Penguin updateIt has been just about two weeks since Google turned the SEO world upside down with its Penguin update. While many webmasters are still reeling, Google seems to be quite happy with the most recent change and how it has bettered the search results.

Of course, there are still questions that need to be answered. What can I do to recover from the Penguin update? Is “negative SEO” really as much of a threat as it appears?

To answer some of these questions, Search Engine Land recently sat down with the head of Google web spam team, Matt Cutts.

What is the Process for Recovery?

In short, Google has made it clear that any site hit by the Penguin update was spamming the search engine. While this may be a tough pill to swallow, it is important to focus on what you can do to get back in the good graces of the search engine giant.

In the past, your best bet was to submit a reconsideration request through your Google Webmaster Tools account. However, Google has already stated that this is not going to help this time around.

While many don’t believe it to be true, Cutts stated, “it is possible to clean things up.” For more information on doing so, he suggests checking out the following videos.

Right now, your main goal should be to clean your site up to ensure that it is not considered “spammy.” By doing so, you may see your rankings restored with the next Penguin update.

As bad as it may hurt, Cutts suggested scrapping sites that don’t recover and starting over fresh.

Is Negative SEO For Real?

Even before the Penguin update, negative SEO discussions were running rampant. Now, things have really heated up. Webmasters fear that their competition could build spam links to their site, in turn drawing the ire of Google.

Despite growing concerns, Cuts added once again that negative SEO is extremely rare. “We have done a huge amount of work to try to make sure one person can’t hurt another person.”

This is good to hear, however, with everything going on can you really believe this statement to be true?

As the impact of the first Penguin update begins to wear off, webmasters should begin to clean up their sites while looking towards the future.

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