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Google Strikes Again: Penguin Slaps Us

by Rasheed Bustamam on April 27, 2012

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Google Penguin Slap Looks more like a penguin kiss than a slap

Been Penguin Slapped? Maybe we can help.


It has been brought to my attention that Google Penguin has seriously "slapped" people in terms of search engine rankings. So here I am to help.

"Sheed, how can you help?"

First, take a look at this article that details 12 tips from Google themselves to help you not be marked as spam.

Here's the 8 black and white guidelines:

1. Avoid hidden text or hidden links.

2. Don’t use cloaking or sneaky redirects.

3. Don’t send automated queries to Google.

4. Don’t load pages with irrelevant keywords.

5. Don’t create multiple pages, subdomains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.

6. Don’t create pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing or installing viruses, trojans, or other badware.

7. Avoid “doorway” pages created just for search engines, or other “cookie cutter” approaches such as affiliate programs with little or no original content.

8. If your site participates in an affiliate program, make sure that your site adds value. Provide unique and relevant content that gives users a reason to visit your site first.

Number 7 probably answers why you can't get search engine traffic to your "cookie cutter" squeeze page (nothing wrong with cookie cutter squeeze pages, just don't try ranking for them).

Anyway, take a look at this picture.

Traffic Stats Traffic stats for the past week or so

As you can see, my stats kind of fluctuate as the week goes by, but that's natural. However, you can also see that I did not get slapped by the penguin update.

How did I do it? Honestly, I don't know. But what I can tell you is that my blog follows all of the guidelines given by Google (even if I did not do it consciously).

Okay, you probably don't care about all of that stuff. And honestly, I don't either. I don't consider myself an SEO expert by any means.

However, there is a method that I have been using to get traffic for the past month-and-a-half, which made my traffic look like this:

Traffic Stats It's almost like my traffic is giving me the finger

The drop in April was a result of me only posting four times this month. Lol.

Anyway, this was a method I've been tweaking slowly but surely, and now I'm ready to release it to the public.

The cost to get in?


No gimmicks. No upsells. No getting your information so I can recruit you into my own biz. Nada.

Why am I doing this then? Because I benefit too; we all benefit.

I call it The Power of Ten Tribes.

If you would like to learn more about how you can make a difference by protecting the vital information of yourself and others in cyberspace consider an master of science in cybersecurity.

How the Power of Ten Tribes work

Each tribe has ten people. There is one "leader" (more of a mentor/moderator who makes sure that everyone is pulling their weight in the tribe), and nine other bloggers. However, aside from the small additional role that the "leader" plays, each person in the tribe is equal.

Whenever one person in the tribe posts a blog post, everyone in the tribe will receive an email that will inform them that a new post has been added, and to comment and "like" and "share" (I may be an SEO dummy, but even I know that social bookmarking is important in SEO).

There's only a couple of requirements for being in a tribe:

  • You must have CommentLuv installed (Premium is also nice, but not necessary)
  • You must blog at least once per week
  • You must comment on every blog posted within seven days of it being posted

To keep things fair and simple, for every post a person posts, they only need to comment on one post.

"How is this different from TribePro?"

TribePro is a great service for what it does, but with TribePro, I got kooky comments like this:

"Very interesting Rasheed, your post Four Steps to Change Your Bad Money Habits. I love a post that has real value. Thanks for your contribution Rasheed. Take care"

I mean I guess you could discern what that means, but when a first time visitor comes to your blog and sees your comments filled with obviously spammy comments, they'll think there's something to hide.

Nothing ever beats genuine content (or genuine comments).

So for getting tons of social bookmarking, TribePro is great (though as per Google's recommendations above, I would not suggest using it for only that), but the only thing that this method has in common with TribePro is the word "Tribe." Creativity is not my forte, k?

Anyway, when I was pushing this method into the testing stage, I was kind of overwhelmed with responding to each and every person, and I had no viable way to really determine who should be in the Tribe and who shouldn't be.

This is why I now have an application form.

To get the application form, simply enter your name and email into this form.

Just so you know, this is NOT an opt-in form for leads--if you want to opt into my personal blog's newsletters, use the form on the sidebar. I will NOT promote any of my own blog posts or affiliate products to the members of the list--the list is merely so it is easy for me to contact you should the need arise.

So enter your information, submit the application form, and I'll review it. The deadline for applications will be 11:59 PM PST on May 6. Late applications will not be considered for the current application period, but will be kept on file for future application periods.

Moving onto you

I look forward to working with you. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to Skype me: abustamam

You may also leave a comment, but very few people come back to read the reply I wrote, so it's not a very effective way of communication, lol.


In peace, love, and prosperity, Rasheed

All-expense paid trip to Cancun??

PS: If your company does not have a step-by-step duplicable system for YOUR success, check this out (unless you are just making way too much money)

For Instant Access to our Step-By-Step System: Click here!

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– who has written 278 awesome posts on Blog2Success.

Rasheed is a 21-year-old college student studying chemical engineering, but he has much bigger ambitions than becoming an employee. His dream is to cruise continental America in a million dollar RV. The road to his dream is through this prestigious business opportunity.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 BG Jenkins April 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Hi Rasheed,

I’ve heard a lot of talk about all of this today. There will always be a way to succeed away from the penguin slap. Do I know what it is? No…but we’re all learning, growing and trying to give each other a hand up. That accounts for a lot. Thanks for the guideline tips…I’ll have to review them. All the best.


2 Rasheed Bustamam April 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Thanks BG! It’s pretty cool that we’re all out to help each other :) That’s the power of community!



3 Jamella Biegel April 29, 2012 at 5:41 am

Hi Rasheed,

I am not much into SEO and don’t know if I have been impacted by the Google changes.

I really like being a part of the commenting tribe. It’s a great concept as long as everyone does there part. Thanks for creating this for us!


4 Rasheed Bustamam April 30, 2012 at 12:09 am

I’m not either, but if you use JetPack Wordpress stats (or just Google Analytics) you can see where the majority of your traffic comes from (or maybe it’s available in-house, i dunno). My traffic’s stayed more or less consistent so I know I haven’t been hit.

Glad you like being in the tribe! No problem :)


5 John Akers April 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm

You are dead on about tribepro. Most of the time I can’t tell if I’m getting spammed or if that’s one of my auto-syndicators… Great info Rasheed and I look forward to increasing my bench by 30 lbs (had to put an irrelevant thing in here). :)


6 Rasheed Bustamam April 30, 2012 at 12:10 am

Lol, so true… and when you can’t tell between spam and your auto-syndicators… well, there’s a problem! LOL.

Increasing your bench?? lol, I use that ;)


7 Tonya Stephens April 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Hi Rasheed,

Thanks for explaining the Penguin thing.
I don’t think I’m guilty of any of that stuff heck I don’t even understand what some of it is.
I do like the Tribe concept as I’ve told you before. It really is another dimension to blogging, making it very social.
I have really enjoyed the group I’m in and I’ve learned ‘alot” from it.
Keep up the good work my friend,
To your success,


8 Rasheed Bustamam April 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm

No problem Tonya! I think the general rule is if you aren’t trying any “SEO” tricks, then you should be safe from updates like this. In the end Google will always cater to organically optimized pages–Wikipedia doesn’t use any SEO strategies, yet it’s always at the top of search results, no matter what. So I think one of the safest things to do is to copy what Wikipedia does, lol.


9 Princess Shimari May 1, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Hi Rasheed,
As usual, I learn from your posts. If I embed a link in my text which refers to what the link is about, is that considered a hidden link? What Im really asking is if you have noticed any hidden links in my posts?
Looking forward to the new Tribe format.


10 Rasheed Bustamam May 3, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Glad you got something out of it. Hidden links are typically just links that are cloaked. For example, some people use for tracking, but if you use that leads to another masked page (like )then that’s likely a hidden link.


11 Gina Ghafari May 1, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Yet another very informative post filled with value Rasheed.
Thanks for sharing and keepings us updated.


12 Rasheed Bustamam May 3, 2012 at 3:10 pm

Thanks for your comment Gina!


13 Amos May 4, 2012 at 12:10 am

Thanks for the Penguin slap explanation. I am all in for Power of Ten Tribes..:)


14 Rasheed Bustamam May 6, 2012 at 12:24 am

:) Glad to hear it Amos!


15 Anuj Sharma May 9, 2012 at 8:42 pm

You will lose some people sure, but your site and content is valuable and I’m sure most people would resubscribe.

So, basically if send my blog broadcasts using Aweber right form the start then I will be better off in the long run.

I wonder can this list be used for more than blog broadcasts? Like if I want to communicate something more to my audience besides just alerting them of new posts…


16 Rasheed Bustamam May 15, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Actually I recommend you DO use your mailing lists to communicate more than just new posts. People can use RSS feeds to get your recent posts, so connecting and building a relationship with your mailing list is an added bonus.

Thanks for stopping by!


17 Lucy Bieri May 11, 2012 at 6:15 am

Hi Rasheed,
Most people think by breaking google’s rule takes them to the top of the page.. No its wrong.. Google Strikes because of ill greed people. There is nothing like being ethical.. You said it, Nothing ever beats genuine content (or genuine comments) Great post.. thanks for sharing.




18 Rasheed Bustamam May 13, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Thanks for the comment Lucy! Totally agree :)


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