Is Search Engine Optimisation Dead now with Penguin?

Did you know that your current Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) effort can land you into a world of trouble with Google?

Google is presently like a 500 lb Gorilla who owns two of the three largest search engine platforms in the world; YouTube and Since the early part of 2010 Google has been working hard to restore what they call “the internet democracy”. It does matter for any business with an online presence to be in good terms with Google, because the size of their search engine traffic is far above all competition put together.

I am not sure if your Search Engine Optimisation-SEO expert has told you about the following new terms that your online business needs to be familiar with; these new SEO terms are:

*Sneaky Disavow

*Evil Disavow

*Papal Dispensation

Can anyone fool Google with sneaky SEO  tactics?

Google employs in their Development and SEO team 5000 Engineers and Grade students, and they make 20 changes per minutes on a 24×7 cycle, 40 updates per Engineer per week in their Google algorithm code. Aside from this,  source code has doubled in size since January 2010; they run automated testing of the entire code base with a dedicated team of 100 Engineers managing the Source Code. They undertake 20 million builds per year which means 5000 builds per day. They have 36 Datacentres around the world with 20,000 to 50,000 CPU per datacentre.

Do you think, they do not know what you are doing online with regards to your SEO Strategy?

The truth has to be told here, Google knows a lot more about your links than you think they do. After a recent meeting a statement was issued which sent a chill down my spine: a website with little to no links is OK, as they consider all traditional back link building efforts as illegal and those caught will be penalised; this little piece of information I feel compelled to share this with all local businesses in order for them to realise what plans Google has put in place over the coming months to generally re-order the way search results are placed on Google and also the penalties involved when you go against Google policies. Base on their statement, it becomes quite obvious that there is a big challenge thrown to all SEO Gurus and experts with regards to what they can or cannot do when implementing their various Search Engine Optimisation efforts online. Moreover the websites that are over optimised for SEO purposes, like most of the websites that have being designed, will also be penalised. It is the 1st time in the last 12 years that a negative ranking factor for pages and domains score is being used. This new formula was implemented in January 2010 and it was called “farmers update”.

So what are the Google Penalties?

Google currently have 4 types of penalties.

  • 2 of these penalty types are automated: these penalties are detected by computers,
  • 2 types that are manual: these penalties are always human initiated.

There is a simple way of knowing if your website has been penalised by Google. This is by using the Google webmaster tool and registering your website using this Google tool. Once registered, you will get a notification on that site informing you about your penalty and other analysis about your website. Now let’s give you a few examples so you can see how Google apply their penalties.

Examples of SEO penalties

  • If you are part of a Blog network and this is your backlink strategy, your website will be penalised, and this is what we call an evil disavow. This type of penalty is an automated penalty.
  • Link bombing: This is a strategy used by SEO gurus to get a site on 1st page of Google very quickly. Google considers this tactic as unnatural and will therefore apply an automated penalty to your website.
  • Content spinning: This is another strategy that is used to create many articles for a website, based on just one article. Google have a new tool that allows their crawler to detect if your site is spinning content or have duplicate content. This immediately raises a red flag and you will be assigned to a Manager who will review your site and apply a manual penalty. It is much more difficult to come out of a manual penalty, but it is possible, as can be attested by one of our clients who were placed on a manual penalty.
  • Keyword stuffing: This is another strategy used to tell Google bot or crawler what the website is about, this is what will get your website a “Sneaky Disavow” which may or may not show on GWT.


If your site is penalised our advice is for you to come clean and inform Google that you will be cleaning up your act rather than trying to argue your case. It is much more better by accepting their charge than arguing with them or appealing your case especially when you know what you have done as this will take you nowhere. Ultimately Google is just looking for “quality content sites” and the site linking to them are citations rather than link stuffing strategy.

Therefore if you would like to pass Panda and Penguin Google gate you need to follow the rules below:

  • Absolutely No Link Schemes
  • Restrict your use of Keyword Links
  • Absolutely No spinning of content
  • Add Author Attribution to your Content
  • Add a privacy statement at the bottom of your website
  • Know your market and share it with your customer
  • Find your voice within your niche
  • Attract customer by engaging with them
  • Build your website for humans not robots
  • Work Smart, No hard

Always Use Real Marketing Rules i.e. write your website for human rather than Google Bot or crawler, i.e. content that is engaging and attracts Humans not Bots.

We would love to hear about your Search Engine Optimisation – SEO story at iTM on how you lost your ranking. So contact us today at





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