This week the SEO inustry has been chattering away with Google over optimisation penalties and web spam algorithms causing massive fluctuations in the SERP’s, it has now been released that Google’s official name for this update is Penguin… so how do we pick up from Penguin?
What is Penguin
You may remember last year Google rolled out an update to try and discourage spammy content and spinning content, this update was called Google Panda and April last year saw many sites in content networks being dropped from the SERPs. This April has caused even more upset in the SEO industry as Google finally seems to have cracked spammy links and targeted over optimisation of anchor text links. The SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) have seen websites jumping around all over the place, prioritising brands, exact match domains one day, then dropping them the next. Google has released a few statements on this and it all seems to be focussed around their over optimisation penalty to target nasty spammers and black hat SEO’s. This update has been named Penguin.
Here we have a picture of The penguin wearing his ‘black Hat’ (obviously a Black hat SEO bad guy)
We can only speculate on Google’s reasoning behind the name, but I do like the idea of Matt Cutts getting into his bat mobile at night to combat evil web spammers in their black hats.
What to do if your website has been hit by the Penguin update
Unfortunately, this Penguin won’t be using a high tech umbrella to hit you, but will get you where you are most vulnerable – in traffic!
If you have been hit by the Penguin update you may see your positions drop completely out of Google for certain keywords. If this is due to having spammy links that only focus on one anchor text then you have a big job ahead of you.
The good news is these penalties only look to be targeting certain keywords and many sites are still finding their long tails do well. This is the time to start building your brand and website reputation, become a better business with a good informative website. This will encourage links to come naturally.
You can continue to build links but submitting your articles to ezine or other overused sites is not the best strategy, high quality links that may build your brand and actually bring you traffic are the way to go, they take work and effort but they are worth it.
SEO is Changing
If you haven’t already, then now you should be thinking about SEO differently. Stop measuring results by spammy links and positions in the SERPs but look at overall search engine traffic, conversions from organic search showing your site is relevant for the right keywords and attracting the right traffic.
Don’t get too hung up with the quantity of links but are the links refering traffic and building your brand, is the on page work attracting visitors and social mentions? SEO can incorporate all of these and this strategy will help your brand and business so maybe we should start looking at this data for success rather than that one ‘money’ keyword getting to number 1 in Google.
If you have a great SEO strategy then all you need to think about is the cute fluffy penguins!