You’ve heard of Penguin 2.0, but you feel like you’re living on an iceberg as far as understanding it. What exactly does this Google algorithm update do to your site? We’re here to give you an overview of the latest on Penguin 2.0, which was launched May 22, 2013.
A Brief History
Penguin 1.0 was launched in April 2012. It targeted sites with inappropriate and/or questionable link profiles and poor anchor text that was too keyword-rich. The goal was to serve Google users with better, more relevant search results. Simple SEO was a great idea at first, but people began to manipulate the system. Google stepped up and created Penguin 1.0 to weed out the good from the bad.
Penguin 2.0 Targets Links
Penguin 2.0 differs from Penguin 1.0 in that it’s more comprehensive. It takes a look at the internal pages of a website and targets inbound shady linking behavior.
What are some common forms of shady linking?
- Paying another website to link to yours.
- Commenting on blog posts just to leave your exact match anchor text link.
- Posting your content on questionable blogs with links back to your blog.
- Creating thin, run of the mill articles with links that get posted here, there, and everywhere.
- Receiving malicious, inbound links. Check your link profile in Webmaster tools to find these.
Content is Still King
It’s simple, really. Your site needs stellar content. Remember, as you’re creating content, to not get “link happy.” Mix up the anchor text in your links.
A few years ago, SEO’s would match link anchor text with the keyword associated with the link’s page. Today, too many exact match links flag Google that the site might be over-groomed by spammers. Penguin is sometimes known as the “over-optimization” penalty because of this action to make content less mechanical.
It is not a contest to see how many times you can link to your site- quite the opposite actually. Linking should occur naturally.
Penalties and Rewards
Google penalizes shady behavior like buying mass links, spamming social media or blogs, or displaying paid advertorials. Sites that follow the rules are rewarded with higher, overall search rankings.
You’ve been penalized. Now what?
If your site has been penalized and dropped in the overall rankings in search, don’t worry that all hope is lost forever. Find out why you were penalized, and fix the problem. Google’s Webmaster tools can help. Make sure your links are relevant. In some cases, you may need to disavow or content site owners to ask them to remove the links.
As long as you’ve been creating good content with trustworthy and relevant links, Penguin 2.0 likely didn’t change where you rank in search results. If it did impact your rankings, find out what you did wrong and how to fix it. Let Penguin 2.0 be your friend in figuring out what good content is and how you will present it. ~ Natalie
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