Understanding the Automated Google Penguin
Have you heard of about the latest Google Penguin Update? If you are a website owner and keen to find out how Google Penguin may affect you, this article is here to assist.
Google Penguin first hatched recently in 24th April 2012. Designed as an automatic filter, it was added to the Google Algorithm which assesses and valuates websites periodically. The Google Penguin swims across the World Wide Web in search of websites that have used spam linking for their Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It also looks for over optimised websites and penalise their rankings.
Unlike Google Panda which targets on-site aspects of the web pages (e.g. thin content); the Penguin inspects and pecks at the offsite aspects of the webpage (e.g. link farming & spam linkages).
Which Websites does Penguin Have a Penchant for Targeting?
The following features below can be imagined as food types that attract the Google Penguin. The more in abundance these food types lingering on your website, the longer the Penguin will stay at your website and peck at your rankings – which are truly undesirable!
Links from spam websites
Avoid links from link farms, malware or websites with numerous pop ups. These are a dead giveaway for Google Penguin to feed on.
Paid text link
These are procured links usually done by paying other webmasters (i.e. web owners) a small monetary fee to obtain a specific link back to your website. Another dead giveaway.
This is commonly employed by using multiple comment entries on other websites to add on back links to target website.
Automated link builders
The advert of such tools were previously used to generate back links in the thousands. Now, they are the prime cause of many website rankings to go down. This applies mainly to websites that employ the tools for back links. Great food for the Penguin indeed.
Articles marketing websites
Websites such as EzineArticles, Articlebase have been identified by Google as unnatural. You may want to consider not being over reliant on using these websites to create back links.
First things First
Once you realised that your website ranking has been chewed by the Google Penguin, make sure to file a reconsideration request. Here is web link:
Do a site audit of your website and of the most significant competitors in your industry. This will reveal the linkages connected to your website, helping you understand the health status of your website. Understanding your competitor’s web strategy will also help you reposition your marketing value proposition. For instance, the auditing of your competitor’s website will reveal which niche markets they are targeting. Identifying a niche that is untouched or has a less competition will help you save time and effort in your online marketing efforts.
If you are using a site template that was designed by a previous vendor or third party, ensure that there are no links that are embedded in the template that go back to the third party website or to harmful websites like link farms etc.
Try to identify any security loopholes or weakness your website may have against malware. Make sure that you are updating your website systems (e.g. Content Management System) regularly. Also, if you need to download plug-ins, make sure that these plug-ins are from trustworthy sources.
Quality Web links rocks, spam web links is a no-no.
Remove web links that are spam in nature. Here are two methods:
1) After identifying the spam web links through the site audit, send an email to the webmaster of the respective spam link and ask them politely to assist you by removing these links. This will take a lot of patience to follow through but will be well worth it.
2) If all else fails, delete the webpage and start a new webpage. This will be fresh from spam links and you can port the previous content from the deleted webpage over.
Obtain Web links only from trusted websites and directories.
Utilise software tools that will help to monitor the web links coming to your website and warn you against negative SEO. Negative SEO happens when competitors build bad or spam links to the target website and allow the Google Penguin and Panda to attack the target website causing it to decrease in ranking.
In Conclusion: Go for Natural & Organic Links!
Remember, Google is most vested in helping searchers to solve their problems by providing the most desirable solution and quality content. Gone are the days where one can use black hat linking or farm linking techniques to boost the website ranking within a short time span. The Google algorithm has evolved over the years to eclipse undesirable links and to promote links that are from natural and organic sources (e.g. humans) especially from the social media.
The old strategy of using black hat links to promote ranking has evolved to one that almost need a PR agency to realign the company’s vision with consumers’ desire. Truly companies need to re-consider how they are able to deliver a compelling story and authentic customer centric solution. When their desires or aspirations are met, consumers in the masses in turn develop a positive affinity with the company, promoting the company through word of mouth via online platforms, returning natural and organic linking back to the company’s website and thus improving the company’s Search Engine Result Page ranking.
Here’s wishing you best of success to your search engine optimization efforts!