Software engineer, Matt Cutts declared last October 4, 2013 that the fifth confirmed release of Google’s “Penguin” algorithm has already gone live. Penguin 5, AKA Penguin 2.1, illustrates decrease in rankings for those websites that have violated Google’s administered quality guidelines that are needed to be followed to make your site rank up and be indexed. The new algorithm aims to enhance efforts to completely eliminate webspam, and more importantly, to prioritize and produce high quality content.
What is Penguin?
Google Penguin is an algorithm sentence or punishment primarily launched in April, 2012 to catch websites that are spamming their way to reach high Google rankings. It targets websites that achieved high rankings through unnatural keyword and link insertion, and low quality content.
How would you know if your website has been affected by Penguin?
It is highly recommended to keep an eye on your organic search engine traffic using Google Analytics two weeks after the Penguin 2.1 update. If you have observed a dramatic drop in terms of traffic, then your site has most probably been hit by the new algorithm.
Typically, once a new Penguin update is released, websites that have taken immediate action like Google disavow may successfully regain their site’s rankings. If you see an improvement in terms of traffic and ranking after the action, then you are likely to have fruitfully escaped Penguin.
Recovery Tips to Battling Penguin
If your website has radically dropped its traffic and ranking, the first step is to thoroughly analyze and identify all your inbound and back links which may have been targeted by Penguin. Remember: Penguin often targets unnatural links. Use link intelligent tools such as majestic tool or open site explorer to see and extract all the backlinks you created, plus to determine the links that need to be removed. Ex. Links with duplicate content, dead links, spammy websites.
After identifying all the bad and low quality inbound links, do remove as many of them as possible. For some links, you’re going to have to contact the website owner and kindly ask them to remove the link from their website. All efforts of removing as many bad links as you can are being noticed by Google so do not look at this process as a waste of time as it will lead to your website’s good ranking.
After removing all bad links, open the Google disavow tool and disavow all the remaining links. Google disavow is an effective process that does not remove all bad links, but sends a message to Google that you would like to ignore them as soon as possible. Learn more about Google disavow.
For years, Matt Cutts has advised SEO practitioners that links should not be their main focus when it comes to optimizing a website and increasing its ranking and traffic. Main focus should be on constructing authoritative content that promotes value, extends help, shares knowledge, and compels readers to share your article to the public.
Guest blogging or posting is another effective way to building good back links. Also, promoting your website through social media is useful as it gives Google a sign that your website and your business are legal.
And, of course, do not give up on SEO. It’s not necessary to shy away from building links. You just have to replace them with high quality ones to earn the traffic and ranking your website deserves.
In the long run, websites that encompass good and high quality links will make it to Google’s first page, achieve high traffic, and prevent penalization from having offending back links.
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