We have all heard the buzz and most of all, complaints, regarding this “devastating” Google update called Penguin. As much as people want to point the finger at Google and blame them for their ranking problems they should really be reanalyzing their own links and content.
Google Penguin Update – What is it?
First of all, let’s address what this whole Penguin update really is. All of the changes Google makes to their algorithm are in an effort to fight webspam and deliver the most relevant and useful content to their users. Recognizing that, we can look at their past trends and updates as well as this Penguin update and conclude that this update was in an effort to reduce webspam and reward websites with high quality content.
How do you know if you have been hit? Take a look at your traffic and see if there have been major drops in traffic. Look at your webmaster tools and see if Google has given you a warning for an unnatural link portfolio. Lastly, check your rankings for terms you know you have rankings for and see if you have taken any dips. http://searchengineland.com/penguin-update-recovery-tips-advice-119650
The original Penguin algorithm change was delivered on April 24th, with the first update being rolled out just recently on May 26th. According to Matt Cutts, this Penguin algorithm update affects less than 0.1% of English searches.
Minor weather report: We pushed 1st Penguin algo data refresh an hour ago. Affects <0.1% of English searches. Context: http://t.co/ztJiMGMi
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) May 26, 2012
Penguin v. Panda. How Are They Different?
You might be asking yourself, what about Penguin versus Panda and how are they different? First of all, Panda affected much more of the internet. Panda seemed to be more about on-site issues. The Panda update focused on content and the Penguin update is focusing on low quality links and off-site search engine optimization. What type of links do you have, are they low quality links, and what kinds of anchor text do you have coming in?
Your Rankings Plummeted,
Here’s the Solution.
If you are a business owner out there reading this, and have been penalized, you are probably asking how do you recover from Penguin update? According to Ken Dobell,
“2012 SEO is about optimizing data, not keywords, it’s about making content accessible in a wide variety of formats across all devices.”
If you have great content on your site, then you will be okay from the Panda update. With the Penguin update, you need to take an in-depth look at your inbound link portfolio and see where you are getting links from. If you can see low quality links, then try to reach out and get them removed.
If you own other domains, blogs, sites, etc., take a further look at the anchor text pointing to you. If it can be considered “spammy” or keyword/phrase stuffed, CHANGE IT! Do your best to have your incoming links be varied, be long tail phrases with the keyword in the link, and also try to increase the number of branded inbound links. Branded links are such as Brand, Brand.com, and http://www.brand.com.
Google wants to deliver high quality and relevant content to their users. When you create content that engages your users, not content that promotes you then you get natural engagement and links. Because this is an algorithm update, you cannot ask Google for a reconsideration request.
In conclusion, I feel this update is great for the community in the long haul. Out of 20 clients, I only had 2 that were penalized by this update. I had 4 clients that were struggling to rank before the update, and after the update hit their rankings and traffic substantially boosted. Being a white-hat seo, I focus on building natural high quality links, even if the quantity isn’t what some would want or expect. So far it is working for me, and I hope that you as a business owner will be able to achieve the same success and rankings on your business website by following the newly updated webmaster guidelines.