What is penguin?
Penguin is a sophisticated link filter created by Google to take down sites that use manipulative methods to improve their search visibility online. The Penguin 2.0 is just an expansion of the original Google algorithm that makes it even more effective in decreasing websites that ‘cheat’. The roll out of penguin 2.0 began in 22nd May 2013.
With this update about 2.2% of the English user queries will be affected to the degree that a regular user may notice. The changes will also affect other languages in the world such that, languages with more web spam will experience more impact. The first Penguin launched in 2012 affected about 2.5% of Google searches and even changed keyword rankings for some sites. Sites employing spammy techniques were greatly affected by this change. However, some legitimate SEO sites and other websites were also affected.
The greatest focus for the penguin 2.0 is to identify and bring down spammy links. Google is developing a more effective link analysis algorithm that will make spammy links less effective. This is a feature you should expect in the Penguin 2.0. This will include websites with spam links that pop up every time you open them. So take action and comply with this new requirement.
However, the advantages of this update are that Google will be able to detect hacked sites more effectively and include a webmaster tool that will clear up these sites. They are also going to rank higher, the sites that produce quality content. In addition, the legitimate sites that were shut down by the release of Panda will get a major boost. Instead of packing up and leaving your site, follow the suggestions below to survive the Penguin 2.0:
Always consider the user first
Those who design their sites and don’t pay attention to the users are more likely to get penalized. You can do this by following tips:
- Choose a brand domain name not a keyword. This brand name will get to stick eventually and it is what site users will use to identify you. They will also share this name with relatives and friends and your site will have more traffic.
- Focus on content with a unique selling target. Define the kind of issues you will deal with in your site and build your content around them.
- Link with the user in mind at all times. The internal links you use on your site should be navigational or should focus on a call of action. Overusing this links makes your site look untidy and could land you in trouble when the Penguin 2.0 is released fully.
- Make sure your site takes a short time to load. A long page load time makes your users lose patience and turn to faster sites. Eventually your rankings will drop.
- Your site should also look professional so that users can take it seriously. If the interface is not properly designed and maintained then even Google will not take you seriously.
These are just some of the important actions that you can take to make your site user friendly.
Create better links
Consider how much value your link carries for a site user. Build links that can be trusted. If your links lead to trustworthy sites, then this will be your protection from future Google updates. Do not build links from spammy sources and sites that are not relevant to yours. In addition, do not buy links or overuse link anchor text. There have been indications that this new software will hit the web even harder than its predecessor. It uses smart techniques to identify spam in your backlink profile. Take necessary precautions and check and counter check your backlinks for spam, even if they seem spam free. Make sure you analyze your sites backlinks and when you identify any spammy links, take action and get rid of them.
Build stable relationships with trustworthy sites
Though it may seem late to start this now, there are a lot of benefits that come from building such relationships. Getting a backlink from a quality site is difficult but when you get just one backlink the benefits will be 20 times greater. To get backlinks from reputable sites, follow the best SEO practices:
- Create good content
- Link out to quality and relevant sites
- Get in contact with websites and ask them to include your link in some of their content.
You should always try to link to authority sources in your posts. Just make sure you have quality content in your site since major publishers are always picky with links. Your post will have more credibility and the quality of your backlink will be improved. In addition, it will keep you safe from future Google algorithm changes.
Master social media
Even though social media alone isn’t going to decide the fate of your site, it will help generate considerable traffic to your website. Mastering social media will give you a strong base and help you retain your customers. Social sites like Google+ allow you to post your photo, which gives you credibility among your followers. To enhance your customer base through social media you can do the following:
- Asking and answering questions that are relevant to your site
- Sharing surprising or interesting content regularly ( could be content from other sites)
- Build influential relationships.
- Make it more about your audience not yourself.
Be consistent in doing this so that you can survive any search engine update. You can always attract links, trust and attention though the influential relationship you create, which will in turn help grow your business.
Do not panic about the new Google updates. There were other updates that came before Penguin, like Google Jagger and Florida that were supposed to wipe out SEO, but this never happened. Make the preparations for these algorithm changes ahead of time, so that you can have an edge over your competitors.