What Does Google’s New Penguin Update Mean for You?

Over the past few weeks, Google rolled out a new Penguin update. What does a Penguin update mean for you? If you are using, or hiring people who use, black hat SEO techniques, it could result in much lower search rankings. If you are focusing on steady rankings growth and producing quality content, it probably means very little.

Google’s Panda and Penguin updates

What Does Google’s New Penguin Update Mean for You? image Romeo and Google Penguin 42What Does Google’s New Penguin Update Mean for You?

(When Romeo is frightened, he hides under things, like chairs. When he thinks it might be safe, he peeks out to be sure. Actually, Romeo has nothing to fear from the Google penguin update.)

to its search algorithms shared the same simple goal: to penalize those who are trying to game the system and emphasize valuable content and websites. Google has systematically addres

sed keyword stuffing (using keywords excessively in an effort to improve rank), spam, article marketing sites, irrelevant links to home pages, and inbound links from dangerous or low quality websites.

Throughout these updates, Google has tried to shift the ranking criteria to make quality content and earned authority the driving force behind its search results. This required algorithm changes making search criteria more sophisticated and less subject to manipulation. For example, one issue the Panda update addressed was the issue of false links and content popularity from Article Directories. This resulted in significantly lower search rankings for sites that made their content seem more popular by submitting it to hundreds of article directories, each with an inbound link to the website.

The first major Penguin update, among other things, addressed five types of link issues:

  1. Inbound links from dangerous websites
  2. Paid text links using exact match anchor text
  3. Guest posts on questionable websites (completely unrelated or dangerous)
  4. Comment spam (posting an irrelevant comment on other websites with links to your own site)
  5. Article marketing site links

The recent (second) major Penguin update (two minor tweaks between Penguin 1.0 and 2.0) took the analysis of links beyond merely the sites home page and now applies it to deeper pages, even to the subcategory level. It also penalizes malware-infected websites and sites with pages that are no longer indexed.

What does the Penguin 2.0 update mean for you? If you focus on producing quality content that other people view as authoritative and helpful, you should have no worries about the effect of Penguin 2.0. However, if you use, or hired an SEO firm that uses, unnatural, spammy, or manipulative links – or paid links – you might be seeing a dip in your search ranking. If you think you have a problem, you should analyze your link profile, identify problems, and take steps to remove the penguin-offending links.

If you produce valuable content and you do not try to play games with Google (or Bing, etc), your link profile review should be relatively quick and simple. If you have noticed diminished search rankings on Google in the last three weeks or so, you might have a problem. You will need to clean up your links and resubmit your site to Google.

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