5 Things about Penguin 2.0
Several days ago we announced the launch of Penguin 2.0, Google’s latest algorithm update. Since the launch, I’ve read a great deal of articles online where people have been heavily affected and seen their websites rank drastically in the ranks. Today I want to share some insight into what you need to be doing to avoid being penalised by this update, and if you have been penalised, what you should concentrate on to hopefully get out of the mess.
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt from the past 3 Penguin updates, it’s that the update targets webspam. Webspam usually refers to poor link building efforts – in other words, getting links to your website from low quality websites. The algorithm updates are not all about the links, so there are other factors to consider and I’m going to give you some pointers below:
- Write Great Content – I cannot stress how important this is. You don’t need to write lots of content, nor do you have to worry that you’ll have to write content daily. If you start by writing just one great piece of content for your site every month, you’ll be in a far better position than you are. If you’re unable to produce the content yourself, hire a professional to do it for you. I often advise that hiring a professional is best as they can analyse your Google Analytics account and gain insight into what will work best for you.
- Earn Quality Links – Far too many people think that ranking is all about links and this creates a desperation to get links. Desperation leads to link exchanges, article spinning, link purchases and other tactics that will without a doubt land you in a bad position with Google. Change your mind set to think about earning links – if you do something great, you’ll earn links from it. If you’ve been exchanging links or buying links and your website has dropped in the rankings, you’re going to need emergency assistance if you want to come out ahead again. If you haven’t dropped, it’ll only be a matter of time before you do – you can avoid this by seeking out an SEO company to assist you with undoing some of the damage that has been done. If you have a company doing your SEO and they’re talking about getting 500 links, get rid of them, this will get your penalised – I understand that the cost might be incredibly cheap, but digging out from a penalty will be expensive!
- Follow the Rules – Google’s Webmaster Rules are a great resource to understand what Google expects from you. If you have any doubts about what you’re doing or what you’re being advised to do, consult the rules. There’s no point trying to get your website to the top of the search engines if you don’t understand what Google requires.
- Use Professionals – If your site has dropped or you’re worried that it might drop, hire a professional to assist you in fixing the problem or preventing the problem. Seeing your website vanish from Page 1 is like watching someone close your physical store, think about that for a moment. Professionals can assist you with disavow requests, link profile audits, resubmissions and strategic decisions to get your website ranking again or prevent it from dropping down in the ranks.
- Don’t Ignore Social – Time and time again social media is ignored and thought of as a waste of time, but I can assure you that it isn’t. Think about it, social (Facebook, Twitter, Google+) has become a huge part of all of our lives, do you really think Google would ignore it when deciding where a website should rank? Of course not. Invest some time into having your social media accounts set up correctly, produce great content on these networks and engage with your audience. You don’t need to spend hours on end, but have a presence that is engaging and/or ready to engage.
Google has released more algorithm updates in the past couple of years than we’ve ever seen. If you don’t do things properly, you could get a rude awakening or see your competitors move past you in the search results.
We can expect many more algorithm updates, being proactive is cheaper than being reactive.