Panda 3.9 Strikes : How To Spot Black-Hat SEO Techniques

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As Google’s latest algorithm update, the Panda 3.9, hits us, it is becoming increasingly apparent that it is now more important than ever to claim control over your own online marketing campaign, even if you enlist the help of an SEO company to reach your search positions.

Prior to the Panda 3.9 update, Google issued a warning for site owners who break search engine guidelines to take action sooner rather than later, yet another reminder of how we are all at the mercy of this web giant. If you believe your chosen SEO firm might be resorting to the type of black-hat techniques at the heart of Google’s target campaign, there are some tell-tales signs to confirm your suspicions even for those without much knowledge in the area:

Keyword stuffing

There are many illegitimate techniques that companies use to try and trick the system, some more sophisticated than others, but probably the easiest to spot is keyword-stuffing. If your site’s content to search term ratio seems too rich or spammy, chances are your SEO agency have taken the easy option in an attempt to get your site ranking quickly.

While in the past, sites may have got away with this practice, in the wake of the Penguin and Panda updates, it is becoming more important to keep a check on your keyword density.


It is also worthwhile taking a look at your content in general if this is also provided by your SEO company. Whilst your aim is obviously to achieve first page SERPs, your copy should be written first and foremost with your readers’ interests in mind.

Since the original Panda update, content has been a major target for penalisation, and signs that your content is badly written, not sufficient in quantity, or signs of duplication should all be taken seriously as they could have major implications on your entire SEO campaign.


This is traditionally one of the biggest causes of penalisation and can be identified in a number of ways. If the number of links included within a page, article or press release looks suspicious, get advice from an impartial source. You should also look at where your links are coming from.

If your SEO firm appear to be concentrating on acquiring the highest number of links possible rather than focusing on using relevant or authoritative sites, this may be a sign you are about to be targeted.

It is however, important to bear in mind that during such Google panda 3.9 algorithm updates, disruption can occur within the SERPs and that positions fluctuating may not necessarily be the result of your site being targeted but a result of those moving around you.


Vishal Gaikar

Article by Vishal

Meet Vishal Gaikar, the tech wizard hailing from Pune, India, who's on a mission to decode the digital universe one blog post at a time. When he's not tinkering with gadgets or diving deep into the digital realm, you can find him concocting the perfect cup of chai or plotting his next adventure. Follow his tech escapades on Twitter and buckle up for a wild ride through the world of innovation and geekery!

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