Its official, Penguin 3.0 has landed. It’s been over a year since Google’s link spam fighting algorithm has been updated or refreshed.
Some webmasters have feared this update, others have been praying for it. The update, the sixth version of this particular algorithm, was officially rolled out on October 17th 2014. Per Google, it will take weeks for Penguin to completely roll out globally.
As a web designer or a small business owner, you may be asking yourself: what is Google Penguin? Penguin is a nickname name for a special Google algorithm that was first announced on April 24, 2012. This algorithm is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using SEO link building techniques, aka ‘linking schemes’, for the purpose of artificially increasing the rankings of a website by manipulating the number of links pointing to the page.
For traditional SEO companies that rely on link building and similar SEO short-cuts to improve rankings for their clients, Penguin has been a real challenge. For years, many SEO companies relied heavily on back office link building, offshore link building service and other types of artificial and volume-based link building activities in order to boost rankings for their clients. For years, Google played a cat-and-mouse game with search engine optimization companies trying to combat SEO firms from gaming Google’s search engine.
Penguin was a game changer for the SEO industry, because for the first time, Google starter to apply an algorithmic penalty to websites with “spammy” backlink profiles. So literally, with the push of a button, Google radically reshuffled the search engine results by applying a Penguin penalty to hundreds of thousands of websites.
While many SEO companies still try to game the systems by selling “link building packages”, the mainstream web design and Internet marketing industry has dramatically changed its approach to search engine optimization. We are in a new era of “content driven SEO” where Content Is King, and there is much less emphasis on link building and more emphasis on developing great content and publishing this content on your website and social media channel. In other words, if you web design partner or Internet marketing services provider emphasizes link building or sell you link building packages, this could be a major red flag. As a small business owner, in terms of search engine optimization, your only focus should be on content, content marketing and content distribution (notice how many times we mentioned ‘content’?).
Don’t get us wrong: Links are still a very important part of SEO. It’s just that the quality, relevance and authority of a link pointing to your website is all that matters now. Also, you now need to know who is linking to you website and take a more active approach in managing your backlink profile. The good news is that SEO has become much less complicated in the sense that SEO tricks either do not work anymore, or they are too risky to even try – but creating great quality content on a regular basis and developing a strategic content distribution channel for your business work better than ever.
Have you been hit by a Penguin update? Despite claims that it’s impossible to recover from a Google Penguin updated, this is simply not true. There are many ways a website can recover from the algorithmic penalty.