Google Penguin Update Time for Smarter SEO

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Google Penguin Update
Time for Smarter SEO

Penguin UpdateIn the late March 2012 Google declared the war to link exchange blog networks. One of its signs was the warning notification form Google sent to the site owners and claiming that their sites were involved in link exchange schemes. The point was that Google couldn't be sure in what was stated in the warning. So, if you have received such a notification, our advice is just to stop buying link for 2-3 weeks and not to remove the existing backlinks since it will signalize to Google that it was right in its suspicions. As well, we do suggest your having a look at the set of tips we give in this email to those who have really faced the complications caused by Google Penguin Update.

Have you asked yourself if it was the end of SEO after the latest Google update called Penguin Update? Have you lost your last hope to make your small business site visible on SERPs for your main keywords? If you have, you should know that now it's maybe one of the most favorable moments to reset / revise / start the high quality link popularity campaign which can tip the scales in your favor.

If something from the quoted below can be applied to you, you will be interested in reading this email to the end:

  • you received the warning email from Google Search Quality Team in the late March or in the early April 2012
  • your site rankings dropped just after April 19 or 20, 2012
  • your site rankings dropped just after April 24, 2012
          you were scared by the clutter over Google Penguin Update on Google 

Google’s war on lovable critters escalated on April 24th with the release of the “Penguin” update (originally dubbed the “webspam update” by Google). While every major algorithm update causes some protest, post-Penguin panic seems to be at near record levels, worsened by weeks of speculation about an “over-optimization” penalty. Webmasters and SEOs are understandably worried, and many have legitimately lost traffic and revenue. Before you go out and burn your website to the ground for fear of a penguin in the pantry, I want to offer some advice on how to handle life after an algorithm update.

Let's see what happened in fact!

Panda 3.5On April 19, 2012 Google launched its Panda 3.5 Update. It was meant to target low quality content and attempts to sculpture the PR by changing the site design. So, if you faced the rankings drop just after April 19 or 20, please be informed that it has noting to do with your links but it's rather caused by poor content. The only way out here is to get rid of duplicated content and of siloing elements in your site architecture. Besides, you can also improve your situation by adding the site map. It will help Google to index your site webpages more quickly. And finally, you should not forget about regular content renewal. It influences the frequency of Google spider visits to your site.

And here we come! On April 24, 2012 Google announced Penguin Update being launched. This one aimed at eliminating the spam on Google SERPs. In terms of link building it meant that the definition of the spammy link acquisition changed considerably. Since now high quality links from high PR pages have taken the definitive lead over the ones from so-called link farms. At the same time, they do not guarantee your rankings increase without following Google rules of natural link acquisition.

Please find below the set of tips which can help you to avoid the sanctions previewed by Google Penguin Update, or to get recovered, if these sanctions have already been applied to your site rankings: Penguin Update Tips

1. Diversify your backlink profile. You need all kinds of links: dofollow, nofollow, relevant, irrelevant, on low PR and on high PR webpages.

2. Revise your backlink profile. We don't usually suggest your removing the links. However, if you find out that some link comes from a link farm (the webpage with more than 200 outbound links) or broken links, you have to remove it.

3. If you find yourself to be penalized by mistake, you have to inform Google about this 

4. You should pay more attention to the velocity of your link building campaign. Please be noticed that Google doesn't like when a large number of links are built within a short period of time. It doesn't seem natural.

5. You should build links for different keywords. It doesn't seem natural as well, if all the links are build for the same keyword of for 2 keywords. The huge number of specific anchor text links built for one or two keywords can trigger an abrupt drop of your position on SERPs.

What Not to Do

Panic leads to drastic action, and while I don’t think you should sit on your hands, bad choices made under uninformed hysteria can make a bad situation much, much worse. I’m not speaking hypothetically – I’ve seen businesses destroyed by overreacting to an algorithm change. Here are a few words of advice, once you’ve taken that deep breath (don’t forget to start breathing again)…

DON’T Take a Hatchet to Your Links

It’s unclear how Penguin may have penalized links, or if recent reports of link-related issues are tied to other April changes, but regardless of the cause, the worst thing you can do is to start simply hacking at your back-links. Even low-quality back-links can, in theory, help you, and if you start cutting links that aren’t causing you problems, you could see your rankings drop even farther.
I highly recommend this recent interview with Jim Boykin, because Jim has freely admitted to dabbling in the gray arts and he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to risky link-building. Tackling your problem links is incredibly tough, but start with the worst culprits:
  • Known, obvious paid links
  • Links in networks Google has recently delisted
  • Footer links with exact-match anchor text
  • Other site-wide links with exact-match anchors
Whenever possible, deal with low-authority links first. If a link is passing very little authority AND it’s suspicious, it’s a no-brainer. Cutting links is tough (see my tips on removing bad links) – if you don’t have control over a link, you may have to let it go and focus on positive link-building going forward.

DON’T “De-optimize” Without a Plan

One complaint I hear a lot in Q&A is that the “wrong” page is ranking for a term. So, to get the “right” page to rank, the well-meaning SEO starts de-optimizing the page that’s currently ranking. This usually means turning a decent TITLE tag into a mess and cutting out keywords to leave behind Swiss-cheese copy. Sometimes, the “right” page starts ranking again. Other times, they lose both pages and their traffic.
“Over-optimize” is a terrible phrase, and that alone has people in a panic. There’s nothing “optimal” about jamming a keyword 87 times into 500 words of copy and linking it to the same affiliate site. “Over-gaming” would be a better word. You think you figured out the rules of the game, so you pounded on them until there was nothing but a pile of dust on the board.

If you think you’ve played the game too aggressively, step back and look at the big picture. Does your content serve a purpose? Does your anchor text match the intent of the target? Do your pages exist because they need to or only to target one more long-tail variations of a term? Don’t de-optimize your on-page SEO – re-optimize it into something better.

DON’T Submit a Reconsideration Request

While I don’t think reconsideration will doom you, Penguin is an algorithmic change, not a manual penalty, and reconsideration is not an appropriate avenue. If you think you were impacted by the recent crackdown on link networks, IF you have removed those links, and  

IF you aren’t engaged in other suspicious link-building, you might consider requesting reconsideration. Just make sure your house is in order first.
Google has created a form for sites unfairly hit by Penguin, but it’s unclear at this point whether that form will result in manual action, or if Google is just collecting broad quality data. If you sincerely believe that you’re an accidental victim, then feel free to fill the form out, but don’t base your entire recovery strategy on clicking [Submit].

Fix What You Can Fix
Recently, I had a long debate with a client about whether or not they had been hit by a specific algorithm update. In the end, it was a pointless debate (for both of us), because we had two clear facts: (1) organic traffic had fallen precipitously, and (2) there were clear, solvable problems with the site. From a diagnostic standpoint, it definitely helps to know whether you were hit by Penguin or another update, but after that, you have to fix what's in your power to fix. Don't spend weeks trying to prove to management that this was all Google's fault. Isolate the damage, find the problems you can fix, and get to work fixing them.

And at the same time, if you manage to run your link building campaign sticking to these new Google Penguin Update rules, your site rankings will meet your expectations. More of it, we are sure that your link building campaigns will take longer than usual, but on the other hand, the results you'll get will last for longer as well. That's exactly why we do consider this time to be the best one for you to start the link building campaign. 

 
Source: linksmanagement.com and article from SEOMOZ

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