Google Penguin 3.0 is here – what to do now

The Google Penguin 3.0 update has been launched and it’s got everyone talking. Google Penguin is the code name for Google’s algorithm that was designed to decrease search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Penguin was introduced in April 2012 to punish websites which employed SEO techniques associated with artificially boosting the ranking of a web page. Penguin 6 (AKA Penguin 3.0) update was released on October 21, 2014 (impacting less than 1% English queries).

What to do now to survive

1. Execute a link audit

By performing a link audit on your website you can identify and certify that each backlink on your pages fits with Google Webmaster Guidelines. Majestic SEO or Ahrefs are online link research tools which aggregate all current links to your domain and evaluate the legitimacy of those links. Those that seem unnatural or “spammy” should be disavowed.

2. Reassess your on-page SEO

Whilst keyword stuffing might have been popular a decade ago, solid, white hat on-page SEO is still legit. Google utilises user experience and usability metrics to ascertain whether or not a page complies with a user’s query. The little things make your content excel:

  • A good landing page
  • An intriguing primary paragraph to increase dwell time
  • Use sub-headers profusely
  • Long, in-depth content
  • Include screenshots, diagrams and videos.

3. Brand signals

A number of Google’s ranking components centre around “brand signals”. Sure, you may not be Virgin or Apple but here are a few tricks that can increase your own brand signals:

  • Have active and regularly updated Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles
  • Consider adding LinkedIn and Pinterest
  • Use your brand name online
  • Add Google authorship to your site – this is debatable as it is being removed by Google.

4. Guarantee that your web pages don’t accommodate outbound links from link networks

Link networks are bad news. They are a cluster of websites set up to link out to sites, without bestowing any authentic user experience. Google detests link networks and continues to penalise these sites. Disavow links from sites that have duplicate or thin content, poor wording, outbound links to sites without a common theme and are not indexed in Google. Google has released that backlinks are a big wins in terms of quality for search results.

5. Dispose of exact match anchor text from your website

One method of determining whether a site has tried to manufacture links or manipulate rankings is anchor text, which Google is quick to identify and penalise. By examining your backlink profile, a large number of links pointing back to your site without your brand name or domain may be apparent. Don’t risk it, get rid.

6. Validate the suitability of the sites that are linking to your site

Search engines reward rankings to web pages that have accumulated authority through organic means. Links of a relevant nature which occur between sites that are compatible will be favoured. Confirm that all your current links are in accordance with your site’s purpose and are appropriate to your users.

What Else?

These tips should help protect your site from Penguin 3.0. Once your mind is clear and your backlink profile is decontaminated, you can focus on decisively ending bad practices. Adhere to marketing activities that conform to Webmaster Guidelines.

Updates to the Penguin algorithm will continue to roll out. Connect with experienced people who perform continuous research in this field. Contact iFactory today to map your digital marketing strategy. As a full service digital marketing agency, we can help your company take the steps it needs to have the perfect online presence.

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