnatural links. Use this tool to quickly overcome links outside of your control and the old backlinks you may have put up. This is a good way of cleaning up your SEO.

Don’t Do Mass Backlinking Anymore – It is Bad SEO Practice

The old method simply doesn’t work for the long haul. Avoid dealing with the black hatters who run a variety of specialized mass backlinkers, many of them automated. If you’ve done this in the past, you’ll likely benefit from the disavow links tool.

Diversify the Text Links You Create to Your Pages

The text used in links was long a tool used by Google in order to determine what type of content your site contained. So prior to Google Penguin, good SEO meant using consistent inbound text links that accurately described your website content. Post-Penguin, consistency in such links is considered search engine spam by Google. You must now create a wide variety of inbound text links. Yet, these links must all contain words that are relevant to your site content as Google still expects them to be relevant.

Use Google+ to Get Ahead of the Search Ranking Competition

Google Authorship is a tool that allows only those with Google+ accounts to get authorship credit for site content. This means that by following the Google Authorship guidelines provided for Google+ members, you can gain a competitive search engine ranking advantages as an authoritative information resource. As your author ranking increases you’ll find all of your content search results go up the rankings. This can have a positive SEO effect and is something that Google is moving more towards when deciding which content to and traffic to.