The Google Penguin Approaches
Over the years many business owners, webmasters and SEOs have both been plagued and rewarded by the Google Zoo algorithm updates. Over the last year we have seen Panda, Phantom, Pirate and The Mobile Friendly Update all shake up the organic search results. One of the most dangerous updates to negatively affect sites worldwide is Penguin and it is migrating back any day now.
Penguin History – What is Google Penguin?
The Penguin update first occurred in April 2012 whose purpose was to decrease search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster’s Guidelines. To be more specific, the penguin update geared more towards offsite link building tactics manipulating a sites organic position through shady SEO.
The Shady Penguin
The big red flags for getting hit by penguin included having multiple links from spammy & low quality sites. Companies using link schemes, private blog networks, unnatural links and over optimization of hyper-linking “Trophy” keywords deemed manipulative to the search engines became penalized by this update. Since the penguin refresh only happens every so often this means a severe loss in rankings until the next Penguin refresh rolls out.
Over the last few years penguin has been updated 6 different times and the next update is eminent in the next few months according to Google. Penguin 2.1 released on October 4th 2013, Penguin 3.0 rolled out on October 17th 2014, we expect the next one in the 4th quarter. Many companies who have been partaking in less than perfect link-building tactics need to revisit their linkscape and most likely do some cleanup. This can be a tedious process by reaching out directly to webmasters to have links removed and disavowing the links in Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools).
Google’s own Gary Illyes spoke at SMX East yesterday mentioning that the next penguin update is in the near future, adding that he hoped it will be fully rolled out by the end of the year.
Any site previously affected by penguin would require a stringent negative link outreach and disavow campaign followed by an incredibly long waiting game until the next refresh. Obviously if you get hit for this penalty it is incredibly painful because you are looking at up to 10-12 months to regain organic rankings and traffic. The goal of the new penguin update is that the version of the algorithm will be real time and continuous (built into the algorithm as opposed to manually being refreshed). This means that companies will be hit at the next refresh but they will also be able to get out of the penalty box a lot faster. So disavow campaigns will also see results in real time. This makes all the sense in the world for Google as many sites use shady link building tactics and can reap the benefits until either a manual penalty or a yearly algorithm refresh.
Overall this pending update is a big win for real companies building their brand the right way online. Search Engine Optimization focus needs to be on site relevancy and building the brands authority off page. Google will reward those that reward their users and no fly-by-night SEO companies should get results that last longer than a few weeks with the pending update. As more businesses realize how much of an impact SEO has on their business they will invest more into this channel as real results take real work (and time). It is imperative to choose the right partner for your inbound marketing program who can deliver real, lasting results.
Contact 180fusion today to learn how we can help you prepare for Google’s Penguin update and keep your online business on top.
Brad Keys is Director of Sales at 180fusion and has spearheaded some of the companies most successful campaigns. He is ROI and solution oriented while being insanely passionate about the moving landscape of digital marketing.