If only the Penguin update was as comical as this.

The Google Penguin update has proved to be one of the largest shifts in Google search results in recent years; as a result, many small (and large) websites have found their rankings fluctuate for the good (and the bad) with far too many questions left unanswered as to how and why it happened.

As a beginner affiliate, you may be dissuaded from working on your online projects because of the gloom and doom that the Penguin update has seem to have beseeched upon affiliate marketers.

Don’t get too discouraged. There is certainly a new approach you’ll need to bring to building your online projects and campaigns, many of which are classic examples; here is what you need to know:

  • Do not over optimize. Keep your main and secondary keywords to a minimum when placing them within your title, header, and link text. Avoid heavy keyword density in your articles. Don’t solely rely on keyword rich domain names and link structure to give you a major edge on the competition. The main culprit here is a ‘doorway page’ which is a highly optimized page specific to gaining higher rankings.
  • Avoid bad link neighborhoods. The nastiest fallout from the Penguin update has been the result of bad backlinks (many of which are completely out of your control). Build links naturally and on relevant domains that have authority. Remove links from bad neighborhoods by sending off an email to the website owner to remove the link or go as far as placing a 301 redirect to start fresh on the pages. The main culprit here is link farms and blog networks.
  • Keep it targeted and valuable. Don’t be tempted to promote products outside of your niche; keep each affiliate program extremely relevant to the topic of your website. Likewise, provide exceptional value throughout the entirety of your website through product reviews, comparisons, community interaction, ratings, and fresh that way your website isn’t too “thin” and catch the wrath of the Penguin. The main culprit here is promoting irrelevant products just because they’re popular and have a high commission.

Overall, the Google Penguin update has placed a large focus (or perhaps, re-focus) onto the basics of building websites: great content, community building, and worthwhile products. As an affiliate, your work will increase in order to properly satisfy the combination of building a great site and community but it will be worth your while as your site grows (and the competition falters and falls).